If you wear makeup, you probably go through a few tubes of mascara a year, then throw them out when you’re done: mascara wand and all.
It’s a great idea to get rid of old mascara because mascara that’s more than three months old is usually crawling with bacteria.
But before you pitch your used-up tubes, unscrew the cap and save the mascara wand. These wands can be cleaned and sterilized, and then put to an adorable new use.
You see, mascara wands are a key ingredient for saving wild animals!
Lots of wildlife organizations use sterile mascara wands to help nurture the tiny creatures they care for.
You might not have considered it, but those little bristly brushes that work so well on eyelashes also have an incredible impact on the fur of vulnerable, little wild animals.
Thanks to the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina, more people than ever are learning about the surprising uses for old beauty products.
Scroll below to learn more about mascara wands and what they can do for wild critters!
Back in March of 2017, Savannah Trantham, a staffer at the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, took to Facebook with an important message.
She explained that clean mascara wands are vital to the work that wildlife rescues do, and people sat up and took notice.
More than 60,000 people shared her important message, thousands commented, and most importantly, people started saving their old mascara wands.
Savannah added a caption alongside her photo of clean mascara wands.
Did you know something as simple as an old mascara wand can help wildlife?!
We use mascara brushes to help remove fly eggs and larva from the fur of animals. They work great because the bristles are so close together!
Do you have old mascara just lying around in a drawer? Know a makeup artist?
Clean off those old wands in hot soapy water and we can put them to good use!
Clean brushes can be sent to:
P.O. Box 1211
Skyland, NC 28776
After Savannah’s post took off, the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge started sharing posts of the beauty implements at work.
Here, they show a tiny baby opossum enjoying a nice grooming from a mascara wand.
Opossums are gentle creatures who eat dangerous ticks, so it’s always in our best interest to keep them healthy and happy!
These adorable fuzzy ducklings have also benefited from mascara wands!
These itty-bitty brushes help to remove nits, fleas, and other clingy bugs from downy duck feathers.
They are also a valuable tool for grooming and cleaning ducklings who are brought to the facility dirty, bedraggled, and in need of help.
In fact, all the small animals at the Refuge can benefit from these wands.
Shortly after Savannah made her post, donations started flooding in.
People all over the country took notice and started to collect their old mascara wands.
Lots of us probably stash old tubes of mascara we don’t use, and then totally forget about them.
The Refuge recommends going through drawers and makeup bags for old tubes of mascara that are well-past the three-month expiration date.
Makeup artists and makeup stores also use disposable brushes, and these can be sterilized and sent to wildlife organizations!
So far, Appalachian Wildlife Refuge has received thousands of them, and there are lots of other similar wildlife rescues in the country who could use them too.
Why not call up one in your area and see whether they need mascara wands?
Lots of shelters can benefit from your cleansed and sterilized wands.
And if you don’t have a wand to spare, no problem!
You can also help by donating:
Secondhand pet gear, like beds, leashes, and bowls
Giftcards to grocery stores
Did you know that mascaras could be recycled in such a beautiful and uplifting way?
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