Why You Shouldn’t Buy Retinol Products Packaged In Jars

by Gio
avoid retinol products packaged in jars

I don’t get it.

Would you buy a delicate designer dress that’s “dry clean” only and put it in the washing and drying machine?

Of course not. You know that’s like throwing $1000 down the toilet. *shudders*

Yet that’s exactly what you’re doing when you’re buying a retinol cream packaged in a jar. Here’s why:

What The Heck Is Retinol?

First things first. This post is all about retinol, but everything I say in this paragraph (and the next one, for that matter) is true for all form of Vitamin A (retinoids). Retinol happens to be the most used so it gets the spotlight.

Retinol is an antiaging superstar. It fights wrinkles in three different ways:

  • It speeds up cellular turnover (skin’s natural exfoliating process)
  • It destroys free radicals
  • It boosts collagen production

There’s more. Retinol also busts acne and fades dark spots.

All good reasons to use it, don’t you think?

Related: 3 Reasons Why You Should Use Retinoids

Why You Should Never Put Retinol In A Jar

Retinol is a superstar. Ans superstars are diva.

Retinol is very unstable. Every time it’s exposed to light and air, it oxidises a little (i.e., it loses a bit of its effectiveness) until it stops working completely.

The more often you force it to come in contact with its enemies (i.e., every time you open that jar), the sooner retinol becomes useless.

Usually, it takes about a month for retinol to go bad in a jar. After that, your moisturiser still works. But now, it’s just a basic moisturizing lotion without any antiaging properties anymore.

Sure, you could make the most of it by using retinol every morning and night, but that’s not a good idea (especially if you’re a retinol newbie). Retinol is also irritating. That’s why derms recommend you start with a small concentration once or twice a week and slowly build up dose and frequency (I’ve outlined exactly how to do that in this post).

While we’re on the subject, this doesn’t apply to jars only. Any type of packaging that exposes retinol to light and air is a no-go. That includes see-through bottles, too.

Fun fact: when researchers first started playing around with retinol, they thought it was useless. That’s because they were using retinol that had been exposed to too much light for their experiments. No wonder it wasn’t working!

What To Do Instead

You should totally keep using your retinol.  But from now on, get your fix only from products that take good care of retinol and protect it from harm.

In other words, opt for products that come in opaque tubes and bottles with a pump dispenser. It’s also a good idea to store them in a dark place.

This way, your retinol will keep working until you reach the end of the bottle. No more throwing your money away!

If you don’t know where to start, check out this post with my fave retinol picks. They’re all packaged the right way.

Do you pay attention to packaging when you buy skincare products with retinol? Share your experience in the comments below.



Beauty Box April 10, 2012 - 12:48 pm

Yes I have used a Neutrogena moisturizer that had retinol and it came in an opaque bottle with a pump.

beautifulwithbrains April 10, 2012 - 6:40 pm

Beauty Box, I’m glad you bought a product that was well-packaged and retained its benefits for longer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Trisha April 10, 2012 - 5:07 pm

Wow! I had no idea! Thanks, Gio. Next time I get a retinol product, I’ll avoid the jars.

Luckily I keep my skincare products in a dark cabinet, so at least I have that going for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

beautifulwithbrains April 10, 2012 - 6:51 pm

Trisha, you’re welcome. Packaging products properly is so important and it’s a shame that a lot of brands don’t care about that and keep using jars instead.

Janessa April 11, 2012 - 1:05 am

Thanks for this heads up! No, I don’t use any retinols. Do you have a specific product you recommend? I always look forward to reading your blog!

beautifulwithbrains April 11, 2012 - 6:04 am

Janessa, Paula’s Choice RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum and Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream are both good products. ๐Ÿ™‚

Janessa April 11, 2012 - 1:36 pm

Thanks, Giorgia! I’ve been working on the sketches still. I want to come up with something a little more original. Though I do plan to create a ‘final’ sketch and set it up on your site first! Then as I keep drawing, I’m sure I’ll eventually come up with something better. I’ve been quite busy and sorry for not handing in anything yet. Remember I have not forgotten! ๐Ÿ˜€
I’m going to try those products you mentioned. You are so very amazing!

beautifulwithbrains April 11, 2012 - 6:07 pm

Janessa, thanks. I think you will like these products. And don’t worry about that, you don’t need to apologize, I know you’re busy. Take all the time you need and thanks a lot for all your help. You’re a star. :ยง)

Janessa April 12, 2012 - 1:23 am

๐Ÿ˜€ No one’s called me a star, at least not in a very long time. Thank you for understanding!

Janessa April 12, 2012 - 1:23 am

Oh, and no need to thank me! Thank yourself for giving me this opportunity! I really enjoy it.

beautifulwithbrains April 12, 2012 - 6:13 am

But you are hun! I really appreciate all that you’re doing for me. And you’re welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sophie April 11, 2012 - 1:27 am

Wow; I’ll bet that’s a little-known fact! Actually I have a retinoid product (RoC for sensitive skin) which comes in an opaque tube. I should check its’ expiration date since I use it every other night and only on my forehead and between my eyes. Thanks for the info!

beautifulwithbrains April 11, 2012 - 6:00 am

Sophie, you’re welcome. It’s a shame this fact isn’t more known and people keep buying products badly packaged that won’t last for long. But I’m glad that you chose one in an opaque tube that will make the retinol last longer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Makeup Morsels April 12, 2012 - 5:25 am

Wow, I had no idea about this! Definitely going to remember this, retinol isn’t cheap so I don’t want to be wasting it ๐Ÿ™‚

beautifulwithbrains April 12, 2012 - 6:12 am

Makeup Morsels, I agree. It’s too expensive to waste it. ๐Ÿ™‚


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