Refillable beauty products: 13 brilliant sustainable swaps to make now (2023)

Meet the beauty brands that are taking steps to be a little bit more eco conscious with refillable beauty products...

The world is slowly becoming more attuned to our need to be more conscious of the environment, particularly when it comes to the production and use of packaging. Refillable beauty products, for example, are now more prominent than ever.

At a consumer level, it's about taking as many steps as you're able to in order to make your routine a bit more eco-friendly – whether that's investing in a reusable coffee cup, reusable cotton pads or learning how to recycle beauty products (opens in new tab) properly.

Beauty brands have also sat up in their seats and,while there's no such thing as truly zero waste skincare brands, we're seeing more and more reusable and refillable options on the market – a great thing for beauty addicts who want to do their bit for the planet. Many of your favourite brands now offer refills of shampoos, conditioners, bubble baths, shower gels, lipsticks, eyeshadows and more.

So, without further ado, scroll for our rundown of brilliant brands that offer refillable beauty products, before shopping our favourites that you should have on your (eco) radar. And when you're done here, read our guide on how to make your beauty routine more eco friendly (opens in new tab).

Refillable beauty products and brands to know about

The Soap Co (opens in new tab)

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This East London cruelty-free brand is so, SO great. Each product is handcrafted here in the UK by those who are blind or disabled, giving vital employment to those who need it, and they have put a tremendous amonut of effort into design packaging that is all recycled, recyclable or compostable.

The Soap Co realised pretty quickly how difficult it is to recycle complicated pumps from hand wash and body lotion bottles, so they created refills to avoid the pump mechanisms ending up in landfill. Simply recycle your bottle but keep the pump, and put it into a new refill bottle (which is also locally and responsibly sourced). Wonderful stuff.

Beauty Kitchen (opens in new tab)

These guys have been switched on to being mindful of the environment from day one, offering different schemes for both recycling and refilling their products. Any Beauty Kitchen products that are marked with their 'Return - Refill - Repeat' logo can be dropped off at any UK or Ireland Holland & Barret; they'll send them off and you'll get points on your loyalty card. Lovely stuff!

Even better, they've now got a brand new refill station for your empties in the new-look Boots Store at Covent Garden, something we can't wait to roll out nationwide. Bravo, Beauty Kitchen!

L'Occitane (opens in new tab)

French skin and bodycare brand L'Occitane has cemented itself as something of a sustainable champion over the past few years. To date they've kept more than 1,800kg of plastic out of landfill, equivalent to the weight of three cars. They've teamed up with TerraCycle to recycle all beauty empties – not just L'Occitane products! – in-store. Simply drop off your empties at any L'Occitane shop once they re-open, and they'll take them away to be properly recycled for you.

As for refillable products, many of the brand's best selling soaps, bodycare and hair products now come in eco refill pouches. These use as much as 90% less plastic than traditional packaging, so you can keep buying your favourites without feeling quite so guilty about your plastic consumption. And, according to L'Occitane's website, the team is currently working on replacing protective cellophane with a compostable alternative. We love to see it!

REN Skincare (opens in new tab)

REN has partnered with recycling powerhouse TerraCycle's new initiative, Loop (opens in new tab), to create refillable packaging for some of their best selling skin and body care products. This new scheme will help them achieve their pledge to be a zero waste brand by 2021.

So, how will it work?

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REN will launch cleanable, printed glass bottles with 100% recycled pumps (recycled by Loop) for six of their best selling products to start with. This will include the following:

  • Rosa Centifolia™ Cleansing Gel
  • Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash
  • Moroccan Rose Otto Body Lotion
  • Atlantic Kelp And Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Cream
  • Atlantic Kelp And Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash
  • Atlantic Kelp And Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Hand Wash

These bottles will then be refillable as and when you need – simply put the empties into a Loop Tote and they'll pick up, clean, refill and send back to you. You can read more about the scheme, launching in the UK soon, on REN's website (opens in new tab).

Keep scrolling to shop our edit of the best refillable beauty products below. Happy swapping!

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OUAI Thick Hair Conditioner Refill, £44 for 946ml | Lookfantastic

Created by hairstylist to Chrissy Teigen and the Kardashians, Jen Atkin, all of OUAI's shampoo and conditioners are available in refill pouches, too. Each will refill your standard size conditioner bottle more than three times. Hurrah!

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Aesop Resurrection Hand Wash Refill, £26 for 500ml | Liberty London

Possibly the best-loved soap around, Aesop's iconic Resurrection Hand Wash comes in a refill version. Simply keep hold of the pump when you finish your first bottle of soap, replace this lid with it and, hey presto, you're saving pumps from ending up in landfill from here on out.

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Hourglass Confession Lipstick Refill, £22 | Cult Beauty

Available in more than 25 different shades, this ultra creamy lipstick is available in refills for your original golden outer packaging.

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Tata Harper Water Lock Moisturiser Refill, £54 | Cult Beauty

A super duper plumping and hydrating moisturiser that comes in 'pods' that you pop into your outer jar. Simply pop out your old cartridge, replace with this one, peel the lid off and you're good to go.

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MAC Studio Finish Concealer Refill Pan, £13.50 | Lookfantastic

MAC has been playing the refillable game for a while now, but for the uninitiated you can replace the pans in some of their products, like the iconic Studio Finish Concealer, when you use them up. Simply pop out your old pan when you've used it up and keep the outer packaging to refill.

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Rahua Classic Shampoo Refill, £30 for 280ml | NET-A-PORTER

One of the best-loved sustainable haircare brands, Rahua's completely natural original shampoo formula also comes in single refills to save on plastic.

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L'Occitane Verbena Liquid Soap Eco Refill, £16.20 for 500ml | All Beauty

Another sustainability champion, many of L'Occitane's hero bath foams, shower gels and soaps come in refillable pouches like this one. We love the uplifting Verbena fragrance!

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SUQQU Solid Brow Pencil Holder, £14 | Cult Beauty

Rather than shelling out for a new brow pencil and spoolie every time you use up the brow colour, SUQQU is now selling the two separately. Simply pop a new refill in every time you run out, and use the same holder over and over and over...

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Chantecaille 'The Pebble' Refillable Compact, £9.50 | Lookfantistic

If you have a go-to eye colour, at Chantecaille you have the opiton of buying your eyeshadow palette (The Pebble) separately as a one off, then replacing the pan of eyeshadow inside without throwing the whole thing away. Genius.

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Rituals Body Cream Refills, from £15.50 | Rituals

Rituals have a whole host of refillable products on offer, including creams, hand washes and diffuser refills. Pop out the old cream holder and put your new cream refill into the outer tub as shown to the left.

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Tropic Bath Foam Refill Pouch, £18 | Tropic Skincare

Tropic offer a whole load of refill options on their website, including Bath Foam and Hand Wash pouches, lipstick cartridges and concealer pan refills, and they're hoping for everything to be refillable by 2020. What's more, once you've returned five of the same product empties, you'll get a new one for *free*! These bath foam pocuches are enough to refill your bottle twice, so it's well worth investing.

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Susanne Kaufmann Cleansing Gel Refill, £54 | Space NK

Susanne Kaufmann is one of team MC's favourite brands and last month they launched their refills. Each refillable pack is made from 75% recycled high density polyethylene (RHDPE.). Both the pack and the Both the RHDPE pack and the paper sleeve that wraps the refill are fully recyclable.

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Refillable shampoos, from £4 | Boots

We applaud mass brands that bring being sustainable to the masses. You can now get Pantene, Herbal Essences, Head & Shoulders and Aussie are now available in refillable packs.

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