A pretty packaging can draw you in, but that doesn’t mean the product integrity will last.
Some packages make products expire faster than you’d think. For example, skin-brightening ingredients are relatively unstable and tend to degrade faster the more it’s exposed to air and light. Here, we break down what you need to know to prevent your moisturizers, serums, eye creams, and more from breaking down.
Tubs and Jars
What they’re good for: Rich creams and moisturizers. Make sure you use a small spatula to scoop out the product, especially if you’re sharing the product with multiple people. Constantly dipping your hands in a tub/jar can compromise the formula.
What they’re not so good for: Scrubs and body wash—or anything else that you use in the shower. If water gets in, their formula can get compromised and also get moldy. Moisturizers with skin brightening agents, tend to hold up better in tubes and pump bottles.
What they’re good for: Anti-aging products with ingredients like peptides, growth factors, antioxidants, and retinol. Also, formulas intended for sensitive skin since they are less likely to become contaminated by irritants.
What they’re not so good for: Formulas that don’t contain vulnerable ingredients. Manufacturing airtight pumps is a pricey process, so the benefits have to be worth the cost of packaging it that way.
Transparent Glass of Plastic Bottles
What they’re good for: Toners and cleansers. Clear packaging is fine for anything that doesn’t contain sensitive ingredients at high concentrations.
What they’re not so good for: Antioxidants, like vitamin C, and retinol. These ingredients should be packaged in dark, opaque bottles that block out UV light that can deactivate them.
What they’re good for: Facial oils, lightweight essences and serums. Droppers are ideal for dispensing liquid skin-care products that can then be massaged into the skin using your fingertips.
What they’re not so good for: Easily compromised ingredients, like vitamin C, because they don’t protect against air exposure. Droppers can cause those types of formulas to expire more rapidly.
What they’re good for: Concentrated, lightweight serums and essences. Ampoules are airtight and keep people from wasting potent ingredients by controlling portion size of the product. They can also help prevent skin irritation and chemical burns by limiting the amount of product used.
What they’re not so good for: Thick serums and formulas that don’t contain vulnerable ingredients, because accessibility to product would be too limited and expensive.
Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for any changes in the appearance of the formula: You can easily tell if it’s oxidized because it will most likely brown.