The Importance of Packaging In Skin Care
While we’re never ones to judge a book by its cover, the fact is that the cover is there for a reason. Same goes for our favorite beauty products. Whether they are packaged in colorful glass bottles worthy of a spot at the front of our next “shelfie” or plain tubes that we stick at the bottom of the drawer, each product is typically packaged the way it is for a purpose. If you’ve ever opened up a new cream only to be met with what looks like a second white cover with a small tab and wondered, “What the heck is that for?” keep reading. We chatted with board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali to determine why packaging matters!
Just as there are seemingly endless options in the beauty world, there are also seemingly endless variations of packages—tubes, jars, pumps, rollers, the list goes on and on. The primary purpose of a package is to ensure the most accurate application and functionality of the product formula that it contains.
White Caps Under Jars
First up, that little white cover that is typically present under the cap of screw-top jars. “It’s to help prevent leaks, but more importantly to preserve freshness by minimizing the formulas exposure to air,” Dr. Bhanusali explains. The white cap helps to create a seal around the lip of the jar when the formula is being packaged. Once it’s removed, however, that seal is broken, so you can feel free to toss it aside once you start using your new product.
Dark or Opaque Packaging
Ever notice how most vitamin C preparations are packaged in dark glass bottles or opaque tubes? This is because vitamin C breaks down in direct light. “Some ingredients are inactivated by light and thus, should be packaged in dark containers,” explains Bhanusali. This means you’ll want to look for opaque or darkened glass packaging—and try to keep it away from direct sunlight!
Just as vitamin C and other ingredients may be rendered inactive when exposed to light, other ingredients and formulas can become inactivated when exposed to air. According to Bhanusali, this is why many products are packaged with a pump instead of a jar, “I tend to like pumps the most since they minimize the contact with air,” he shares.
Does your new face cream have a small plastic spoon in it’s container? Use it! Jarred skin care often comes with a plastic tool to remove the product inside. This is to help protect the product from becoming contaminated by germs or bacteria that may be lingering on your fingers. Using the plastic spoon or tool should reduce direct contact between those germs and bacteria from the rest of your product, which will help to preserve it from the moment you open it!