Quick Question: How Much Does The Skin Care Container Matter?

MEI Skin Care comes in many different containers.  Source: DaxStudioz.com

Ah, sometimes in life, it all comes down to the little things.  So as it is with the skin care container, according to Dr. Daniel Yarosh, Ph.D., CEO of AGI Dermatics (Remergent) and author of the new book The New Science of Perfect Skin.  According to Yarosh, containers should in fact be a consideration when you are purchasing your skin care:

  • Jars are the worst offenders, because they are opened and closed frequently, exposing the entire surface of the product to airborne contaminants, as well as bacteria from the fingers that are dipped into the jar.”  :-(
  • Tubes have the similar problem between push-out and suck-back between the inside and outside of the package.”  :-(
  • Pumps are better, but those with long straws leading into the lotion or cream draw the product up from the bottom and still leave air on top of the product.”  :-)
  • Airless pump bottles are the best.  There, the contents are pushed up from the bottom by a plunger, so no air is trapped inside a product.”  :-)
  • “A metered dispenser is another great feature that pumps out the same amount every time the plunger is pushed.  This feature avoids the waste that is produced when too much product is dispensed from a jar or tube and can make a small pump dispenser last longer than a bigger jar or tube.”  :-)

The bottom line:  pay attention to your skin care containers before making a purchase!  In addition, take extra caution that unstable ingredients like ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and retinol are in an airless pump rather than a jar or a tube.

by Nicki Zevola

23 thoughts on “Quick Question: How Much Does The Skin Care Container Matter?

  1. Sarah says:

    It’s clear that there’s an art to putting together a skin care routine! This is a factor I had never considered, staring at the products in the drugstore! I don’t think it will outweigh other factors for me–like ingredients–but I’m glad to know.

  2. MONICA says:

    i totally agree. i pretty much only use rhonda allison line which is almost completely an airless pump system. her super c serum is like that. i can’t use skinceuticals c e ferlic, although i know it’s a cult fav bc it broke me out and it goes bad sooooooo fast it wasn’t even worth it, not even in sample sizes.

  3. Ink says:

    I’ve always found it to be really strange that jars retain their popularity as a moisturizer container. I guess it’s because even a cheap glass jar can look quite classy – a feat much harder to manage with other containers.

    I hope that companies that inform the customer will win eventually – after all, I’d never consider buying an antioxidant cream in a glass jar, because that just doesn’t make sense.

  4. sofi76 says:

    yeah, I was going to mention dark package for retinols, too. I hate when I see ‘vit c’ products in clear packaging.

  5. Danielle says:

    Now I regret buying those three jars of Aveeno Positively Agegless Cream off of the clearance shelf. I figured I’d stock up to save money for a bit, then buy some good stuff. Although I recall you promoting Olay Regenerist Night cream, and this does come in a jar. Does this product have “special” ingredients that do not spoil in a jar?

  6. 24kt says:

    i have decanted 1/2 of the c+e serum into a brown pump bottle and put the other 1/2 in the fridge since i found it was oxidizing faster than i could use it.

  7. Christine says:

    I’ve thought about this before. Like my CE Ferulic– it comes in a dark bottle but I worry about exposure to air every time I open it.

  8. Denise says:

    Thanks for this very insightful post! In general, to keep skincare products active and stable, I try to keep in mind to avoid the following-

    1. Air exposure( like you mentioned in the post)
    2. Contacts exposure ( like sticking my finger into a jar)
    3. Light exposure ( as many here have mentioned)
    4. Temperature Changes ( not necessarily keeping things cold, but just avoiding drastic changes in temperature)

    Sometimes to aovid the above, I would aliquot my skincare products into sterile/clean/air-tight containers the first time I open it. I also buy things in small quantities so I make sure I use it up before they become inactive. This is also why I love the travel/trial sizes offered by websites like skinmedix.

  9. bunny says:

    Packaging sure is important. I don’t like those in jar whereby I have to touch the contents. I love pumps so I don’t touch the contents.

  10. Naom says:

    I think more companies should jump on the bandwagon and make packaging more sanitary– does storing cosmetics in the refrigerator help as well?

  11. naom says:

    Does leaving cosmetics in the fridge help keep bacteria away and prolong the longevity of the product as well?

  12. futurederm says:

    I honestly don’t know for sure if refrigeration helps, but it should, considering that heat and light damage most antioxidants in a clear container. Keep in mind, however, that the light on the fridge and the door opening/closing still exposes the creams to light and air, so be sure to wrap your containers in a paper towel if they are transparent, and to seal them very tightly.

  13. j echo says:

    Anyone know where to purchase airless pumps or metered dispensers? It would make sense just to tranfer your beauty products to your own packaging.

    Also, how does packaging regulate temperature (or is temp an issue)? I’ve heard keeping polish and perfumes in the fridge keeps them “fresh.” Does that apply to lotions/creams/etc?

  14. Missy says:

    wow I really learned lots from this particular post. Now I’ll definately consider the types of containers used in the future. Thanks!

  15. malou says:

    Good post! I store my antioxidant products and raw butters in a closed box specially reserved as my “skin care corner” in the fridge. They keep better, and are kept tightly packaged away from spoilers like light and air. I have what I need kept in small sample containers, but wish that I could transfer them all to airless pumps – would be so much better.

  16. Joyce says:

    Thanks for this great post! Most of my skin care products are in opaque tubes or bottles. Sometimes, I would like to put them in the fridge but I might forget to use them. Maybe jars are cheaper so it costs less to package in them.

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