Take a more sustainable approach to your beauty buying habits by swapping out single-use products for items that can be refilled over and over again.
The cosmetics and personal care industry generates a lot of unnecessary rubbish. According to Zero Waste Week – an annual awareness campaign – the 120 billion units of packaging produced each year accounts for around 30-40 per cent of the total landfill waste.
But luckily that is starting to change. Increased awareness from consumers calling for a serious packaging overhaul has led to new innovations. Recyclable products are the first step, the next is to stop the waste from being produced in the first place.
That’s where refillable alternatives come in.
Refillable products encourages brands to design products where you only need to buy the casing once and when you run out, you can head to an in-store dispensing systems, or simply purchase the refill.
This concept isn't entirely new either – the likes of Mac, Aveda and Stila have been doing it for years – but it's quickly becoming the norm as the pressure to find eco-friendly, waste-free solutions becomes increasingly pressing. It has also expanded to far more products, covering makeup, skincare and fragrances.
Turning the buy-and-throw mentality on its head, these products cut down on excessive packaging without sacrificing on the wow-factor. Brands like Charlotte Tilbury, Hourglass and Kjaer Weiss still house its products in eye-popping casings that you will want to show off.
See our favourites.
Pantene Repair & Protect Shampoo Refillable Bottle
Four leading haircare labels - Pantene, Aussie, Herbal Essences and Head & Shoulders - have all revamped its offering to give you reuse and refill options across its ranges. The pouches used to top up the aluminium bottle uses 60 per cent less plastic than regular shampoo bottles.
DIOR Rouge Dior Couture Colour Refillable Lipstick Collection gift set
The luxury label has proven its commitment to sustainability where you can now get a top up of your favourite shade, or road test a new one by simply purchasing the refill at a more purse-friendly price tag. The Rouge Dior range is beloved by fashion editors far and wide for its pigmented colour pay-off and long-lasting 16-hour formula.
Jo Loves Pomelo a Fragrance Paintbrush Gel
Jo Malone changed up the fragrance game with her creation of the Paintbrush Gel that offers a more travel-friendly way to top up your scent as you go. The packaging has recently been revamped to a sleeker and more importantly, sustainable construction. The sophisticated silver housing uses less packaging and can be refilled with cartridges. They are available across the Jo Loves scent spectrum.
After much anticipation Charlotte Tilbury launched the second edition to her best-selling Hot Lips collection in which each of the versatile 11 shades is named after iconic men and women – from JK Magic for J.K. Rowling, to Viva La Vergara for Sofia Vergara.
The lipsticks are house in show-stopping cases with leopard print and striped designs but best of all, when you have finished, you can refill them with either the same colour or opt for another in the collection with an impressive saving.
The Kjaer Weiss products are housed in the brand’s signature luxurious silver compacts that are not only substantial enough to last the test of time but you can refill them with small light trays that ensure minimal waste when you come to the end of your product. This even applies to the brand’s mascaras, lip glosses and eyeliners, which come in long-lasting tubes and pens.
Among the cult products, our favourites include the brand’s Cream Blush that offers a subtle sheen and the Lip Tint – a cross between a balm and tint that leaves your lips feeling nourished with a slight hue.
MAC has been creating refillable products for years across its range and goes beyond just blush and powder. The brand has customisable eye-shadow and concealer palettes to ensure that you will use every single colour included.
On top of this, through their Back to MAC scheme, you will receive a free lipstick with every MAC six empties that you bring back to the store.
When you have finished the Olay’s Regenerist Whip moisturiser, you will be able to replace it with a recyclable refill pod that goes into the current container.
This pod will also be shipped in a recycled paper parcel without any plastic wrapping. The lightweight moisturiser doubles up as a primer that works to nourish skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
It's a cult favourite within the luxury-for-less set and rivals some of the best top shelf moisturisers.
Once you have finished your favourite Le Labo scent, you can take the bottle back into any of its stores and have it refilled with a 20 per cent discount. This goes for the entirety of its range of instantly recognisable fragrances, including our personal favourite Santal.
Rituals has one of the more extensive ranges of refillable products that marks the brand's commitment to reducing waste across its hand washes, diffusers and face and body creams.
The refill bags and pods allow you to easily fill your luxury bottle while only using minimal packaging. The luxurious label reveals that if you opt for a refill instead of a completely new product then you can save up to 70 per cent on CO2, 65 per cent on energy and 45 per cent on water.
Shop L’Occitane’s best selling products like its Almond Shower oil and when you have finished, opt instead for a refill, which uses 69 to 90 per cent less materials. There are refills available for hair, body, hand and bath products that are offered at cost-saving prices and they are 100 per cent recyclable.
Breaking the stereotype that eco-friendly products can’t be chic, you only have to look at this Hourglass lipstick with its sleek, golden design. The applicator can be refilled with the same colour or if you are looking to mix things up a bit, switch up with a whole different shade from its spectrum of options.
Guerlain has taken a slightly different approach to its refillable lipstick by offering the stylish reusable case – featuring a double pop-up mirror – and the refill separately from the start. Opt between the multitude of stylish cases that ranges from snake print to marble to refill over and over again with the brand’s wide range of shades.
Once you have fallen in love with Surratt’s range of eyeliners and brow pencils, you only need to buy refills to ensure that you never have to go without your favourite formula. This is line with the brand’s move towards a more sustainable direction. There are a range of cartridges available in a whole host of shades.