Weird confession time: I have a tendency to hold onto empty cosmetics containers. Even after I've scraped every last drop of product from its depths, for some reason, I often can't bring myself to toss out a perfectly good vessel—and part of me always hopes that I might find some kind of use for it someday. Given what I do for a living, you can probably begin to imagine the piles of jars, vials, and capsules I have lying around. Are you screaming yet, Marie Kondo?
But it turns out that my hoarding might actually pay off in the end—for the environment and my wallet. Thanks to some smart sleuthing by Refinery29, we now know that a handful of popular brands actually offer free products and/or refills if you bring in your empty containers for recycling. Mind. Blown.
Want in? Keep scrolling to see which of your favorite labels reward eco-friendliness.
Kiehl's superfans, take note: For every empty bottle you return to a Kiehl's store, you'll receive a stamp. Ten stamps will earn you the travel-size product of your choice.
Lush is already an eco-friendly choice to begin with: All of the brand's packaging is made with 100% recyclable plastic. But turn in five empties and you'll also get a free face mask. Win-win!
Then you might consider signing up for Terracycle's program, which partners with Garnier to significantly reduce cosmetic waste. You'll amass points for every box you ship to one of Terracycle's recycling centers (free of charge), which will in turn qualify you for prizes.
On that note, it's actually really easy to make your beauty routine more ethical and planet-friendly.