The cosmetics industry is continuously transforming, as manufacturers tirelessly innovate to effectively meet the needs of increasingly demanding customers. Because of its impact on both safety and convenience, packaging design and integrity plays a critical role in maintaining a brand’s image, as consumers demand products that are both safe and attractive. Product quality and the packaging containing it become extremely important in this regard: advanced and properly tested packaging guarantees consumer safety and satisfaction and gives the company the certainty that its products will survive their shelf life without losing effectiveness or suffering contamination. Quality testing of cosmetics packaging is essential to protect both consumer health and the manufacturer’s image.
Cosmetic quality controls identify various kinds of defects:
Serious flaws: cracks or breakage that make the product unusable or otherwise unsafe for consumers
Significant flaws: defects that are immediately visible but do not completely compromise product integrity
Minor flaws: less serious defects that can be seen by customers if they look carefully, but do not compromise product safety
It is important to consider that all these flaws negatively impact the manufacturer’s image. Selling an unusable or potentially dangerous product is the most serious risk that can force the company to hold an expensive recall. At the same time, products with minor aesthetic or functional irregularities cause consumers to lose confidence in the brand.
Cosmetics are increasingly being offered to the public in particularly advanced and refined packaging, designed to best protect the contents and facilitate product application by the user. Companies are aware of the importance of packaging, and it is no accident that more and more often producers are choosing to enhance certain cosmetics precisely through special packaging, which is not just effective and safe, but communicates the high quality of the product to the customer.Some popular cosmetic packaging gaining ground:
Single-dose dispensers particularly appreciated for their convenience and hygiene. Single-use dispensers contain the amount of cosmetic necessary for a single application, making them easy to transport and ideal for travel. Because they remain perfectly sealed until use, they ensure that the product is stored optimally.
Hermetically sealed containers protected by an aluminum seal like that normally used for food. This solution is often used for creams or gels and is designed to protect the product, preventing loss and contamination, until it is opened by the customer, and to ensure proper storage after opening as well.
Aerosol cans, used mainly for perfumes, sprays or body mousse. Cans contain a propellant gas that allows the product to be atomized, and effectively protect the contents from contact with air and light until they are used.
Ampoules and dropper vials used for serums and cosmetics requiring careful dosing and the administration of a precise amount of the active ingredient. Again, the type of packaging prevents product contamination and loss of effectiveness during shelf life.
Bonfiglioli Engineering is your partner specialized in designing and installing packaging quality control machines for pharmaceuticals and food. Decades of experience in this sector means that our machines are especially suitable for the quality control of cosmetics, since the reliability, speed and precision requirements of the industries are like those demanded by international regulations governing the pharmaceutical industry.
The main technologies used for cosmetics quality control are:
Vacuum Decay Method (VDM) and Pressure Decay Method (PDM): These technologies check the tightness of a hermetically sealed container without damaging the packaging or its contents. When using the VDM, the product is placed in a test chamber in which a vacuum is applied. By reading the vacuum value at the start of the test and a few seconds later, the machine can determine whether the product has holes, because the variation in the vacuum level must not exceed a certain threshold. This makes it possible to identify both micro-holes responsible for micro-losses and more serious damage, such as packaging breakage or closure defects. If the container is not closed properly or is seriously damaged, the machine detects that the required vacuum level has been not reached within the specified time, and automatically discards the product. The PDM works in a similar way, applying a certain pressure in the test chamber and evaluating the oscillations of its value over time. These test methods can be used to inspect any cosmetic product contained in an airtight container, whether rigid or flexible, making them suitable for the quality control of containers, bottles, soft capsules and BFS products.
Visual Inspection: This technology generally used for products contained in glass, plastic, or other rigid and transparent materials—uses high-resolution cameras that photograph the product from different angles. The images collected by the cameras are then analyzed using an algorithm able to detect both the presence of scratches, inclusions, burns or dents in the container and any particulate defects in the contents (Knapp test). This type of test can be made even more precise and reliable using artificial intelligence and detects defects or imperfections that are barely visible to the naked eye, rejecting all products with irregularities.
These and other technologies can easily be applied to cosmetics to conduct quality control checks on all their products, so they can be certain they are selling only cosmetics that are safe, inspected, and capable of preserving their characteristics over time. Unlike statistical controls, which test product samples and therefore have a certain margin of error, the ability to inspect 100% of production complies with the Six Sigma philosophy, guaranteeing the best quality assurance possible for every product in every batch, by increasing the final quality of the entire production.