By Michael Hoer, Airless Line Manager for Europe at Aptar
Packaging innovation, a driver of growth in the cosmetics industry, has skyrocketed in recent decades.
A race against time
The cosmetics industry has been around for millennia. As far back as Ancient Egypt, ointments were produced to protect the skin and fight the signs of aging! Preserving formulas and the integrity of their active ingredients quickly proved essential. As modern cosmetic production became industrialized, chemical substances were developed to be used as preservatives. The main challenge in preserving care products is oxidation, which causes formulas to break down on contact with air. Bacterial proliferation from microbial contamination, due to contact with the fingers, is also a major issue.
But the current “preservative-free” trend presents a new challenge, because consumers still want longer product shelf lives. As consumers seek out more natural products with clear, easily understandable ingredient lists, they are not prepared to make the switch to daily single use solutions. This means that packaging must pick up the slack!
Increasingly superior containers
Traditional pots – whether in plastic or glass – and even classic tubes do not protect against oxidation and microbial contamination as the product is exposed during use.
Airless technology, which features a pump system that prevents air entering, was a groundbreaking innovation developed some thirty years ago in Japan. This innovation has made it possible to develop formulas with fewer and fewer chemical preservatives. Newer innovations have come from the pharmaceutical industry, such as preservative-free filters used for nasal and ophthalmological care products. From triplex bag systems to systems with pumps, the packaging’s ability to protect the formula has improved dramatically through inventive mechanics. After Irresistible, the first fully airtight pump able to protect preservative-free formulas launched in 2015, Aptar has written a new page for the history books on packaging innovation with Skin Protect