Your post-Christmas Sustainable Recycling Guide

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Living a clean and sustainable beauty life is essential for the health of our planet. After all, there is absolutely no point in looking beautiful, if we end up with nowhere to live!  

Essentially, double cleansing is cleaning your skin twice using two different types of cleansers to get rid of the different types of dirt, grime and products on your face. If you think about what your skin is exposed to on a daily basis, double cleansing makes sense. On top of makeup, SPF and sweat, our skin gets a daily dose of pollutants, airborne bacteria and toxins from the environment.

If you sleep with any dirt on your skin, pores get clogged and you’ll experience break-outs, dullness and dehydration. With proper double cleansing, you remove all chemicals and toxins from your skin so that it is clean, nourished and able to breathe.

Double cleansing involves using an oil-based cleansing balm to break down make-up, SPF and sebum on the surface of your skin first, and then following it with a deeper skin-polishing cleanse to clean much deeper into the pores to remove impurities. This step brightens any dullness and ultimately lifts the complexion. 


Let’s start with the symbols you might see on your skincare products – the most common ones seen in skincare and what they actually mean: 

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This symbol indicates that a product’s packaging can be recycled, not that it has been recycled or that it is accepted in all recycling collection systems. The symbol may be accompanied by a percentage figure in the middle or around the perimeter to explain that x% of the packaging is recycled.

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This is a European trademark and it means that suppliers and producers have contributed financially to the recycling of packaging in Europe. For example, Repak Members can use this symbol on their packaging as they pay fees to Repak to fund recycling in Ireland. The symbol does not necessarily mean that the packaging is recyclable, has been recycled or will be recycled

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Companies may be certified by PETA under one of two designations:
Global animal test–free recognizes companies and brands that have verified that they and their suppliers do not conduct, commission, pay for, or allow any tests on animals for their ingredients, formulations, or finished products anywhere in the world and that they will never do so in the future.

Global animal test–free and vegan recognizes companies and brands that meet the same requirements and whose entire product line is free of animal-derived ingredients. These companies are truly cruelty-free. Pestle & Mortar is proud to be certified as one of them.

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The E mark is a small lowercase e on the bottle located next to the product’s weight or volume. This e indicates that the average weight or volume of the product listed on the bottle is the same as what’s inside. So you’re getting the amount of product advertised. 

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On most cosmetic containers, there is a symbol of an open jar lid with a number followed by an M to indicate how many months the product will last once it has been opened. When cosmetics are exposed to air, they begin to oxidize. Paying attention to the date that you open cosmetic bottles can save you from the dangers of expired products and encourage you to finish a product before starting a new one, minimising waste.


Understanding what goes where when it comes to skincare containers is confusing. Do you need to wash it out? Should the container be dismantled? Is the entire thing recyclable and if so, which bin should you put it in? Particularly after Christmas when your shelves are heaving with new products and brands, knowing what to do with your empties can feel overwhelming.

The good news is, each of our products comes with recycling instructions, which you’ll find here.

Simply click on the product, follow the recycling guide, and help us to decrease the amount of beauty waste ending up in oceans or landfill. 

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