Our skin gets damaged by sunlight, but so do the creams we use to improve our complexions. Although we thrive on oxygen, our fancy skin products don’t—especially those containing retinol, which degrades quickly when exposed to outside elements. “Anything you can do to reduce the vulnerability of these ingredients by keeping them as much as possible out of the air and light means that the ingredients that you’re banking on to improve your skin will be there after you open the product,” said Paula Begoun, the founder of Beautypedia.com, which rates skin-care products, in a New York Times interview.

Although glass jars are the most eco-friendly packaging option for beauty companies, they’re not as hospitable to active ingredients since they expose the product to the environment. Potions that come in pumps and tubes offer more anti-aging bang for the buck, as they’re engineered to last longer.

To get the most out of your beauty products, store them in a cool, dark place, avoid placing them in direct contact with bacteria (e.g. scoop out cream from a jar using a tiny spoon) and replace them every six months or sooner. Are you picky about where your skincare products are housed? Have you ever experienced visible spoilage of any of your creams?



The New York Times: How Anti-Aging Creams Get Old Too Fast