How to bring a Zero Waste ambition to your skincare routine

How to bring a Zero Waste ambition to your skincare routine

This can look like an impossible task, but every small action does count.

Here at REN we are working to meet our Zero Waste Skincare pledge, committing to use only packaging designed to be recyclable, containing recycled plastic or being reusable by the end of 2021. By reducing packaging waste and supporting a circular recycling model we can help preserve natural resources for future generations.

Every person who makes an effort to start a zero waste journey is also helping preserve our world and its natural resources. So, kudos to you. And the more we are the better.

We’re so glad you’re joining us on this zero waste journey and want to make it as effortless as possible for you. So, we’ve put together a few tips to help you.

Find the right packaging

One of the key points to reduce packaging waste is being able to reuse and recycle, so that the materials from our packaging can be used in a circular model instead of ending up in a landfill.

Therefore it is important to choose packaging that can be recycled. If it’s also made from recycled material then that’s even better!

Infinity Recycling

We partnered with SABIC and Aptar to pioneer the use of this new certified recycled plastic in REN packs. SABIC is a global leader in pioneering advanced technologies to facilitate circular reuse of plastic materials, and Aptar is a global leading packaging supplier re-imagining packaging solutions to improve everyday life for people everywhere.

This innovative recycling technology allows us to further reduce the need to make new virgin plastic from fossil feedstock (e.g. petroleum) and the possibility of indefinite plastic recycling without losing its quality and physical properties. This is why at REN we have called it “Infinity Recycling”.

This is the first time this certified recycled plastic has been used in premium beauty packaging. Groundbreaking? Absolutely.

Post Consumer Recycled Plastic

There are a few other ways we create packaging to minimise waste as part of our Zero Waste pledge*. We’ve produced over 250,000 REN Clean Skincare products using post-consumer recycled materials to help to minimize as much plastic going to landfill or incineration as possible.

Post-consumer recycled materials, also called PCR, are materials obtained by recycling packaging that was used by consumers and placed in the recycling bin. This means we include PCR into our “new” packaging that will also be used by consumers, hence promoting a circular model to help keep using the same materials and reduce packaging waste.

We started with our bestselling products (which we’ll show you how to incorporate into your routine below) in order to have the greatest impact.

Reclaimed Ocean Plastic

Our efforts do not end there, either. We teamed up with TerraCycle to create a bottle from 80% recycled plastic, and 20% reclaimed ocean plastic. In doing so, we used 1.5 tons of plastic debris that was removed from the ocean, beaches and waterways to create over 150,000 bottles for our incredible line of Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium products, which are inspired by the ocean.

Help Us Recycle

It is important to select packaging that is designed to be recyclable, for example, avoid pumps containing metal in its internal mechanism, as this will pollute the recycling stream. Packaging that can be reused can also help reduce waste.

In addition to this, by using packaging that contains recycled materials we are also helping to promote the recycling process.

Please try to use up your skincare product as much as possible to avoid wasting it, before placing the empty packaging in the recycling bin. This also helps reduce potential contamination in the recycling process.

REN also includes recycling instructions on our website to help you. But, please note that recycling is subject to local policies and facilities.

Cardboard Cartons

Cardboard cartons are typically recyclable when made from paper, but there are things to watch out for. For example, if the carton includes a plastic window or a plastic coating, it could pollute the paper recycling process.

It is also important to check the origin of the cardboard. We recommend having certified cardboard, for example from FSC, an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests or an equivalent certification.

In addition to this, REN is also working to minimise the use of boxes in our products, so that you can also opt for the naked bottle.

Free sampling sachets

Free sachets are popular for on-the-go beauty and enables you to trial new products, but sometimes they go to waste if not given to a person that wants to use them. Besides this, sachets are made of mixed materials and therefore very difficult to recycle. Because of this REN is not using them.

A sample Skincare Routine meeting REN Zero Waste pledge*

We hope that the info we have shared in this blog may be useful. There is much more, but we have selected what we thought could be more important to start this Zero Waste journey.

To showcase this with real product examples we are proposing a 7-step skincare routine that works and already meets REN’s packaging pledge*. Here’s how.


