Using Refillable Beauty Products Is a Real, Actionable Way to Help the Environment

Updated 05/20/19

I am constantly thinking about how much waste I produce. On the walk from my unit to the trash chute, I think, this is only mine, and imagine what our collective trash looks like. As a beauty editor, I recycle the packing materials that house the products I receive daily, as well as the products' actual packaging. And, while I don't always think about it, those products are mostly comprised of single-use plastic. After, I've reached the bottom of the tube, I toss 'em.

According to personal care line by Humankind, “Every day, 28,000 tons of single-use plastic are disposed into our oceans.” There’s the exception of some bulk items I purchase like Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap Refill, as well as higher-end products (mostly face wash) in glass containers, but the majority of the products I use and love are single-use. Even though I’m diligent about recycling, it’s possible that our recycling doesn’t get recycled and ends up in a landfill. Terrifying, right? According to by Humandkind, it’s also an underused solution. “Only 9% of worldwide plastic waste actually gets recycled.” Their suggestion: “Instead of asking how we can recycle more plastic, let's work together and find ways to consume less of it in the first place.”

I remember visiting Blackstones, a salon in Manhattan, where they have their own line of refillable haircare called Five Wits. Founder Joey Silvestera encourages his local clients to bring their empty bottles for a refill or exchange the container for a new one. What a novel idea, right? Fortunately, there are more companies that are implementing a refill program to reduce our plastic footprint. Ahead, five beauty brands that are helping to create less waste.

by Humankind

This line of non-harmful everyday products is designed to be refilled and eliminates single-use plastic by 90 percent or more. There are currently three products: mouthwash, deodorant, and shampoo that can be purchased a la carte or through a subscription. Less really is more.

Kjaer Weis

This certified organic makeup line offers an intelligent refill system. Made from metal, the packaging is built to be refilled over and over. Refill your compact, mascara, and lipstick. Sigh, imagine, if every beauty line were like this?

Myro Deodorant

To minimize single-use plastic waste, personal hygiene products are a great place to start (because we use them everyday). Free of aluminum, parabens, phthalates and talc, this deodorant line comes in five scents, has a refillable case and recyclable pods. The subscription-based service is non-committal: switch scents, press pause or stop anytime.

Le Labo

Refill your 50ml or 100ml bottle of eau de parfum at Le Labo and you’ll receive a 20 percent discount on the fragrance. Considering its price point, that’s a lot of incentive to reuse.

Follain

A mecca for natural beauty products, Follain offers an exclusive 38 oz. refillable hand soap in lemongrass or lavender. 

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