Industry information

Current status of cosmetic packaging materials in China - Maypak

June 01, 2023

Key Words: Cosmetic Packaging, Plastic Packaging, Metal Packaging, compatibility of packaging materials.

According to the daily report of Marketsand Markets, the second largest market consulting company in the world, the global cosmetic packaging market is expected to grow from US$49.4 billion in 2020 to US$60.9 billion in 2025. In 2017, the sales volume of my country's cosmetic packaging material market increased by 28.8% year-on-year from 7.28 billion pieces in 2017 to 9.38 billion pieces in 2021. From the perspective of demand, the steady growth of China's national consumption power has led to the continuous growth of the market size of industries including jewelry and cosmetics. A large number of business opportunities in the fields of mid-to-high-end packaging materials, packaging design, and packaging manufacturing.

In addition to good barrier properties, cosmetic packaging materials are also very important in terms of functionality and decoration. Cosmetic packaging materials come in various forms and are mainly divided into two categories: main packaging and auxiliary packaging. The part that is in direct contact with cosmetics is called the main packaging, all kinds of glass bottles, plastic bottles, hoses, etc.; the part that is not in direct contact with cosmetics is called auxiliary material packaging, generally various packaging boxes, cosmetic bags, paper labels, etc.


Research Status Of Packaging Materials Commonly Used In Cosmetics Industry

At present, there are four main categories of common cosmetic packaging materials: glass packaging, plastic packaging, metal packaging and flexible packaging. Among them, glass packaging materials are mainly used in cosmetics such as cream bottles, essences, toners, and essential oil bottles. Glass packaging materials are mainly composed of three major categories: main materials, auxiliary materials, and special materials; plastic packaging materials are mainly used in cosmetics. Used for hoses, cream bottles, blow bottles, pump heads, outer covers, etc.; metal packaging materials have better barrier properties, especially aluminum materials have a very strong barrier ability to water and oxygen, which can better protect the contents In the field of cosmetics, it is mainly used for some essential oil added skin care products, cosmetic packaging boxes, etc. Among them, plastic is the main material of cosmetic packaging, accounting for more than 70% of the market share.

Environmental Packaging Materials For Cosmetics

Products packaged in glass packaging materials have the advantages of non-toxic, odorless, transparent and beautiful, good barrier properties, pressure resistance, high temperature resistance, etc. Compared with plastic, paper, metal and other packaging materials, glass packaging materials have relatively stable chemical properties and are the current One of the safest packaging materials.

Common Types Of Glass Packaging

Glass packaging materials are mainly used in the fields of cream bottles, essence, toner, and essential oil bottles in cosmetics. Most of the glass in daily life is silicate glass with SiO2 as the main component, which belongs to the Na2O-CaO-SiO2 system. Ordinary glass contains Na2O (12%~16%), CaO (6%~12%), SiO2 (66%~75%), and a small amount of Al2O3, MgO and other oxides, which belong to soda calcium glass. Also known as Na, Ca, Si glass (soda glass, lime glass), bottle glass, and utensil glass, glass packaging materials are mainly divided into three categories: main materials, auxiliary materials, and special materials. Main materials mainly include silica sand (or quartz powder), soda ash (Na2CO3), limestone (CaCO3); auxiliary materials mainly include clarifying agent (generally sulfate), cosolvent (generally nitrate, sulfate); special materials (generally It is an oxidizing agent, a physical decolorizing agent).

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Glass Packaging

Glass packaging is one of the four major materials in the packaging industry, with a market share of 15%. Due to its excellent characteristics and the continuous improvement of the manufacturing process, glass packaging materials can still meet the applications of most industries such as food and medicine at this stage. Glass packaging materials mainly have the following advantages:

1. The glass material has excellent protective performance, is airtight, moisture-proof, has ultraviolet shielding properties, has good chemical stability, is non-toxic and odorless, has certain mechanical strength, and can effectively preserve the contents;

2. The glass has good transparency and is easy to shape, which can achieve the function of beautifying the product;

3. Glass packaging materials have strong plasticity and can be made into various styles of packaging materials to meet the diversity of commodities to a great extent;

4. Glass strengthening, lightweight technology and composite technology have developed to a certain extent, which has strengthened the adaptability to packaging, especially in disposable packaging materials, glass materials have the advantage of strong grades.

Glass packaging materials also have disadvantages such as low impact resistance, easy damage when colliding, high transportation costs, and good light transmission will deteriorate the contents:

First of all, environmental pollution is serious. In the mining of siliceous raw materials in my country, 10% to 15% of the available ore is discarded. The average yield of hard sandstone does not exceed 60%, and the output rate of quartz sand after beneficiation does not exceed 70%. Utilization is low. In the world, the standard coal consumption per ton of daily glass is 160kg~200kg, while in my country it is 380kg~400kg, and the consumption of electric energy is also higher than the international standard. In summary, the excessive energy consumption and resource consumption are serious for environmental pollution.

