October 1, 2018
Today, plastic squeeze tubes are called upon more than ever as the vehicle of choice to deliver cosmetic and personal care products. This is because tube packaging is a low cost, efficient, shelf stable and aesthetically pleasing way to deliver a product. In fact, squeeze tubes are becoming the “go-to” package of choice across many industries today. Squeeze tubes are a flexible choice to hold and dispense a wide range of products along with being easier and less expensive to manufacture, fill and seal compared to other packaging solutions like glass jars and bottles. Plastic tubes are also known for their durability and resistance to breaking. Since tubes offer an air tight sealed system, they can increase product shelf life. They are also considered convenient by the end consumer which is of importance in the beauty business because dispensing the product with ease is as much a part of the experience as the formula itself.
Choosing the Look of Your Tube
Choosing either matte or glossy varnish depends on your preference for the look. There are two tips to keep in mind; first, a gloss finish can be less expensive and second, some varnishes can add a bit of structure if needed to the tube. However, most importantly, you will need to figure out what type of cosmetic tube is needed for your product. The tube needs to suit the product in terms of compatibility, aesthetic and product evacuation.
When the product development team gets together to “talk tubes” the conversation can become complex. It is critical for the product success to select the right empty tube material, the right “tight” fitting cap, as well as, the appropriate and efficient filling and sealing systems. You must consider every product detail including the product formula, the viscosity, the type of product and its use, as well as, the aesthetic.
To get started, we will start by discussing the basic category of tubes to consider which include plastic tubes, laminate tubes, and aluminum tubes.
Polyethylene Tubes (PE) or Plastic Tubes
You will need to become familiar with basic plastic tubes that come in different grades of polyethylene (PE) from low density (LDPE) to medium density and high density (HDPE). These types of mono-layer or multi-layer tubes are suitable for everyday skin care products, or products with short shelf life, such as cleansers, creams, shampoos, lotions, and conditioners. They can be built with a barrier coating for additional protection to the product.
Laminated tubes can also be polyethylene but have an additional laminated coating which can serve two functions. First, laminate tubes provide the benefit of extra barrier protection for more volatile or irritant ingredient products. Secondly, the laminate layer allows for more complex art. However, since laminate tube material is produced flat, they typically cannot accommodate 360-degree art which is a drawback of the laminate tube. Laminate tubes are generally used for products such as tubes of toothpastes, acne products, sun blocks, and hair products. There are also several different barrier options, the most common being EVOH which serves a stronger barrier function than mono layer PE tubes above.
Aluminum or metal tubes are known for offering the best barrier protection for your formula. Also known as collapsible tubes, they can be used with the most aggressive or delicate formulas. Overall, aluminum tubes provide better protection than plastic squeeze tubes due to their heavy gauge material. They also offer an aesthetic many branded product lines prefer to plastic. The metallic look can now come in a variety of colors to enhance or completely cover the aluminum. Collapsible tubes compliment cleansers, active ingredient lotions and ointments. Keep in mind when evacuating metal tubes, the body of the tubes may take on a new distressed shape and have little to no recovery from in-use dispensing.
The Whole Package Provides Over 15 Years of Expertise in Tube Selection and Filling
The Whole Package with over 15 years of expert knowledge can assist you from inception to completion for your squeeze tube project. We will match the different types of tubes with the sealing technology you use in your production line. We equally understand the needs of the buyers and the requirements of production for the common goal of delivering a perfect product to the consumer.
Our in-house engineering department has worked with thousands of squeezable tubes from various tube manufacturers and brands. We know the latest technology and are always one step ahead in this field.
There is so much to consider when choosing a squeeze tube for your next project. Please contact us with any questions, we are happy to help!