Makeup and Skincare

How Packaging Can Affect Your Skincare

I subscribe to Paula Begoun, the Cosmetic Cop’s, newsletter and this week she had an interesting post on jar packaging and how it can be a bad choice for skincare products. I already knew about the issues associated with jar packaging since I started following her, but its not something I had known before so I thought it might be useful to some of you. Basically, the better your skincare products are formulated, the greater need for them to not be in a jar packaging.

So…why is this?

  • Ingredients that are great for your skin such as antioxidants, peptides, retinol and especially anything that is supposed to be “anti-aging” are not stable by nature and will not be as affective when exposed to air and light. Every time you open a jar, sunlight and air are let in and can compromise the ingredient’s effectiveness.
  • The same goes for products that are in clear packaging, because sunlight can be let in, although if stored in a dark environment it is not as much as an issue.
  • There is also the obvious concern of bacteria when constantly dipping your fingers into a product with jar packaging. Not only is the bacteria an issue in and of itself, but it can further cause the ingredients in the product to break down even more.

Of course, not all products that are stored in jars will be affected by that type of packaging, only the products that contain those ingredients listed above (especially antioxidants). For instance, I use a body lotion by CeraVe that is stored in a jar, but it does not contain antioxidants that would become affected by air or sun exposure (although I do wish it were a pump just for convenience!). Same goes for my Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup remover, which is fine to be stored in a jar.

So why do so many companies still use jar packaging?

  • My theory on why so many companies continue to use jar packaging is because it’s what many consumers prefer. A pretty, sculpted jar sitting on one’s vanity is much more appealing than a clinical-looking opaque bottle with an airless pump applicator. The latter is exactly what’s needed to preserve the integrity of key anti-aging ingredients, yet because it’s not what most consumers want, it’s not what they get.” (from

So, basically jars are pretty. And they are pretty of course, but unfortunately not always the best choice for good skincare products. A product could have an amazing formula, but be completely ruined by using a jar packaging.

What you can do?

Stick to products that come in opaque tubes or pumps. I, personally, find packaging with pumps to be way more convenient and it also prevents bacteria from getting into the product. If you do use skincare products that are stored in a jar, I would check to see if that packaging makes a difference, as in some cases (like the CeraVe moisturizer I mentioned above), the jar packaging would be okay. Most popular skincare products are listed on!

2 thoughts on “How Packaging Can Affect Your Skincare”

  1. Yeah I really don’t understand why companies don’t just stop using jars, not that hard. And bottle/pumps can be very pretty if you want them too!

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