» Cosmetic Packaging Process
Cosmetic packaging is a critical factor in a consumer's overall
brand experience with any cosmetic product. Good packaging not only
optimizes product performance, but its 'shelf appeal' is a key factor in
determining whether consumers will make a purchase in the first place.
Generally, cosmetic products require high-quality packaging, as it has to
resist a host of harmful chemicals the contents and be compatible with
various active ingredients found in the products they house. When it comes
to the technical side of packaging, part of the challenge is to find the
right packaging materials for new products with ingredients that are
sensitive light, air, and other types of contaminants. There are two parts
to cosmetic packaging products; the aesthetic component, how the product
relates to the consumer; and the technical aspect, how the package performs
in terms of durability, clarity, barrier properties, and chemical
Cosmetic packaging must be durable, functional, and attractive, and it must
give people confidence in their purchase. For example, consumers frequently
want to see the color or consistency of a product inside a bottle or jar-so
clarity is often a requirement in packaging. For many years, glass was the
material of choice for manufacturers, but today it is widely being replaced
by transparent plastics (polymers) offering greater design flexibility,
process techniques, color, and weight variations.
The issue of transparency
along with other qualities such as gas barrier, flame-retardant
characteristics, dimensional stability, and chemical resistance, including
resistance to alcohol-an ingredient in many cosmetics and personal care
products-has raised the interest of many cosmetic companies.
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Plastics vs. Glass
Recently, there has been a move in the cosmetics industry towards the use
of clear containers to display a product's content. Polyvinyl chloride
(PVC), polyethylene terephthalate glycol copolymer (PETG), and polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) containers, are all plastic materials that are in high
demand. According to the American Plastics Council (APC), PET is clear,
tough, and has good gas and moisture barrier properties. Commonly used in
soft drink bottles and many injectionmolded containers such as those found
in cosmetic packaging. PVC, in addition to its stable physical properties,
has excellent chemical resistance, good weatherability, flow
characteristics, and stable electrical properties. Likewise, High Density
Polyethylene (HDPE) in its non-pigmented form is translucent, has good
barrier properties and stiffness, and is well suited to packaging products
with a short shelf life. Since HDPE has good chemical and crack resistance,
it is often used for packaging household and industrial chemicals.
There is a big demand for packaging that has the look and feel of glass,
but with all the benefits of plastic. In order to make their products stand
out in the crowd, manufacturers are constantly developing new design
concepts by integrating shape, color, surface appearance, and light
reflection capabilities. Although plastic is relatively cheap to
manufacture, it is not the price that makes it a popular choice, certain
plastic resins offer other advantages as well.
The transparency and
compatibility of plastic materials are almost equal to that of glass.
Cosmetic companies are demanding more plastic bottles, which is why
manufacturers are competing to make plastic resins more clear. Consumers
want to see what they're getting and manufacturers are increasingly turning
to clear plastic materials to showcase the colorful formulations found in
cosmetic products today.