Less Waste Skincare

Since being in my house all of the time lately, I have noticed a lot of skincare products lying around that I haven’t gotten much use out of. I have a bad habit of ordering a product before I finish the one I was using before, and the products have piled up over time. I’ve read into the no buy skincare threads on social media, and I’ve always been interested in doing it myself. I like the idea of using up one product before I buy another and being less wasteful, as well as trying to make more reasonable decisions when it comes to buying new products in the future. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to throw away expired makeup and skincare products that are still half full and it’s an unpleasant feeling to do so. I’ve even “saved” products I really love, thinking I will use them on special occasions, only to forget about them and find them expired when I think to dig them out again. I decided now would be a good time to work on this and get through some product that’s been sitting on my shelf or tucked away in my cabinets for too long. I came up with a rough plan of how I’m going about it and I wanted to share it. Plus, I’m also going to write about what I plan on doing with products I don’t like but still don’t want to go to waste. I’ll be focusing on skincare for this post, but you can do this with a lot of different things e.g., makeup, haircare, pantry items, etc.

  •  The first thing I’m doing is taking inventory of what I have. I’m going to write everything down along with the expiration dates so that I know what I need to use up first. Anything that is expired I will throw away or set aside until it can be properly disposed of. Then I’ll go through the ingredient lists and take stock of what I have in each category e.g., cleanser, serum, treatment product, etc. Next, I’ll decide which products, out of the items closest to the expiration dates, I will use first. I’m not sure if I will start with something I’m not particularly excited about using, just to get it out of the way, or if I will start with something I know I will enjoy. I might just alternate between the two. Hopefully I will discover some gems along the way. 
  • Once I know what I need to use first, I will start adding in one product at a time to make sure my skin doesn’t react poorly. I’m going to stick to using only one or two products at a time, depending on how many I have to get through overall.  

There are some products I’ve kept, not because I was waiting to use them or got distracted by another product, but because for whatever reason, it didn’t work for me. Here’s what I plan on doing with the products I don’t like:

  •  If a product doesn’t work for my face, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for my body. I react to the same product differently on different areas of my skin. For example, If a product breaks my face out, it is usually ok to use on my arms or legs. This goes for many types of products: exfoliators, face wash, serum, moisturizer, acne treatments, masks, sunscreen etc. This is also a really nice treat because I don’t use nearly the same amount of products or care on my body as I do the skin on my face, but it is just as important. Another perk of using it on my body is that I will get through the product much quicker than just using it on my face, which is a good thing if I really don’t like it.   
  • Give to a friend that it might be better suited for. Just because a product doesn’t work well for my skin doesn’t mean it wont work for someone else. Plus, it’s fun to be able to talk skincare with your friends and swap products every now and then.  Obviously, in the midst of social distancing, I won’t be doing this right away, but I will organize the products I plan to give away, whenever and however it is safe to do so.
  • Donate unused products. This is another thing I will be doing when it is safe to do so. There are different places to donate skincare and I will be doing more research on the best places I can donate to locally. 

Once I finish a product I plan on holding off on purchasing anything new until I research and find something I really want. Obviously, if I run out of face wash I will buy a new face wash, but if it is more of an “add on” product, like a serum or treatment, I will be holding off. I know my skin does better with the basics anyway, but I am also really tempted by new products that are coming out left and right, so I think having a “no buy” rule, even when I do start buying new products, will be a good goal to have long term and help cut down on waste. Plus, it will probably end up saving me a lot of money overtime. I also want to look into recycling my empty skincare products, which can be a tricky thing to navigate as there are a lot of skincare bottles/jars and parts of packaging that aren’t easily recyclable. However, I know there are a lot of companies that make it a priority to have recyclable packaging, so that is something I want to be more conscious of when purchasing products in the future. 

Another thing that I’m doing is keeping a list of products I want to buy when I finish the products I’m using up. This might seem sort of counterproductive, but keeping a list is better than actually buying the product. It gives me something to look forward to and will hopefully keep me motivated to use up what I have. 

If anyone has any more tips, feel free to comment down below and share!  

3 thoughts

  1. I don’t have any tips, but I’m seeing the Schmidt’s deodorant in the photo and wondering if you use it daily? Does it work? I see it in the store and I think I want to try an alumninum free deodorant but I’m worried about spending that much money on a deodorant for it to not work. It’s like 13 bucks here… so I was just curious.


    1. I haven’t used the Schmidt’s long enough to know if I like it, but they do have some really great scents! My current favorite natural deodorant is Primal Pit Paste (they recently changed the name to Pretty Frank). Natural deodorant is hit or miss and I tried quite a few before I found one that works for me. Also, you can always reach out to a company to see if they offer travel size or samples of a product you want to try. Some don’t, but a lot of companies do and it’s just not advertised on their websites. That’s a good way to save a bit of money and try before you commit to buying full size products


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