15 creative ways to upcycle beauty products

It's Earth Day today! How are you demonstrating your support for environmental protection?


Zero Waste Week reported that the beauty industry produces 120

billion units of packaging a year and is the number one contributor to plastic waste pollution.


In addition to this, production results in pressing environmental issues, such as deforestation, increasing water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions.  

Examples of acne care and skin care products

Few beauty brands offer zero waste products so ensuring that we are recycling, or reusing packaging is the key to tackling plastic waste pollution (or at least making a start).


We’ve compiled 15 ways you can simply and easily help the environment by “upcycling” your old beauty products.  


What is Upcycling?


Upcycling (also called creative reuse) is the process of reinventing useless or unwanted products into new materials or products. The idea is to create new products that are more useful, typically through greater artistic or environmental value.  


Why should you start Upcycling?


Environmental Benefits


Firstly, upcycling minimises the volume of wasted materials sent to landfills, therefore reducing land pollution. This also results in a reduction in air pollution which is produced from landfills being burnt as a disposal method.


Additionally, upcycling reduces the demand for raw materials; this reduces air pollution, water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and conserves limited natural resources. 


Social Benefits


For businesses, creatively reusing wasted plastic will reduce manufacturing costs. Not only does this optimise your profit margins, but also helps the business do their part for the environment. In addition to this, it’ll differentiate your products from competitors as your packaging will be much more unique. 


Personal Benefits 


Upcycling your old beauty products is a simple change that, in the long run, massively contributes to tackling environmental concerns. It’s a great creative outlet that also allows you to do your part for the environment simultaneously! 


You can also gain new skills, such as crafting and repairing. You never know when these skills may come in handy! Also, you get to create an item that’s unique to you and your home. 


How can you start Upcycling? 


Stuck for ideas of how you could begin your upcycling journey? Or exhausted your current list of ideas? We have 15 great ideas for how you can upcycle your old beauty products instead of throwing them out to contribute to plastic waste pollution. Where possible, we’ve added step-by-step tutorials to make the reinvention easier but most of these recreations only require a bit of cleaning. 


  1. Remodel old compact mirrors into a personalised wall mirror 

  2. Turn your old perfume bottles into oil diffusers

  3. Transform your oil liquid eyeliner as a nail art pen 

  4. Repurpose your old mascara as an eyebrow/ eyelash brush 

  5. Convert an old candle into a stunning flower vase 

  6. Reorganise old makeup compacts into holders for hairpins, earring backs, mints, pills, coins

  7. Create an accordion photo album from your old makeup compact 

  8. Modify eyeshadow palettes into travel painting kits for kids 

  9. Renovate eyeshadow palettes and pots as jewellery storage 

  10. Alter old containers for travel product holders 

  11. Preserve product jars and turn them into new plant pots 

  12. Reconstruct an old lipstick holder into a tinted lip balm or an on-the-go DIY lip scrub 

  13. Adapt old setting sprays into water sprays for plants or hydrating face mists for on the go 

  14. Rework old (thoroughly cleaned) toothbrushes into a precise cleaning tool for jewellery as well as cleaning out other cosmetic containers

  15. Revolutionise old dropper bottles into holding facial oils, excess liquid from sheet masks, cuticle oil, hair oil, propagate plant cuttings, or even holding medicine for on the go.


If you’re inspired by the idea of upcycling, but the creative juices aren’t flowing, always check your product’s packaging to see your recycling options! Some beauty brands such as DECIEM and L’Occitane offer recycling programs where you can bring in old product containers into stores to recycle – some companies like MAC and LUSH even offer freebies for this! 


Now that you know what upcycling is, how it benefits the environment as well as added social and personal advantages, and have some ideas to get started, which upcycling project are you going to try first? Let us know in the comments below! 


Ps. Our figgy facefruit supplements are plant-based and packed in a recyclable container! Why not give it a go? www.askfiggy.com/shop