Are There Beauty Goodies Hiding in Your Trash or Compost Pile?


One person’s trash is another’s…beauty treasure? Yes, it’s true! At this very moment, your garbage can might contain a slew of skin care goodies you’re putting to waste. So, before you take out the trash, check this list first to uncover the many added benefits of disposables (like eggshells and coffee grinds), and then reuse, reuse, reuse! And they say our culture is wasteful.

Coffee grounds

Uses: face or body scrub, cellulite treatment, eye de-puffer

Caffeine not only gives you a jolt in the morning, it can reawaken your skin’s cell growth, too. Use your old grounds (cooled to room temp, of course) as a mild exfoliant for your face and body—the grainy texture will slough off dead cells to reveal a fresh complexion. Add a bit of sugar if you want a deeper scrub, or some oil if you prefer more moisturizing. Buffing with coffee grounds is also said to reduce the appearance of cellulite by promoting circulation—so drink an extra cup so you have extra for your thighs! Puffy eyes? Coffee can help with that, too. Place some grounds under your eyes for a few minutes and rinse off for a fresh, alert look.

Banana peels

Uses: acne treatment, teeth whitener, skin soother, hydrating facial mask

As we’ve mentioned before, banana peels are incredible for helping to fight acne. Simply cut a small piece of peel and rub the inside over the affected areas a few times a day, and you should see results in about a week. Doing the same thing on your teeth for a minute each day may also help whiten your smile. But that’s not all—banana peels can also help bring relief when applied over warts, bug bites, or psoriasis outbreaks. And a really quick trick for a moisturizing facial apply several strips of peel to cover your entire face, leave on for an hour, and voilà! Instant radiance.


Uses: facial mask, acne spot treatment, nail art embellishment

We all know how great eggs are in DIY hair and face masks—and the shells can help moisturize and replenish the appearance and texture of skin. Take a few and create a fine dust (either grind in a food processor, or use a mallet and sealed plastic baggie). Then add some water and an egg white to the dust, whisk until blended, and apply to face. Let it dry, then rinse off. Your skin will feel tighter, smoother, and refreshed. Another trick: peel off the super thin skin on the inside of an eggshell, and apply to a blemish or patch of blackheads. After it dries, peel it off, and rinse—it has an exfoliating and skin-clearing effect. And lastly, and perhaps most unexpectedly, you can use shell pieces in nail art! Create a mosaic effect over polish or a natural base, and seal in with a topcoat. This especially makes sense around Easter, when you have beautifully dyed shells you’d normally toss.

Wine corks

Use: smokey eye liner (stay with us!)

Some people use old wine bottles for vases, but did you know that the cork can actually be used for eyeliner? It might sound old school but you can use this trick to get perfectly kohl-rimmed, smoky eyes in a pinch. Let us preface this tutorial with saying we highly suggest you do this way before you’ve had a few—the trick involves fire after all. Ready? All you have to do is simply burn the cork with a lighter for a second, then blow it out to extinguish! Let it cool for 30 seconds, and then lightly use it to smoke around the eyes! It must be something about the cork material creating a nice smudge-able ash, but it really works. We first learned the trick from Courtney Cox, in her old column for Jane magazine. And she demonstrated it on the Rosie O’Donnell Show back in the day (the demo starts at 8:00).