Skincare Packaging: Why it Matters

How Skincare Packaging Affects the Stability of Ingredients


“Packaging can directly affect finished product stability because of interactions which can occur between the product, the package, and the external environment. Such interactions may include … barrier properties of the container [and] its effectiveness in protecting the contents from the adverse effects of atmospheric oxygen.…” Guidelines on Stability of Cosmetic Products, published by the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA) in 2004


Antioxidants and anti-aging superstars - like vitamin C and retinol - break down in the presence of light and air. When these ingredients are exposed to air, they begin to deteriorate almost immediately, becoming less and less effective with each use. These ingredients are further compromised if they’re also exposed to light - for example, when stored in a clear glass jar.

Regardless of these research-based facts about jar packaging, there remains a certain air of prestige tied to fancy, weighty jars, and many consumers still prefer them. That’s why so many brands continue to use them. No matter how decadent scooping your face cream out of a jar may feel, this type of packaging not only affects the stability of delicate ingredients but also contributes to the formula’s contamination - as it’s not possible to keep your fingers completely clean.

Types of Packaging - What to Look for

As explained earlier, the choice of packaging could influence how fast a skincare product expires. Below is a list of the most common types of packaging and what they’re best for:

  • Small Pots: This type of packaging is not airtight, and therefore it’s best used for skincare formulas that don't contain a lot of water, like lip balm, and for products with small usage areas where only a fingertip is needed for application.
  • Tubs and Jars: These are best used for storing thick creams, ointments, and body moisturizers.
  • Nonairtight Pumps: Pumps are used for easy dispensing and giving even, metered doses. They tend to be more hygienic than jars because you don’t need to touch the product itself every time you use it, which can contaminate it. They’re often used for lotions and cleansers.
  • Airtight Pumps: These are ideal for anti-aging products with delicate ingredients like peptides, growth factors, antioxidants, and retinol; and formulas intended for use on sensitive skin.
  • Tubes: Tubes minimize air exposure, making them a good option for moisturizers and creams that contain unstable ingredients, like retinol or vitamin C. They're also convenient for dispensing anything with a thicker consistency, like eye cream, lip balm, and sunscreen.
  • Clear Glass or Plastic Bottles: Clear packaging is fine for anything that doesn't contain sensitive ingredients at high concentrations like some toners and cleansers.
  • Medicine Droppers: Droppers are ideal for dispensing liquid skin-care products that can then be patted into the skin using your fingertips like thin serums, face oils, and essences.

Our Choice of Packaging


We preserve nature and its pristine ingredients


We store most of our formulas in airless pump containers or tubes to reduce unnecessary oxidation caused by exposure to air. This helps to preserve our delicate ingredients for longer.

Airless containers have a diaphragm, instead of a dip tube, that rises to evacuate the product. Depressing the pump creates a vacuum effect that draws the product upwards. This innovative packaging helps minimise formula waste and prevent pump failure.


We believe in doing better for people’s skin and the planet


Just like the Ao brand, our packaging demonstrates our commitment to sustainability. Made from 100% recycled stock and without glue, we aim to keep waste at a minimum. We periodically revisit our product packaging to reduce cardboard and plastic waste as much as possible.

What Makes Ao's Packaging Different?

The main features that differentiate our packaging from other brands in the market are:

  • It's glueless: our cardboard boxes are held shut employing either tension or a locking mechanism.
  • It's sustainable: we use no gloss or laminating during printing processes to ensure that our cardboard remains 100% recyclable.
  • It's customer-centric: we provide a unique unboxing experience that showcases our brand story when our customers open the box to get their products.


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"Skincare science needs to be on the very edge of social change and evolution in order to succeed."

Dr. Mark Gray