Where To Recycle Old Cosmetics – Ultimate Guide!

Feeling guilty for chucking out tonnes of makeup and cosmetics every time you have a declutter? Don’t panic; I’ve researched recycling to save you the hassle!

Why recycle your makeup and cosmetics?

We know how much trouble the world is in regarding the environment, so we all must do our bit in the name of sustainability!

Makeup can be tricky to recycle, especially those pesky mascara and lipgloss empties, which are basically impossible to recycle kerbside.

But I have the perfect solution for you. Plus, I’m even giving you insight into how to get freebies and discounts from your favourite brands just for taking in your empty makeup containers… cheers.

Read on for the gossip.

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MAC Cosmetics

Back to Mac is a recycling initiative from the makeup brand MAC.

Up for grabs is a FREE full-sized lipstick worth £20!

If you, like me, are a fan of their lipsticks, this is worth the effort.

Take 6 x primary containers to any MAC store; you don’t need to clean them and choose your lipstick. Just be warned, they will take the outer packaging off, so you can’t re-sell or return for a refund!

Summer Fridays

Fancy a free mini jet lag face mask? All you need to do is send five empties back to the brand via it’s free post service.


L’Occitane works with Terra Cycle and offers a reward when you return empty containers to a store. The containers must be full-sized (no samples) from any brand, and you’ll receive 10% off your next purchase with them.


Recycle & Be Rewarded is the scheme offered by Kiehls.

Take back full-sized empties to your nearest Kiehl’s store or one of their recycling hubs to get points. 15 points per item. Once you have 120 points, you’ll bag a £10 voucher!


Give back Get Back is the recycling program offered by Bareminerals.

You can send a recycling kit back to receive 20 points or for each item, you recycle in-store, you’ll get 5 loyalty points.

They accept almost everything from mascaras and lipglosses to deodorant and makeup brushes!


Origins were the first brand to develop a recycling program—the OG’s. There is no freebie reward scheme, but you can take empties from ANY brand, and they’ll recycle it for free.

Beauty Cycle at John Lewis

You can now recycle empty, clean containers at John Lewis. Take five or more to a beauty counter and if you’re a John Lewis member, you’ll receive a £5 voucher when you spend £20 in-store.

Terra Cycle

Have partnered with beauty and cosmetics brands to offer free recycling. There is no reward from the brands mentioned below other than that you are doing your bit to help the environment.

Some have drop-off locations; others offer free postage. You just need to package the cosmetics up. I’m sure you have an old shoebox you could declutter and reuse simultaneously!

You don’t need to wash out the containers; ensure that most of the product is removed first. Though I’m hoping you would want to use every last bit anyway!

Do you know of a scheme I’ve not mentioned? Let me know in the comments below and I will add your suggestions 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Amy xx

– Your decluttering bestie

For my organisation and storage recommendations, click here to view my Amazon shop.

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Want to upgrade, get organised for good, lose the clutter, and deal with unwanted items sustainably? Click here to find out more about The Declutter Method online course.

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