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Show Us Your Empties: Australian skinfluencers share the products they’ve used to the end

IMAGE VIA MANDY HUYNH

WORDS BY MAGENTA PORTER

The products they just can’t get enough of.

I’m often completely overwhelmed by choice anxiety when it comes to my skincare routine. Self-care has taken a front seat and while I’m happy we’re treating our skin with the love it deserves, I feel like I’m behind. Retinol who? What’s a gua sha? As we enter the cooler months, my skin is starting to get a little dry, a little flaky, and above all, a bit dull.

It’s also the beginning of an infamous Melbourne cold snap – AKA dry, flaky, dull season for my skin. I need to dial up the TLC, but where do I start? While I’m no beauty expert (clearly), I do know that it takes a certain level of love to get to the bottom of a bottle of serum.


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If a skincare expert is using a product down to the dregs, I need it. On behalf of my fellow rookies, I asked five skinfluencers to show me their latest empties in search of the best creams, serums and gels to get my winter skin back on track. The best part? Most of these skinfluencer-approved products are recyclable, so you can get your glow on without the guilt.

Iain Jeffery

I just finished Biologique Recherche’s Masque VIP O2. It’s an oxygenating, hydrating and anti-pollution mask that helps restore clarity and calm stressed, overworked skin. I love it because it makes my skin look like I’ve downed about eight glasses of water, had a green smoothie and slept for a week. What makes it particularly excellent is that you can bring it up around the eyes to instantly brighten up any darkness, so it’s great before an event or big day. Biologique Recherche is one of those brands that’s only sold through salons and spas, so I normally order mine from Melanie Grant’s skincare edit. I think it’s best for anyone who lives in a city and finds that they can just look a little dull from the stressors that they’re regularly exposed to. In terms of recycling, I’m going to take the package to Terracycle to ensure that it’s recycled properly!

 

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I also finished my first tube of Ultra Violette’s Lean Screen, which is the brand’s latest SPF offering. It is a 100 per cent inorganic (otherwise known as physical or mineral) sunscreen that leaves no white cast, is fragrance-free and blurs the skin on application. It’s actually the first and only purely ‘physical’ sunscreen that I’ve ever enjoyed. Normally they just feel a bit chalky, but UV did a great job with this formula; you can find this one at Sephora. Sunscreen is obviously super important and an everyday necessity – thankfully this one is particularly great for people who are more on the sensitive skin side. I’m also going to be taking this package to Terracycle, but before I do that, I’m going to cut open the tube and make sure I’m getting every last drop.

 

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@iainjeffery

Emily Algar

I’ve emptied a few things recently! One is my Emma Lewisham Supernatural Night Cream. It’s really hydrating and rich, but doesn’t seem to clog my pores – just leaves my skin feeling really soft and bouncy. If you love a dewy finish it’s the perfect nighttime moisturiser. Emma Lewisham actually has a service called Beauty Circle, where you can send empty products back and have them cleaned and refilled or recycled! It’s such a great system.

I also finished my beloved Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 serum. It’s a really lightweight hyaluronic serum that’s great for dehydrated, sensitive skin. The bottle itself is glass, so can go straight into the kerbside recycling bin. Unfortunately, the dropper has to go into a landfill.

 

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My advice for disposing of empty beauty products would be to educate yourself on what can and can’t be recycled and dispose of it accordingly. TerraCycle is fantastic! Also, opt of out excess packaging where you can – whether that’s turning down bags in-store or buying a product you love in bulk to save on excessive shipping/freight etc. Repurpose things too! I have a friend who puts little succulents into her empty La Mer moisturiser tubs – so extra, but really cute.

@emilyalgar

Mandy Huynh

 

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Glow Recipe’s Papaya Sorbet Cleansing Balm – I loved this cleanser because it removes my makeup so incredibly easily. I wear these Japanese mascaras that are famous for being very difficult to remove (because they help keep flat lashes staying curled) and normally it’s impossible to remove them, but this one just seems to do it with ease. It smells like a yummy dessert and also contains natural enzymes from papaya to help gently exfoliate the skin.

@mandylikes_

Bianca Hill 

Recently I finished up the Fenty Skin Instant Reset Face Cream. I have about 10 night creams on the go at any given time and for some reason, I just always reach for this one. I have dry skin and this was the perfect night cream for me over summer because it’s so light, but provides my skin with overnight hydration… that’s something I always struggled with during summer. When it’s hot and I don’t want to go to bed greasy, traditional gel formula creams just don’t give me the moisture I need overnight.

 

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I’ve been such a fan of Fenty Skin ever since their launch back in 2020 – they’re slowly rolling out thoughtfully formulated products that really serve a purpose for your routine. They also offer refills with this product and a few others in their lineup to cut down on waste – I already have a refill of the Instant Reset ready to go!

@biancaehill

Nosy for more product recommendations? Head here.

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