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Explore our FAQs to learn about upcycling, where to buy upcycled ingredients, and more!

If you can't find what you are looking for, feel free to drop us an email or reach out on LinkedIn.

  • What is the difference between 'recycled' and 'upcycled'?
    'Recycling' refers to producing something of lesser value than the starting material. With 'upcycling', you are producing something of greater value than the already existing starting material.
  • What is upcycled beauty?
    Upcycled beauty describes beauty products made with or made entirely from by-products or 'waste.' These by-products are typically derived from plant-based food waste streams and can range from discarded fruit seeds to upcycled tree bark. At present, there is a very limited selection of beauty products available on the market that are made entirely from upcycled materials, but we're on a mission to change that - with your help! Join our community for the latest updates on all things upcycled beauty & to find out how you can help.
  • How does upcycled beauty help reduce food waste?
    Food waste accounts for 8% of all greenhouse gasses, and over 1/3 of all food is discarded. At The Upcycled Beauty Company, we want to help tackle the global food waste crisis by finding value in these waste streams and presenting beauty brands with the opportunity to get involved too. We believe that these by-products deserve to be seen as the valuable resources they are, rather than as trash. This is exactly why we created our range of upcycled ingredients. By taking plant-based leftovers that would typically go to waste and upcycling them into unique cosmetic ingredients, we can directly replace conventional ingredients (without compromising performance or efficacy), whilst helping to divert waste from landfill. Let’s not limit ourselves to food waste though. Our Charcoal CRUSH™ range is a by-product of a by-product; offcuts from sustainable oak fencing are used to provide restaurant quality charcoal and we upcycle the smaller pieces that they cannot use.
  • Can I see some examples of upcycled beauty products?
    There are plenty of beauty brands on the market that are using upcycled ingredients and we champion them wherever we can. You can find examples of upcycled beauty brands through the Brand Spotlights page on our website or head over to @UpcycledBeautyCo for even more upcycled beauty content!
  • What is circular beauty?
    Currently, the beauty economy runs primarily on a 'take-make-dispose' model. Circular beauty is a term used to describe a green business model that focuses on repairing, reusing and extending a product's life-cycle by minimising waste across all aspects of the supply chain. To achieve circular beauty, the business must look at every step in the creation of the product; from the ingredients used to how the packaging is disposed of. Want to learn more about circular beauty? Download a free copy of our Zero Waste Beauty Trends Report to explore the future of circular beauty.
  • What is an “Upcycled Ingredient” and how is this verified?
    Great question! Currently, personal care raw material manufacturers can use the ‘Upcycled Certified’ standard created by the Upcycled Food Association (UFA) to help verify their upcycled sustainability claims. In 2020, the established definition of “upcycled food” was determined by a team of experts from Harvard Law School, Drexel University, World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defence Council, ReFED, and others for use in policy, research, and more: “Upcycled foods use ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment.” The Upcycled Beauty Company is a member of the UFA and we certify our range of ingredients with them. However, there is no such upcycled definition in personal care, and because it is possible that raw materials can be upcycled from sources other than food, such as our Charcoal CRUSH™, there is a gap. With this in mind, we are collaborating with industry and beyond to find a collective understanding and definition more appropriate to cosmetics. Our working definition is as follows: “A personal care ingredient derived from a by-product from another process or industry. The ingredient should not be the primary reason for which the feedstock was produced or grown.”
  • Where can I purchase upcycled cosmetics ingredients?
    Many ingredient suppliers offer upcycled ingredients and we do our best to collate these into our Upcycled Ingredient Directory - a searchable directory including upcycled actives and functional ingredients from some of the world's leading ingredient manufacturers. The directory includes our own portfolio of Upcycled Certified™ ingredients, made entirely from upcycled plant-based leftovers. You can purchase these ingredients from our global distributor network or direct from our online shop depending on your volume requirements
  • Where do you source the materials for your own upcycled ingredients?
    Our materials are sourced from a variety of food waste streams. We work closely with food & drink manufacturers to transform their by-products into high-performance cosmetic ingredients and are always open to chatting about future collaboration opportunities!
  • Do you offer samples of your range of upcycled ingredients?
    You can pick up pack sizes as little as 30g directly from our online shop or through our global distributor network.
  • Why do we use Benzyl Alcohol to preserve Faba TONIQ®?
    Preservation is a complicated subject within personal care, but it is also essential where water is present. As a raw material manufacturer, our priority is to offer safe and microbially stable actives. When developing Faba TONIQ®, we spoke with our distribution partners in different global regions to help us determine what COSMOS-approved preservative would be acceptable in a hair styling application. There was no clear one-solution-fits-all answer. So, we chose benzyl alcohol vs glycols or other humectants as we required a fast-drying water-soluble preservative to work in synergy with the hair styling properties of Faba TONIQ®. As most hair care products are highly fragranced, we felt that this choice of preservative would be acceptable for use in most hair care formulations. However, if you have a project where Benzyl alcohol isn’t accepted, we can offer alternative options.
  • Where can I buy eco-friendly packaging?
    We celebrate the latest eco-friendly packaging developments in our annual Zero Waste Beauty Report to support sustainability-conscious brands with their mission to make products without waste. You can also find eco-friendly packaging ideas on our Sustainable Packaging page. Download your free copy of the Zero Waste Beauty Report, here.
  • What is the most sustainable beauty packaging?
    We believe that sustainable packaging should leave behind little or no trace after it has served its purpose, or even better, can be reused or upcycled. To learn more about the materials shaping the future of zero waste beauty packaging and other innovations in the sustainable packaging space, download a free copy of our Zero Waste Beauty Report or head to our Sustainable Packaging page for the latest developments.
  • What is Zero Waste Beauty?
    Our vision is that one day, every beauty & personal care product will be made from upcycled materials - from ingredients to packaging. To achieve this, we have made a pledge to encourage other brands to do the same. In order to achieve Zero Waste Beauty, we must look at every aspect of our businesses; from where materials are sourced to packaging, and aim to leave behind nothing but a positive impact on the world around us.
  • Do you have some examples zero waste beauty products?
    In line with our mission to make upcycled beauty the norm, we champion zero waste beauty brands and products wherever we can. You can find examples of innovative zero waste beauty products on in the Brand Spotlights, in our Zero Waste Beauty Report and by following us.
  • What is the Zero Waste Beauty community?
    At The Upcycled Beauty Company, we've made it our mission to bring to light the value in what would typically be considered waste. Along the way, we have formed a strong community of likeminded brands, formulators and creators that share our mission and are working towards a collective goal of zero waste in the beauty industry. Join us on Instagram to learn more about how we can make a difference together!
  • I am a member of the press, what is the best method of contact?
    We welcome questions regarding upcycled beauty, and we are happy to provide information about the topic. To get in touch, please send your question to
  • How can my brand be featured in a Brand Spotlight?
    We are always looking for new products to feature in Brand Spotlights. If you use upcycled ingredients and would like to be featured, send us an email to, and we can provide you with more information. In addition, we regularly spotlight upcycled beauty (or non-beauty) products on our social channels and blog. If you have a product you would like to share, feel free to tag @UpcycledBeautyCo or alternatively send us a direct message!
  • We are a distributor and would love to stock your Upcycled Beauty line of ingredients, who do we contact?
    Great! For any distributor enquires, please email
  • Are you open to collaborations?
    Absolutely! If you like what we do, we would love to hear your ideas for collaborations. Whether it's an interview, podcast, ingredient, or even a social media post, send us a message at – we make great co-workers!
  • I need help choosing upcycled ingredients, who do I contact?
    Got a question about our range of upcycled ingredients or need assistance with ingredient selection for a specific project? Feel free to reach out through the contact form via the Contact Page or send an email directly to
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