How To Recycle Your Skincare Containers

How To Recycle Your Skincare Containers

How To Implement The 3 R’s On Skincare Containers: Reduce, Recycle And Reuse!

Did you know that the second-most polluting agent of plastic,  after disposable water bottles, are makeup and skincare containers? It is ironic that while keeping ourselves pretty and clean from the external environment, we tend to pollute and damage the ecosystem! 

With the growing environmental crisis, it is high time we start looking around to recycle and reuse skincare bottles as much as possible.

When we are ready to reuse clothes, or fill up old containers that cover our kitchen shelves, why not do the same with beauty care products as well?

Sustainable beauty care is not only healthy and time-saving for ourselves, but for our environment too. How cool would it be to use containers that do not harm us and our planet!

It starts with simply buying skincare brands in a conscious manner. Shop for products that have cleaner ingredients, toxins, and plastic-free, and ethically sourced formulas.

But what happens once you finish using these products? The containers go straight to the bin, right? Here’s what you should do instead.

Read further to see how we can recycle our containers and create a difference from our side.


  • Know these facts before recycling your containers
  • How do we recycle our beauty products?
  • Skintelligent® containers from UnbottleCo range

Here’s what you need to know before recycling your products.

All About The Recycling World

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash, and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community and the environment.

Next time you come across an empty skincare container, instead of throwing it away, wash it with warm water and soap and you are ready to use it again!

Before starting the recycling process, know these essential pieces of information:

Know what and what not to recycle

Before you recycle skincare containers, know if they are eligible to be recycled or not. Every city has its own rules when it comes to what is recyclable. 

Check out the label of the container

The labels of skincare containers provide clues for deciding whether they are recyclable or not. The paper and cardboard boxes in which the product comes, is a sure bet, but also check for classic triangles with arrow symbols to be fully sure.

You can also check out the bottom of the container to know the numbers associated with the type of plastic used (1 to 7). Most recyclable plastics have the numbers one or two which means they are safe for reuse too. Another symbol you can see is a dot symbol with an arrow. This means the product itself is made of recycled materials. So, it doesn’t have to be recycled again.

Small items can’t be recycled

Often small skincare bottles can’t be recycled, as they do not flow well through the curbside recycling programs. Most facilities that recycle these products use physical sorter machines that throw away little containers, such as lipstick tubes.

Color of the container

As irrelevant as it sounds, colors of containers do play a vital role in deciding their recycling capabilities. For glass containers, clear brown, and green are preferred for recycling programs. Odd colors may be difficult to recycle. Similarly, black color face wash bottles (men’s range) are problematic to recycle as the machine doesn’t recognize the color.

Rinse the bottles first

It is an important prerequisite to rinse your used skincare containers before recycling them. It matters since leftover products can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and even bugs. Rinse them with warm water and soap and dry them.

Pro tip: don’t forget to recycle your dry shampoo and hairspray cans.

Next up we’ll see how we can recycle our containers.

Recommended Product

Deep Hydrating Face Cleanser Proven To Fight Dry Skin With Lactic Acid & Alpha Arbutin 100ml

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How To Recycle Our Containers?

There are many beauty brands that are becoming environmentally conscious and provide us with various ways to recycle our empties!


Thanks to Maybelline, now we can recycle our mascara and eyeshadow empties, and be a part of their biggest recycling scheme. All you have to do is drop into one of their shops and submit your used beauty stash. 

What you can recycle

  • Compacts and palettes, such as eyeshadows, powders and blushers.
  • Mascaras, including the plastic tube and wand.
  •  Eyeliners, such as retractable plastic liners or liquid eye liners.
  •  Lip products, such as plastic lip gloss tubes or bullet lipstick tubes.
  •  Plastic tubes and bottles, such as foundation or concealer tubes.

What you can’t recycle

Glass bottles and cardboard packaging.


Kiehls has come up with this amazing scheme of returning your containers in exchange for rewards. What could be better than this? Drop in your containers in any of their local shops that will take them  to their recycling stations. The best part is you can choose which charity you want to support with your recycling. They also issue loyalty cards for customers, so everytime you recycle products, you earn discounts on Kiehl’s products!


Boots has come up with this tech-savvy scheme for recycling your skincare containers. They have launched their new scan2 recycle app where customers can track and discover how their containers have been recycled and converted. 

Simply visit your nearby boots showroom and deposit all your finished health, beauty and wellness products (whether they're stocked in Boots or not) and receive 500 advantage card points!

What can’t be recycled

For safety reasons, Boots does not allow recycling of aerosol cans, perfume bottles, nail polish bottles, hair dyes, brow and eyelash tints, safety razors and razor blades, disposable razors and razor heads.

Body Shop

We are all familiar with the Body Shop products, and many of us are its loyal users. How many of us know that each Body Shop showroom has recycling bins in its store, where we can throw our used beauty containers (after cleaning them)? Once the bin fills up, it recycles your products and creates anything, from park benches to playgrounds!

They typically follow the motto Return, Recycle, and Repeat. Body Shop has been doing this for a long time now — since 1993! Next time you visit the shop, make sure to take your empties with you.

To go environmentally friendly, all we need to do is spend some time on reading the product labels, adapt to conscious buying of skincare brands, and be more aware of recycling and reusing them.

There are many such skincare brands that are planet lovers, one of them being UnbottleCo whose motto is: “clean beauty for us. a green planet for our kids. we're selfish like that”. 

Recommended Product

Acne Clearing Serum Proven To Fight Acne & Dark Spots With Chamomile & Safflower 15ml

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They have a range of skincare products that are made of natural ingredients in a skintelligent® way. The best part is that they use recyclable bottles for packaging. Isn’t that cool? Some of their popular products include:

Deep Hydrating Face Cleanser Proven To Fight Dry Skin With Lactic Acid & Alpha Arbutin

Hi! I’m Tuco Skintelligent®'s Deep Hydrating Face Cleanser. Here are the botanical super-actives I have inside me.

To treat: 

  • Lactic acid is a natural AHA which helps skin elasticity and lightens dark spots
  • Sodium hyaluronate has the magical duality to moisturize skin and reduce inflammation

To prevent recurrence: 

  • Arginine PCA captures skin moisture and keeps it hydrated all day long
  • Alpha-arbutin brightens skin tone and heals skin damage

Acne Clearing Serum Proven To Fight Acne & Dark Spots With Chamomile & Safflower 

Hi! I’m Tuco Skintelligent® 's Dermat Proven Acne Clearing Serum. Here are the botanical super-actives I have inside of me.

To treat:

  • Wintergreen derived salicylic acid acts on acne and dries it out
  • Safflower seed is an antioxidant storehouse and lightens acne scars

To prevent recurrence:

  • Chamomile acts as a powerful antioxidant to eliminate free radicals
  • Cherimoya fruit extract reduces the body’s oxidative stress

Tuco Hairtelligent® Anti-Dandruff Hair Oil with Activated Charcoal & Pea Protein 0% toxins 

Hi! I’m Tuco Hairtelligent® 's Proven Anti-Dandruff Hair oil. Why Hairtelligent®? Because I have 4 super botanicals inside me - two to  treat dandruff, and two to prevent recurrence. And… my packaging is made from 100% recycled plastic. Every bottle you buy, you remove 17 gms of plastic from the ocean!

  • I fight against dandruff
  • I don't have harsh chemicals in me
  • I am sulfate-, paraben-, and phthalate-free

To treat:

  • Mint adds scalp freshness
  • Ginger has antimicrobial and antifungal properties

To prevent recurrence:

  • Activated charcoal aids in scalp health
  • Virgin coconut oil smoothes hair


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