National Hygiene Week - How To Get Rid Of Your Old & Unused Toiletries

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Throwing away make-up isn’t good for the planet, especially when there are alternatives for toiletry disposal. There are so many places that will accept your used and unused products. Whether you're looking to clear out your make-up drawer or giving to those in need, here are some ways you can get rid of your old toiletries in a more eco-friendly fashion. You'll also be reducing the amount of hygiene poverty we have in the UK, especially if you donate to real causes!

The image shows period products on a wooden board. It's to symbolise period poverty in the UK

Did you know this week, it's national hygiene week? From the 14th to the 20th of September, The Hygiene Bank is raising awareness for hygiene poverty. I thought I'd raise awareness too by doing this post! It's crazy that 14 million people are living in poverty in the UK alone. Let's make a change today with the things around your home!

In this list, there is a mix of things you can do to get rid of things in a more eco-friendly way and ways you can help people in need. From toiletries to make-up, sanitary items to personal care items, I've tried to include a way to get rid of anything you may have. Let's make a change today! Please note, each charity has its own restrictions and requirements. Please do your research before sending things in.

Create Bundles On eBay

If you have quality skincare, make-up and toiletries, you may not feel inclined to give it away. Beauty bundles sell well on eBay and other second-hand sites, especially when there is a mix of brands and items. I recently sold a bundle of skincare items for £40. The bundle only included the odd gift set toiletry that I didn't like the smell of, or wouldn't use. If you have unopened gift sets, they also do really well around Christmas time. It'll keep your products out of a landfill and give them a new life. When creating bundles, you can throw in items that wouldn't sell on their own. You could even add in beauty-related gifts like a bath light or unused headband. Bundles are a fun way to get rid of things. Try throwing in free hotel samples or the sachets you get in the post!

Give It To Friends & Family

Whether you're regifting to a family member or giving away an item, family and friends are useful places to get rid of old toiletries. If you have unused eye shadow pallets, you may want to give them as a Christmas gift. You could also make a gift basket or pamper hamper, especially if they're feeling under the weather! Family members may also take used toiletries for themselves. If I don't like a product, my mum will use it, especially if it's body butter. Not many donation banks would accept used products, so this way you can get some use out of them!

Donate To Local Women's Shelters

I love making packages for people, and one of my favourite things to do is donating care packages to women's shelters. Any sort of food bank or shelter will accept toiletries, especially soap and shower gel. See if your local shelter is looking for donations. In this time of need, hygiene is really important, and you may find charities asking for PPE or sanitiser. If you're donating locally, you're helping out your local community. It's an amazing feeling when you see your community thrive. It also means you don't have to package and ship any products across the country. I have a local food bank and a shelter which are both asking for donations. Strangely enough, my food bank's website states they have enough food and only want toiletries now!

End Period Poverty With The Hygiene Bank 

As I mentioned above, it's National Hygiene Week! The Hygiene Bank is encouraging you to find Buy One Get One deals on hygiene products. You're allowed to keep one, and you should donate the other! This is great if you don't have anything around the house. If you do, The Hygiene Bank will accept donations all year round to stop hygiene poverty in the UK! There are lots of banks across the UK which you can put your spare products in. From washing powder to plasters, make-up to face cream, there is a whole list of items that you can donate to the bank! 

On the website, there are different needs for each person. There are four categories that you could purchase and donate. For example, you could donate nit shampoo for children and hair styling products for men. You'd be surprised at what things are in need, so make sure you check before you go shopping for toiletries! There are few other ways you can support The Hygiene Bank, so read the website if you can't get to a bank.

Give Unwanted Toiletries To Toiletries Amnesty

Toiletries Amnesty started up in my hometown of Cambridge and worked with one homeless shelter. They supplied the shelter with toiletry donations, but have since grown to support nearly 200 organisations! You can use the website's directory to find a drop-off point close to you. When you choose your nearest location, it'll tell you what items they need. Toiletries Amnesty support a range of organisations including homeless shelters, disability groups, mental health groups and more! You'd be supporting a diverse range of people with the toiletries you donate, and it'll be helping people in your local area!

