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What you need to know before choosing tube packaging?

Tube packaging is a common container used for a variety of skincare products, such as creams, lotions, cleansers, sunscreens, eye creams, and hand creams. In the skincare industry, tube packaging has gained widespread application due to its convenience and functionality. From cleansers to sunscreens, various skincare products can utilize tube packaging. Choosing the right packaging method not only protects the tube but also enhances the efficiency of transportation and storage, providing greater convenience for end-users. However, before selecting the appropriate tube packaging, understanding some relevant information is crucial for consumers to make informed decisions. This article will introduce the key factors to consider when choosing tube packaging, helping you find the most suitable product packaging form!

01Features of Tube Packaging

Features of Tube Packaging

1. Convenience
Easy to Squeeze: Tube packaging is designed for easy squeezing, allowing users to conveniently control the amount of product used each time, thereby reducing waste.
High Portability: The lightweight and compact nature of tube makes them ideal for carrying around, especially suitable for travel or daily outings.

2. Good Sealing
Prevents Contamination: Tube packaging typically has excellent sealing properties, effectively preventing air and contaminants from entering, thus maintaining the hygiene and freshness of the product.
Extends Shelf Life: The sealing performance also helps to extend the product’s shelf life, ensuring the stability and effectiveness of its ingredients.

3. Product Protection
Prevents Leaks: Tube materials usually have good toughness and strength, preventing leaks during transportation and use.
High Compression Resistance: Tube packaging can withstand a certain amount of pressure, making it resistant to breaking or deforming, thus protecting the internal product from damage.

4. Eco-Friendly Choice
Recyclable Materials: Many tube packages use recyclable materials, meeting environmental requirements and reducing their impact on the environment.
Reduced Packaging Materials: Tube packaging typically requires fewer packaging materials, minimizing resource waste.

5. Diverse Design Options
Attractive Appearance: Tube packaging can use various designs and printing techniques, providing rich visual effects and enhancing product appeal.
Adaptable Capacities: Tube packaging can be customized to different capacities and shapes according to product requirements, meeting various specifications and uses.

02Selection of Tube Materials

Selection of Tube Materials

Plastic Tube: soft and flexible, transparent or semi-transparent, with a pleasant texture.

  • Polyethylene (PE) Tube: Soft and elastic, transparent or translucent, with a good feel. Chemically stable, not prone to react with most skincare ingredients; corrosion-resistant, suitable for skincare products with different ingredients; lightweight, easy to carry and use. However, it has moderate barrier properties, with poor resistance to gas and moisture, making it unsuitable for products prone to oxidation. While recyclable, the recycling process is relatively complex.
  • Polypropylene (PP) Tube: Relatively rigid, with high heat and chemical resistance, suitable for hot-filled products. Chemically stable, not prone to react with contents. However, it is harder than PE tube, providing less comfortable hand feel when squeezed; low transparency, unsuitable for displaying the appearance of contents.

Aluminum-plastic Tube: Composed of aluminum foil and plastic layers, it possesses a metallic luster and excellent barrier properties.

  • Advantages: High barrier properties effectively prevent oxygen, moisture, and light from entering, extending the shelf life of the product; good corrosion resistance, with the aluminum layer providing excellent protection against contamination or oxidation.
  • Disadvantages: High cost, with high production and material costs. Not fully recyclable, as the recycling process for composite materials is complex, leading to poor environmental friendliness; relatively hard to the touch, with less flexibility compared to an all-plastic tube.

Laminated Tube (Composite Material Tube):Composed of multiple materials such as PE, EVOH, and PET, it combines the advantages of various materials.

  • Advantages: Good comprehensive performance, with a multi-layer structure providing excellent barrier properties, mechanical strength, and flexibility; strong customization, allowing adjustments to the combination of materials in each layer to meet the requirements of different products; good corrosion resistance and barrier properties, suitable for various high-end skincare products.
  • Disadvantages: High cost, with complex materials and production processes, leading to higher costs; difficult to recycle, as recycling composite materials is challenging, requiring high environmental standards.

03Tube Packaging Design

Tube Packaging Design

Opening Design: The opening design of skincare product tube packaing should consider the product’s viscosity, ease of use, and hygiene.

  • Diameter: The diameter of the opening should be determined by the product’s viscosity. High-viscosity products need larger openings for easy dispensing, while low-viscosity products require smaller openings to prevent excessive flow.
  • Shape: Different opening shapes can affect the user experience. Common shapes include round, flat, and angled. Round openings suit most skincare products, while flat and angled openings are for specific application needs, such as precise application.
  • Seal Design: To ensure hygiene and freshness, many skincare tube packsings feature a seal at the opening for first-time use. Common seal designs include foil and plastic seals, which need to be removed or pierced before the first use.

Cap Types: The type of cap directly impacts product preservation, ease of use, and aesthetics.

  • Flip-Top: Flip-top caps are popular as they can be opened with one hand, ideal for daily skincare products. The hinge ensures the cap stays attached and doesn’t get lost.
  • Screw Cap: Screw caps provide excellent sealing, suitable for long-term storage but require two hands to operate, making them less convenient than flip-tops.
  • Press Cap (Pump): Press caps or pump heads are ideal for liquids or thin lotions, allowing controlled dispensing, hygienic use, and preventing air from entering the product.
  • Needle Tip: Needle tip caps are used for products like eye creams and serums that require precise control of the amount dispensed, preventing waste.

Printing and Decoration: The printing and decoration of tube packaging are crucial for brand image and information dissemination, not just aesthetics.

  • Material Choice: Common tube materials include aluminum-plastic composite, all-plastic, and aluminum. The surface properties of each material dictate the choice of printing and decoration techniques.
  • Printing Techniques: Common printing techniques include screen printing, offset printing, and digital printing. Screen printing is suitable for large-scale production, providing vivid colors and durability; offset printing is ideal for intricate patterns and detailed designs; digital printing offers high flexibility, suitable for small batches and customization.
  • Surface Treatment: To enhance the product’s texture and appeal, various surface treatments can be applied, such as matte, glossy, gold stamping, and silver stamping. These treatments not only improve visual appeal but also add to the product’s tactile feel and premium quality.
  • Decorative Elements: Beyond printed designs, tube can feature additional decorative elements like embossing, debossing, and transparent windows, adding depth and attractiveness to the packaging, enhancing product recognition and brand value.

04Tips and Recommendations for Using Tube Packaged Cosmetics

Tips and Recommendations for Using Tube-Packaged Cosmetics


  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause skincare ingredients to deteriorate. Store tube-packaged skincare products in a cool, dry place.
  • Prevent High Temperatures: High temperatures can affect the stability of the tube material and the product inside. Do not store tube-packaged skincare products in overly hot places, such as inside cars or near heaters.
  • Keep Clean: Ensure the opening of the tube is clean after each use to prevent bacteria from entering and spoiling the product.
  • Avoid Excessive Squeezing: Excessive squeezing can cause the tube to rupture or product to overflow, leading to waste and a poor user experience.
  • Check Sealing: Inspect the tube for damage or leaks before use. If any issues are found, replace or stop using the product to avoid using compromised skincare.

Usage Recommendations:

  • Dispense As Needed: Only squeeze out the required amount for each use to prevent prolonged exposure to air, keeping the product fresh and effective.
  • Properly Open and Close: Securely close the cap after each use to ensure proper sealing and prevent moisture or contamination. For flip-top or screw-top products, be gentle when opening and closing to avoid damaging the cap.
  • Store Upright: Store tube-packaged skincare products upright to help the product naturally slide to the opening, making it easier to dispense next time and reducing waste.
  • Shake Before Use: For products with layered ingredients, gently shake the tube before use to ensure even distribution and consistent results.
  • Regularly Check Expiry Dates: Regularly check the expiry date of the product and use it before it expires. Expired skincare products may lose efficacy and could potentially harm your skin.
  • Choose the Right Product Size: Select the appropriate tube size based on your usage frequency and skincare needs to avoid spoilage from prolonged exposure after opening.

