15 Refillable Beauty Products To Help You Live Sustainably 2022 – Women's Health

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Who needs more empty bottles?
Beauty trends surge—and fizzle out—faster than ever these days. There’s always a new buzzy skincare ingredient, controversial cosmetic product, and hot shade of the season to try. Even for the self-care and makeup-obsessed, this cycle can start to feel a little, well, wasteful.
On the flip side of all of this is another, more sustainable, trend: refillable beauty products. They’re exactly what they sound like—personal care items, toiletries, and cosmetics that you buy, use, and then replenish instead of just throwing out. These easier-on-the Earth refills can take many forms, from pouches to powders or tablets and pods.
Refillable beauty products aren’t new, per se, but maybe you’ve noticed a recent uptick in brands getting in the refillable game. “During the pandemic, people became more aware of taking care of each other and our planet, and consumers began seeking out more sustainable options in addition to brands focusing on this as a priority as well,” says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD.
“Refillable products are a great step toward reducing waste and our carbon footprint,” says Dr. Steve Xu, MD, founding dermatologist of Geologie, which just launched reusable hair care pouches.
That’s because, in general, as he notes, a refill tends to feature less packaging material than buying the original item again, which can lead to a smaller carbon footprint in both production and transit. In addition, refill systems allow you, the consumer, to accumulate less plastic and glass waste, which can sometimes be harder to recycle than you might realize.
And not for nothing: “Refillable packaging is also thought to offer convenience and cost-savings,” says Dr. Garshick. The latter tends to be most pronounced when you sign up for refill subscriptions, which many brands offer at a lower cost as an incentive.
Today, several of the companies you’ll find creating refillable beauty products tend to be of the “clean” variety, since sustainable packaging certainly fits with the ethos of better-for-you beauty, often fueled by plant-based ingredients and greater transparency in formulas.
But: “In general, refillable beauty products are not necessarily of higher quality than others,” says Dr. Garshick. “With no formal definition for what constitutes as ‘clean,’ each brand is able to create their own terms, so just because it is refillable does not necessarily mean the product itself is ‘cleaner.’”
The upshot: You’ll want to carefully examine any and all product labels if natural ingredients are of utmost importance to you.
Dr. Garshick recommends cleaning and sterilizing your original container once empty. (Exactly how to do that may depend on the material of your container.) Then, it’s best to transfer your refill product (which may come in more minimal packaging like paper) quickly, once open, for maintaining potency. “When formulas are exposed to air and start oxidizing, the clock starts ticking on their efficacy,” says Dr. Xu.
It’s worth noting that some products just aren’t suited for refill at all. Dr. Xu lists vitamin C serum as one such example; it typically comes packaged in a dark, solid colored bottle to prevent exposure to air and sunlight, which can degrade this ingredient.
Perhaps he sums it up best himself: “It’s important to be on the lookout for brands that are consciously creating formulas and packaging which are truly intended to be refilled.”
Start your search for refillables with these 15 standout items.
Powered by ingredients like alpine rose, green algae, and green tea, this lightweight gel moisturizer purportedly soothes redness, smoothes, and provides suppleness, evening out your tone without creating too much shine. Pod refills allow you to hold onto the original container, which looks like a work of art on any bathroom counter or vanity. KORA, a skincare line founded by model and entrepreneur Miranda Kerr, also offers a refillable turmeric moisturizer and a refillable eye cream as part of their all-organic range.
Refills here
You can’t beat the no-mess, no-stress application of brush-on mineral powder sunscreen, especially for the face. Swipe this wand over your cheeks, forehead, nose, chin, and temples to shield your skin from damaging UV rays. The formula’s said to be great for sensitive skin, comes in translucent and tinted varieties, and can be refilled, thanks to a detachable bottom where you can input fresh powder.
Refills here
The beauty of Blueland products is their concentration; all you have to do is add water from your tap to transform their powder tablets into gentle, effective cleaners. Take their facial cleanser, for example, a non-foaming gel formula that contains a blend of oat, kaolin clay, and vitamin E. The brand says it’ll remove makeup, dirt, and grime without stripping your skin of its natural oils, and it’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free to boot. The starter set comes with a handy bottle and one refill.