Did you know there are also some international drop-off points that you can donate things? There are some in China, Africa and South America in case you'd like to donate while you're travelling! If you don't want to donate physical toiletries, you could donate money or volunteer to help. 

Donate Your Old Toiletries To Beauty Banks

If you have a collection of unused toiletries, Beauty Banks will willingly take your donations. They've partnered with DropPoint to offer a discounted shipping cost meaning you can send parcels weighing 5kg for just £4.49 or 10kg bags for £5.49. Beauty Banks are aiming to make hygiene poverty a thing of the past by supplying those in need with toiletries. If you're looking to get rid of unused shower gels, shampoos and shavers, Beauty Banks will happily take them from you. They're currently looking for donations in:

  • Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
  • Shaving Gels/Creams
  • Headlice Combs
  • Disposable Razors
  • Shampoo & Body Wash
  • Personal Hygiene & Essential Beauty Items
  • Face Wash & Flannels
  • Nappies
  • Deodorant

Find New Uses For Your Products

If you don't want to get rid of your old products, you can always find a new use for them. Body butter is great for hands and feet, but, it can also remove makeup and be a soothing aftershave balm. Lipstick can be a substitute for blush or eye shadow and if the shade is right, can cover up your tattoos! Using your products for other purposes means they're getting more use, and you don't have to let go of anything. You may even find that the substitute works better than the real deal!

If your browse through Pinterest, there are so many other uses for make-up and toiletries. You could even make your own shower gellies from shower gel! Try to use up the products before their expiry date. On the back of the products, there is a little moisturiser looking pot with a number. That's how long you should keep the product open before discarding it! To avoid wasting products that could have been donated, try to find other uses and use them up within the recommended period. 

The image shows a selection of make-up and skincare laying out on a dresser table. There is a woman using a make-up brush to apply some powdered product to her face

It's important that we not only end hygiene poverty, but we help the planet. Once you've used up your products, make sure you're opting for eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives. There are so many amazing brands other there who are fighting for change. Don't give your hard-earned cash to brands who don't care. It's also important to help those in need. The charities I've mentioned are doing amazing things. They're worth supporting! What are you doing to end hygrine poverty or help the planet? Let me know if you discover other charities and brands who are striving for a change!

Looking to continue your journey to sustainability & minimalism? Read these posts!

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  1. I can never think of what to do with old products and usually use them just to so they don't go to waste. Donating is such a good idea and I will definitley be doing that in the future. Thanks for sharing! X

    Nicola |

  2. This post is so important. I see first hand in my safeguarding role at a school just how desperate poverty is. I do as much as I can to support in school but also with food banks etc but if everyone could help the difference would be HUGE.

    Thank you for sharing x

  3. This is such a wonderful post. Very insightful.

  4. Love these ideas. We used to do a perfume swap with my friends which was great even for a used product because it stays clean in the spray bottle. My local supermarket has added an option to donate to foodbank at online checkout. Here in the Netherlands the foodbank distributes also toiletries. I order groceries online every week and end up donating 4 x month. It's not much but it feels great. I also donate my chemist loyalty card points to the Dutch foodbank.

  5. I think we focus so much on kitchen waste that we don't think about bathroom waste. I didn't realise that it was National Hygiene Week, I loved all the ways you've given about getting rid of unused toiletries x

    Lucy |

  6. This is a great post. Hygiene poverty effects so many people. I am glad you posted these ideas so I can help the people in my community.

  7. Thanks for sharing, I have lots of odds from old subscription boxes that I won't use these look great ideas to get rid of them and get some space back :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

  8. What great ways of recycling your toiletries and helping others int he process! I guess you don't always think of hygiene poverty, but it is so important, especially in keeping yourself healthy. I will be looking to add some of my bits or even buying some to donate to the food banks now!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics