Six of the best refillable beauty products to buy
I used to get a buzz out of poncey packaging, but these days I get more of a buzz refilling the same bottle over and over. Especially when it comes to things like hand and body wash that I seem to go through at a rate of knots. Thankfully a lot of beauty companies are wising up and launching refillables to help reduce packaging and make our beauty routines more sustainable.
Facial skincare is trickier, especially creams and serums where issues of actives, sanitisation and stability abound. Bath and body products often use natural essential oils which self-preserve by their nature so there are lots of refillables bubbling up. Beware, like any trend, that some brands are just jumping on the bandwagon and while they tick the refill box, the products aren’t great. If you end up throwing half of it away, it’s completely counterproductive. Sure the refills come in big vac pac type bags which can echo laundry liquid refills but the following products are more sustainable, chic and effective…
Grown Alchemist Hand Wash Sweet Orange, Cedarwood, Sage and Refill
Looks great, smells divine and won’t dry out hard-working hands that are washed a lot. Grown Alchemist is not a million miles away from the much more expensive brand Aesop but hands down better value. After buying your 300ml pump, the refills weigh in at less money for more liquid loveliness. I have invested in a couple of ‘sink siders’ – one for my kitchen and one for my downstairs loo – giving little happy hits throughout the day.
Susanne Kaufmann Invigorating Hair & Body Wash an-in-one shampoo, conditioner and shower gel
Splash out on unisex Susanne Kaufmann Invigorating Hair & Body Wash, an-in-one shampoo, conditioner and shower gel to invigorate and refresh mind and body, while being gentle on both skin and hair. Put the lovely stylish glass bottle in your bathroom and use the refill to top-up. If you want to be really clever, use another nice little glass bottle you have sterilised for the family bathroom/guests supplies. Save a fiver and 69% reduction in carbon emissions with every refill bought. Beautiful!
The Organic Pharmacy Eco Refillable Carrot Butter Cleanser
One of the original nourishing cleansing butters, I’ve always loved this. It deeply cleanses, decongests and balances all skin types (thanks to the rosemary leaf oil) and can even remove waterproof make-up so you’re saving on eye make-up remover, too. The hefty, long-lasting glass jar has been designed to house a refill pod with a healthy £7 saving. Makes you realise just how much space and money is wasted on packaging…
According to the latest research, a staggering eight million pieces of plastic end up in our oceans every single day – including a raft of roll-on deodorants. The Wild one is plastic-free, natural, easy to use, with a variety of scents. Quite a few testers notice they sweat a little more than usual in the first two or three days (this is a deodorant not an antiperspirant so doesn’t block sweat, it deodorises it), but it didn’t smell. After a week, my body felt like it had settled into the natural deodorant.
Charlotte Tilbury Brow Cheat and Refill
A-listers’s favourite make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury’s Brow Cheat micro-precision eyebrow pencil is one of the best on the market and when it runs out, you simply twist and click in a new refill. Makes perfect eyebrows and perfect sense.
Rose Inc Satin Lipstick Rich Refillable Lipstick
More than just a pretty face, you’d never know British model and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s make-up brand was refillable with its heavy, opulent packaging. I still have almost-empty lipsticks from years back that I can’t bear to throw away, so these are a blessing. As is the nourishing formula, rich in potent botanicals that deliver plant-based, weightless moisture. Check out Rose Inc’s other refillables, from cream blush to highlighters and more.
Suzanne Duckett is a health and beauty journalist, author, and founder of Onolla.com (an acronym for Online Now, Offline Later)