Refills here
Beautycounter took five years to get their hero product, The Clean Deo, just-right, which in the case of this formula means refillable, recyclable, and aluminum- and synthetic fragrance-free. That doesn’t mean these tubes don’t smell good though; choose between four scents, from woodsy “Sequoia” and clean “Rose” to common standbys like “Lavender” and “Coconut.” Simple ingredients include cornstarch and baking soda, which purportedly work to keep your underarm area dry and odor-free, while coconut oil and shea butter are included to help hydrate and soften.
Refills here
Say goodbye to dandruff and flakes with Boscia’s first-ever refillable product, a face and scalp exfoliating powder. Probiotics combine with niacinamide as well as charcoal and rice to create this water-activated product. Salicylic acid in the formula helps to remove excess oil, too, so your strands and skin will look less greasy post-scrub.
Refills here
Go ahead and try to find a chicer—and better-smelling—hand-hydrating lotion than Grown Alchemist’s Hand Cream in the Vanilla and Orange Peel scent. Slather on a dime-sized dollop for silky-smooth mitts that won’t feel greasy. Keep a bottle right by the kitchen sink, and stash the 500 mL refill in the cabinet below it. Grown Alchemist’s Hand Washes are also refillable.
Refills here
Tata Harper offers many of her luxury formulas in refillable pod format. Take this plumping and brightening eye cream, for example. It packs a one-two punch—Spanish lavender and calcified red algae, to be exact—which goes to work on fine lines and dark circles in the orbital area.
Refills here
Model and entrepreneur Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is known for her signature pouty lips. So it’s no surprise that she’s formulated a line of hydrating, long-wearing lipsticks that tout beautiful pigment and fullness, the latter via a blend of hyaluronic acid and mustard sprouts. Even better, the bullets are refillable. Other products in her clean line, Rose Inc, can also be refilled, including the Solar Infusion Moisturizing Cream Bronzer, Solar Radiance Hydrating Cream Highlighter, and Cream Blush Cheek & Lip Color.
Refills here
For the easiest-ever travel toothpaste (or something to just keep handy in your bag or at your office desk), look no further than Hello’s Toothpaste Tablets, which get their cleaning and breath-freshening abilities from a mix of peppermint, tea tree oil, and coconut oil. Add water to a tablet to create paste, which is said to keep plaque at bay and subtly whiten your teeth with each brush. This tin set comes with three compostable pouches for refilling.
Refills here
If dullness and dark spots from acne are your chief complexion concerns, then this exfoliating toner from VERSED might be a step worth adding into your daily skincare routine. Drawing on a blend of AHAs (kojic and azelaic acid), vitamin C, and bearberry extract, this formula is said to go to work brightening post-acne marks and shrinking pores, and it’s safe for all skin tones. The refill is double the size of the original and comes in an easy-to-store pouch.
Refills here
This 2-in-1 formula comes in a pouch format, which the brand says requires much less plastic for its creation than a traditional shampoo or conditioner bottle. Choose a variety based on your hair type: Oilier scalps may benefit from Cooling, a tea tree- and aloe-based menthol mixture, while drier hair may fare well with Smoothing, a hydrating avocado and coconut oil blend that smells like bergamot.
Refills here
The tagline for this refillable gel moisturizer is “a hug for your face,” and with its willow bark- and vitamin B3-forward ingredients, this airy formula delivers in the soothing and healing department. Ginger root and hyaluronic acid round out the key ingredients list, so it’s also said to perk up and plump your skin temporarily and combat fine lines and light wrinkles.
Refills here
Makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift’s cosmetics line has always boasted ingredient transparency and better-for-you pigments, so it’s no wonder she and her business partner, Elaine Sack, have moved into the refillable market on everything from powder blush to primer and foundation. The last item on that list, foundation, touts impressive abilities: long-lasting, lightweight but medium in terms of coverage, and infused with a vegetable squalane to moisturize and firm while you’re wearing it. Refills come in the form of cartridges.
Refills here
Some eyeshadow palettes have been refillable for decades, so it’s about time for singles to be less wasteful in terms of packaging, too. Enter MOB Beauty’s vegan Cream Clay Eyeshadows, which come in a variety of colors and dry like a powder for buildable and layerable, highly pigmented eye looks.
Refills here
It’s everything you love about Dove’s Daily Moisture Body Wash—the soft skin post-shower, its fresh but light scent—only with refills and a reusable bottle. You don’t even have to go to the drugstore to stock up now that there’s a Dove storefront right on Amazon.
Refills here

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