Three reasons to avoid skincare products in jars and tubs

Written by Angela, 2nd July 2020

Have you ever thought about how your skin care products are packaged? Not many people do, apart (perhaps) to check how they can recycle them. 

It may have gone under your radar that how a product is packaged is very important. It’s not something that skin care companies shout about. This is because consumer research shows that people really like the experience of opening a jar or tub of skincare product. If they knew what you are going to find out now about why this is not such a great thing, they would possibly change their mind. 

Beauty salon in Cheshire

You may have noticed that most of the products we recommend at our beauty salons in Cheshire are presented in tubes or airless pumps; and that is no accident. 

Reason number one why we don’t generally recommend skin care products in jars and tubs is that when you open a skincare product for the first time it is exposed to air and oxygen. The larger the aperture of the packaging, the more air and oxygen the contents are exposed to. 

Oxidation of skin care ingredients

Every time you open that product, it is again being exposed to more air and more oxygen. This constant exposure starts to gradually degrade the effectiveness of the active ingredients. Many skin care companies will load in more chemicals to try and counteract this negative effect, but who wants to sacrifice active ingredient space in their skincare formulation for more chemicals to stop oxidation? Surely, having a skin care product that consistently delivers excellent results is better than having a pretty jar sitting on the bathroom counter? By the time you have reached the bottom of your pretty jar of cream the effectiveness of its ingredients will be less likely to be the same as the day you first opened it. 


The second reason is that a wide necked bottle, tub or jar invites you to stick your fingers into it. No matter how clean your fingers are, there is always the risk of bacteria and other microbes entering the product along with your fingers. You can always use a spatula or small spoon to scoop out the contents but these utensils has to be carefully cleaned in between use to maintain hygiene. With hygiene on the top of everyones agenda at the moment, sticking fingers into jars is a big ‘no-no’. To counteract microbial build up, manufacturers often load their products with chemical anti-bacterial agents and this would be completely unnecessary if a more suitable packaging was used. 

Why is pH important in skin care products

Finally, the constant entering of air and microbes into the jar or tub starts to affect the pH of the product. pH is the acid/alkaline balance that is formulated to mimic the pH of your skin. If the pH alters the effectiveness of the product is also likely to change. Maintaining the pH of your skin is important in assisting the skin to function in the best way it can. Although your skin can restore its ‘acid mantle’, it can take a few hours and during this time the skin is more vulnerable leaving it more vulnerable to dehydration, germs and bacteria and sensitivity. 

Packaging of beauty products

So the wrong type of product packaging can have a major effect on the efficacy of the ingredients. By choosing your skin care products in tubes and airless pumps, active ingredients are kept fresh and effective. Airless pumps are often better than tubes too, as they usually administer the correct dosage of product for your skins requirements. 

Dermalogica Skin Expert

Our Dermalogica Skin Experts at Sensoria, always put efficacy over experience.  So, whilst opening a jar of cosmetic to reveal its delicious creamy contents can be lovely, you will see now that tubes and airless pumps triumph in skin care results over this superficial experience. Every time you apply your Dermalogica skin care product you can be sure that it is hygienic and delivering the same excellent results as when you first opened it. 

Originally published July 2, 2020 12:38pm, updated January 15, 2024

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