If you use natural products, you may think you’re making the smartest choice. Supercharged with nutrients, all-natural products have fewer toxins and fewer health risks. But what your product is made out of is only half of what goes on your skin. The other half is what it goes in.
If you’re still using plastic bottles, you know you’re not doing all you can for the environment. But using plastic isn’t just bad for the earth – it’s bad for you. Generally, the plastic used in production is full of toxins like BPA, PET, and PVC. That would be fine if they stayed where they were, but they don’t. Those nasties leach into whatever product you’ve got in them. Metal bottles aren’t much better, since they’re usually lined with toxin-filled epoxy.
Glass containers surpass containers made from plastic and metal to supremely, and more and more companies are changing their packaging to glass for the sake of hygiene, environmental responsibility and integrity of the product it contains. For products that are photo-sensitive (meaning they are susceptible to degradation from the harmful UV rays of the sun), the best glass options are tinted an amber tone. (Think old pharmacy apothecary bottles) Clear bottles let in UV light and cobalt bottles let in blue light, which damages the product, exposes it to radiation, and spoils it. Amber bottles work like melanin in your skin – it absorbs and prevents UV radiation from getting beneath the surface breaking down the product. This way your skincare product remains active and maintains its goodness even if you accidentally leave it on near an exposed window sill.
It’s not just the material of the bottle, though. The shape of the container is important, too. It’s a bad habit to double dip your food, but it’s bad for you to double dip your hand into skin creams. Your hands touch everything and most things they touch are covered in germs. Pens, door handles, and toilet levers are everyday items you can’t avoid using. Then you go and touch your face, as much as 2,000 times a day.
Even if you wash your hands before using a product in a tub, each time you don’t rewash your hand after applying the cream, you’re contaminating the product with all the germs transferred to your face. When you put the lid back on, the dark and moist space is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and pathogens. Consider a pimple; you had a few, and put on some anti-acne cream. However, you double-dipped and now your entire face is broken out.
Buying products with pumps limits potential for contamination and fixes this issue. Since your hand never touches the reservoir, you never contaminate your source material, and what comes out on the 50th pump is just as pure as what came out on the first pump. If you do go after something without a pump or sprayer, but to avoid contamination, make sure it’s not a water-based product. Products that aren’t water-based (which can mean they’re based on oils, fats, honey, wax, etc.) have an environment that is impossible for microbes to breed, so nasties cannot make their home within the jar.
After acquiring so much information, for us it seemed like a no-brainer when packaging our products. We’re still concerned at how easy contamination is, especially in everyday products you probably use where the manufacture has put little thought into the subject for the sake for ‘prettiness.’ Due diligence is required here. If it ain’t glass or amber – store it in a cool, dark, hidden place, and when you see ‘Aqua’ anywhere on the ingredients list, make sure there’s a pump to go with it!