Refillable skincare may be one of the best ways to reduce waste in your skincare routine. We’re collectively making an effort to use our common resources wisely, and refillable solutions for what used to be disposable seem like a great idea! They say that the average consumer uses around seven cosmetic products a day, so it may make a difference if they’re more efficient when it comes to packaging. In this post, we’re examining what is refillable skincare all about, why you should use it and what different types of refillable skincare there is. Are you curious already?
On this post:
- What is refillable skincare
- Why is refillable skincare packaging better?
- Is refillable skincare always more sustainable?
- Refillable skincare products we love
What is refillable skincare?
Refillable skincare is any skincare product with packaging specially designed to be reused and refilled. When a brand releases a refillable skincare product (for example, a moisturizer), it should also offer a way to refill it. There are two main options when it comes to refillable skincare: in-store refill stations, or refill packs and capsules you can keep at home.
Here’s what each option means:
Skincare with in-store refill stations
When you buy a product that’s only refillable in-store, it usually implies that your first purchase includes the suitable container and a refill, and for the next time you’d only need to pay for the refill. Store refill doesn’t mean that you can just bring your own DIY container! Even when it comes to sustainable skincare, safety comes always first. Generally, the brand informs you in detail about the packaging care needed to make your container refill-ready, and you should follow it strictly before going back for an in-store refill.
If you choose this option, make sure that you’ll have the opportunity to go to the store every time you need to restock. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself with an empty refillable package, yet without the opportunity to fill it up again.
Skincare refill packs and capsules
If the bonus of the previous option is that you won’t ever have to waste any package again, refill packs come with the convenience of being available everywhere—and that includes online shopping! The principle with refill packs is very simple too: you buy a refillable product, and when you finish it you’d only need to buy a refill pack. The refill pack uses substantially less material (usually, plastic), since it doesn’t need to be pretty, practical, or make cosmetic usage easy: it just needs to keep the product safe until you pour or fit it into the main container.
If you choose this option, please make sure that the bottle you buy is refillable! You’ll find products that are refillable yet only to one of the sizes available (imagine the example of a body cream, with available sizes of 200ml and 400ml, with only the 400ml packaging being refillable). Below, you’ll find different types of refillable skincare products and refills, for the face and body!
Why is refillable skincare packaging better?
Living on a planet with finite resources means that we should use them rationally. When choosing disposable containers made of extremely durable materials, you know that you’re about to discard packaging that could have a lot more to give! Refillable packaging comes as a solution for this pressing matter. Once your skincare product is finished, you’ll be able to refill the packaging instead of throwing it out. More than saving materials and emissions, you’re saving cash as well. Refills tend to come at a better price than the product with the full packaging, which ends up being a good deal for the planet as well as for yourself!
However, the packaging is not the only thing to consider when thinking about sustainability in skincare. We’ll see more about that in a minute!
Is refillable skincare always more sustainable?
Even though the refill is a way of saving resources, it doesn’t mean that all refillable skincare is the more sustainable option (when compared to its non-refillable counterparts). There’s a world of variables to consider when we’re evaluating how sustainable a product is, and packaging is only one of the things we should examine. Aspects like ingredient sourcing, or the power source of the facilities where the product is developed, for example, may weigh more than packaging when we’re calculating a product’s carbon footprint. For more on this, take a look at our post about skincare sustainability and what it means at Care to Beauty.
Refillable skincare products we love
We have a few favorites we’d like to share! All of them are either refill packs or capsules, as it’d be cruel of us to offer in-store refills that we can’t deliver to your door. All the options have a different feature, so you can see how many different ways refill skincare can go.
Payot Nue Cleansing Micellar Water For Face And Eyes
Refillable micellar water
A facial cleanser is a product that you use invariably every day! For products that require frequent stock replacement, nothing better than an eco-refill pack such as this one. As you can see with this system, the refill packaging is made from a much thinner plastic, which allows to save a lot of material. In this case, the eco-refill pack uses 81% less plastic than the regular bottle. And the best part, the refill system is so simple that requires no instructions! All you have to do is take the cap of the bottle and pour the refill!
Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate Serum
Another skincare step that can be more eco-friendly when it comes to packaging is the facial serum! This one is a great example. At the first purchase, you should go for the option of the bottle with the cap. Once you’re finished with it, you buy a bottle that allows you to reuse your cap and pump—being the pump the trouble maker of recycling, that’s a great effort. This option is a great way of saving plastic!
Lierac Lift Integral The Firming Day Cream
Refillable face moisturizer
The outer part of your daily cream packaging is resistant and made to last… what a waste when it only goes for a single round! With this type of refill, you get to keep your beautiful outer packaging. The next time you need the product, buy the refill capsule and it’ll fit perfectly. You get to save a lot of material, whether it is plastic or glass, since these refills use only a fraction of what would be the full packaging. We think this is a genius idea!
SVR Topialyse Cleansing Gel
Refillable body wash
If you’re not a fan of cleansing bars, then this is a great cleansing option for you! With a foaming gel texture, this gentle daily cleanser is ideal to cleanse and soothe sensitive skin. You’ll find multiple sizes available, but choose the bigger sizer if you’re looking to refill it later. This is an example of what we’ve mentioned earlier: when you have a product in multiple capacities, they may not be all refillable.
HAAN Fig Fizz Hand Cream
Refillable hand cream
Are you looking for refillable hand cream? Yes, we have one! More than loving this fragrant hand cream, we love the concept of a refill that offers three times the capacity of the original packaging. This is a great way of saving plastic! Especially useful in products that you buy and re-buy, this is one of the best options to look for in refillable skincare. You may like to take a look at HAAN for that.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream
Refillable body cream
Here’s an example of metallic packaging that’s also refillable! With this body cream, you only need to buy the inside capsule with the actual cream, since the outer packaging is going to last as much as you want it to. For denser formulas such as this rich one, this is a great option. And the good news is that you can recycle the disposable part afterward!
Garnier Ultimate Blends Delicate Oat Shampoo
You can reduce your yearly cosmetic bottle count by trying this refillable Garnier shampoo! This vegan formula comes with the option of a refillable bottle and an ecopack refill, so you can continue to care for the sensitive scalp of the whole family while using 71% less plastic when compared to the regular bottle.
Are you convinced with refillable cosmetics? Then take a look at all the eco-conscious beauty products we have on our website. You’re going to be surprised by the variety of products!
Professional Makeup Artist & Beauty Writer