Not a Fan? 6 Ways to Repurpose Unwanted Green Beauty Products

One of my favorite past times is cleaning out my bathroom drawers and discarding jars and bottles of unwanted beauty products. 

Jk, I never clean out my beauty stash. 

Which is probably why my drawers overrunneth with green beauty items that I can never seem to use up or get rid of fast enough. From moisturizers and toners to lip stains and facial oils, I've got two drawers full of green products that just seem to grow and grow beyond the point of capacity.  

Some of the products which call my bathroom drawers "home" are items I absolutely love and use on a regular basis; others are products I was gifted by brands, samples from various online orders, or items I purchased under the pretense that they'd work for my skin. I'd love to say I keep my skincare collection just as minimalist as my makeup routine - virtually nothing - but, sadly, such is not the case. 

Unwanted or unused bath soaks make great gifts and can be used as foot soaks as well

Unwanted or unused bath soaks make great gifts and can be used as foot soaks as well

Natural toothpaste isn't for everyone, but you can repurpose it by using it as a spot treatment

Natural toothpaste isn't for everyone, but you can repurpose it by using it as a spot treatment

Have too many soap bars? Add them to a gift, use them as last-minute stocking stuffers, or keep them on hand as travel toiletries

Have too many soap bars? Add them to a gift, use them as last-minute stocking stuffers, or keep them on hand as travel toiletries

What do you do, though, with all of your unwanted green beauty products?

Having faced this particular dilemma before, I used to simply throw them out. Not only is that solution horribly wasteful, but I came to realize it makes little sense to throw products away that, apart from not "gelling" well with my skin or hair, are perfectly good for use. So, as I got to organizing my beauty drawers recently, I tried to think of ways in which I could repurpose or reuse the beauty products I simply don't get any use out of or have found little effectiveness with. 

Here's what I came up with; hopefully these suggestions can help you figure out just what the heck you should do with all of those unwanted green beauty products lurking in your own drawers.

Make a Goody Drawer

Similar to goody bags, I often open my bathroom drawers to friends and family members who stay over on weekends. I show them various green beauty products that I no longer use, or which I simply dislike, and tell them to choose one or two products to take home with them if they'd like. Most of my friends and family know I have a pretty serious (and sometimes bougie) stash of green products and are more than happy to take them off my hands. If you're in a similar "camp," this is a great way to clean out your collection of unwanted products without wasting them. 

Redefine a Product 

Put simply, using a natural product in a new way could keep you from wasting it and is an easy alternative to throwing away what is otherwise a perfectly fine item. You could, for example, use a natural facial oil as a hair oil for your dry scalp or split ends; some facial moisturizers may work well as under-eye creams, and some mascaras can be used as eyebrow "gels" or paints. One way in which I have repurposed a product is by taking a natural highlighting cream - one that I found particularly ineffective - and adding it to my natural lip tint for a hint of shimmer. Redefining the use of a product will keep you from throwing out or wasting product and may also save you money, as you will likely find a use for existing products you'd typically buy new. 

Beard tonics can be used by both men and women for beards, eyebrows, scalp care, and more

Beard tonics can be used by both men and women for beards, eyebrows, scalp care, and more

Make your own gift packages or set aside specific products for your friends from your stash of unwanted beauty items

Make your own gift packages or set aside specific products for your friends from your stash of unwanted beauty items

Use Them like Hotel Toiletries 

I've never Airbnb'd my home, but if I did, I'm sure any guest who was to stay would be pretty chuffed with the selection of toiletries I'd have prepared for them. If you have a stash of products you don't like or rarely use, rather than tossing them out, keep them on hand as toiletries for overnight guests. As long as the product is still in good condition (i.e. hasn't passed its expiry), using your unwanted green beauty products as guest toiletries is a seriously simple way of purging those you dislike or don't use. You may even let your guests take the items home with them if they end up loving them! 

Do a Beauty Swap

Personally, I would love to join a beauty swap in my area which would allow for the swapping of unopened or unused beauty items. Though it can be potentially harmful to swap beauty products with others, I have done so with friends and family members with products we haven't yet used, or have tried a couple times and have found ineffective. This is a great solution for products which do not directly touch the skin, such as shampoos and hair oils or body mists and facial toners. If you do have a beauty swap, ensure it incorporates products that are safe, natural, and preferably between friends or family. I recommend swapping only those beauty items which don't require the direct contact of skin - items like lip balms or lipsticks, for example, shouldn't be swapped!

Hair mists are great alternatives to hair sprays that overnight guests will love 

Hair mists are great alternatives to hair sprays that overnight guests will love 

Who doesn't like a mask? Use it as a gift or put it out on your vanity for guests whose skin could use a little bit of TLC

Who doesn't like a mask? Use it as a gift or put it out on your vanity for guests whose skin could use a little bit of TLC

Keep a skin stick or salve on hand as a multipurpose product for guests or friends crashing at your place

Keep a skin stick or salve on hand as a multipurpose product for guests or friends crashing at your place

My body oils constantly get used by friends and guests, so having one on hand is helpful!

My body oils constantly get used by friends and guests, so having one on hand is helpful!

Keep on Hand for Last-Minute Gifting

Obviously, you don't want to gift people opened or half-used beauty products. However, if you have samples of a product, unopened items, or have been gifted a beauty product by someone else, you can keep on hand the ones you don't like or use and regift them. I find this particular method comes in handy when I'm in need of a little extra something to add to a birthday or Christmas gift, but it's also been a life saver when I've needed a hostess gift or have wanted to give a friend something to cheer them up. If you ever have occasion to send people care packages, this suggestion may also be helpful. 

Donate Your Products

Some organizations will take unwanted or unused beauty items and either recycle them responsibly for you or give them to people in need. I have read, for example, that some organizations (like Dress for Success) will give donated beauty items to women in need of wardrobes and products to prepare for job interviews. Other orgs may recycle the packaging for various uses. Whatever the organization you choose, donating your unwanted green beauty products may be a more helpful way of cleaning out your collection without wasting them. 



~All imagery courtesy of Urban Outfitters