Zero Waste Makeup
Written by: 
Kia Elliot

Unveiling Beauty's Green Revolution:

The Ultimate Guide to Zero Waste Makeup


Step into a realm where beauty meets sustainability – the world of zero waste makeup. More than a cosmetic choice, it's a commitment to an eco-friendly lifestyle. Imagine cosmetics designed to leave no trace, from creation to disposal.

In this guide, we'll unravel the essence of zero waste makeup, exploring how it redefines beauty with minimal environmental impact. Join the movement for a greener, more radiant future.

One example of a zero waste makeup brand is the Zero Waste Store, which is a trusted platform for sustainable brands, and a community of individuals making a positive impact on our planet.

The products are100% recyclable and made with sustainably sourced ingredients. The brand also donates a portion of its profits to environmental organizations, further emphasizing its commitment to the planet. 

By choosing products from brands like the Zero Waste Store, consumers can align their beauty routines with their values and contribute to a more sustainable future.

zero waste makeup

Sustainable Makeup Brands and Initiatives

Several sustainable makeup brands prioritize zero waste and eco-friendly packaging. Izzy Zero Waste Beauty is a carbon-neutral makeup brand that offers mascara, lip gloss, and eyebrow gel in medical-grade stainless steel tubes with no outer packaging.

Antonym Cosmetics is committed to using clean ingredients and eco-friendly packaging, prioritizing minimalistic, recyclable, and compostable materials .

Elate Cosmetics focuses on intentional product choices and reducing over-consumption, offering sustainable makeup options in refillable packaging.

RMS Beauty, and Kjaer Weis are other sustainable makeup brands known for their eco-friendly initiatives and clean beauty products.

These brands are leading the way in creating innovative packaging solutions that minimize waste while still delivering high-quality products.

For example, Elate Cosmetics offers refillable compacts for their foundations, blushes, and eyeshadows. This allows customers to repurchase only the product they need, reducing the amount of packaging waste generated.

RMS Beauty takes a similar approach by offering refillable containers for their cream-based products.

In addition to sustainable packaging, these brands also prioritize the use of clean and ethically sourced ingredients. They avoid harmful chemicals and prioritize the use of natural and organic materials.

By supporting these brands, consumers can feel confident that they are using products that are not only good for their skin but also for the planet.

Natural makeup

DIY Makeup Recipes Using Natural Ingredients

For those who prefer a hands-on approach, DIY makeup recipes using natural ingredients allow individuals to customize their products, avoid harmful chemicals, and reduce packaging waste. Homemade lip balm can be made using natural ingredients like beeswax, coconut oil, and essential oils. All-natural mascara recipes often include ingredients like activated charcoal, aloe vera gel, and vegetable glycerin. By creating their own makeup products, individuals have control over the ingredients and can minimize waste by reusing containers.

One popular DIY makeup recipe is for homemade foundation. This recipe typically includes ingredients like arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, and various oils to create a customized shade and texture. By making their own foundation, individuals can avoid the excess packaging and potential toxins found in conventional products.

DIY makeup recipes also offer an opportunity to experiment and personalize products to suit individual preferences. Whether it's creating a custom lip color or a unique eyeshadow shade, DIY makeup allows individuals to express their creativity while minimizing waste.

Recycling and Up-cycling Beauty Products

Properly recycling and up-cycling beauty products can help reduce waste and extend their lifecycle.

Recycling makeup containers can be done by separating the different components, such as caps and pumps, and disposing of them in the appropriate recycling bins. Up-cycling beauty products involves repurposing empty containers for other uses, such as storing jewelry or creating travel-size containers for other cosmetics.

Some brands also offer recycling programs where customers can return empty makeup containers for proper recycling and receive incentives in return. By embracing recycling and upcycling practices, individuals can contribute to a more sustainable beauty routine.

One example of a brand that offers a recycling program is MAC Cosmetics. Through their Back-to-MAC program, customers can return six empty MAC containers and receive a free lipstick as a reward. The returned containers are then recycled responsibly.

This program not only encourages customers to recycle their empty makeup containers but also rewards them for their efforts.

Upcycling empty beauty containers is another creative way to reduce waste.

For example, empty glass jars can be used to store homemade beauty products or repurposed as candle holders. Empty mascara wands can be cleaned and donated to wildlife rescue organizations, which use them to remove fly eggs and larvae from the fur of animals.

Benefits of Using Reusable Makeup Wipes

Disposable makeup wipes contribute to plastic waste and environmental pollution. Reusable makeup wipes, made from sustainable materials like hemp and organic cotton, are washable and can be used multiple times.

Using reusable makeup wipes reduces waste, saves money in the long run, and is gentler on the skin. It is a sustainable alternative that eliminates the need for single-use products and reduces the overall environmental impact of one's beauty routine.

In addition to being eco-friendly, reusable makeup wipes are also beneficial for the skin. Disposable wipes often contain harsh chemicals and fragrances that can irritate the skin.

Reusable wipes, on the other hand, can be used with natural cleansers or micellar water, providing a gentler and more natural option for removing makeup.

To use reusable makeup wipes, simply wet the wipe with water or a gentle cleanser and use it to wipe away makeup. After use, the wipes can be washed and reused, eliminating the need for single-use wipes.

By incorporating reusable makeup wipes into their routine, individuals can reduce waste and take a step towards a more sustainable beauty regimen.

Main benefits:

  • Environmental Impact
  • Sustainability
  • Cost Savings
  • Gentle on Skin
  • Easy to Use
  • Natural Cleansing Option
  • Reduced Overall Environmental Impact

Sustainable Packaging Options for Cosmetics

Sustainable packaging alternatives for cosmetics include glass, aluminum, and compostable materials. Glass containers are recyclable and can be reused for other purposes.

Aluminum packaging is lightweight, recyclable, and has a lower carbon footprint compared to plastic. Compostable materials, such as paper-based packaging, break down naturally and reduce environmental impact.

By opting for sustainable packaging options, beauty brands can minimize their contribution to plastic waste and promote a circular economy.

One example of a brand that uses sustainable packaging is Lush Cosmetics. Lush offers a range of products, from bath bombs to shampoo bars, all packaged in recyclable or compostable materials. Their shampoo bars, for instance, are wrapped in wax paper and sold without any plastic packaging.

This commitment to sustainable packaging has earned Lush a reputation as a leader in the zero waste movement.

In addition to using sustainable materials, brands can also design packaging that encourages reuse. For example, some brands offer refillable containers for their products, allowing customers to repurchase the product without generating additional packaging waste.

By embracing sustainable packaging options, both brands and consumers can contribute to a more sustainable beauty industry.


Embracing zero waste makeup is a conscious choice that benefits both the environment and personal well-being. By supporting sustainable makeup brands, practicing DIY recipes, recycling, and opting for reusable alternatives, individuals can contribute to a more eco-friendly beauty industry.

Making small changes in our beauty routines can have a significant positive impact on the planet and pave the way for a more sustainable future. By prioritizing zero waste makeup, individuals can look good, feel good, and do good for the environment.

As a dedicated teacher, mother, and writer on sustainability from Sydney, Australia, my heart is set on sharing the message of environmental care.

I believe in the power of nurturing love and responsibility towards our planet, starting with our children.

My approach blends simplicity with depth, aiming to spark a genuine interest in young minds about the importance of being kind to the environment.

This isn't just about the planet; it's about showing love and care for our families and communities by creating a healthier world for them.

Through engaging and heartfelt teaching methods and writings, I aspire to guide children in understanding that taking care of the Earth is a way of nurturing and protecting those they love, shaping them into compassionate guardians of a sustainable future.

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