In my last few posts I’ve been threatening to write an ode to pump bottles, so it was only a matter of time.
Beauty products, skincare in particular, come in all sorts of stupid delivery methods. The worst is bottles with droppers, but jars suck (exposing product to air and grubby fingers) and I can even find things to complain about with screw-lid squeeze tubes (let me pop the cap open with one hand, damnit!)
I get it, droppers are kinda novel and give products a sense of luxury, as though you’re meting out tiny measures of a valuable and potent formula. They also make products seem kinda medicinal—less “here’s some overpriced blend of glycerin and plant oils” and more “here’s a carefully balanced chemical formula that will fix your skin.” I don’t know if there’s a direct correlation, but it seems like products sold in dropper bottles have more pseudo-scientific names like ‘Intensive Hydrating Treatment” instead of “moisturiser”, or “High-Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula” instead of, I don’t know, “spot treatment”.
Droppers are a pain in the ass to use, though. You need at least three hands, or both hands and a flat surface, to dispense product and then apply it. You get a different amount each time depending on how careful you are to draw it up into the dropper, and they’re just not compatible with some product formulas (I’m looking at you, Josie Maran Argan Milk ~Intensive Hydrating Treatment~).
I paid fifty-six USA dollars for that damn Argan Milk, and I love it, but I never fucking use it because it’s such a pain in the ass to dispense. It’s also impossible to tell how much product you have left because the bottle is opaque white, and I could tell that with a dropper that doesn’t reach the bottom of the bottle, there’s no way I could ever use it all the way up in its current format.
In fact, I haven’t been very good with morning skincare at all, because I’m always rushing and don’t want to faff with bottles and droppers and jars.
And so, I bought a bunch of airless pump bottles from eBay. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. I bought two 30ml bottles and two 15ml bottles to begin with—the 30ml for new products and 15ml for ones I’ve already partially worked my way through.
The Ordinary’s 30ml serums fit into a 30ml pump, duh, as do most serums and more spendy moisturisers that come in 30ml bottles. I whacked all of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% and Zinc 1% into one of the pump bottles as it was virtually brand new and I hadn’t used it yet.
I made a total guess about how much was left of the Argan Milk and got it right on the money—you can see it almost filled up the 15ml pump. I definitely didn’t think I had that much product left, as like I said before, the dropper had totally given up dispensing any product to me.
Switching to pump bottles has definitely already made a difference in how likely I am to use skincare in the morning! The bottles don’t look anywhere near as pretty, so if you care in the slightest about having an Instagrammable makeup routine, then ~$1 airless pump bottles from eBay are not your solution. I… don’t, though—I want my skincare to work, first and foremost, and anything else is extra.
Now, sure, these are bringing extra plastic into my life that I didn’t technically need, but they’re reusable. Unlike many brands’ packaging which is difficult to get into to get the last drops out, let alone reuse, these have lids that just screw off and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to push the stopper back down to the bottom.
What’s your favourite skincare delivery mechanism? Do you hate droppers as much as I do?