Protecting high-value products from leakage, contamination, oxidation and tampering is high on the list of cosmetics manufacturers’ packaging priorities. Selig’s Sales Director, PETER TINDALE, explains…
According to a recent report from the data and analytics specialist, GlobalData, the UK consumer spend on cosmetics and beauty products is forecast to rise by £73 to £487 per head and reach a market value of almost £27bn by 2022. It is perhaps no surprise then that cosmetics manufacturers are investing heavily in the development of new products to meet burgeoning demand – as well as the consumer-led packaging innovations that must, inevitably, accompany it.
A sector renowned for premium packaging innovation, the cosmetics industry is now almost wholly focused on glass as the preferred container medium. Glass, as opposed to plastic, is more readily associated with a luxury cosmetic product and manufacturers are at pains to ensure the packaging of these products delivers a premium message, particularly as they represent a high retail price point.
The preference for glass over plastic also reflects growing consumer concerns for the environmental consequences of carelessly discarded and non-recyclable plastic containers. Glass is universally and easily recycled, whereas plastics pose more of a technical challenge for the materials recycling industry, and plastics recyclability is, to put it mildly, patchy from one local authority to another.
AN AIRTIGHT CASE
As is very much the case for food, a key priority for cosmetics packaging is that products remain secure in transit and are tamper-free, safe and saleable once they reach the retail shelves. Creams, lotions and liquids will deteriorate rapidly when exposed to air, including oxidation and product caking. Packaging must also remain airtight to maintain product integrity and to ensure prolonged shelf-life. As a consequence, container sealing has become an increasingly important aspect of cosmetics packaging design.
The reliable containment of liquids and creams in the industry’s preferred packaging medium has, however, proved something of a challenge. The most secure sealing for liquids in glass jars has been steam capping, a process that is slow, expensive and which often produces a seal that is secured too tightly. Consumers have to resort to the use of an impromptu tool in order to open it.
Alternative approaches in the Cosmetic industry have included the use of plastic shives with tut inserts, which is also expensive and does not guarantee a hermetic seal. Additional weaknesses in this sealing system are manifested when used with creams and moisturisers with high oil content, as the oil tends to penetrate the neck area rendering the seal ineffective.
Moreover, such seals are not watertight, making them unsuitable for use with some liquids, particularly those of low viscosity and high volatility. As well as impacting on a brand’s reputation, packaging that doesn’t sufficiently protect against leakages drives up costs incurred by product wastage and product returns.
OPENING UP THE OPTIONS
A solution to these problems is now available in the form of a new EU-compliant heat seal that provides an airtight seal to glass. The formulation used in this new product resists oil penetration and works with all types of glass, treated or untreated and glass packaging of any shape or size, opening up its applications potential to a wide range of packaging options. Importantly, the seal avoids the need for any rim preparation and does not need to be used in combination with a plastic shive/tut insert, reducing material costs and speeding packaging cycle times.
Selig’s DELTASEAL™ 9000, which features this new heat seal, consists of an aluminium foil coated with a heat seal polymer layer, laminated to a white-lined folding box board. When inserted into the closure, the lining material is applied to the glass and sealed by induction. The foil membrane provides excellent barrier resistance and the sealing process itself protects the product from moisture and oxygen ingress.
The closure retains the liner material behind a retention bead while allowing it to rotate freely. When removed or opened by the consumer, an audible ‘crack’ is heard, indicating that the materials have separated to leave a clean foil on the container and a secondary liner in the cap that prevents product contamination. In a further development, Selig has also made its new heat seal available on its Lift ‘n’ Peel™ platform, which offers consumers a tamper-evident, hermetic seal that is easily removed via an integral half-moon tab.
DELTASEAL 9000 can be used with a vast range of products, including any cream, liquid, lotion, serum or oil – as well as products containing alcohol or acetone – that need to be sealed in a glass container. The solution answers consumers’ demands for premium, easy-to-use and environmentally friendly cosmetics packaging, while fulfilling manufacturers’ wishes for increased productivity, reduced returns and extended product life.