Beauty duds: how to re-purpose unwanted skincare products
In an ideal world every beauty product we try would be as amazing, Instagram would be in chronological order, and the orange cheeto wouldn’t be president. Alas life isn’t perfect and I can’t do anything about 2 or 3, but I do have 5 tips on what to do when skincare products aren’t working out.
I’m sure we’ve all been there: we did the research, read all the reviews, double checked the ingredients, and it seems like all the stars are aligned, yet the product just isn’t working out. At best it did absolutely nothing for our skin, and at worse it breaks us out (and we have no idea why). Ahh, the perfect example of YMMV. So what to do? Assuming you can’t return it, here are 5 other options:
1| Regift it
Just because it didn’t work for you doesn’t mean it won’t work for your friends or family. You can host a group swap, which is a great way to try out new products and possibly discover your next holy grail, all for free!
→ Make sure products still within the shelf life, which is marked by the little jar icon on the packaging. The countdown starts as soon as you open the product and expose it to air, so it’s always a good idea to track the open date!
2| Use it on the body
This is probably the best way to reuse skincare products, and will work for pretty much all product types. I’ve reused face washes, scrubs, toners, serums, oils, creams, sunscreens, and since the skin on my body is much less fussy than my face (which is typically the case), I haven’t experienced any issues whatsoever. Plus I love that my body is now getting all the benefits of those skin-loving ingredients!
- For smaller products like serums and creams, it doesn’t make much sense to use it all over, so instead I concentrate those on the more exposed areas: hand, arms and chest.
- For exfoliants, I like to focus on my knees, elbows, and feet, or wherever my skin is feeling rough. Since acids will make your skin photosensitive, make sure you apply sunscreen on those areas during the day!
3| Use sheet masks on your feet
If a mask breaks me out or has just expired, I’ll reuse it on my feet. One sheet per foot, and I promise after 20 minutes you feet will be super soft. Layer on a thick foot cream to lock in the extra essence and the next day you will have very happy feet.
4| Use it to clean makeup brushes
The cleansing oil/balm that’s breaking you out or simply not sparking joy? Use it to clean your makeup brushes! The oil/balm will break down the makeup from the bristles without stripping them dry, which is critical if you use natural hair brushes.
I’ve found most commercial makeup brush cleansers are too harsh for my Hakuhodo brushes, so I’ve been using my Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil instead. I’ll add a bit to my dry brushes, massage the bristles, dampen with water to emulsify, then finally rinsing it off. Viola, soft happy brushes.
→ Make sure the cleansing oil/balm you’re using emulsifies with water. Anything that requires a cloth to remove won’t rinse cleanly and will leave a residue on your brushes instead! In those cases, you can try mixing a bit of soap with the oil/balm.
5| Donate it
Just make sure it hasn’t expired yet and is well within its shelf life! A good rule of thumb: If you’d be embarrassed to give it to a friend, you probably shouldn’t donate it either. Here are two places that accept gently-used skincare products:
- Beauty Project Share – based in the US
- Give and Makeup – based in the UK and founded by Caroline Hirons
Also give your local charities and women’s shelters a call, many are in short supply of toiletries and are happy to take them off your hands!
I hope you’ve found this post helpful, and in case you’ve been decluttering your beauty stash, well not you don’t need to toss all these products away :) How do you repurpose skincare products that don’t work for you?