Tube takeover

7 December 2018



Tubes have proved to be effective, and cost-effective, packaging components across the cosmetics and skincare industries for many years, and are increasingly being adopted by other markets. Cosmetics Packaging Insight selects a number of products featuring tubes as primary packaging components from GlobalData’s pack track database, and highlights the features that make these products innovative and improvements on what came before.


Ubiquitous and more than fit for purpose, tubes have long been a mainstay in the cosmetics and skincare markets, but their rise to innovation superstars has been a more recent trend. The following products have been chosen from GlobalData’s pack track database as being a major improvement and innovation, and having a tube as a primary packaging component. All of these products have been launched over the past six months.

Etude Corporation: four-tipped, pen-style applicator

South Korea’s Etude Corporation has launched its brow marker tint with a four-tipped, pen-style applicator. The company claims that its smudge-proof formula will last for two to three days.

Packaging construction consists of a matt-printed cartonboard carton with straight tuck ends; inside is an injection-moulded brown plastics, penstyle rigid tube with silver-coloured and printed decoration.

The key innovation in this product is the four-pronged applicator for eyebrow tint colour. A multi-tip marker-type applicator helps to give a natural, hair-like look very quickly; however, it is difficult to draw very fine lines. The pentype pack is easy to hold and use, and can be carried discreetly in a handbag for use on the go. The integral applicator enhances the pack’s suitability for on-the-go touchups since no additional tools are required. The pack requires no priming for use, though it may be necessary to shake the pen to aid colour flow into the applicator tip.

Bliss: Fab Girl Sixpack

Bliss has launched a major tube innovation into the skincare market with its Fab Girl Sixpack, core-forming gel, which it claims has a “powerful blend of six core-stimulating ingredients” that “helps visibly tone, tighten and firm” the abdominal area.

The gel is housed in an injectionmoulded white plastics airless pump dispenser tube with three-colour printed decoration around the body. The product also contains a bi-injection moulded plastics closure with spring-activated pump dispensing mechanism and an injection-moulded clear plastics friction-fit over-cap with moulded node to close off the dispensing aperture.

Other interesting applications of closures with integral massage devices include Voltaren pain-relief gel (laminate tube with push-pull type closure); Nivea firming shower gel (HDPE bottle with massage head that has adjustable firmness); and a H20 Plus Aquafirm skin-firming gel (PP bottle with roller-type massager).

In this product, the main feature is the airless tube with integral massage head incorporated into the pump dispenser actuator. The pump closure does not require priming for use (twisting open, for example) and the pack is ready to use as soon as the over-cap has been removed: just invert the pack and press the massage head firmly on to the abdominal area to dispense a blob of gel. This format allows quick, simple, one-handed dispensing while the massage head means that gel can be applied cleanly without using fingers. The gel dispenses repeatedly while the massage continues to work. This format could have application in the wider personal-care market or the household-care sector – for cleaning products or stain removers, for example.

Everpro: Beauty Gray Away

Everpro in the US has developed Beauty Gray Away, a temporary hair-colour stick for touching up grey roots at the hairline and on eyebrows. It claims that the “selfadjusting colour technology blends to match any hair colour” and that the product is free from peroxide, parabens, ammonia, harsh chemicals and permanent dyes. The product comes in an injectionmoulded black plastics rigid tube with a crayon-type colour stick at one end, covered by an injection-moulded black plastics snap-on cap. Although Tru Tone in India has previously sold a solid stick touch-up colour, this is the first stick-type product with an integral blending sponge on the market.

The actual size of the stick is illustrated on one side of the outer pack so that consumers are not deceived by the larger carton. This brand’s range also includes Root Touch-up Magnetic Powder in a handy compact-style pack with pull-out sponge applicator. One end of the pack features coloured powder, compressed into a solid stick format that can be applied directly to the hair roots, while the other end has a small sponge applicator to blend the colour for a more natural look. The dualended stick format means that there is no need for the consumer’s hands to come into direct contact with the colour, making usage quick, clean and easy. The format is ideal for use on the go or when travelling and the stick can be carried easily in a handbag, pocket or make-up bag.

Yes To: Superblueberries sleeping mask

Another US innovation, this time from Yes To, which has launched a skincare and beauty range this year, all of which have been considerable improvements in the sector. The latest is its Yes To Superblueberries sleeping mask with Greek yogurt and probiotics. The product is packed in a plastics laminate tube with straight-end seal and an injection-moulded white plastics push-pull type closure with purple-coloured soft brush applicator.

The use of a tube with brush-on application for a sleeping mask is unusual for the category. The brush-on application extends portability of the product so it can be easily used on the go or out of the home. As the cap is unscrewed, it pulls up the base of the brush and unlocks the tube ready for use. The consumer needs to squeeze the tube to start product flow into the brush. Replacing the screw cap will automatically return the base of the brush to its original position and stop the flow. The automatically activated pull-push applicator eliminates direct hand contact with the product, resulting in a quick, clean and hygienic usage experience.

