Sustainable Makeup Brands That You Can Reuse and Refill

Written by Eunoia

Image @liviamarin_xf

Let’s face it: beauty products greatly contribute to the destruction of our environment. While we deeply concern ourselves with looking better, the environment suffers from our irresponsibility and self-centeredness.

Did it ever occur to you where those beauty products go after you use them? How about the beautiful packaging that lured you in and made you fall deeper in love with those makeup and skincare products? Without us knowing, these beauty products have been expanding our landfills, choking our waterways, and significantly affecting the lives of plants, animals, and even people trying to survive in this world.

The good thing is that companies in the cosmetics industry are beginning to take big steps toward sustainable skincare and reusable packaging. Many are now opting to formulate ingredients that promote sustainability, such as refillable makeup products.

Why is this movement for sustainable skincare important? 

We need to look closer at how our favorite skincare and beauty products are affecting the environment. 

It takes hundreds of years to break down those plastics in your skincare packaging.

Recent studies reported that every year around 120 billions of packaging are manufactured solely for the cosmetics industry. Sadly, most of these are non-reusable.

Take a look at your cosmetics, what was used to wrap them? What materials were put together to make them look appealing to the market? Plastic wrappers imprinted with product brands, cardboard sleeves, foam, beautifully printed sheets – excessive packaging to convey the value of just one single product. And you’ve got tons of them! 

What’s disturbing is that those skincare packages that you have long disposed of are still there in those landfills, slowly taking their time to decompose. Waiting hundreds and thousands of years to fully break down.

Cosmetics that you use are rapidly destroying our rainforests.

Did you know that around seventy percent of the cosmetics that you use have palm oil – which is primarily responsible for the destruction of the forests in Indonesia and Malaysia? Because of the growing need for this notorious ingredient, rainforests are sacrificed to accommodate palm oil plantations.

Now, remember that deforestation results in carbon dioxide emissions. It even releases more carbon dioxide than the combined emission of cars and trucks. In effect, this contributes to wildlife extinction and climate change experienced by people all around the world.

Cosmetics increases the water demand.

While there are people who suffer from inadequate water supply, our favorite cosmetics ship water-based products around the world in plastic containers. Products like moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners require so much water to manufacture. As a result, we continue to leave a massive carbon and water footprint and add stress to the availability of potable water for the coming years.

Chemicals used in non-sustainable skincare products cause aquatic animal deaths.

We’ve heard on the news how gigantic fish and whales end up choking from plastic in the water, but let’s not forget that much of that plastic comes from the beauty industry. 

Beauty products contribute to air pollution.

The air we breathe is  altered by the number of perfumes and hair sprays we use. This may not be as immense as vehicle emission, but according to the study conducted in 2018 by researchers headed by Brian McDonald, these scented beauty products actually emit the same level of harmful chemical pollutants as car emissions, just in different forms.

Reuse and Refill Makeup: What Makes Skincare Sustainable

The good news is many skincare companies are already aware of the aforementioned problems. Many of them have taken strides to reshape the beauty and personal care industry. Some have taken their sustainable packaging to the next level. Others have entirely let go of their packaging.

Here are some companies that are now taking part in this sustainable skincare and packaging movement.

Kjaer Weis

Proving that luxury beauty should never compromise the environment, Kjaer Weis elevated their concept of skincare in sustainable packaging by coming up with an intelligent refill system where consumers no longer need to add to the piling wastes brought by the beauty industry. The containers of their products are strategically-crafted to keep the quality of the products and to be refilled over and over again.

Believing that sustainable skincare is beautiful, Kjaer Weis now offers refillable Kjaer Weis Red edition compacts, mascara, and lipstick.


This iconic brand known for its Ultra HD formulas has also adapted the refill system for their foundation. MakeupForever users can now flaunt their flawless complexions and bring along with them refills that they can turn into their own palettes. This also comes in multiple shades – which is perfect for a soft, satin, natural finish.

    La Bouge Rouge

Committed to helping minimize the beauty industry’s impact on the environment, La Bouge Rouge handcrafted the exceptional leather manufactured by Tanneries du Puy for their brand’s lipstick and balm refill case. Keeping its luxurious look, it also has the label’s signature saddle stitch along the side.

  Besame Cosmetics Black Cake Mascara

Joining the movement to sustainable skincare is Besame Cosmetics with their low-waste mascara that comes in a refillable tin. Taking inspiration from the sustainable skincare packaging of the 1920s, Black Cake Mascara formulated the cleanest form of mascara now available in the market. It is perfect for those with sensitive eyes as it is vegan, mineral-oil free, gluten-free, and paraben-free. Using natural wax as its main ingredient, it easily blends in the skin and lashes.


Taking responsibility for the impacts of the fashion and beauty industry on the environment, Rose Marie Swift initiated a cosmetics line that is dedicated to enhancing every woman’s natural beauty by utilizing organic ingredients. It is one of the first companies that recognized the need for clean ingredients.

Unknown to many, the majority of the ingredients used for cosmetics have undergone strenuous bleaching, deodorizing, heating, and refining process. These complicated procedures strip away the nutrients that are supposed to nourish and heal the skin. RMS Beauty also embraces an ingenious package design for their beauty products by using recyclable materials: recycled glass jars with lid and boxes. 


        Tata Harper

Tata Harper has always been an advocate of clean beauty. This company is known to use only natural and non-toxic ingredients to help better moisturize, refresh, and rejuvenate the skin. One of their revolutionary anti-aging skincare technology is the Tata Harper Cheek and Lip Tint. This smooth and blend-able lip and cheek tint help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It gives the cheeks that perfect rosy pink. This Tata Harper Cheek and Lip Tint come in a recyclable glass tub. So, it’s perfect for refills. They also use recyclable paper for packaging.