End waste: 6 clever alternative ways to use up unwanted cosmetics

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At times, you need to try a number of products before you find the perfect one. This goes for products we buy in the shops as well as for home made cosmetics, which we sometimes need to adjust, or which haven’t exactly been a roaring success. And the problem with products that don’t suit us is that other than giving them away to someone who might appreciate them (or a work colleague you don’t like if the product really sucks!), it is very hard to know what to do with these products, which just lie around cluttering up your presses. Here are 7 great ideas for ways to put them to good use!

1) A cream that is too rich and that isn’t suited to your skin type

Credits: PxHere

We have specific moisturisers for every part of the body, but at the end of the day, a moisturiser is still a moisturiser! If you have one that doesn’t work for one part of your body, it is sure to work for another! Try it out!

An overly rich day cream

  • If it makes your skin too shiny, keep it as a night cream! The skin adores thicker creams at night.
  • Use it to moisturise your hands and cuticles.
  • Apply a thick layer as a mask, leaving it on for 20 minutes before rinsing it.
  • You can use it as a non-rinse treatment for the lengths and tips of your hair. If the cream is really too rich, it could also be used as a hair mask, but remember to rinse it out well, and even shampoo it out if it is sticky.
  • Use it in your home made clay masks or masks made from vegetable powders. It will be just as effective, but also hydrating and perhaps gentler on sensitive skin than just the mixture of water and powder.
Credits: PxHere

And for a body lotion that takes too long to soak in, or that is sticky

Keep it for the roughest areas such as the elbows and knees. A good idea is also to apply a thick layer to your feet and put on large socks, leaving them on for a few hours or even overnight.

Finally, you can use a cream you don’t like to treat leather

Do a patch test on a small area before using it for your handbags, couches or jackets.

2) To use up a shampoo that is incompatible with your luscious locks

Credits: Kulmalukko / Wikimedia Commons

If a shampoo makes your scalp itchy, makes your hair become greasy too quickly, or gives you dandruff or dull hair, it is difficult to keep using it. So as not to waste it, here are 5 alternative uses:

  • Use it to clean your makeup brushes. Shampoo will clean them without damaging them and the bristles will stay soft.
  • Why not pour it into a pump flask by the sink and use it instead of soap to wash your hands?
  • Use it as a shower gel if it smells good.
  • It could make a good washing up liquid thanks to its effective cleaning agents. However, have a look at the type of shampoo it is, as a shampoo that is too thick or oily won’t work. Your hands will be less dried out after doing the dishes.
  • Improve it! If you know what works for your hair and you are used to making your own cosmetics, you may have some aloe vera gel or honey (for hydration), vegetable oils (for conditioning), essential oils (such as lemon so as to make it less greasy), apple cider vinegar (to make it shiny and smooth), etc. In short, things you can add to improve the formula and find a way to make friends again with your shampoo!

3) There is plenty you can do with left over conditioner

Credits: flickr/Betsssssy

If it doesn’t untangle your hair, conditioner can be used to rescue an item of clothing that has shrunk in the wash. Otherwise, you can use it as a shaving cream. It allows the razor to slide smoothly without causing nicks, and leaves the skin lovely and soft. Finally, you could make a detangling spray with one part conditioner mixed with 9 parts water, added to a spray flask.