Glass Packaging: Beautifully Practical Or Uselessly Expensive?

by Gio

Should skincare products be packaged in jars

If your great-great-grandmother had headed to the department store to shop for a heavy-duty moisturizer for her dry skin, she would have been greeted by small little pots and bottles made of glass. They’d have looked great on her vanity, but they cost a pretty penny. If money was a concern (and it usually was), she’d have gone home with just one precious small jar.

Fast forward a few years. Plastic’s now a thing. It’s super popular. And super cheap. It cut the cost of those pretty jars and bottles in half, making cosmetics more affordable for everyone.

But, glass hasn’t disappeared. Plastic may have invaded the skincare and makeup aisles, but the perfume department is still very much the domain of glass. And, here and there, you can find a cream still packaged in a luxe glass jar.

One thing’s still the same. Anything that comes in glass clothes is gonna cost you a lot more. So, why are some brands still using it? It’s just because they’re posh? Mm, let’s investigate:

1. Glass isn’t dissolved by oils

There’s a reason why perfumes are the only thing that still comes in glass.

It’s because they’re made with perfume oils. Those can break down plastic. The alcohol that’s used as a solvent in all perfumes is just as bad for plastic.

You don’t want your pretty bottle to fall apart in front of your very eyes, do you?

P.S. Essential oils are always packaged in glass for the same reason, too.

2. Glass is a better barrier against oxygen and light

I love antioxidants, but boy, are they divas!

Allow oxygen and light anywhere near them and they’ll throw a fit and degrade until, eventually, they become useless.

So, you’d think glass is out of the question, right? Not so quickly.

Plastic tubes and bottles can protect antioxidants. When they are thick enough. If the bottle’s too thin, some light and oxygen will still find they way inside, spoiling your cream without you even realizing it.

That’s where dark tinted glass bottles come in. They’re much thicker. Nonporous. Impermeable. No chance those sneaky beggars will get inside.

P.S. I’m talking about tubes and bottles here. Light and oxygen will still get in your glass jars. Whenever you open them.

3. Glass doesn’t leak harmful substances

Did you know that some ingredients can cause plastic bottles to leak out plasticizers? Scary!

This spoils the formula, too. No bueno.

Responsable brands will nip the problem in the bud by housing those formulas in glass containers. But, if you’re the paranoid kind, you may want to add more glass and less plastic to your skincare stash.

4. Glass is recyclable

Glass is the better choice for the planet. It’s highly sustainable. Much easier to recycle than plastic. Even at home. You can just wash that bottle well and pour something else in there.

If you care about Earth, you’d want to go home with glass-packaged stuff a lot more often.

The Bottom Line

Yep, most of the time, glass is a vanity thing. You’re paying more to have a pretty bottle sitting on your vanity table. But, there are times when glass is the best choice for you, your products and the planet. Choose wisely.

Do you buy beauty products packaged in glass containers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.



MonicaP October 9, 2014 - 4:22 pm

I love glass packaging .. except when you drop it 😛


Gio October 9, 2014 - 6:43 pm

Monica, I agree. It’s so sad when it breaks.

Chic Readings October 9, 2014 - 4:25 pm

I like glass packaging and the design always looks more luxurious when using glass:)

Gio October 9, 2014 - 6:44 pm

Helena, I agree. Glass packaging is more luxurious and elegant. 🙂

Allison October 9, 2014 - 6:32 pm

as always, very informative! I’m glad that glass is still used in beauty products. Fortunately, it’s recyclable.

Gio October 9, 2014 - 6:51 pm

Allison, I feel less guilty when I buy glass packaging, as I know it will be reused. 🙂

Tips and Beauty October 10, 2014 - 9:21 am

I like glass packaging as it can be recycled but afraid to drop it. 🙂

Gio October 10, 2014 - 11:02 am

Niesha, I’m afraid of it too. It’s awful when it breaks.

anubhuti October 10, 2014 - 9:41 pm

i love beautiful glass bottles 🙂

Gio October 11, 2014 - 5:07 am

Anubhuti, me too. 🙂

Natasha December 30, 2018 - 3:02 pm

I do prefer glass because it’s better for the environment. But glass is also heavier so the impact of shipping is bigger. It’s a tricky subject.

Gio January 6, 2019 - 1:00 pm

Natacha, I agree. Switching to glass packaging would probably make the prices go up. I think recyclable plastic or any materials that can easily be recycled is a good compromise.

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