For example, harmful dust in the process of raw material processing, harmful gas, smoke and dust, waste residue, etc. discharged in the process of glass melting, waste water and waste oil discharged in the processing process, all cause serious damage to the natural environment; second, the production efficiency is low, my country's glass packaging technology level is backward, the added value of products is low, the product design lacks creativity, and the market competitiveness is insufficient. Although my country has made great progress in glass smelting technology, glass forming technology, raw material quality control, etc., there is still a big gap between us and developed countries when looking at the entire international market; third, the recycling rate is low, Japan China's glass recovery rate is about 50%, Germany's glass recovery rate is about 80%, while my country's glass recovery rate is only 20%, which will generate a lot of waste and is not conducive to the sustainable development of our country.

Study on Compatibility of Glass Packaging Materials

China's laws and regulations on glass packaging materials are mainly concentrated in the field of drugs and food, such as "Measures for the Administration of Packaging Materials and Containers Directly Contacting Drugs" (State Food and Drug Administration Order No. 13), "Description of Chemical Drug Injections and Plastic Packaging Materials Technical Guidelines for Sexual Research (Trial)" (State Food and Drug Administration [2012] No. 267), "Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Quantitatively Packaged Commodities" (General Administration Order No. 75), "Agricultural Product Packaging and Labeling Management Measures" (Ministry of Agriculture Order No. 70), "Administrative Measures for the Inspection of Export Commodity Transport Packaging" (Trial Implementation)[, etc., but there are very few laws and regulations on cosmetic packaging materials, and the research on the compatibility of cosmetic glass packaging materials mainly refers to drug and food packaging. Detection means and methods.

Since more additives are added in the production process of glass bottles and jars, it is necessary to test the compatibility of glass packaging materials.

1. Detect the pH value, weather resistance, the degree of shedding of the bottle body after shaking, etc.;

2. As a packaging material for cosmetics, transparent glass products lack certain aesthetics. Cu2O (to turn transparent glass into red), CuO (to turn transparent glass into blue-green), and CdO (to turn transparent glass into yellow) are added during the production process. ) and other metal substances, so detect the migration of metal substances into cosmetics;

3. Rubber gaskets and seals are used in glass packaging materials. Various additives are added to rubber substances during the synthesis process. Therefore, it is also very important to detect whether these additives migrate into cosmetics.

Plastic Packaging Material

Plastic packaging is one of the four major materials in the packaging industry, accounting for 25%. In the field of cosmetics, plastic packaging materials are mainly used in hoses, cream bottles, blown bottles (essence bottles, water bottles), pump heads, outer covers, etc.

Common Types of Plastic Packaging

Common plastic packaging materials for cosmetics mainly include: polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene terephthalate -1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol ester (PETG), styrene-acrylonitrile copolymer (AS), acrylonitrile-styrene-butadiene copolymer (ABS), etc.

1. Polypropylene (PP) is a polymer synthesized from propylene through addition polymerization. It is a white waxy material with a transparent and light appearance. The chemical formula is (C3H6)n, the density is 0.89~0.91g/cm3, the melting point is 189°C, it softens at about 155°C, and the service temperature range is -30~140°C. It can resist the corrosion of various organic solvents such as acid, alkali and salt below 80°C, and can decompose under high temperature and oxidation.

Disadvantages mainly include: insufficient rigidity at high temperature, brittle at low temperature; poor environmental resistance, easy to turn yellow and brittle when used outdoors; large anisotropy of tensile strength, easy deformation of the product, low continuous use temperature, not difficult to long-term load. At this stage, polypropylene materials are mainly used in the field of cosmetics for cream bottles, lotion bottles, bottle caps, mascara containers, etc.


2. Polyethylene (PE) is a thermoplastic resin obtained by polymerizing ethylene. It is milky white and translucent, with a waxy greasy feeling, easy to burn, corrosion resistant, and good electrical insulation. Common types of polyethylene are as follows: low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), medium-density polyethylene (MDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), chlorinated Polyethylene (CPE), cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). At present, polyethylene is mainly used in cosmetic packaging materials such as hoses, lotion bottles, and bottle caps.


3. Polystyrene (PS) is a polymer synthesized by free radical polycondensation of styrene monomer, a colorless and transparent thermoplastic. General formula [(CH2CHC6H5)n], odorless, colorless, tasteless, transparent, flammable, non-extensible. Polystyrene includes ordinary polystyrene, expanded polystyrene (ESP), high impact polystyrene (HIPS) and regular polystyrene (SPS). Polystyrene is mainly used in cosmetics as packaging materials for lotion bottles, cream bottles, lip gloss bottles, and eye shadow boxes.


4. Polyethylene terephthalate plastics mainly include polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). Polyethylene terephthalate, commonly known as polyester resin, is a condensation polymer of terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has good electrical insulation performance and is less affected by temperature, but its corona resistance is poor; its chemical corrosion resistance is slightly worse than other thermoplastic resins, and it is not suitable for use in concentrated acid and alkali environments. Work; good heat resistance, long-term use temperature is about 120 ℃, melting point 260 ℃; creep resistance, fatigue resistance, good friction resistance, low wear and high hardness; strong toughness, strong water absorption and other characteristics. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is mainly used in cosmetics as packaging materials such as lotion bottles, cream bottles, and cosmetic bags.


