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What Do PCR and FSC Mean?

LCA. PET. SDG. The number of acronyms in the sustainability world seem endless. And while we applaud any and all efforts to remain educated, we do recognize that the sustainability world is a large, confusing one to tackle, especially when attempting to avoid greenwashing. That's why we break many of these terms down in our handy Green Glossary.

Ones that you'll see frequently—especially on our site—are PCR and FSC. The average PCR content in our packaging is 42% by weight and 100% of our paper packaging is FSC-certified. But what do these terms mean? We define them below.


PCR (post consumer recycled) is exactly what it sounds like. When we recycle a product, where does it go? Its materials are broken down and can be reused to make new skincare products, eliminating the waste it’d create if it simply went to decompose in a landfill (which, by the way, can take hundreds of years). Virgin plastic, on the other hand, is brand new and costs the Earth a whole lot more. “For example, the carbon footprint of manufacturing 100% PCR polyethylene terephthalate (PET), like in a water bottle, is 60% lower than virgin PET (yes, that includes all the energy to collect, recycle, and remanufacture the plastic),” Huffpost reports.

We use PCR materials in our packaging whenever possible. Our Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen tube, for example, are made with 79% PCR plastic. 

Good to know: Just because a product is made with PCR doesn't mean its recyclable. Always check to see if the empty can be tossed in the blue bins near you.


Did you know that deforestation and forest degradation are the second leading cause of carbon pollution? Forests are also an invaluable resource, as they filter our air and water supply and house more than 80% of our planet’s wildlife. Of course, we rely on trees for many other things too—like making paper, creating clothing, and even sourcing medicine. The average American uses up 7 trees annually.

Our supply isn’t endless, however. The Forest Steward Council’s (FSC) job is to help protect our forests, one way being through their certification. A product that is FSC-certified has been vetted by this council and ensured that its paper was sourced in an ethically responsible manner by not using hazardous chemicals, disturbing indigenous cultures, endangering environments that are considered rare, and more.

100% of our paper packaging (the boxes and pouches products like our Doctor's Visit Instant Resurfacing Mask uses FSC-certified paper. It’s important to know that while this doesn’t mean the paper is recycled, it is recyclable—so always recycle the paper packaging your products arrive in.

Interested in more sustainability education? Check out our guide to understanding the difference between biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable