Here's why you shouldn't decant your bathroom products into clear glass bottles

Experts warn against the oh-so-satisfying bathroom hack

amber and wooden soap dispenser
(Image credit: Alamy)

It's hard to go on Instagram without stumbling upon a dreamy bathroom. More often than not, they're adorned with sleek glass dispensers in lieu of not-so-chic shampoo or soap bottles. 

The same goes for kitchens, too, as an Aesop-style bottle is a far more beautiful sink accessory than your standard bottle of Dawn. If - like us - you've jumped on the decanting trend, keep reading. Because experts are warning that it's not always the best idea in practice.

dark glass soap dispensers with black pumps

(Image credit: Alamy)

The founder of refillable beauty brand Circla, Claudia Gwinnutt, says that storing some beauty products in a clear glass bottle can 'deactivate' them. 'The packaging of a beauty product can affect the performance of the product, that’s why product companies have to test the packaging as part of the manufacturing process,' she says.

Claudia explains that products like shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion will generally be okay decanted into glass bottles. 'But you wouldn't want to put products with high concentrations, for example, vitamin C or retinol products in clear bottles. You would want them in dark bottles to block out UV light.'

So if your favorite night cream or SPF comes in an opaque container, you're better off storing it in something totally opaque. Otherwise, while your bathroom might be looking super organized, the products you use on a daily basis may not be working as intended. 

amber soap dispensers

(Image credit: Alamy)

The impact of light exposure will of course depend on how much natural light the room gets. But if you're shelling out on expensive products, it's safer to keep them in their original packaging. 

Alternatively, you can use amber or dark green glass or acrylic bottles without worrying about UV rays. In the past, we've found that some metal pumps like those pictured above react with heavily alkaline products, including many hand soaps, creating a horrible green residue. Check the product details and don't make the same mistake we did!

amber glass dispenser and bottles with cup with toothbrushes

(Image credit: Getty)
  • See also: Bathroom ideas – 52 stylish looks, trends and tips to inspire a makeover

In an effort to maintain some order in our bathrooms, many of us have chosen to decant products into amber glass dispensers that you can pick up on Etsy. Personally, we find decanting products into uniform glasses weirdly satisfying, and it does make things look a little more put together. Head to our small bathroom design ideas roundup for more inspiration if you're struggling for space.

Check the use-by date, and consider decanting less expensive but nicely colored, bright bubble baths for show. It's best to keep SPF face creams, oils and expensive beauty items that you use regularly stored out of direct sunlight in their original packaging.

Millie Hurst

Millie joined Real Homes in January 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.