Those of you who are active in the cosmetic and beauty industry have likely come across a new phenomenon in the packaging industry lately: airless pump bottles. Although airless bottles have been around for quite a while, their popularity has only risen recently. In today’s cosmetic and beauty industry, the use of regular lotion pumps and sprays is still wide-spread. We do, however, see a change towards airless packaging – especially among high-end brands. At first sight, one might think that airless packaging is simply used by high-end brands due to the sleek and premium appearance of these bottles which gives the end-product an added touch of elegance. The truth is, however, that there are many more benefits that airless bottles bring along over traditional lotion pumps. And it are these benefits that make more and more companies switch from traditional lotion pumps to airless packaging.
How does the traditional lotion pump work and what are the disadvantages?
Everybody know the traditional lotion pump bottles. These large bottles that come with a bulky pump mechanism on top. The pump mechanism of a traditional lotion pump works by dispensing the product up through a dip tube inside of the bottle. Every time you press the pump cap, air is forced inside of the bottle. This air presses the lotion down and into the tube, causing it to move upwards through the tube and out of the pump. With each pump you make, the empty space created by the dispensed product is replaced by air.
From a technical perspective, these traditional lotion pumps work perfectly fine. However, when we start to look at the practical aspect, it becomes clear that it brings along some disadvantages. The largest disadvantage of traditional lotion pumps is the fact that they pump air into the bottle every time the cap is pressed. It is a commonly known fact across the industry that external air that enters the bottle may have a negative effect on the product stored inside. This is especially the case if you use your bottles for storing sensitive and organic serums or lotions. As a result, the product potentially degrades more quickly, decreasing its quality and lowering the shelf life.
Another disadvantage of traditional lotion pumps is that they require a lot more material to be produced. This is the case because of the large pump cap and internal tube structure. The tube mechanisms are furthermore difficult to clean after use, making traditional lotion pumps a one-time packaging that is not commonly refilled and reused. Because of this, traditional lotion pumps have a much larger impact on the environment.
How do airless bottles work and what are the benefits?
Now that we know how traditional lotion pumps work, let’s have a look at how airless pump bottles work.
As the name suggests, airless bottles feature an airless (vacuum) design. Unlike traditional pump bottles that feature a tube dispensing mechanism, airless bottles have a non-pressurized vacuum dispensing mechanism. To explain this in a simple way, an airless bottle has a small disc at the bottom. Every time you press the pump, this small disc moves upwards slightly. As a result, the product stored insides is pressed upwards as well, causing it to dispense through the pump. Thanks to this unique design, the dip tube is no longer necessary. This vacuum design without tube inside gives the bottles a much cleaner and minimalistic finish, but there is much more to it than just its elegant looks.
The main benefit of airless bottles is it’s vacuum design and the fact that the product is dispensed off by means of an upwards moving disc instead of external air pressure. Thanks to this, the products stored inside of the bottle never get into contact with external air. As a result, the products stored inside will stay fresh longer, significantly increasing the shelf life of the lotion. On top of that, because there is no external air inside of the bottle at any time, the end user can also be guaranteed that the quality of the product stored inside remains the same as the day the bottle was filled up until the day the very last drop is used. This gives the end user a guarantee that they can enjoy all the benefits of the lotion no matter for how long it has been standing on the shelf.
The vacuum design furthermore brings along the benefit that the bottle interior is no longer affected by gravity. We all know the struggle with regular lotion pumps that they can only be used while standing upwards. Airless bottles, on the other hand, can be used in every position imaginable. Besides, the upwards moving disc allows the end user to empty the bottles much better. Whereas with traditional pump bottles, there always remains a lot of product inside around the sides and on the bottom of the bottle, airless bottles are emptied out 100%. Thanks to this, you no longer have to struggle by opening up a nearly empty bottle and using a tool to scrape out the leftovers. Airless bottles dispense every last bit of product stored inside without you ever having to open the top.
Last but certainly not least, airless bottles create much less waste compared to traditional lotion pumps – making them an environmentally friendly alternative. As mentioned earlier throughout this article, airless bottles on their self already require a lot less materials to be produced. Besides, they are often produced from more durable materials and they feature a simple refillable design. Once the airless bottle is empty, you can simply press down the disc and, after giving them a quick clean, they’ll be as good as new. By reusing your airless bottles, you’ll significantly cut down on the creation of packaging waste. This allows you to work more sustainably by limiting your impact on the environment.