recycle makeupAlright moms. How many old lisptick and eyeshadow cases are filling up your bathroom drawers? Add in old hairdryers or straightners that don’t work, and you have a lot of space taken up by products you don’t use anymore. There are recycling programs for batteries, light bulbs, and boxes. What about beauty products?

Recycle hair products

Recycling beauty products is not as easy as recycling light bulbs or batteries. There are options, but only a few are constant. Others come and go, or space is limited. So, it means you have to get creative and think of recycling in new ways. It may mean selling your item to someone else who could use it. You gain and they gain.

In 2012, the online beauty products site, Folica, offered customers a $40 credit if they recycled an old hair dryer or flat iron / straightener. It was a great way to get bulky hair products items out of the trash and into the recycling bin. It was popular, as there is a need for recycling hair dryers and flat irons. The offer is no longer available, forcing women to find new ways to clean out their bathroom cabinets.

TerraCycle and Garnier partnered to recycle old hair product bottles like shampoo or conditioner. They also accept personal care products like lipstick, and eye shadow cases. You ship the item back to TerraCycle, and earn points. The rewards are redeemed for charitable gifts, products, or for cash to a school or non-profit of your choice. The program is currently closed to new participants, but check back for more details as slots open up.

Recycling your old beauty products can earn you cash if you sell the item to someone else who has a need for it. An old straightner may not have much use to you, but someone else may be looking for it. Sell them on Facebook Marketplace. I like Facebook better than Craigslist, because you can put a face to the person you’re selling. It keeps scammers out of the mix. You can still get ripped off, but it’s less frequent.

Of course, it’s a good idea to recycle more basic items as well through your city or county recycling program. Sites like Recyclebank also make it easy to earn points and rewards / coupons for recycling items your local refuse department may not take.  Recyclebank takes everything from #5 plastic containers to Ziploc bags.

There’s also Freecycle. As the name connotes, it’s free so you won’t earn cash but it’s a good way to keep your trash out of the trash.

Recycle beauty products

MAC and Origins offer recycling programs for makeup. The Back to MAC Program accepts old or used MAC products. For every 6 containers you recycle, you get a free MAC lipstick. Origins recycles empty cosmetic products from any brand.


It’s a good time of year to think about recycling that clutter. Spring clean, and this year don’t forget your hair care products.