What’s your favorite cosmetics packaging?

I have a few body lotions and cream in my stash but I noticed that I’ve been going back to one that comes in a pump dispenser plastic bottle in particular. Not that I like it the most, but rather, because it dispenses the cream more quickly, I find it more convenient and less time consuming to use. Although I really prefer the cream in tubes, but I’ve been less motivated to use them because the thought of having to hold them, open the cover, and squeeze out the cream kind of turn me off. You can say I’m just being lazy! Anyway, today I’ll like to discuss my thoughts on the different cosmetic storages for skin care products that I’ve come across.

The best: glass or acrylic bottles with airless pumps
Because I use mostly natural and organic skin care products, I’m quite particular about the packaging of the products and there are a few things I look out for. I like products that come in dark glass storage as they are able to preserve the integrity of the natural formulation better. Best if it comes with an airless pump dispenser as compared to a standard pump that uses air to evacuate the liquid or lotion, an airless pump means the natural product is less likely to degrade so quickly and without preservatives, you can keep it for a longer period. In addition, airless pumps can also evacuate more of the lotion compared to a non-airless pump. Plus, not having to open the bottle at all means the the potency of the formulation remains longer. While I do use products contained in a glass bottle using a dropper, that packaging is less ideal as I’ve to open and expose the contents to the air every time I use it and contamination can also result because of the exposure. However, glass bottles are not without problems. They may break and it’s inconvenient to bring them around. So the next choice for me would be acrylic bottles with airless pump as they’re fairly light and far more convenient to carry around.

The worst: plastic bottles or cosmetic jar
When it comes to skin care, plastic is the worst to me as the potency of the formulations would diminish more quickly since plastic is porous. I wrote about this in my earlier entry glass is better for storing natural formulations . But the worst has to be products in cosmetics jar as not only the potency of the ingredients can degrade far more quickly each time you open the jar, you may also risk product contamination due to the packaging. Highly unhygienic and definitely a big no no for products that come packed with lots of antioxidants since you’ll get lesser benefits from them each time you open the jar!

Pump dispensers and tubes
As for the body lotion I’m currently using, it comes in a plastic bottle with a pump dispenser. Although it’s more convenient to use, but I find that I sometimes get a hard lump of cream because they get trapped in the dispenser. The other problem is, the pump don’t always work flawlessly. As for tubes, they sometimes make a big mess when too much get squeezed out. I guess in both cases, it depends on the viscosity of the lotion. For those that are too viscous and don’t flow well, a lot of the product will also be left in the bottle or tube and they may be wasted if you do not try to get them out. But surprising, for bathing and shampooing, I much prefer bottles using caps with an opening although I agree that a dispenser is more convenient. I suspect it’s because of the placement of the products in my bathroom.

Overall thoughts
I’m more particular about packaging for skin care products used on the face compared to the body though. I also tag the price of the item to the quality of the packaging. If the product is expensive, I really expect top-notch packaging that can preserve the integrity of the formulation. I’m much more forgiving if the product is cheap and packs less antioxidants. So I am more comfortable if formulations that tout skin care goodness and includes a lot of antioxidants come packaged in a dark glass bottle or an acrylic container with an easy to dispense top so that I won’t have to open the container to expose the ingredients to light or air. The only disadvantage is, I can’t see how much product is left. I’m fine with my body lotions and cream being contained in a plastic tube or bottle. However, you can be sure I’m not going to put my money on a facial skin care product that claims natural goodness packed with high quality ingredients and is blardy expensive but is packed in a plastic open jar! But come to think about it, I did pay for something like that years ago…it wasn’t plastic but more of an acrylic container.

So what’s your favorite type of cosmetics packaging?


  1. fwy says:

    Definetly those in pump bottles. It is more hygenic also.

  2. Raelynn says:

    2nd that.. i prefer product in bottles with pump. i somehow feel that a body cream out of a pump feels drastically different from a tube when you are massaging it into the skin. wonder if it’s psychological. for toners i definately dont like the cap ones like the “cap” picture you’ve shown in your entry, the toner will spill down the cap sometimes. what i did with my 100%Pure toner was i went to muji to get their lotion a.k.a toner spray mist tube, cleaned it with alcohol denat and used replaced it with the cap.

