Cosmetics and hair colourants
Selecting paperboard for packaging:
- Skin care
- Hair care
Enhancing natural beauty
Cosmetics and hair colourants have been used throughout history to enhance beauty and improve appearance. Much time and money is spent on beauty culture with helping to create feelings of confidence and well-being. The products occur in many different forms and consistencies. Thus they are kept in suitable primary containers, often elaborately and luxuriously designed. Where appropriate, pumps or aerosols for dispersion may be incorporated to facilitate their use.
Cosmetic products are sometimes very exclusive. They require cartons which keep their expensive contents in perfect condition and communicate glamour, beauty and personal care. The main criteria when choosing the paperboard for cosmetics and hair colourants are strength, together with characteristics which allow for the design of elegant packages with attractive shapes and beautiful surface decoration.
Choice of paperboard
For cosmetics and hair colourants the design of the package is a vital part of the brand image and product identity. The visual impact is achieved through the shape of the package and its surface decoration. The graphical design is characterised by beauty and a touch of elegance or naturalness, depending on the target group. For a hair colourant the graphical presentation often includes a picture of a beautiful woman, whose glistening hair illustrates the result of the colouring. For cosmetics the decorations may be less factual and more creative.
Important characteristics of the paperboard are whiteness, smoothness and surface finish. Good contrast between the paperboard surface and the print is required to achieve an excellent graphical presentation. Some illustrations are made in bold strong colours, others in soft pastel shades or sharp half-tone pictures. In order to reproduce the illustrations with true colour identity, the surface coating must be very smooth, but not too glossy. The graphical presentation calls for pure virgin fibres. Together with selected coating ingredients, the use of virgin fibres also ensures good light stability to prevent fading. Surface strength is needed for embossing, lamination and hot foil stamping. A strong and tough multiply paperboard is required for the creative shape of the package.
The main purpose of the carton is to protect its expensive contents from physical hazards in distribution, storage and handling. It is also vital that the carton is in excellent condition at the point of sale. Therefore a strong paperboard is critically important. The protection characteristics have to last as long as they are needed. Some-times the carton is disposed of immediately when first opened, sometimes it may be kept through-out the life of the product. Then the closures are required to withstand the handling without failing in terms of function and appearance.
Important protective characteristics of the paperboard are compression strength and folding endurance which, together with good creasing and gluing properties, ensure a strong carton. A smooth surface provides for ease of handling. It also provides for good rub and abrasion resistance, thereby preserving the graphical presentation. The use of virgin fibres ensures these characteristics and, combined with selected coating ingredients, prevents printed text, e. g. user instructions for hair colourants, from deteriorating.
Printing and conversion
To obtain efficiency in printing and conversion a flat, stable and dust-free paperboard is required. Good absorption, drying and gluing properties are important. Many cosmetic cartons are small in size, which puts special demands on accurate cutting and creasing.
Thus a high print quality is ensured, while process stoppages and material waste are minimised.
Usually, the cartons for cosmetics and hair colourants are rectangular in cross section, with tuck-in-flap closures. Sometimes supporting fitments are applied. The more exclusive products are often hand packed, whereas high volume products are packed mechanically, sometimes at high speed. The cartons are usually provided with the side seam glued for erection, filling and closing on the packaging line. The packaging machines require cartons with low opening force and consistency in thickness and folding characteristics. For small boxes the low opening force is very important.