05Environmental Considerations for Skincare Tube Packaging

Environmental Considerations for Skincare Tube Packaging

1. Material Selection:
Recyclable Materials: Choose tube made from recyclable materials such as polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP). These materials can be recycled and reused, reducing environmental pollution.

Renewable Resources: Use materials based on renewable plant resources, such as bio-based plastics (PLA). These materials come from renewable sources, reducing dependence on petrochemical resources.

Single-Material Design: Opt for tube made from a single material (e.g., all-PE or all-PP tube) to facilitate recycling and avoid the challenges posed by mixed-material recycling.

2. Reducing Excessive Packaging:
Adequate Packaging: Avoid excessive packaging by using only necessary materials, thus reducing resource waste.

Lightweight Design: Minimize the weight of tube packaging while ensuring functionality, to reduce material consumption and transportation energy.

3. Reusable Design:
Refillable Options: Choose tube designed to be refillable, allowing users to refill the product once it is finished, thereby reducing packaging waste.

Modular Design: Design tube with detachable caps and tube parts, enabling users to replace individual components without discarding the entire package.

4. Production Process:
Eco-Friendly Production: Opt for eco-friendly production processes to minimize environmental impact, such as reducing the use and emission of harmful chemicals and optimizing energy use.

Carbon Footprint Reduction: Prioritize local production to reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation, and encourage the use of low-carbon energy sources.

5. Consumer Education:
Recycling Labels: Clearly mark recycling symbols on tube packaging to guide consumers on proper recycling practices.

Environmental Awareness: Educate consumers about the importance of environmental protection through packaging and brand promotion, encouraging good habits such as recycling and waste reduction.

6. Innovative Technologies:
Degradable Materials: Research and use biodegradable materials that can break down in natural environments, reducing long-term pollution.

Smart Packaging: Develop smart packaging technologies, such as trackable and monitorable packaging, to optimize supply chain management and reduce waste.

Analysis of Successful Cases of Skincare Tube Packaging

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen
Packaging Design:
1. This sunscreen is packaged in a flexible plastic tube with a screw cap, making it easy to squeeze out and accurately dispense.
2. The packaging is compact and portable, with a bright and recognizable design that reflects the brand’s emphasis on dermatological
safety and effectiveness.

Consumer Feedback: Users appreciate the portability of the tube, making it suitable for travel. The flexible design of the tube allows for efficient dispensing of sunscreen, reducing waste. However, some consumers have mentioned that the screw cap can be difficult to operate when hands are wet or slippery, suggesting that a flip-top cap would be more convenient.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cleanser
Packaging Design:
1.CeraVe Moisturizing Cleanser uses high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tube packaging, which is durable and recyclable.
2. The tube features a flip-top cap, making it convenient and hygienic to use. The clean and simple design aligns with the brand’s dermatological recommendation image.

Consumer Feedback:
Consumers appreciate the durable and recyclable material, noting that it keeps the product fresh and prevents leakage. The flip-top design is especially convenient for use in the shower. However, some users have mentioned that when the product is nearly empty, it becomes difficult to squeeze out, requiring them to cut open the tube to access the remaining product. This indicates an area where the tube design could be improved.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
Packaging Design:
1. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream uses high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tube, which are sturdy and recyclable.
2. The tube is equipped with a flip-top cap, making it easy for single-handed operation and controlled dispensing. The minimalist design aligns with the brand’s classic image.

Consumer Feedback:
Consumers appreciate the portability and durability of the tube. The flip-top design makes it convenient to dispense the cream, especially during rushed morning routines. However, some users have mentioned that it becomes difficult to squeeze out the product when the tube is nearly empty. They suggest that the tube could be made softer or include a pusher at the bottom to help users fully utilize the product.

Skincare products in tube packaging are increasingly popular among consumers due to their portability, convenience, and environmental friendliness. However, while enjoying these advantages, understanding some details and considerations when choosing and using them can help you better leverage the benefits of tube packaging, ensuring product safety and effectiveness. We hope that the guidance and advice provided in this article will offer valuable insights for your skincare product selection, making your skincare journey smoother and more enjoyable.

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