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NOW READING Unwanted Beauty: What To Do With Products That Don’t Work For You
April 22, 2018

Unwanted Beauty: What To Do With Products That Don’t Work For You

It’s inevitable: You’re going to get a beauty product and be like, meh. Instead of having that product languish in your bathroom, adding to the clutter, ignored and unloved, do something useful with it! Here, we offer 4 things you can do with your unwanted beauty.


Let me set the scene. You’ve finally got a coveted box of skincare delivered and you’re ready to dive in. You’ve done the research, read the reviews, and you know that you’re just going to LOVE what you’ve bought. You’ve even planned what kind of flat lay you’re going to do for the ’gram. (Or maybe that’s just me.)


But then the worst thing happens. You slowly start trying out new products and some of them just aren’t working out for you. Not that they make you break out or anything, but maybe you don’t like the texture, or the scent, or the color, or it just doesn’t really seem to be making much of a difference at all. I’ve been there!


The thing is, not every product is going to work for everyone. Someone’s holy grail is someone else’s major fail (aka the Su:m37 Rose Cleansing Stick). Sometimes sh—t just doesn’t work for you — nothing wrong with that! Everyone raves about Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, and it was just meh for me.


unwanted beauty


You might be thinking, “well, that’s a lot of damn money down the drain,” but not so fast, my dear. I know that money is sacred and no one likes to waste it, so I’ve come up with a few ways to ensure that you can still get your money’s worth and/or make someone else’s day with your unwanted beauty.


1. Use it on the rest of your body


The skin on our face isn’t the only place that needs love and attention. The rest of your body does, too! And who says you can’t use an essence or a serum on your body? I mean, if we’re being honest here, using something like a Swanicoco essence or a bee venom serum on your body sounds luxurious AF.


I love to use oil cleansers that I don’t like on my face to shave with, and all of those harsh pH cleansers that I used to love are now some one of favorite body cleansers. Your feet need a lot of attention too, especially now that spring is around the corner and it’s nearly pedicure season, so if there are any old products you weren’t that impressed with, use them on your feet.


2. Clean your brushes


When I come across a cleanser that has a too-high pH or I’m just not really feeling all that much, it goes in my makeup brush cleansing pile. I try to wash my brushes regularly, and a lot of my discarded cleansers really do a good job of getting them squeaky clean.


unwanted beauty


3. Donate them!


Instead of throwing out perfectly fine products, you can donate them to your local women’s shelter, homeless shelter, or high school. Sadly, there are a lot of people who cannot afford personal items like skincare, and donating your gently used or unopened products would really help those in need.


4. Host a skincare swap


If you have a bunch of skincare-loving friends (and if you don’t, find some, girrrlllll), host a skincare swap at your place. Buy some wine, have some snacks, and invite everyone over. Each person can bring five or more items that they want to swap, and BOOM. You get new skincare, and you don’t have to worry about wasting your precious coins.


What do you do with unwanted beauty products you’re not feeling that much? Let us know in the comments!



Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.




I always offer my non-favorites to friends, and, thankfully, they usually take them off my hands. My body\'s been gettin\' a lotta love since I ventured into AB. I\'ve always used unwanted creams on my body (especially my feet if they\'re highly fragranced), but lately I\'ve been using up serums on my hands, neck, and decollete. If something is too sticky, though, it just ends up in the trash. The last thing I need is hairy lower legs courtesy of our overly affectionate cat and dog. Good read, sheryll. Thanks!


I like the idea of the swap. I've actually been either giving friends things I don't like or use. If it has never been used and I bought it after a makeup artist sold it to me post-makeover, I tend to sell it deeply discounted via Poshmark.


I definitely need to start using my meh products on the rest of my body. So much better than letting them go to waste!

I love the swap idea! I currently pass along all of the things I don't like to my mom because she is willing to try basically anything.


I do the same!!


I died when Angela of BeautyandtheCat said she poured a whole bottle of toner into the bath! 😂

I'll give my meh products to the mister (shhh!) since he's less picky than I am. And I never thought of using high ph cleansers on my body. Great idea!

My contribution to the earth (and my wallet) is by saving all the little deluxe size jars and dropper bottles and decanting products into them from the beauty closet. I almost never go through a whole jar of face cream, and I find a sample size jar is more than enough!

Now if only someone... Read more


I've pawned off so many "meh" products on to friends that have put them to much better use than I would have, and I don't think anyone is going to complain about getting new goodies to play with lol. I just don't see the point of a moisturizer sitting around in my drawer that's not going to get used when it could be something nice and fun for another person to use and enjoy.