Sustainable beauty isn't just about the ingredients listed on the box, or how the packaging is made, it's also about looking at the amount of 'new' products shoppers need to buy and how brands can help us shop savvier. Every brand has a different ethos and a different set of rules they abide by but refillable beauty is the future - it's popping up so much more now and soon it'll just be the norm.
Jackie Bauer from Hairstory spoke at the Sustainable Beauty Summit, and said: "It's about making decisions on how things come into the world, rather than dealing it with it when you're trying to get rid of it. It's overconsumption. It's crazy, and I’m a culprit, too. But it's to try and reduce as much as we can. Try to reduce, try to reuse. For us, especially, that’s the most effective of the three Rs. The more we reuse, the less you consume."
She added: "The idea that plastic literally disappears once in the ocean or littered on land or in landfill is nice, but it's not actually possible. Nothing disappears completely. Something might dissolve or evaporate, compost, or degrade, but it doesn't cease to exist."
With this in mind, we've scoured the shops for the best reusable beauty products - from pouches to lipstick refills, perfume and lots more.
Kerastase Refillable Bain
Kerastase's reusable and refillable bottles ensure -82% less plastic than x2 single-use 250ml shampoo bottles. The refills are available in five Kérastase must-have ranges that cover a variety of hair concerns.
Fenty Skin refills
Fenty Skin eliminates excess outer packaging whenever possible, and while some products still require protective paper boxes, these are recyclable. Refillable systems are also in place. If you buy Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturiser Broad Spectrum spf 30 Sunscreen or Instant Reset Overnight Recovery Gel-Cream once, you just need to purchase the refill. It’s less packaging and less expensive, but a more luxurious experience.
Glossier refillable You Solid
Glossier introduced its first-ever refillable product, Monochromes, back in 2021, and in an effort to become more sustainable going forward, the Glossier You Solid will arrive on Tuesday 18 January. Mark your diaries!
The nifty refillable, pocket and travel-friendly, solid compact features a removable, recyclable tin tray that secures into the weighted metal compact with a magnet that can be refilled with a solid fragrance tray.
Kiehl's 1L refillable pouches
Kiehl's has introduced 1L refillable pouches in a bid to reduce plastic and continue its efforts for a 'Future Made Better.' Kiehl’s Pouch Refillable save on average 81% more plastic than a typical Kiehl’s single-use product and contain 2-5x the formula of a standard 250ml bottle. Like every other Kiehl’s product, the pouches can be brought in-store once empty and be recycled through Kiehl’s Recycle & Be Rewarded scheme.
FaceGym refillable skincare
FaceGym’s first refillable product – the Supreme Restructure Firming Moisturiser sculpts, lifts and tones the skin all in one, and it’s as planet-friendly as it is skin-loving.
The product is housed in a 'forever pot', and is crafted out of recyclable aluminium. Preserved inside the container sits the Supreme Restructure Refill Pod, made from 100% recycled ocean plastic waste – one pod is the equivalent of 50 plastic bags retrieved from the ocean. So when it runs out, it can be easily refilled and reused to keep skin glowing with zero waste.
The unique cream is formulated to rejuvenate and deeply moisturise the skin, and ultimately improve skin appearance:
Hourglass refillable lipstick
Hourglass, the cruelty-free luxury beauty brand, is known for its innovation and commitment to reinvent luxury cosmetics. The Confession Lipstick - Red 0 is an exciting launch as it's encased in an exclusive red applicator adorned with a beetle - representing Hourglass' commitment to animal welfare. The special edition refillable applicator is designed for interchangeable use with the entire collection of confession refills.
Isle of Paradise refill pouches
Now available in an eco-friendly refillable pouch, Isle of Paradise's Self-Tanning Water Refill Pouch means no more unnecessary wastage but more sunless, sunkissed glow! Made with 81% less packaging than buying a brand new bottle, this earth-friendly design is a no-brainer. Each pouch is infused with intelligent colour-correcting actives to help give serious glow-getters their best glow ever and is also packed with organic tanning actives such as avocado, chia seed and coconut oil for a healthy, happy and hydrated glow that you’ll absolutely adore.
Wild Deodorant refills
Aluminium-free deodorant brand Wild has come to the rescue with a revolutionary product that’s both eco-friendly, 100% effective and aesthetically pleasing. The Wild cases are designed to last a lifetime and their range of refills are biodegradable, vegan-friendly and free from nasties such as aluminium salts, parabens and phthalates. You choose your case colour, then choose your subscription plan, where the subscribe & save option is just £12, then you choose a unique (and deliciously smelling!) refill scent: Lemon Meringue (limited edition), Fresh Cotton & Sea Salt, Jasmine & Mandarin Blossom, Orange Zest, Lavender Haze, Mint & Eucalyptus & Bergamot Rituals. Wild gets posted straight to your door in 100% recyclable packaging.
Upcircle Beauty refills
If you're looking to quit your habit of disposable razors, this unisex razor is what you need. It can be used on the face as well as the body, and comes with two complementary blades in the box but if you're looking for refills you've got options. The brand has a razor blade return scheme: Simply send your old ones to be disposed of and recycled. For every five blades returned you'll get £1 off your blades refill pack!
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Infused with green, floral and woody notes, the diptyque Exfoliating Hand Wash formula is filled with ground olive stones to help soft, cleanse and purify the skin. The liquid soap is encased inside a (very Insta-friendly) glass bottle that’s refillable.
Ahead of World Environment Day on 5 June, leading hairstylist and LOreal Biolage ambassador Neil Moodie says we need to buy better, and buy less. "The number one sustainability rule in terms of everything we consume can be applied to hair care. Don't overindulge in plastic brushes or have a bathroom cabinet full of every brand under the sun. Invest in pieces that will last, and that you know work for your hair - and stick to it."
He added: "Style it out with a reusable bottle. We all love having our hair care bottles close to hand by the bath or shower, but let's face it, they don't always look the prettiest. Investing in a reusable glass or aluminum bottle (and refilling it from a refill pouch) not only looks chic but it's much more eco-friendly."
Fussy deodorant refills
Fussy deodorant's formula contains an odour neutralising probiotic, as well as being aluminium and paraben-free, vegan, and cruelty-free. Plus, the brand is sustainable, plastic-free, and made with compostable deodorant refills, which once done with will just decompose in your garden or bin. Oooh!
Charlotte Tilbury refills
Charlotte Tilbury is smashing it when it comes to refillable beauty. Whether you're after a refill for your Airbrush Flawless Finish Bronzer or a red Hot Lips bullet for your lipstick, there are plenty of options. You can now purchase a Magic Eye Rescue to lock, pop and go!
Tata Harper refill pods
The recyclable pod refill was made to be locked into your Water-Lock Moisturiser jar - so you can keep on top of your routine while caring for the environment.
Hermes lipstick refills
The Hermes beauty refill is compatible with all Rouge Hermes objects (matte lipstick, satin lipstick, lip care balm and lip shine).
Best known for shampoo-alternative ‘New Wash’, this eco brand pushes hair care and styling boundaries and is very much 'anti-shampoo'. New Wash now comes in three variants for different hair types so no hair is excluded from the joys of a shampoo-free lifestyle. A refill subscription service is available.
Kilian perfume refills
Each Kilian fragrance is designed with a removable or unscrewable lid and the refill kits come with a dropper and funnel to ensure an easy refill.
Rahua's refill sets
Rahua sustainable pouches are made from 60% renewable plant-based resources, which break down to healthy, biodegradable compost. By using them you also reduce your personal carbon footprint and plastic usage by 90%.
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