Double Dip No More: Why Fingers in Cosmetics Are a Very Bad Idea

Sticking fingers in pots of moisturiser might seem like an easy way to apply skincare, but it’s risking infection and decreases product effectiveness.

We all know those luxe cosmetic ads. A flawless model dips her elegant fingers, devoid of manky cuticles and dry skin, into a lush looking pot of moisturiser. She applies it to her clean, already beautifully moisturised skin. She has a beatific expression on her face, like her toddler finally ate the broccoli or she had that first sip of morning coffee. But in real life, she’s just put a bunch of bacteria in her expensive face cream and it’s beginning to make itself at home.

Why Fingers in Skincare Jars are a Bad Idea

Moisturisers and other skin care or cosmetic creams are a product with a shelf life. While they have preservatives and other ingredients to extend their shelf life, the addition of microorganisms can cause problems. And, when a customer uses their fingers to dip into the product, they are transferring bacteria and other contaminants to the product, where it can grow in its own private petri dish.

The end result is a product that isn’t effective or introduces bacteria or harmful organisms to the consumer’s face. These bacteria and fungi can cause acne, inflammation, prevent healing, cause dryness. If they infiltrate the body via the eye, mouth, or cuts on the skin, if could result in skin infections, diarrhoea, and blood poisoning.

What is worrying is that a recent study showed that there is harmful bacteria in 90% of makeup, and that includes e. coli and Staphylococci.

Good Bacteria vs Bad Bacteria: The Skin Microbiome

Skin is a physical layer that protects us from the outside world. It has its own microbiome; a combination of microbes that are good and bad. This blend of microbes varies from person to person, and where on the body they are located. There’s a balance of bacteria and it’s important to protect that. If the bad bacteria overpower the good bacteria, you’ll encounter skin problems and your immune system can be affected.

If you’ve ever had the joy of all your skin on your hands peeling off during the pandemic due to over-washing and use of anti-bacterial sanitiser, you know you don’t want this.

What’s The Solution?

It’s very satisfying to dip fingers in moisturiser, but it’s not hygienic. Some cosmetic manufacturers include spatulas that can be used to dip into the product, but they require cleaning for every use too. The only answer is using packaging that dispenses the product with no fingers in the cream or lotion, no bacteria being introduced.

These pumps, dispensers and caps also help to limit (or negate entirely) the introduction of oxygen into the bottle, which can also limit the effectiveness of the product and decrease shelf life.

Consumers should also pay attention to the expiry date or recommended lifespan of the product. They should refer to the small symbol on the packaging if an open jar with a number inside it. ’12 M’ is an indication the product should be disposed of 12 months after it’s been opened. Because manufacturers can’t control what their customers do, they must take steps to limit the introduction of bacteria.

Safe Skincare Packaging Options Available

Luckily there are plenty of alternatives to tubs and open containers. Choose from our wide range of bottle styles and types, and then choose the correct lid to match the width of the neck. It’s also important to take the thickness of the liquid/product into consideration.

Atomisers and Misters

For liquids like toners and setting sprays where an even and delicate mist is required, there are the following options:

Dispensing Pumps

Whether you need foaming pumps for a hand or face wash, or the liquid is more viscous and need a lotion pump, there are a variety of dispensers.

Ask Us for Alternatives to Open Top Skincare Jars

With years in the industry, we’ve seen trends come and go, brands change packaging, and product formulations become more precise. We have ideas about how you can create safe, useful, and attractive packaging for your cosmetic or skincare brands. Contact us to chat about the options, we’d love to help you.

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PET jars are a highly popular form of packaging. In fact, you probably have quite a few of them in your kitchen right now. If you are looking into using PET jars in your business, our blog will tell you everything you need to know.

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