When The Container is Part of a Cosmetics Formula

Here's an example of how packaging can be an integral part of a formula.

On the left: a light face cream in a sample jar. On the right: the same product in an airless container.

The scent is still the same, but I'm sure you can see the difference in the color and texture.

The cream in the little jar has become stiff while the cream in the airless container it is still as light and lovely as the day it was made.

This cream was designed to be packaged in an airless container, and behaves beautifully if packaged as designed, but I have also been putting it through a few hoops and loops to see how it fares in other types of packaging - the most challenging type being a sample jar.

This is a self-appointed challenge and test of a combination of things that I can't reveal details on just yet, but the headlines have to do with hurdle technology.

If you're a titch curious about what the heck hurdle technology is, check out this previous post along with the links on it.

Do Tell

Have you ever designed a formula for a specific type of packaging? Please share in a comment below.


LisaLise said…
Dear SL - I do apologize but accidentally deleted your comment from my system! I have managed to retrieve it but am only able to add it in this manner. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INPUT.

Comment from SL
Thanks for addressing an important consideration if one is making more than a few days' supply of any natural product. Lots of folks making a few ounces of something lovely for themselves and to share with a few friends will be less disappointed in their outcomes for having read your blog!

I have indeed prepared products designed for different types of containers/packaging.

Products with high water content need airtight containers, and high-water emulsions work, and last, as you've found, better in airless dispensers.

High oil content creams, salves, and balms -- depending on how the oils are stabilized against oxidation -- can tolerate open jars and other wide-mouthed containers for quite long periods.

I have a running gripe with a much-loved manufacturer of a very good pharmaceutical-grade progesterone cream. She makes a great product at a wonderful price point, but her packaging is atrocious! Open jars all the way for a high-water content light emulsion cream, so it degrades from the moment you open it. When she finally offered an airless pump bottle, I gladly ordered one. Only to learn that she had gone low-budget and no-test, so her product is dispensed erratically, often includes large air bubbles that disrupt flow, and the pump self-destructs long before all the product is dispensed. I went back to buying jars that I decanted into TESTED airless pump bottles!

In our production, we test all containers with anything mechanical for 30 days or longer, with no less that 5 uses per day. If they don't hold up, we don't use them -- it's really not fair to our customers to pay for a high-grade product delivered in a container that is not appropriate to the compound as discussed above, or is not sturdy enough to last for the life of the product.

Thanks again for addressing this oft-overlooked aspect of making and using natural products. The mass-commercial producers know this, but the average dabbler and even some small batch pros do not always consider the importance of this.