Suitable Packaging Materials for the Cosmetics Industry

Your packaging is important in the presentation of your product which should aim to attract your target customers. In the cosmetics industry, different packaging materials are used including metals and plastics with glass containers being the oldest ones. In this article, we are going to discuss each of these packaging materials along with their advantages and disadvantages. Let us start with glass containers.

#1 Glass Containers

Silica sand is the key ingredient in the glass container manufacturing process along with trace elements such as sodium carbonate and metal oxides. Glass jars are popularly used in packaging emulsions because they provide convenient product removal using the fingers. 

One key advantage of glass containers is that they have a clean and decorative look. There are 3 major types of glass:

  • Regular soda-lime – more resistant to chemicals which is ideal for packaging most cosmetic products. 
  • Treated soda-lime – suitable for storing products for long periods of time.
  • Borosilicate – more inert compared to soda-lime glass because it contains zinc, aluminum, and boron.

Small glass jars with thick walls are used for cream products, lip gloss, and eye shadow while larger ones are used for powders, makeup removers, and foundations. Amber glass containers are suitable for colored cosmetic products such as those used for the body. If you are looking for affordable glass bottles for sale, you can check out Roetell.


Though plastic materials are great options because they are lightweight, there are 3 main reasons why glass should be used instead of plastic:

1.    It Protects Your Product From Its Packaging

Even if the package’s integrity is not compromised, the cosmetic formula’s quality can be affected when it interacts with the plastic’s chemical components. Plastic can leach chemicals that can negatively affect the cosmetic product’s stability.

2.    It Protects the Packaging From Your Product

There are cosmetic formulas that can interact with metals and plastics which compromises the package’s integrity. Perfumes are the best examples. Because of the oils in the perfume and the alcohol’s solvent nature, the perfume can dissolve plastic and react with metals which can rupture the package if you use them instead of glass.

3.    It Protects Your Products From Other Elements

Lastly, glass can protect your products from elements, especially oxygen. This is because the molecules of oxygen can pass through some plastics. Glass can provide a perfect barrier to oxygen especially for cosmetic products that are oxygen-sensitive. Tinted glass can also protect your products from the harmful effects of light.


Here are the disadvantages of glass.

1.    Weight

Glass is heavier than metal and plastic containers which means that transportation costs are more expensive. Transporting glass also leads to a higher carbon footprint which is not good for the environment.

2.    Breakable

Glass can be easily smashed and broken when knocked accidentally which leaves a mess behind. This can be dangerous as it can cut through a person’s skin especially for workers in factories.

#2 Metal Containers

Metal tubes and cans used for cosmetic packaging are usually made from tin or aluminum but the majority of collapsible tubes are created from aluminum. Aluminum can protect your product against contaminants from the outside environment. It is also among the most sustainable materials on our planet. If you are going to package your products in metal cans, make sure to use a reliable can sealer to prevent your products from spilling. 


You can use metal packaging for the following reasons:

1.    It Is Environmentally-Friendly

If you want to communicate an eco-friendly image, metal containers are your best choices because they can be recycled over and over again.

2.    It Provides the Strongest Protection to Your Products

Metals are unbreakable so they can provide maximum protection for your products. Aside from this, they can also guard your products against high temperature and moisture.    


Below are the disadvantages of metal containers:

1.    Moderately Heavy

Metal is still moderately heavy compared to plastic which makes it a more expensive choice because of its manufacturing process.

2.    Not Transparent

The content of the package is not visible so consumers might have a hard time selecting the product they really want.

3.    Corrosion

Metal is susceptible to corrosion which causes it to deteriorate. This can affect your product’s quality.

#3 Plastic Containers

The most popular plastic used in packaging cosmetics is PP. Other types include acrylic ingredients and PET. Acrylic plastics have the same appearance as glass but unlike glass, they are not breakable. Plastics can also be made in different tints and colors depending on what materials were used for the manufacturing process.


There are 3 main advantages of plastic containers for cosmetic packaging:

1.    Convenience

Because plastic is flexible and lightweight, it is more convenient for consumers to use. That is why plastic containers are still used for a wide array of cosmetic products.

2.    Durable

Since plastic is not breakable, it is more durable compared to glass. It also has a pleasing appearance and is odorless.

3.    Affordable

Plastic materials are more affordable compared to glass and metal containers so this makes them good choices for bulk productions.


Here are the disadvantages of plastic:

1.    Not Environmentally Friendly

Plastic pollution has been a major problem worldwide and once you open products packaged in plastic, you need to consume them immediately.

2.    Physical Stability

Plastic is susceptible to crazing, stress cracking, and absorption. It is not that resistant to a lot of chemical substances.


Your packaging symbolizes your brand’s identity and is considered as a part of your product by your consumers. When choosing a packaging material for your cosmetic products, consider the material’s purposes along with its advantages and disadvantages. You also need to consider its sustainability and durability because your packaging has to be both practical and attractive for it to become successful.

Vivianne Sterling

Editorial Manager at Beautips. I love street style and I'm always in search of bits of inspiration around me. I also believe in home-made solutions for fitness, beauty tricks and healthy cooking.

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