Airless Containers, Benefits and Trouble Shooting

Airless cosmetic packaging is relatively new to the US beauty industry and the benefits far out weigh the challenges. So why go airless? Great question!

In the past, with artificial preservatives, keeping product fresh was not a huge concern. So the the thing to do was just slap product into anything that was cost effective and pretty. With changing times, came changing needs and as skincare products have began to lean heavily toward being natural, how we package them has become a bigger issue. Thus, the trend toward airless packaging.

Let's start wit;h why everyone isn't using the new technology. Well, that's an easy one. Cost! Simple jars an pumps are a super inexpensive way to keep overall cost down. But at what cost to the consumer is the bigger question. Removing artificial preservatives means the shelf life of a product is greatly reduced. Big manufacturers don't like this, as it hits them directly in the old pocket book, which effects profit margins and stock performance. and to them, this is a top priority.

Your more likely to find the newer packaging present in smaller companies and skincare line startups. Why? Because behind many of these smaller companies is the heart of a professional esthetician, with passion and knowledge, and an out and out love for skincare, to rule their decisions. Estheticians are use to working up close with clients, hearing real time questions and concerns. Thus, they have a more keen awareness about the importance of keeping product fresh and clean as long as possible.

Ok, so what makes airless packaging so great? Two main reasons. The first is that by keeping air out of the product container, oxidation, which leads to spoilage of the product, takes longer to occur. That's right, airless containers offer about a 15% longer shelf life, once opened, than traditional cosmetic packaging. The second benefit comes in the form of a reduction in the likelihood that bacteria will be introduced into the raw product. The old pumps would allow surface contaminants found on the finger to be sucked back into the bottle, allowing contact with the product. In a warm and dark environment, bacteria grows at an accelerated rate. That makes skin more venerable and can lead to a variety of health issues.

What does all of this mean to you, the consumer? Happier healthier skin and natural cleaners products that last longer. Now that's a win all the way around.

Now for the challenges, and this is were things are simpler than you might think. Because the packaging is airless, the system works off of the concept of creating an airtight vacuum. That means you will need to "prime the pump" as you will. It takes an extra couple of seconds to depress the pump 15 to 20 times in order to raise the product up to the pump chamber. Now that's not too hard, but you have to know about this step or you might just jump to the conclusion your container is defective, and that's totally understandable. It's new technology and requires a bit of a learning curve.

The next thing to be aware of is that sometimes, an air bubble gets trapped within the product during packaging. This can cause the pump to "stall", again appearing as if there is something seriously wrong with the container. There are a couple of easy solutions. First, put your finger over the nozzle tip, so no air can come in or out, and pump the dispenser several times, until product begins to flow freely again. Next, you can try turning the container upside down and hitting the top of the container against the palm of your hand. This will cause product to move toward the pumping mechanism and air to move away, thus allowing for a consistent flow again. Finally, if none of these options helped, it may just be the disc at the bottom is stuck and this requires a bit more effort to free it.

You'll need to find a paperclip and unfold it to the appropriate length for finding the bottom of the lodged disc. Most airless containers have a little hole at the bottom, meant to allow for the escape of air as the vacuum does it's thing. Insert the paperclip into the hole until you locate the solid surface of the disc. Push up with the paperclip to dislodge it from where it's stuck. Again cover the nozzle with a finger, to make it air tight, and pump the dispenser until product once again begins to flow freely.

This may seem like a lot to handle at first, but once you catch on, the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience. We tested several different containers and rarely had to jump to the paperclip rescue. With a little knowledge, you can solve just about any challenge with the new airless containers and enjoy all the benefits that come with them.

Happy pumping!

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