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DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

What are the true facts behind the "pump/tube vs. jar" skincare controversy? (Details follow)

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11273points) August 14th, 2010

Like many other women, I buy skincare products. Some have worked, some have not. What I am still wondering (after all these years) is whether your product will not be as effective if it is in a jar (and exposed to the elements) as it would be in a pump bottle or a tube (where it is more protected). I am particularly asking about moisturizers and serums and whether they lose their potency when in a jar vs. being in a tube.

I have heard that it makes a difference and others say…that it does not.

All I know is that if I am buying a high end product, I don’t want to bring it home in a jar….and have it lose its potency and not be effective.

I hope someone can shed light on this topic.

Thanks in advance!

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2 Answers

cazzie's avatar

The main advantage to the pumps is that it is more protected from contamination from your fingers. By putting a product in a tube or pump, you’re not dipping your fingers in them, introducing water, your natural skin oils or any bacteria or fungus you may have picked up around your sink. That being said, all skin creams that are an emulsion (a blend of oils and water) contain a fair amount of very effective preservatives to avoid them becoming a petri dish of bacteria and fungus. Some people believe that some preservatives that are used aren’t good for our bodies to absorb. (ie. Parabens. There are six commonly used forms (Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, p-Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, n-Butylparaben and

If an ingredient is so fragile as to become ineffective because of its exposure to air…. well, I’d argue the effectiveness of that type of ingredient to make any difference to your skin.

If you want to read about cosmetic ingredients from a formulator of products, I suggest ‘Paula the Cosmetic Cop’. Very no-nonsense.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Tube allows the least amount of air in to the product so the ingredients stay more “fresh” or bound as intended.

Pump- better than a jar/bottle because less air exposure even though a little gets sucked back and some product separates from the bulk and gets brokend down in the pump tub and mouth/spiget thingie.

Jar/Bottle- Most exposure to air and contaminants from your fingers dipping in or whatever you use to stir or scoop.

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