  3. stella says:

    glass for me too; pumps are the most convenient, but the most annoying when you get to the bottom of the bottle… jars actually allow you to clean up every single drop of the product; i’m not so particular about jars, i do take care to expose them for as little time as possible to the surrounding air, and also to use them with clean hands — only my hands allowed!

  4. lyn says:

    I prefer pumps or tubes for sure ?

  5. sesame says:

    Yeah, they definitely score better in the hygiene department.

  6. sesame says:

    Yup, those airless pump bottles that cannot be opened at the end of usage are pretty annoying. But if the pump is good, most of the cream/lotion are actually sucked out.

  7. sesame says:

    Oh yes, toners in cap or even in those with a hole is bad…I don’t like those too.

  8. sesame says:

    Agree! And formulation can be preserved for longer periods too.

  9. VeiraLing says:

    I prefer pumps ? Totally hate glass bottles…had a bottle from Beauty Express (I think), the thick cream can barely come out of the bottle. Yet you can’t squeeze the rigid bottle…so eventually it ends up on the shelf for 2 years already.

  10. Jyoan says:

    Yes, same here. I like vacuum-sealed pump bottle. Besides hygiene, ease of dispense, these also pushes every single bit of the product out as the plate at the bottle moves up with every pump made.

  11. pf1123 says:

    I like pump bottles too. But some creams really cannot be kept in pump bottles. I have jars which I don’t like also. Because the spatula have to be kept separately (if it even comes with one) which means its may contaminate the cream when using it to scoop out.

    I don’t get why caps on toners are not favourable. I like my toner with a screw top cap. There’s a cover with a whole on the opening. I screw the cap tight and nothing gets leaked out.

  12. xin says:

    i always prefer dispensable pump too for the convenience. i have some body lotions in tub but sometimes digging out the content is a hassle cause it keeps getting into my nail, then when i proceed to eat something with my finger, i always taste the blueberry lotion…. which totally eeks me out!

  13. Ceriene says:

    I’m with you on loving airless or vacuum pumps. It ensures you’re getting all of the product as the little stage rises, and there’s no grief like when you have a lot of expensive product left inside a pump bottle with a bad pump.

    I despise any pots or jars that you have to dip your fingers into or have to use a little spatula with. I feel that even if I just breathe over it, I’m contaminating my product and that it may spoil faster. :/

  14. Happy Feet says:

    I like pump definitely. It does not matter the material used for the pump, as I reckon the cosmetics may take into consideration the degeneration rate of the lotion/cream in the make of the container.

    For lotion/cream that comes in jar without a scoop, I transfer a small amount into another container to avoid contamination from opening/closing of the jar. The other reason is because I am too lazy to use a scoop, so I dip my fingers into the formula. Bad, I know. ?

  15. BT says:

    For money value sake, I prefer pump and tube packaging. Best if I can open/cut the bottle/tube when there is only little remaining inside. “v

  16. yay says:

    i like jar better especially if i bought really expensive product…i want to get every little ounce left in the jar onto my face…lol…i really need to go through my products & throw out some old one…i tend to buy it when i see on sale or the product i haven’t use before…it’s all add up…i swear i have enough product to last me a good year…

  17. sesame says:

    It’s true a jar allows you to use to the last bit but I still don’t like it. Plus it doesn’t work well for natural products. They really degrade more quickly.

  18. sesame says:

    Haha…reminds me the few times I had to cut up my tubes to find so much more cream left.

  19. sesame says:

    That’s a good tip – using a smaller container. As for cosmetics companies taking into consideration the suitability of the product and the container, frankly, I’m not so optimistic. I guess it depends on the company. Some choose packaging for cost reasons.

  20. sesame says:

    Using a spatula is good but it’s troublesome…have to wash it frequently and I feel lazy about it. But your remarks about contaminating just breathing over the pot is funny!

  21. sesame says:

    Oh yes, I hate it when the cream gets stuck in the nails too.

  22. sesame says:

    If using a cotton pad with those toners with caps, it’s less of a problem but I tend to dispense more than required so it’s kind of wasteful.

  23. sesame says:

    The only problem is when they get faulty. I’m having trouble with one of them now. Pump and pump but nothing comes out!

