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How to recycle cosmetics & skincare product containers

How to recycle Curology bottles & other product containers ♻

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 4 min read
Curology box with curology bottles
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 4 min read
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

After finishing off your favorite skincare products, one of the first thoughts that come to mind might be: can I recycle this? Every county or municipal recycling facility has different criteria for what it will and won’t accept for recycling — an issue that leads to a lot of confusion around recycling. Here, we’ll go over how to recycle, or upcycle, your empty skincare bottles properly. 

Two women facing one another and laughing, holding makeup tools and applying makeup to one another's faces against a light peach background

Tips for recycling cosmetics and skincare products

  1. Rinse out the bottle first

  2. Remove any labels

  3. Keep any small caps or screw-tops that came with the product attached. They’re too small to go through the recycling system alone, but they are recyclable if part of the whole package.

Some brands encourage you to return your empties to them for proper recycling, like bareMinerals, Credo Beauty or LUSH Handmade Cosmetics. If you’ve got a product you aren’t sure is recyclable, try reaching out to the brand’s customer service to find out if they accept empties or can recommend the best way to handle the empties.

What packaging is not recyclable?

Containers with multiple layers or made with multiple materials, such as toothpaste tubes or the kinds of pouches face masks come in, often can’t be recycled.

Certain parts of a recyclable product might not be recyclable, such as the pumps and droppers on top of bottles. Parts made of multiple materials are difficult to recycle; pumps might have something inside of them like a metal spring, and droppers can be a combination of glass, plastic, and that rubber squeezy thing. Just take the top off and recycle the plastic or glass container! If you want to go no-waste, you can try reusing the pump or dropper for something else (just be sure to clean it out first).

While you should contact your local recycling facility to see if they are an exception, curbside recycling programs generally do not accept prescription medication bottles. Some Walgreens and CVS locations offer medical disposal kiosks, but there is no universal system in place for prescription medication. 

If you’re ever unsure, check the packaging for a ♻ recycling symbol, and look up your local government’s website for recycling rules in your area to see if they’ll take it.

Why recycling is important to Curology

Instead of playing “I spy” to find the little ♻ recycling symbol, you can count on Curology’s non-prescription skincare products to be recyclable.

Since most municipal recycling programs generally do not accept prescription medication bottles, you should not try to recycle containers of prescription skincare products, like your Curology Custom Formula.

Person holding curology bottle PC: @wanderwithmacy on Instagram

PC: @wanderwithmacy on Instagram

Got the Curology set with the cleanser and the moisturizer?

The containers for the Curology cleanser and moisturizer are made with partially recyclable materials. So before you go ahead and toss these in the recycling, you'll want to do the following:

  • The cleanser: remove the cap of the container from the tube, then drop the tube in your blue bin

  • The moisturizer: remove the product pump from the body of the container before recycling. Unfortunately, most pumps are too difficult for recycling facilities to recycle.

  • The superbottle: as a prescription medication, you'll want to avoid tossing this container in your curbside recycling.

I was made for you Curology box PC: @anthonyspiveyy on Instagram

PC: @anthonyspiveyy on Instagram

We ❤ our planet 🌎

We prioritize packaging our skincare products in recyclable materials for the same reason we’re committed to using cruelty-free, vegan-friendly ingredients: it just makes sense.

Custom superbottle for breakouts | Free Trial button

We’re founded on an ethical, do-no-harm approach to skincare, and for us, that also means doing as little harm as we can to the environment. We’re committed to making environmentally-friendly products whenever possible. So we encourage you to recycle those empties, and meanwhile, we’ll continue to be on the lookout for even more eco-friendly options. We’ll always be real with you and offer as much transparency as possible.

Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

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