We’ve all heard the rule of thumb: Swap out your mascara after 3 months. While other makeup items like lipsticks and eyeshadow hold up longer, mascara is subject to germ infiltration and bacteria spreading every time you expose the wand to air. But before you head to the trash can, hold onto the mascara brush! It can help save animals.
Wands for Wildlife, a part of the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge that rehabilitates wildlife in western North Carolina, uses the brushes—which are an ideal choice thanks to the closely situated bristles—to remove fly eggs and larva from the fur and feathers of wild animals. All you have to do is wash your wand with warm soapy water and mail the dried brush to the address on their website. Thanks to a recent outpouring of support, they’ve narrowed donation windows to October and February.
Looking for more ways to help? Here are three other ways you can put your new and old beauty products to good use:
Project Beauty Share: This Spokane, WA-based nonprofit collects gently used grooming and makeup items for displaced, abused, or marginalized women. Make sure to look over their specific list to see which products they accept.
Share Your Beauty: Aiming to help women and teens in crisis, this organization accepts new, unused cosmetics, hair and skincare products, nail polish, perfume samples, and personal care items. Since its start in February 2014, they’ve donated more than 135,000 products.
Beauty Bus: This 10-year-old nonprofit collects new, unused products for terminally ill men and women to brighten their days. Beauty Bus creates pop-up salons where patients and their caregivers can get pampered; makes in-home visits for grooming; and visits hospitals each week. Beyond products, they’re also looking for licensed estheticians and beauty ambassadors to join their mission. That’s what we call #selfcare.