5. Polyethylene terephthalate-1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol (PETG) is a non-crystalline copolyester, and the comonomer commonly used in PETG is 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol Methanol (CHDM), the full name is polyethylene terephthalate-1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol. The polycondensation product of terephthalic acid (PTA), ethylene glycol (EG), and 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol (CHDM) has more 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol (CHDM) than PET. Methanol comonomer has more ethylene glycol comonomer than PCT, so the performance of PETG is quite different from PET and PCT. So far, only two companies in the world, Eastman of the United States and SK of South Korea, have relatively mature technologies. PETG products are highly transparent and have good toughness. They are suitable for forming transparent products on the back wall. PETG has excellent processing and forming performance and can be designed in any shape according to the designer's intention. It can be formed by traditional extrusion, injection molding, blow molding and blister molding. method. In cosmetics, PETG is mainly used in perfume bottles, bottle caps, cosmetic bottles and caps, lipstick tubes, cosmetic boxes, deodorant packaging, talcum powder bottles and eyeliner sets, etc.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Plastic Packaging

With the development of resin synthesis technology, the advantages of plastic packaging are becoming more and more prominent: First, plastics have excellent physical and mechanical properties, such as certain strength, elasticity, folding resistance, friction resistance, vibration resistance, moisture resistance, and better Gas leakage resistance, etc.; plastics have good chemical stability. Acid and alkali resistance, chemical reagent resistance, grease resistance, corrosion resistance, non-toxic, etc.; plastic is a lightweight material. The specific gravity is about 1g/cm3, about 1/5 of metal and 1/2 of glass; the processing and molding technology of plastic is simple, and it can be made into various forms of packaging. There are many plastic molding techniques, such as blow molding, extrusion, casting, vacuum, heat shrinkage, stretching, etc., which can be made into films, sheets, pipes, woven fabrics, non-woven fabrics, hair Foam materials, etc.; plastic has excellent light transmission and surface gloss, good printing and decoration performance.

As a packaging material, plastic also has many shortcomings and shortcomings. It is not as strong as steel, and its heat resistance is not as good as glass. It is easy to age under the long-term influence of external factors, some plastics have peculiar smell, and waste is difficult to handle.

Study on Compatibility of Plastic Packaging Materials

The compatibility of cosmetic packaging and its contents broadly refers to the interaction between plastic packaging and cosmetics, including chemical compatibility, physical compatibility, and biocompatibility. Taking polystyrene (PS) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS) resins as examples, if the reaction is not complete during the synthesis process, small molecular monomers such as styrene and vinyl chloride will migrate into the content for further processing. Harmful to the human body; another example is that one of the raw materials of PET resin is ethylene glycol. If the post-treatment is not in place during the reaction process, a certain amount of diethylene glycol will remain, and diethylene glycol can be mixed with water, and water is a cosmetic product. An integral part of the ingredients, so cosmetics mixed with diethylene glycol are also harmful to the human body. However, with the continuous advancement of plastic packaging material synthesis technology in recent years, these harmful substances produced during the polymerization and processing of polymer compounds are extremely small, and the damage to the human body is also minimal. It is the "culprit" that plastic packaging materials cause harm to the human body.

In order to improve the plasticity of the resin, a certain amount of plasticizer must be added during the synthesis process to increase the ductility and flexibility of the plastic, so that the resin has excellent processability. The plasticizers used at this stage mainly include phthalates, anthracene oil, and phosphate esters. Taking phthalates as an example, they are the most widely used plasticizers with the best plasticizing effect at this stage. However, this type of plasticizer has a great impact on human reproductive health and has been strictly restricted. , disable. Anthracene oil contains a large amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, is physiologically toxic, and has been restricted or banned. Therefore, in addition to considering the migration of harmful substances when studying the compatibility of plastic packaging materials, plasticizers are also the most important thing in the compatibility testing of packaging materials.


With the progress of the times and the development of science and technology, cosmetics are no longer simple beauty products. Today we give it more possibilities: intelligent cosmetics that can repair epidermal cells by themselves, enhance skin regulation ability, and help skin recovery; Energy cosmetics that enhance the energy of human epidermal cells and help the skin absorb nutrients; natural cosmetics that are saviors for sensitive skin will become the trend of future cosmetics.

As a container for cosmetics—cosmetic packaging materials, it shoulders the responsibilities of safety, green, environmental protection, and recyclability. At this stage, my country’s cosmetic packaging material regulations and supervision are relatively weak. Compared with food and drug packaging materials, there are complete laws and regulations Cosmetic packaging materials only stipulate in the current "Safety and Technical Specifications for Cosmetics" (2015 Edition) that "packaging materials that directly contact cosmetics should be safe, and must not chemically react with cosmetics, and must not migrate or release toxic and harmful substances that are harmful to the human body." In the follow-up, a series of laws and regulations related to packaging materials should be introduced to standardize, expand and prosper the market.

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