The Science Behind the Bottle

Jami Morse Heidegger | March 28, 2017

Retrouvé Science

There was a time long ago when I cared very little about bottles and containers as part of the process of product development; I preferred instead to focus all of my passion, attention, and resources on the formulation itself – the ingredients, the texture, and the efficacy of usage. In fact, my family’s motto was that we preferred to focus not on the bottle but on what went into the bottle. I grew up with this way of thinking and truth be told, up until recently, I still chose to concentrate all of my energy on creating the actual skincare as opposed to contemplating the intricate details of packaging elements. This all changed when I began to consider bottles and jars to house the formulations that I was creating for myself that would eventually become Retrouvé.

Because I was creating solely for my personal use, I was not restricted in any way on the cost, quality, or research behind the ingredients or processes used. As such, I was able to realize my skincare vision of using only supremely exclusive and efficacious select anti-aging ingredients in superior concentrations, set in luxurious textures. In order to maintain the integrity of these potent formulations, we set forth on a quest to find the most optimal packaging available. After much investigation, experimentation, trial and error, we opted to utilize vacuum technology – which allows ingredients to be mixed together at high speeds, without incorporating air – and airless containers. The combination of the two airless systems helps to eliminate oxidation, preserve the integrity of the ingredients, and decrease the amount of preservatives necessary to provide an adequate shelf life.

Thus, Retrouvé is made under vacuum and then dispensed directly into black tinted, airless Italian glass containers. Glass is a highly suitable packaging material for the preservation of product ingredients in that it is virtually impermeable to oxygen, which means that the benefits of individual ingredients are more likely to be preserved. And while anyone who has ever met me might correctly surmise that black is one of my favorite hues, we chose to color the glass in this way not as a result of any personal affinity but for its excellent ability to shield the product from possible alteration due to light exposure.

How it works: The glass containers house a flexible bag filled with product. When the product is evacuated during actuation, instead of air coming in and pushing a barrel up to keep the reservoir in a prepped state, the bag shrinks due to pressure as it collapses on itself. The collapse of the bag occurs due to a combination of actuation, evacuation, and the equilibrium of pressure.

Products contained in airless packaging tend to last longer on the shelf and to remain aesthetically pristine longer, as they do not suffer much discoloring due to oxidation. Research shows that products retain their beneficial properties and their level of efficacy is not diminished over time. (Please note: Because we use a very high level of extracts in our formulations and make our products in small batches, slight variations in color from batch to batch may be noticeable. Such differences occur because it is impossible to control Mother Nature, not because they have oxidized!)

To further maintain the efficacy and integrity of Retrouvé products, do not expose preparations to extremes of hot or cold temperatures. Ideally, our products should be stored in a dry place at room temperature and away from areas of humidity or that incur fluctuations in temperature such as the shower or bathing area. In addition, do not let fingertips directly touch the nozzle of the dispensing area. Instead, allow the pump to project the product onto clean fingertip and repeat as needed. (Always cleanse hands thoroughly before applying any products to the face or eye area in order to prevent germs, bacteria, dirt, or other contaminating substances from being transferred from your fingers.)

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