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The Beauty of Upcycling

Are we becoming a non-simply throwaway society? If you can temporarily buy less, creativity blossoms like a bed of tulips. We discover upcycling. Quite simply out of necessity. What can you repurpose from the bathroom or for the bathroom? I've put together a few ideas for you. So let yourself be inspired and have fun reading!

The Beauty of Upcycling | Five Skincare

Make old better

Now for a few weeks we were confronted with not being able to buy everything , at least not immediately. On the one hand, there was a yawning emptiness on the store shelves in many places where secret stars like toilet paper and yeast belong. On the other hand, many of us have avoided shops as much as possible. We definitely browsed less enjoyable. So we had to get creative here and there , and smart ideas came out of it.

💡 Giving existing things a new purpose and consuming more reflectively are two of the most important Corona lessons for me.

This works wonderfully, especially when it comes to bathrooms and beauty. I would therefore like to share with you some useful ideas that I have seen. There are also tips for cleaning vessels and how to get the most out of cosmetic products. But let's first address the question: up cycling or recycling ?

When does upcycling make sense?

When bore-out threatens, DIY projects are a welcome change. However, this type of occupational therapy quickly gets out of hand. Spraying tons of acrylic paint out of boredom isn't exactly eco-friendly . And if you do that with recyclable glass containers , they have to be completely pulped afterwards. If you don't like them two weeks later, recycling would have been more sustainable.

So when does upcycling make sense? Three simple principles help with the decision. At the same time, they prevent self-made dust collectors from piling up.

  1. When something short-lived is used longer .
  2. If reworking doesn't pollute the environment any more than recycling, keyword pollutants.
  3. If you actually use the result .

Based on these criteria, I have collected some upcycling suggestions for this article. These hacks are easy to implement and give leftovers and packaging a longer life .

Repurpose packaging instead of throwing it away

The fact that the content is finished does not necessarily mean the end of the packaging. Now I don't want to encourage you to hoard medium-pretty plastic jars. But the fact that people used to organize their screws in empty ice cream containers certainly inspires us .

And there are really nice pots and bottles . Often they are also exactly the shape or size that you need for something else. Stupid only if you notice it too late. Oh man, I had that, but that went in the garbage... What a pity, breading! So now, before throwing it away , I try to think for a moment whether I don't need a jar, jar or bottle just like that somewhere else.

A few suggestions

  1. Use glass flacons and bottles as mini vases . The labels can usually be removed completely. Band around, flowers in and arrange in groups.
  2.  For homemade hair oil - you may have found the perfect combination of argan and coconut oil for your hair, but mix it in what? Empty facial serum dispensers are particularly suitable here. In contrast to oil bottles for kitchen use, they can be dosed much better. After all, you need less for hair care than for a salad.
  3. As a travel size for body oil - at some point we will hopefully have a need for it again. Almond or apricot kernel oils, pure or mixed, have proven themselves for body care. Of course, it gets a little cheaper with larger quantities. But who wants to take a liter of oil with them on vacation? The smaller bottles of face care products are perfect for this. Fill up and go!
  4. Order Keeper : Bring structure to chaos with the help of empty cream jars, scented candle jars, and jam jars. There are several hotspots there. The desk comes to mind, or jewelry. We always put containers in the waste glass that would solve all our problems when it comes to storing paper clips, perfume samples, rings, safety pins, spare buttons and so on.
  5. Food to-go - while we've just talked about jam jars, one more idea. Looks chic and is a great alternative to plastic cans, for those who just don't like it that much. Not only are the jars resealable, they're just the right size for a delicious salad or a muesli trifle for lunch.

    🐝 By the way, you can also wrap the baguette with the salad in a plastic-free and sustainable way in oilcloth . This adapts perfectly to any shape and keeps your bag clean.

Tips for cleaning

Of course it's not cool if the ring box on the bedside table says "day cream". In order to give empty bottles an attractive new purpose, you first have to remove product residue and labels from them . Here are a few tricks.

  • Removing Oils : Simply fill bottles that used to contain oils with warm (not hot!) water and let sit for a few minutes. The oil collects on top of the water and can now simply be poured off. Clean with detergent, done! 
  • How labels disappear without a trace: With water-soluble glue, peeling off the labels is usually not a problem, but there are also more stubborn colleagues. Then a two-step plan will help:
    1. First place the container in warm water . With water-soluble glue, the label separates from the glass by itself after a while and without a trace.
    2. Then wipe off stubborn glue residue with nail polish remover .

🌟 Or make a statement: Some packaging is simply beautifully designed and screen-printed. Some manufacturers write their vision on the flag or the jar: ChariTea, LemonAid or the happiness in a jar jam come to mind. And of course FIVE. There is not much to do here, because fine designs look like statement pieces on the windowsill.

