Recyclable material in a circle around recycle sign on top of a pink background.

Photo By: shuttterstock/9dream studio

We all know the three R’s–reduce, reuse, recycle. But when it comes to skin, reducing the amount of products used can be hard for beauty lovers; so let’s focus on reusing and recycling them.

Reusing and repurposing products and containers is easy. A facial moisturizer whose effects have dimmed out can be layered on as an eye mask or used as a body moisturizer. Leftover replaced eye cream can be used as a heavy-duty hand lotion or spot treatment for dull patches. Castile soap is multipurpose and can work as a body wash or even a surface cleaner.

If there is no product left in the container to repurpose, see if the container could be reused! Right now, I have old candle jars and cleanser bottles working as succulent containers and makeup brush holders; I’m using an old (disinfected) toothbrush as an eyebrow brush, and so-on. From extravagantly beautiful to simply minimal, companies these days make it very easy to want to keep their product jars around for other purposes.

Recycled bottles being used as pots for holding plants.
Photo By: shutterstock/Ondacaracola

If you’d rather just recycle your old beauty containers, it is not always as easy as it would seem. Sometimes, the mixture of plastic or material used to compose the bottle is not a recyclable variety. Other times, the pump, dropper, or wand makes the product hard to recycle or only partially recyclable. Things like this–products with mascara wands, razors, certain toothbrushes, and certain pumps/droppers–can easily be sent in to programs such as Terracycle to be quickly and easily broken down. Through group campaigns, drop off locations, and general ease of the company’s setup, Terracycle makes it simple and efficient to recycle difficult products. For other products such as glass jars, aerosol bottles, pumpless plastics and metal containers, these can be recycled easily with the rest of your household items. Most recycling services accept aerosols and metals now–which is great news for hairspray users! Other general rules of thumb include removing labels and product residue from the container.

Person holding a recycling bin full of recyclable products.
Photo By: shutterstock/Photographee.eu

Reduce, reuse, and recycle are some of the three most important words today. We are all somewhere on our journey to living more sustainably and contributing minimal harm to the Earth, and we don’t always realize the change we can make by reducing the volume of products in our beauty room; or repurposing and properly recycling them for a better future.

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