Modern cosmetic packaging materials fall into three main camps: plastic, glass, and metal.
Plastic Cosmetic Cream Jar Packaging
Due to its flexibility and cost-effectiveness, plastic remains a widely used material for cosmetics and personal care products. With unrivaled options, there’s an endless line of plastic packaging solutions available to fit every taste, style, budget, and formulation.
Resins are a diverse group of substances that form the foundation of every plastic; they can be manipulated through various physical and thermal processes to give rise to different plastic types. These plastic varieties are denoted using numbered symbols in the shape of an arrowed triangle, called the Resin Identification Code (RIC). There are seven RICs, all of which make it easy to recognize and evaluate each plastic’s properties and recycling potential.
PETE or PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)
PET is extremely popular in cosmetics due to its resistance to damage, low weight, and flexible finishes. It can be made transparent, frosted, or opaque. It is suitable for most cosmetic formulations and allows the elegant showcasing of the color and/or consistency of beauty or skincare products.
PET can be recycled once used. All of NDA’s PET bottles and jars are also BPA free.
HDPE (High-density polyethylene)
HDPE plastic is strong and highly durable, and can be reused and recycled. It is suitable for most cosmetic formulations. Clear finishes like with PET are not possible with HDPE, although semi-transparent options are available.
PVC or V (Polyvinyl chloride)
While PVC is lightweight and able to withstand varying temperatures and conditions, it cannot be easily recycled. It can also cause serious health effects due to the toxins and pollutants it can release during usage and disposal.
LDPE (Low-density polyethylene)
LDPE is highly flexible, although less firm than HDPE and also shows decreased resistance to temperature variations. It exhibits good chemical compatibility, however, offers clearer finishes, and can be a good option for products that need to withstand squeezing or careful dispensing, such as travel-sized lotions, makeup, and pharmaceutical products or medicine.
LDPE products can be reused but are difficult to recycle.
PP is light, rigid, semi-transparent, and resistant to temperature variations. In addition to cosmetic containers, PP is commonly used to create cosmetic lids, caps, and Caska seals (round discs that seal creams into the container before the top is secured).
PP can be recycled and generally re-used.
Commonly used to make styrofoam products, PS applications in cosmetics are mainly for outer packaging purposes, such as packing fillers or protective cushioning.
PS breaks easily and is designed to be disposable. It can be difficult to recycle.
This classification relates to miscellaneous resins such as Polycarbonate and Acrylate polymers. The recycling potential and properties will, therefore, vary from type to type.
It is important to note that cosmetic products containing essential oils, if packed in plastic, tend to ‘panel’ over time. Paneling causes the walls of the plastic container to collapse, creating an unappealing, hollow, and distorted look. To prevent this from happening, ensure that stability tests are conducted before choosing the final plastic packaging for your products. As a rule of thumb, plastic packaging with thicker walls helps prevent paneling.
Metal Cosmetic Packaging
Cosmetic containers made of metal can offer a sleek, elegant, premium look that is also sturdy, non-toxic, and durable. Aluminum is a popular choice as it is easy to handle and very lightweight, making it user-friendly at the hands of customers. For small business owners, it can also be a good budget-friendly option that carries other useful benefits as well. Unlike glass, metal is less fragile and can, therefore, endure tougher transport or storage conditions, which can be favorable for those shipping over long distances. It is also highly recyclable and can easily be melted and reused for novel purposes.
One factor you may want to keep in mind is metal’s lack of transparency. Products where it may be useful for buyers to view the container’s insides, whether for better sales or enhanced user experience, may be better suited for plastic or glass packaging.
Aluminum bottles are especially convenient for dry or powdered products, as well as sprays and deodorants. Aluminum canisters are ideal for scrubs, creams, candles, salves, butter, and lip or body balms.
Glass Cosmetic Packaging
Glass containers can be an excellent choice for luxury or high-end cosmetic products due to their attractive, crystalline appearance. Available in transparent, frosted, or tinted finishes, they are especially suitable for packaging perfumes and fragrances, but are also abundantly used for essential oils, candles, skincare products, personal care products, nail polish, and makeup. One big advantage of glass as a material is its recyclability; it can be continually recycled while still retaining its quality and integrity. This can make glass products even more appealing due to their sustainability. For some consumers, glass is also perceived to be safer than plastic due to concerns over BPA exposure.
Because of its chemical inertness, glass is extremely forgiving for practically any cosmetic or skincare formulation. Pure essential oils, for instance, will interact with plastic and rubber, and so are generally stored in glass bottles. Tinted glass containers, such as cobalt blue or amber, are sometimes preferred due to their added UV protection.
On the flip side, glass containers tend to be more expensive, heavy, and fragile. For obvious safety reasons, they should be avoided for bath and shower products. Their fragility should also be given special consideration during storage and shipping.
We are a Trigger Sprayer Factory, offer all kinds of cosmetic packaging, please consult us if you have any questions.