Jars or spray bottles? You choose in your MFC cosmetic formulation

Rebecca Blell | May 2, 2017

In many end products, and specifically in cosmetics, the first thing that attracts the consumer is the packaging format. This implies that the packaging should look good and luxurious as a sign of product performance.

There are many possible technical solutions for packaging of cosmetic products: jars, spray bottles, pumpable dispensers. Have you wondered why some come in jars and others in spray bottles?

In this blog post, I will demonstrate that it is possible today to replace your jars with the spray bottles if you decide to use MFC in your formulations.

What is the role of the product container in cosmetics?

Let us have a look at the different requirements for packaging of a cosmetic product.

First of all, it should correctly contain the product, prevent it from leaking and be strong enough when subjected to normal handling. Secondly, it should protect the product against all different kinds of external influences that might affect the product quality. These external influences include light, moisture, oxygen, biological contamination as well as mechanical damage.

Indeed, from the moment the consumer opens the cosmetic product and starts applying it, he/she can make it subject to most of the above conditions. This is even more prominent for jars since they often have a large opening on the top and one might need to put his/her fingers into the jar to get the product out. In this case, one is constantly contaminating the product with the environment and one’s hands and body. This could be a problem especially if the product is not preserved or where mild preservatives are used.

Spray bottles have a clear advantage compared to jars with regards to hygiene since there is no direct contact between the consumer and the packed product when applying the product. In addition, the following points favor the use of spray bottles instead of jars:

  • They are simpler and faster to use. They also allow you to apply the product directly on the spot of interest.
  • They allow better protection from light in opaque packaging and reduce the possibility of oxidation of products that are sensitive to light and air.


How is it possible to make your product sprayable?

A potential downside of using a spray bottle is that it requires specific rheological profile from the product which means that you might need to change your formulation. More sophisticated rheology systems exist today that allow pumping and spraying of viscous formulations. Due to its extreme shear thinning effect, microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is a good candidate for this job. In addition to allowing the spraying and pumping of thick formulations, it provides a non-dripping effect of the applied product. It is also compatible with a large number of ingredients that could be used in the different product categories and different types of formulations.

With MFC in the formulations, the product could easily be sprayed and the consumer’s preferred product will last longer with a longer shelf life due to reduced risk of contamination. So if you have not yet tested this rheology system for your sprayable cosmetic products or your products in spray bottles, it could be worthwhile. By giving a better spray performance, it can improve the feeling and handling of your product as well as giving some interesting opportunities for innovations. Could you make your cosmetic products currently in jars sprayable or pumpable for instance? There’s only one way to find out.

Read also how you can use MFC in your packaging material as an oxygen barrier.

Free Ebook

Written by:

Rebecca Blell

Rebecca first started working with microfibrillated cellulose in 2009, during her studies, as part of the SustainComp project. She joined Borregaard in 2014 as a research scientist and focused on the Exilva product and its performance in cleaning products, cosmetics and agricultural applications. She is now working as the Technical Application Manager for these applications in parallel to being Technical Sales Manager for Exilva products in France and UK. Rebecca has a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Strasbourg, France and experience from international companies.