Airless Packaging: When is it essential?

Hi, all.

I realize the primary objective with airless is to keep out oxygen, but when is that deemed either essential or extremely helpful?

The reason I ask is that there still seem to be a number of products on the market where one would think the manufacturer would have put this to use already, such as with Skinceuticals's vitamin C serums, and at their price point, I assume they either do not want to abandon the "prestige" of using glass packaging, or they found little benefit to spending a bit more money to go airless, even when it comes to products where the foundational ingredients are very prone to oxidation.

Some source online claims that it can extend shelf life by up to 15%.  That is definitely good, but -- if true -- not exactly a game-changer, in my view.  Does this 15% sound reasonable to the experts on here, or are many of the view that airless makes a radical difference with respect to preventing oxidation?

Thank you.

Comments

  • jemolianjemolian Member
    Perhaps when you use hurdle / static preservatives since you'd want your users not to touch the product directly. 
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @suswang8:

    There are various reasons to use airless pumps.  Primarily, to keep the end users fingers from coming into contact with the product in the container, to keep the product from coming directly into contact with air as you have pointed out.

    You would not want to put a product like a Vitamin C serum in an airless pump.  Primarily because the product left in the orifice after use would form a salt deposit when the solvents evaporate leaving a salt plug in the orifice.

    Are airless pumps worth the investment.  Yes, for the right product format.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • suswang8suswang8 Member
    Part of me thinks that to avoid direct user contact with the product, I could just use a pump dispenser (rather than jar), right?  (i.e., not necessarily a need to go airless, per se)

    Thank you for the point on a vitamin C serum not being a good candidate for airless.  Any guidance on which kinds of products one would specifically need to shield from air?  Thank you.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @suswang8

    Correct, it does not have to be an airless pump ... any closure that prevents direct user contact with the product in the container is better than an open jar into which the user dips their fingers.

    If you are developing products that contain retinol or l-ascorbic acid, for instance, they could benefit from an airless pump depending on the product format.  Creams, lotions, gels etc. work well in airless pumps.  You may get leakage if you try to use products without sufficient viscosity in an airless pump dispenser.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    An aluminum tube also works for products that are air sensitive in an inexpensive Way.
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