We’re talking about spring cleaning, or more specifically decluttering beauty routines with a conscience.
The weather is warming up and it’s usually around this time that we are inspired to open our windows, let some fresh air in and deep clean our homes. If you’ve been feeling inspired to do some KonMari-style decluttering done, why not start with your beauty products? Here are some ways that you can donate your beauty products, new and old, to do some good in the world!
Gently Used Products
Most skin care products have a shelf life of 6-12 months after opening but this depends on the ingredients in the formula. Formulas with more active ingredients tend to have shorter opened shelf lives, for example. To find out for sure how long your products are good for, look for an icon that looks like an open jar somewhere on the bottle, or if you still have it, the box. There will be a number inside that jar with a letter M that lets you know how many months the product is meant to be used after opening.
If you find that products you’ve decided to declutter have not yet expired, you can donate them to someone who would really appreciate them. Project Beauty Share collects and distributes gently used beauty products to nonprofit organizations nationwide serving women and families overcoming abuse, addiction, homelessness and poverty. Project Beauty Share only accepts products that can be cleaned and are sanitary, so jars are out but pumps are in! Check out their list of accepted items to learn what products you may be able to send in to brighten the day of these women and families.
New and Unopened Products
Maybe you received a beauty product as a gift that you don’t want, or maybe you made an impulse buy you’re now regretting. If you’ve missed a return cutoff, you can donate your new products to Dignity not Despair. This nonprofit organization donates makeup and hygiene products to female refugees. The founders share on their website their personal experience in working as volunteer aid workers and asking women what they would like volunteers to bring next time. They explain that those at refugee camps are trying their best to regain a sense of normalcy and even a simple lipstick can help do that and give someone a bit of hope. You can read more stories from these women themselves on their site and also learn where to send your donations.
Did you know that mascara tends to have a shelf life of six months? Many makeup artists will only keep opened mascara tubes for as little as one to three months. They are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria since with each use, air is introduced into the tube and inside the tube is dark and wet. If yours is past its prime, don’t toss it straight into the garbage; your mascara wands can be put to good use.
Wands for Wildlife collects and disinfects donated mascara wands to help save wild animals through the nonprofit Appalachian Wildlife Refuge. The shape and packed bristles of mascara wands make them the perfect tools to remove oil, mud, and mites from the fur of animals at the refuge. To donate, they just ask that you wash the wands in warm soapy water to remove residual mascara and pay for postage to send the wands in.
We also recommend doing some of your own research to find out if there are any local charities or women’s shelters that accept beauty donations in your area. It’s always a great feeling to give back to your own community.