The Chicest Refillable Beauty + Skincare Products

The cosmetics industry is accountable for around 30-40% of all landfill waste. These beauty and skincare brands have stepped up to address this plastic waste, with gorgeous refillable containers you'll want to use over and over again.

La Bouche Rouge refillable vegan lipstick case and paper case refill. Photo by Plant-Terra

Recent research has revealed that 8 million tonnes of plastic are currently being dumped in our ocean every year, and the cosmetics industry is accountable for around 30-40% of all landfill waste.

The majority of the world’s plastics do not get recycled— in fact, only about 9% gets recycled and 12% gets incinerated. Often the plastic packaging of beauty and skincare products cannot be recycled due to mixed-use plastics—as well as other components like caps, adhesive labels and pumps —which are hard to extract from one another at a recycling plant.

But in the last few years a number of brands have stepped in to address this unnecessary plastic waste in cosmetics with circular programmes like Loop, and refillable luxe packaging and containers that you’ll want to use again and again. At the same time they combat the ‘buy and throw away’ mentality that has come to define consumer culture.

Refillables aren’t revolutionary—milk bottles, lipsticks, perfumes etc used to be refillable once upon a time — but over the decades it has fallen out of practice in favour of the convenience of disposable plastic. According to United Nations Environment, since its mass production in the 1950s, 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic has been produced—the vast majority ending up in landfills and in our natural environment where they take over 400 years to degrade.

Although refillable products tend to cost more at the outset, subsequent refills are less expensive, and of course you are helping to keep more plastic out of landfills. It’s by no means a perfect solution—there is still shipping, other packaging (boxes, cardboard etc), and the cleaning of bottles to consider— but it’s a better option than contributing to the endless amounts of plastic that are smothering our planet.