The pack is inverted for presentation and storage, and stands on its cap. Gravity means that the product naturally falls towards the closure ready for dispensing. The tube is quite tall and slender, so it fits comfortably in the hand for easy application. The flexible tube format means that once the cap has been opened, it is easy to squeeze out the mask on to the brush and skin.

Hard Candy: Sheer Envy primer stick

In make-up, Hard Candy has created its Sheer Envy primer stick, which it says prepares the skin for “flawless make-up application” and to have a cooling effect.

Primer stick is an injection-moulded opaque rigid white plastics tube with twistup dispensing actuator; it is divided in half, so the top part forms a friction-fit lid, and the bottom part has a twist-up dispensing mechanism (rotating the lower part pushes the inner product barrel upwards) and direct-printed decoration over the tube (graduated pearlised blue to white and back to blue) with the product name at the front printed with metallised effect.

A portable twist-up tube format for make-up primer is a new and exciting development, and what generates the major improvement rating for the innovation factor. An easy to hold, sticktype pack format makes the product instantly ready to use and easy to apply directly to the face. This convenient-forapplying format is perfect for on-the-go use and would be easy to carry, for example, in a handbag. The applicator stick means that product contact with fingers is minimised, which reduces the risk of potential mess.

Tonymoly: Painting Therapy Pack

South Korea’s Tonymoly has brought fresh innovation to the facial-care market with the Painting Therapy Pack, a black-clay face mask with bamboo charcoal that helps to extract impurities and break down dead skin cells – it’s recommended for helping to control sebum and oil.

Packed in a printed opaque PP laminate flexible tube with straight-end seal and injection-moulded head, there is a comprehensive range of masks with various colours and formulas/ functions in the same packaging type, but with different colour codes. They can be “blended depending on the skin condition”.

The pack design introduces the element of fun and encourages consumers to experiment, similar to a painter mixing their colour palette. Blending different varieties changes the colour of the product. The following suggestions are listed on the manufacturer’s website: black and pink become grey (for easily irritated, oily skin), yellow and pink become orange (for easily irritated dry skin), white and yellow become lemon (for dull, dry skin), and yellow and blue become green (for extremely dry skin in need of maximum hydration). The colour of the cap and top of the tube matches the colour of the product, and is different for every variety.

PÜR: Joystick

PÜR has developed the innovative Joystick, an “all-in-one” deep-pore cleansing stick said to have an exfoliator and toner that “foams on contact to instantly draw out dirt, oil and impurities with charcoal and Moroccan lava clay”.

The major improvement is the use of a twist-up tube for extended portability. The format offers increased consumer convenience for applying the product compared with flexible tubes or pouches. Slender stick-type pack format is easy to hold for use and has good portability for taking on the go or travelling. Product contact with fingers is minimised, improving the hygiene aspect of application and reducing potential mess.

Dove: DermaSpa

Unilever is one of the world’s leading brand companies, and Dove is one of its pillar brands. It’s launched DermaSpa, a gift set that contains body lotion in an oval PE flexible tube with straight-end seal and an injection-moulded, pearlised dark-blue head, along with hand cream, also in an oval PE flexible tube with straight-end seal and injection-moulded, pearlised dark-blue head.

The two tubes have rather different surface feels, with that of the hand cream having a softer touch, while the body lotion is rather matt and feels slightly rough.

Avon: Anew Reversalist Infinite Effects Night Treatment Cream

Another major cosmetics player using tubes to enhance its packaging is Avon, which has released the Anew Reversalist Infinite Effects Night Treatment Cream. This two-phase, anti-wrinkle night cream comes in an injection-moulded black PP rigid tube with metallic-red printed decoration to the body and a spring-loaded pump dispensing closure to either end.

In consumer trials, Avon incorporated Cambridge Design Partnership’s ‘dialog’ smart-technology miniature sensors into packs to confirm whether consumers actually followed instructions to rotate the usage of the two products. Pack contains sufficient product for at least eight weeks’ usage, based on using two to three pumps per night.

The stand-out innovation in this product is the double-ended pump claimed to deliver “the world’s first rotational anti-wrinkle night cream”. The two-part product is intended to be used in weekly rotation, with phase one used for one week, then phase two for a week, then back to phase one and so on. The double-ended tube makes it easy to see which product one should be using, unlike side-by-side presentations or separate packs where one could easily forget which stage of the treatment is in use. The consumer just has to remember to flip the pack over at the start of each week. The two-in-one format is handy for home storage and convenient for taking on the go.

PÜR’s easy-to-use Joystick exfoliator and toner.


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