Is Light Damaging Your Products?

Is Light Damaging Your Products?

Why do we store our products in frosted glass bottles?

Angelina Organic Skincare Serum Set

Isn't it bad for our products?

     Since we switched from amber and cobalt colored glass bottles to frosted glass for environmental reasons (glass bottle makers are using toxic colorants), we are often asked if light will damage the products in our new bottles. This is an excellent question and deserves an answer based on hard science.

     The truth is that most essential oils and plant extracts are photochemically inactive in the visible region and reactive in the ultra-violet (UV) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Since UV light of high enough energy to cause photochemical reactions in most organic molecules is absorbed (not transmitted) by normal glass, regardless of color, it makes no difference if the products are in brown, blue or green. In plain English: Our eyes can't see the rays that break down plant-based ingredients. And just because we can't see through a colored bottle with our eyes, doesn't mean that the product inside is more protected from damaging UV rays.

     Of course there are a few exceptions, like with the chamazulene containing oils (blue chamomile, blue yarrow, blue tansy, etc.) that you would not want to store in colorless bottles for long periods under heavy lighting conditions. This is because chamazulene has strong absorption in the VISIBLE region of the spectrum (thus the intense dark blue color of these oils) and so it is the lower energy visible light and not just UV light that can significantly effect these oils. This is why you'll find our Blue Sapphire Illuminating Facial Nectar (containing blue tansy essential oil) tucked safely in lovely little bags. Heat and oxygen are the biggest enemies of these blue oils, which is why we store all of our essential oils in the dark under refrigeration.

     For over a century, the makers of colored glass have been providing a little misinformation to the public when it comes to storing essential oils and skin care products. The amber glass makers will tell you that amber is best, the blue glass makers will tell you that blue is best, etc. While it is technically correct that colored glass blocks more UV rays, the difference is not enough to have any practical value. This means that if you put the same essential oil in amber, blue, green and clear glass bottles and place them in sunlight, they will all degrade at such a close rate that you will barely be able to detect the difference. 

     The key to keeping essential oils and plant-based skin care products fresh is storing them tightly closed, in a cool, dark space, like your bathroom cabinet. If your home gets over 70 deg F, you can store your Angelina Organic Skincare products in the refrigerator to keep them fresh longer.

What about the products displayed on our store shelves and the oils in our lab?
Won't the store lights damage them?

      Actually, no! Our store and lab are lit with LED and fluorescent lights and neither of these lights emit UV rays. Fluorescent lights emit a little UV light, but they are coated with a protective film that blocks most of it and we use diffusing covers that block the remaining UV rays. We also coated our storefront windows with a protective ceramic film that blocks 99% of the sun's UV rays to further protect our products so we can have them on display.