Start your routine every morning and night with the Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser. This facial cleanser’s packaging is made using Post-Consumer Recycled plastic, 50% in the tube and 100% in the cap, and comes carton-free. In addition to this, tubes are typically made of multilayer materials that make them very difficult to recycle. Our tube is made from a single plastic material so that it is designed to be recyclable**.

To use, work the jelly into dry skin and feel it turn into a rich oil that dissolves make-up, SPF and pollution. Then, rinse and be left with soft, clean, and hydrated skin.

If your skin is prone to breakouts, whether because it's naturally oily or it’s just that phase in life, consider reaching for Clearcalm Clarifying Clay Cleanser, a gentle non-foaming cleansing formula that removes impurities and excess oil to help fight blemishes without overdrying. Packaging is also made using PCR Plastic, 50% in the tube and 100% in the cap and designed to be recyclable post-use**.


After cleansing, tone your skin morning and night with Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic which is packaged in a recyclable* bottle made with 100% PCR plastic.

To use, apply the tonic with a reusable cotton round, swiping across your face and neck. For sensitive skin, use once daily or a few times per week.


Losing sleep over the state of the planet? When you incorporate Radiance Brightening Dark Circle Eye Cream into your routine, no one will know it. The formula will visibly reduce dark circles after just 7 days. Plus its packaging is made using certified recycled packaging from Infinity Recycling technology and is it also designed to be recyclable**, you won’t lose any more sleep over it.

To start seeing results, apply Radiance Brightening Dark Circle Eye Cream morning and night by massaging a rice grain-sized amount over the under eye, eyelid and brow bone area until absorbed.

Moisturizer is a critical skincare product in everyone’s regimen, regardless of skin type, so, naturally, we wanted to make sure our best selling moisturizers would meet our Zero waste pledge*.

Evercalm™ Global Protection Day Cream has a packaging including certified recycled plastic made through advanced infinity recycling technology. Plus, this pack components are also carefully designed to be recyclable, including the pump that does not have any metallic spring that could contaminate the recycling stream.

In the morning, apply this moisturizer all over your face and neck to help protect the skin against dehydration and pollution.

In the evening, reach for the Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream to deeply hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of uneven pigmentation for more even-looking skin. The packaging has a recyclable** glass jar with a cap made from 100% PCR plastic. This formula is your skin’s best friend and its packaging has been designed to be more friendly with the planet too.

For temporary or consistently dry skin, opt for Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm, an intensely nourishing night-time moisturizer, also having a recyclable** glass jar.


Not every day is a makeup day, but when it is, you can also carefully select your skincare products to go with it.

Reach for our Perfect Canvas Clean Primer as the first step in your makeup routine. It comes in a rose-colored glass bottle that can be recycled, this is good news for the planet and will look good on your counter too. Plus, it will help your makeup go on smoother and last longer.


For body care products, look to the Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Ocean Plastic Body Wash, its bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic including 20% PCR harvested from the ocean, beaches and along waterways.

When you feel like having a special treat, add the Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Salt Anti-Fatigue Exfoliating Body Scrub to your routine, a smoothing and de-stressing scrub that comes in a recyclable** packaging.

Conscious Skincare for Everyone

Here at Ren, our clean beauty and skincare products promote the use of naturally derived bioactives. We carefully formulate our products to work in harmony with different skin types and also thoughtful design our packaging to be more respectful for the planet. Please join us in our Zero Waste journey!

* Only using packaging designed to be recyclable, reusable or containing recycled materials by end 2021.

** Recycling is subject to local policies and facilities


About the Author

Camille Poggi is a doctor in Pharmacy (PharmD.) and is passionate about skincare and how the skin works in general. She specializes in the cosmetic industry and worked for renowned companies in France like L’Oréal and Chanel before moving to London. After being a training manager for 4 years, Camille is at ease with explaining how products work in the skin and how to adapt her speech according to the audience.

She joined REN in January 2020 as International Training Manager and moved to the Research & Development team earlier this year to be the new Scientific Education Manager. A tailored-made role where she assesses and leads all technical communication and ensures scientific compliance is always met. She’s also involved in new product development from the earliest stages. Finding a way to create sustainable skincare products and making sure the message is properly delivered and understood is definitely a big challenge but also her favourite part working for REN.