Because of the extensive range of cosmetic products available, an equally wide range of packaging designs is necessary to accommodate them.
The long list of cosmetic product packaging configurations includes tubes, pumps, pencils, compacts with mirrors, cases, bottles, jars and many more. These containers often must be air and water-tight in order to keep creams, pastes, lotions, powders, gels, cakes, waxes and jellies from spilling or become dried by contact with air.
Other cosmetic products like mascara, concealer, eye shadow, eye liner, lip stick, blush, lotions, creams, nail polish and body spray all require specialized packaging to create the right storage atmosphere and to allow for easy application. Some liquids like foundation and nail polish are stored in glass bottles, while lotions, which would be difficult to extract from glass, are packaged in plastic containers. Jars can feature pop-on or threaded twist-off lids, and bottles can be fitted with pumps and caps to dispense their products.
Cosmetic packaging can be made out of plastic, metal, glass and even polished wood in some cases. The majority of plastic cosmetic packaging products are made of acrylics, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP). There are exceptions, but these materials are so widely used because they are inexpensively and easily formed. They can also be lightweight, non-porous and hypoallergenic.
Most of the cosmetic packaging products made using these plastics are formed by blow molding. Blow molding begins by heating raw plastic material until it is molten. The molten plastic can be mixed in with coloring agents and other additives to improve the appearance of the finished product. The molten plastic is then injected into a mold cavity that is shaped like the intended packaging product. Compressed air is forced into the mold, forcing the plastic to take the mold’s shape and become hollow in its middle.
Once the plastic has taken its shape, it is allowed to cool and harden and is then ejected from the mold. The process is fast, accurate and highly repeatable. Thousands of identical containers are manufactured in high volumes through this molding process. Often, the cosmetic packagers assist customers with concept and brand development, as well as the exterior design of the logo and label.