• 10 Ethical Beauty Brands With Refills And Recycling Schemes

    I wanted to add a new post to my ethical living series and hunt down all of the ethical beauty brands that do refills and recycling schemes. I am hoping to cut down my beauty vanity stash of brands that are not ethically friendly or sustianable which includes both packaging and ingredients. I have narrowed my beauty stash to be cruelty free.

    But I wanted to narrow it down even more. It’s shocking to see how many brands still use plastic and non ethical materials when it comes to their products and packaging. I was also shocked at how many products I have accumilated over my blogging days that I never touch or they don’t agree with me and I just keep them for the sake of it.

    ethical beauty brands

    I thought this guide will help both myself and you when it comes to clearing out our beauty products. I don’t mean chuck eveything you have away. I mean use up what you have and if the packaging can be used again for something else, wash it out and reuse it when you’ve finished.

    Only chuck away products you’ve had for ages, that you can’t remember when you got them. Keeping out of date products can be really harmful for your health. Then you can add an ethical/sustainable product in it’s place. This guide includes makeup, skincare and personal hygiene products like shaving razors etc.

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    Rituals Skincare

    I am debating whether to start using Rituals skincare as I love the brand so much but my skin is very complicated and it will depend on how my skin reacts to the products. I’m gutted they don’t have refills for their other products but after sending them a message, I’m hoping this will change very soon. I will look into their skincare products as it’s great they sell refills for their major skincare products like moisturiser and hand wash.

    Their products don’t really cater for those with oily skin, mainly for those with dry, wrinkles and concerned about anti aging. I’m not sure their products will be for me and their refills are quite expensive.

    ZAO Makeup

    I have a glitter nail polish from ZAO which I love that I got in a gifted beauty box so I’m interested in seeing what their products are like and what their refills/recycling scheme offers. ZAO do great refillable products from their eyeshadow palette to their powder and liquid foundations. Once it’s all used up you can send it back or buy a refillable container to be sent to you to fill up your bamboo packaging.

    I have purchased their tested for their primer and powder foundation, which are great although powder foundation I rarely use unless my skin is somewhat clear or if I want light coverage for wearing about the house and not caring what my skin looks like. With the state of my skin with rosacea, uneven skintone and acne, I need a heavier coverage.

    So I’ve also bought a tester for their liquid foundation and a full size of their refillable concealer to replace my old ones. I’m hoping to use ZAO for the base of my makeup and then use other brands for everything else.

    Friction Free Shaving

    I was so glad I finally made the decision to switch my shaving razor. I got so fed up of buying those £6 packs of 4 plastic razors that die so quickly and just add to landfill. I did quite a bit of research and decided to jump on the Friction Free Shaving (FFS) wagon and buy a razor that comes with a clam head to protect the razor and also comes with 4 heads and a drawstring pouch for travelling.

    You can subscribe and receive a pack of 4 heads each month to last you a week each and you can send back 10 razor heads in the post for them to be recycled. They also sell shaving balms and creams, post shaving lotion and solid deodorants.

    Georganics Electric Toothbrush

    I am looking into changing my electric toothbrush from my Philips Sonicare as they don’t recycle near me (nearest drop off point is Seer Green – which is a 20 minute drive (doesn’t seem far but is when it’s to drop off some toothbrush heads)) and there isn’t any recyclable brush heads that fit my make of toothbrush at the moment.

    I have looked into the Georganics electric toothbrush which is UK made and they recycle the toothbrush heads once used and then you can buy more heads. I couldn’t live without my electric toothbrush so it’s a given I have to stick with one.

    Cloud Nine Hairstyling

    I haven’t used a Cloud Nine hair styling product yet but my hairdresser swears by them over GHDs. They do a hair styling product recycling scheme in which you can send them any brand of styler, broken or still working to be recycled to avoid landfill. This is great to know if you have several broken stylers lying around and don’t know what to do with them.

    REN Clean Skincare

    REN Skincare have teamed up with LOOP to create refillable and eco friendly body products from hand wash to body lotion which can be refilled and comes in glass bottles with plastic pumps that have been recycled. This is great if you love your body products. I’m hoping they release more for skincare products.

    Hourglass Ultra Slim Lipstick

    If you love your luxury lipsticks, avoid MAC and DIOR who not only both test on animals but don’t cater for us ethical living lovers. Hourglass now have a refillable lipstick which is their Ultra Slim lipstick which looks gorgeous btw, the packaging is so luxurious. A lipstick costs £30 but the refills only cost £18 so it’s perfect for saving the planet. Hourglass are also cruelty free and do not test on animals. You don’t need to buy every single lipstick shade at £30, you can buy one, and then buy the refills at £18 and switch them over when ever you feel like it.

    Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips 2 Lipstick

    Another for luxury lipstick lovers, Charlotte Tilbury’s new line of Hot Lips 2 lipsticks are also refillable. These lipsticks can be refilled in any of the new case designs to match your mood and personality and refills only cost £19. I’m debating whether to switch to this line of lipsticks once my KISSING and Matte Revolution range has been used up, although I’ll miss my favourite Very Victoria shade. 🙁 You don’t need to buy every single lipstick shade at £28, you can buy one, and then buy the refills at £19 and switch them over when ever you feel like it. There are so many beautiful lipstick bullets though to choose from, it will be a hard choice to make. I’m hoping I can find a copy of Very Victoria in this range so I can make the switch.

    Makeup Geek Build Your Own Palettes

    Makeup Geek are great because not only are they cruelty free but you can also build your own palette whether it’s for face powders or eyeshadows. To save you buying a pretty palette and only using a handfull of shades, you can build a palette with all the shades you’ll use so none is wasted. And when you hit pan, you can buy the same shade pan again – or try a different one!

    Or any other BYO palettes like Phase Zero or ZAO have a palette you can refill once it’s been used up.


    LUSH are one of the huge favourites when it comes to bar and zero waste products. They don’t have refillable products but you can either save and send back your pots and containers to a LUSH store near you or reuse them for storage and other things. I’m wondering whether to head back to LUSH for my skincare products or try something else. You can also get zero waste makeup products from them and send back the empty containers from those products too. You can read more about their recycling scheme here.

    The other great thing you can do is also invest in multi-use products. Such as a lip and cheek tint – that way you can have a lipstick and blush in one! So you are saving space in your vanity and also spending less money on buying 2 products and you won’t have any waste, as you are using the product for two different purposes.

    These are good brands I’ve found so far, if I find anymore I will update this post for you!!

    All photos are taken with a Canon EOS 60D camera and with the Canon EF 50mm lens f/1.8.


    What beauty brands are you looking at switching to? Let me know in the comments below.

    Stay beautiful,

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