Most skincare products come in a jar packaging. Chances are your favourite moisturizer does too. You probably don’t see anything wrong with this either. Although tubes and bottles are becoming more and more used, a jar is still the type of packaging we mostly associate with skincare products. Haven’t creams always come in a jar, after all?
Yes, but in recent years, skincare research has progressed a lot. We now have lots of beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants , sunscreen actives and retinoids that can help us fight the signs of puremature aging and keep wrinkles at bay for longer, and we know that these ingredients should never be packaged in a jar. Here’s why:
Beneficial ingredients oxidize when exposed to light and air
The ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin (sunscreen actives, antioxidants and retinoids) aren’t stable. This means that they break down when exposed to light and air, which happens every time you take the lid off a jar. This degradation begins from the very first time you open the jar, and will continue with every use, until the ingredients will become completely ineffective. And that’s gonna happen before you’ve finished the product. In just a month, your expensive retinoid treatment or anti-aging moisturizer will just become a basic but overpriced moisturizer that will only hydrate skin. What a waste of money!
Jar packaging isn’t hygienic
Even if your moisturizer or lotion doesn’t contain any unstable ingredients, the jar packaging could still be problematic. Picking up the cream with your fingers, in fact, is just not hygienic. Should you have bacteria on your hands, these will transfer into the product, and from there, on your face the next time you use it. In addition, when bacteria start growing in your product, they will cause it to go bad, and you’ll have to throw it away even if there’s still a lot of it left. Now if your moisturizer contains a good preservative system (and is not expired), the risk of any infection is minimal as any bacteria that finds its way inside a jar will be killed. But you may still want to be careful, especially if you’re using organic or preservative-free products.
The Bottom Line
Jars may look pretty, but they won’t protect your products from degradation and bacteria. If you’re gonna buy a skincare product, and especially one with retinoids, antioxidants, or sunscreen actives, make sure it comes packaged in an opaque, air-tight packaging that will prevent all those beneficial ingredients from losing their effectiveness too soon. Otherwise, you’re just throwing money away!
Do you avoid jar packaging?