  24. sesame says:

    Now that you’ve mentioned it, I guess that’s probably why some creams are better stored in jars and pots cos they may not be suitably stored in others.

  25. Crystal says:

    I like pumps the best… I hate how I would have to use my fingers (even if they are clean) to scrape off from the jar. I feel like I’m contaminating. Also, it depends on what type of cream/lotion it is (how thick or liquid), too. For thick creams, I enjoy jars more but for liquidy lotions, of course pumps!

  26. Jyoan says:

    Oh dear, I’ve never come across that. I’ve only used two so far, and both are so good. But generally, the standard pumps are my best friends, since my products are not so delicate.

    I am quite happy with the Yes To Cucumbers Hydrating Lotion that I have been using for about two weeks now. =) Also comes in sort of sealed pump bottle. A little goes such a long way, and the fragrance is addictive.

  27. sesame says:

    Actually even if we wash our hands, they’re still not bacteria free so I’m with you about the contamination bit.

  28. sesame says:

    YTC Hydrating Lotion is good? I’m been looking at the range for ages but just can’t get myself to buy the cleanser. I’ll think about it when my current runs out.

  29. N. says:

    I agree. I prefer pumps. They are so pratical.
    And I detest tubes. Most of my products are in tubes, and there is one I use for my face that as hard as I try, just by opening the cap, product comes out every time! Such a waste… because I can’t use too much of it’s formula on myself.

  30. Ceriene says:

    Yeah, that’s what bugs me too. When I’m lazy, I end up using my fingers! A little bit of saliva comes out out of our mouths each time we breath/talk, so I think my paranoia is a little bit justified. (But not really, haha)

  31. Happy Feet says:

    Agree with the ‘cost reasons’…

  32. pf1123 says:

    1 drop is just nice for me already. ?

  33. May says:

    I prefer cute bottles, like TONY MOLY & Baviphat (Korean brands, I get them from iheartkoreanbeauty.blogspot.com) and unfortunately these usually come in jar-like containers. But for practicality, pumps are easier to use ?

  34. sesame says:

    Oh you raise an interesting point about cute packaging. Yes, sometimes we’re drawn by the cute aesthetics and tend to think less in terms of functionality.

  35. sesame says:

    Now that you mentioned that, the tubes that I dislike most are those in metal. It can get really hard to squeeze when the product is about to be used up.

  36. Jyoan says:

    I wouldn’t say really good. More like I haven’t found any problems with it. I actually think my dead sea minerals one is better… sort of bought YTC cos of the dead sea minerals. But in YTC, the minerals doesn’t seems to really work. Have to use longer to really give a verdict I guess.

  37. Reno says:

    Well,pump qualty needs very expertise audit when cosmetics company do the buying.
    According to my experience,beauty packaging are not skin deep.

  38. umi says:

    I think once a while we can try out those cute packaging skincare products to really know which products suits our skin.
    My favourite korean brand product are Skinfood.

  39. J says:

    Let’s clear up some misconceptions. Every commercial grade cosmetic you purchase has a preservative in it. If they didn’t they would go bad in a few days. Commercial grade means anything you bought in a store or via mail-order. It doesn’t including whatever some guy is selling by the side of the road at his lemonade stand.

    Next, plastic containers are fine for most cosmetics. They may not always be the best looking but they work fine unless you are planning on keeping your cosmetics around for 20 years.

  40. J says:

    As far as products spoiling faster in a jar because you ‘breathe on them’ … it depends on how much time you leave them open. The less time you leave them open the better so just don’t leave the thing open all day long.

  41. Britt says:

    There are multiple different types of plastic actually, and many used for personal care and cosmetics are actually extremely strong as far as barrier between the outside and product. Also, the formula doesn’t degrade faster in plastic than in glass in most cases. I am a packaging engineer with a beauty manufacturer and we run stability and compatibility in glass as well as in plastic packaging, and if the plastic IS degrading the formula, it isn’t used. This is standard in the industry. The benefits also do not diminish every time you open a jar. The science of packaging is actually very complex and glass is often NOT the best packaging to use with many formulations, natural or synthetic.

  42. Amy Duncan says:

    Loving this review. I’m formulating at skincare line and picking our packaging now. Thank you for providing this feedback!!

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