What Should I Do with Old Makeup

Makeup products to even skin tone and complexion on aged paper. Corrector, loose and compact powders, concealer pencil, liquid foundation with brushes and cosmetic sponges. Retro style processing

Many men and women wear makeup regularly, but makeup doesn’t last forever, even if the products seem to never run out. However, you may not want to throw away your old makeup. So, what should you do with your old makeup?

Turn old makeup into watercolor paint, destroy it, or recycle old makeup containers. Some companies accept old makeup product containers, as long as they are clean. They sometimes give in-store credit to those who bring them in since they can use them to make new makeup products.

To find out more about what you should do with the old makeup that you no longer want to use, keep reading.

Things to Do with Old Makeup

Although it may be a good idea to throw away your old makeup that is expired or that you just don’t like anymore, there are other things that you can do with it.

Make it into Paint

Because powder makeup products have pigment in them, they can be used to make watercolor paints. Old makeup watercolor paints are especially beautiful when the old product had glitter in them, so it shimmers when wet and dry.

One person is quite popular on Tiktok because they often film themselves making watercolor paint from old eyeshadow, powder blushes, bronzers, and more. Her name is Emdoessketches.

If you choose to do this, be prepared for the slightly unpleasant smell that you may come across, especially if you use extremely smelly paint binders.

Destroy it

If you don’t often paint or don’t want to make paint from your old makeup products, destroy them. It is really fun to break old makeup pallets, especially if all of your favorite colors from the palette have been used up. You can burn or break old makeup products and palettes to destroy them.

Recycle Old Containers

If you purchase MAC or Bare Minerals products, you can recycle old containers once they have been cleaned and no leftover product remains. This is hard to do when it comes to foundation bottles, even if you use soap and water, but it is one of the best things you can do with old makeup or at least old makeup containers.

If you turn in 6 old MAC product containers to the Back 2 MAC program, you can get a free container of lipstick, although the colors that you can choose from may be limited. If you are a MAC Lover Loyalist, you can also choose from lipgloss or small eyeshadow of nearly any color. (Source)

When you turn in old Bare Minerals makeup containers to Bare Minerals stores, you can earn 5 fab points that you can stockpile and use to get free makeup products. (Source)

Other Recycling Options

TerraCycle Program – Visit the TerraCycle website to see what products they accept for recycling and how to ship your products to them.

Nordstrom BeautyCycle – Visit their website for the recycling terms and instructions.

Sell it

If you still don’t know what to do with your old makeup products, you can sell them or give them away, as people may be able to use them in various ways, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on makeup products. However, make sure you clarify that the products are expired, or people may get really mad at you.

Can You Wear Old Makeup?

You should not wear old makeup because, after some time, they expire and may cause you to have a negative reaction. When makeup products expire, they become less pigmented and can cause more acne than normal, skin redness, and skin irritation. (Source)

Asian woman looking at herself in the mirror, Female feeling annoy about her reflection appearance show the aging facial skin signs, wrinkles, dark spot, pimple, acne scar, large pores, dull skin.

However, you can use old makeup that hasn’t expired yet without a negative reaction.

Signs that Your Old Makeup is Expired

One of the easiest ways to tell if your old makeup is expired is by looking at and smelling it. If it smells weird or gross and it didn’t when you first bought it, it is expired. When liquid makeup products are separated, they are likely to expire. If you have recently worn some old makeup products and have more acne than normal, it is likely your expired makeup that is causing it. (Source)

There is a picture of a small container on the bottom of all makeup containers that signifies how long your makeup will last before it expires. How long it takes for various makeup products to expire varies depending on the type of product. Try to keep track of it when you first buy makeup products to avoid wondering whether or not your makeup is expired.

What Happens to Old Makeup?

When old makeup is thrown away, it gets tossed into landfills. Most makeup product containers are not biodegradable and have residual makeup inside that can negatively impact the environment. (Source)

If you don’t buy MAC or Bare Minerals products, donate your products to TerraCycle. They will make sure that all your old makeup products are properly recycled, and you don’t have to go anywhere to donate your old makeup products. All you have to do is go to their website, print out a shipping label, fill a box with your old makeup products that you want to donate, and ship the box to one of their warehouses.

Another recycling option is Nordstrom’s Beautycycle program. You can learn more about that here.

A bunch of plastic bottles with cosmetic creams and lotions

You may still be able to wear your old makeup, even if it is expired, but it is not recommended because of the negative reactions that it can cause. If your old makeup products recently expired, you can likely wear them without any issue, although you will likely have to try harder and use more of each product to get the amount of pigment you want from the products.

Overall, what you can do with old makeup products is relatively limited. If you can’t find a place to recycle or use your old makeup products, you may have to throw them away. However, avoid it as much as possible, as makeup products have many chemicals that are harmful to the environment, even if the company claims that their products are ‘all-natural’.

If you are unsure what you should do with your old makeup products, contact the company that made the products and ask them what you should do or if you can trade in your old products for new ones that you will actually be able to use.

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