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Homemade body scrub with coffee

The good news for coffeeholics: you can give yourself coffee both internally and externally. Caffeine invigorates not only the mind but also the skin. For example, when the coffee grounds , which otherwise end up in the garbage or hopefully compost, experience a renaissance as a body scrub. The ground beans are ideal as an emery gel for the body. 

It doesn't matter whether the powder was filter coffee or espresso in its previous life. If you're using the grounds from a fully automatic machine, just make sure it's fresh ! Mold quickly forms in the collection containers. That's why I also advise you to stir the peeling when needed rather than to mix a year's ration.

For the quick coffee scrub you need
2 tbsp coffee grounds
1 tsp honey or sugar
1 tsp coconut oil

Mix the ingredients together until you get a slightly sticky paste. Apply the peeling to damp skin in circular movements and rinse off thoroughly. The legs not only feel super smooth afterwards, but are also well cared for by the oil. 

☝️ Did your coffee cool off when you peeled it? Don't throw away! Placed on a cosmetic pad, cold coffee refreshes tired and swollen eyelids .

Face scrub with chickpea flour

We don't want to neglect the face, but coffee is less suitable for the more delicate facial skin. However, you can easily make peelings from chickpea flour for this purpose. There are countless recipes for homemade scrubs on the Internet and many are really great. I just want to recommend my favorites to you because...

  • The fine, soft grain is just right for the face.
  • There is also something for our vegan readers.
  • The scrub is super easy to make.
  • You save yourself an extra product and thus packaging waste .

Here's how it works: 1.) Mix the chickpea flour and 2.) the water to create a creamy paste that only slowly drips from the spoon, i.e. between flowing and crumbling. Apply to the face, leave on until the mask begins to dry and wash off with gentle circular movements. A moisturizing serum and facial oil round off your care ritual perfectly.

Yoga Mat Spray

When the studio is closed, the lesson is moved in front of the laptop. But the mat at home also needs to be cared for. Empty spray bottles are perfect for mixing up your own yoga mat cleaner. Maybe you had a face mist or even a balsamic sprayer whose bottle is now job hunting? Perfect! Clean thoroughly (see above) and off you go.

For minimalists :
Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix (distilled) water 1:3

For fragrant cleaning :
100 ml (distilled) water
10 drops of tea tree, lavender or orange oil (which disinfects)

As you can see, there are many options here. Just use what you already have . Pour ingredients into bottle and shake vigorously before use . Spray your mat well, let the spray take effect and wipe with a soft towel.

☝️ Important: Let the mat dry well before rolling it up!

Buy cosmetics consciously

With all the good ideas for upcycling, my plea goes in general for conscious shopping. Buy less but better! For me it looks like this: I try to only buy products that I need or that I am sure I will use .

Here it is particularly worthwhile to take a little more time to choose the color of your make-up . But sometimes you might dare an experiment and then realize that the lipstick really doesn't suit you or that the new facial oil is too heavy. What to do? 

Use bad purchases wisely

Perhaps the product can simply be used in a different way. So a too rich facial care for the body can work well. Or a hand lotion can be made from a face cream that is too heavy.

A lipstick that doesn't really suit you in daylight can be mixed with other shades . A little hot pink applied over a nude tone and you have a fresh rosé. Play around here for a bit before you quickly dispose of products in frustration.

The End – use up all of the products

It's not just that we've almost reached the end here, complete use up is also an issue. Unfortunately, a lot of packaging is designed in such a way that there are always leftovers . And sometimes a shocking amount! Lipstick is one such candidate. But cream and shower gel tubes and long-necked pump dispensers also retain a significant amount of product. What to do? There are several options here.

  1. Buy products with sustainable packaging
    Nothing can hide in a jar. And slim pipette bottles ensure that the product collects neatly in the middle so that the pipette can also pick up small residues. For the FIVE make-up remover we use a flat pump attachment that leaves only a minimal amount of oil. With the transparent bottles you can also see exactly how much is left inside. If the donor doesn't want to, tip 2 applies...
  2. Open the packaging
    If you can't get anything out, you can unscrew the pump dispenser or, for example, simply cut the tubes open with scissors , do not be afraid to cut them in the middle, and remove the product as if from a jar. Then simply put the upper end over the lower one and put it back on the shelf. Also lipsticks , where we already mentioned them above, can usually be unscrewed and the rest pushed up with a needle.
  3. Decant leftovers
    The spray head is defective but the product is still half full - sounds familiar? It would be a shame to throw it away. Why not just refill ? It is worth picking up small, empty bottles for this purpose. Make sure that they are well cleaned.

Shop consciously, use cleverly

You may not be able to imagine some things just by reading. But there are also many videos on YouTube on how to get out leftover product and decant it cleverly. So there are many suggestions for further use and conversion. Just find out what makes sense for you personally .

can you still use it Will you use it too? In addition to conscious shopping, there is conscious upcycling . The aim is to give existing items a longer life and thus improve your everyday life .

Let's go upcycling! 🚴‍♂️
Your Anna

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