Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Creating products: Alternatives to bottles!

Original post from July 14, 2009...Alternatives to bottles! 

I know a malibu or tottle bottle isn't really an alternative to a "bottle" because we consider them to be a bottle, but they are a fantastic way to package hair care products, surfactant systems, and lotions. They're also cheaper than using a pump bottle for thick creams, but you do run the risk of getting the lotion all over the bottle when you go back for more.

They are not great for sugar scrubs or whipped butters. Many have tried, few have succeeded. It would be nice, but those products clog up the orifice and lead to heart break. They do not work for liquid products, like toners, as they'll leak out. They are generally made of HDPE, which means they shouldn't contain a ton of essential oils, but they are easier to squeeze. So if you want to get out every last drop, consider the malibu or tottle bottle.

As a final note, they are kind of annoying to fill because you can never get that last bit at the top filled! If you don't want to hear about how you didn't give someone a full bottle of product, consider getting the opaque bottles!

For thick lotions, body butters, anhydrous whipped butters, balms, sugar scrubs, and anything too thick for a bottle, consider the humble jar. So many uses, so many sizes, and so many reasons to use a jar.

Jars are generally cheaper than bottles, and they come in a variety of sizes. They generally have the same shape, but you can choose from a domed cap or a flat cap (this is the domed cap to the right). You can choose from frosted, white, or clear or double or singled walled. There are advantages to each, and most of the time it is a personal choice.

The clear jars tend to be made of PET, which means they are suitable for products with high levels of essential oils. The frosted jars tend to be made of polypropylene, so they can withstand high temperatures, and they would be suitable for some essential oil levels, but not high ones.

What's the point of using single vs. double walled jars? I really haven't found any good reasoning behind using either. I tend to use the double walled jars because I can find them easier and they look nice. I'm sure there are reasons like the ability to fill them at higher temperatures, but I'm not filling at high temperatures, so that point is moot to me.

Jars are always a lovely thing to have around the workshop. You can put most anything in a jar - thick hair conditioners, bubble goo, thick creams, thick lotions, body butters, anhydrous whipped butters, balms, and so on - except for products like toner or spray on perfumes. You can get smaller jars for lip balms, solid perfumes, and balms.

Should you go low profile or regular opening? I like low profile for sugar scrubs: It's easy to scoop a handful out when you're in a rush to get some lovely scrubby action! Low profile is generally more expensive, and the ones I've found tend to be clear PET jars rather than frosted, double walled HDPE jars. (Not that this makes a difference, but if you're a fan of the frosted jar, it might be harder to find.)

And consider investing in some dust covers for your jars. They look nice when the person opens the jar, and they will keep the contents from sloshing all over the place.

A note on glass jars: They look awesome and decorative and you have many choices, but they aren't a good choice if you have to place them somewhere they might break. The bathtub is not the ideal location for a glass container. If they slip and fall, this could be dangerous. Glass is, however, great for bath salts and other things that need to retain its smell, and they can be found very cheaply at thrift or bargain stores.

Metallic containers - slip tins, little round tins - always look really cool, but they are only good for products that do not contain water. So lip balms, balms, and whipped butters are awesome here. Do not use them for anything that might come into contact with water, like sugar scrubs. I learned that lesson the hard way...EEW!

Original post from July 20, 2009...Non-container packaging!
I like products that don't need a container! Shampoo and conditioner bars, lotion bars, bath bombs - I can find cute ways to dress them up and it's not going to cost me a fortune! I have a small problem when I walk into Essential Packaging in Surrey - even though I have no idea what I could put into the boxes, I really do want every single container in there, especially the lime green ones!

Cellophane bags are fantastic. I like to have the 4 oz, 8 oz, and 1 lb sizes around the house, just in case I need them. I like to package bath bombs, bath salts, and, as you can see from the picture to the left, little kits of things to give away. (Also great for cookies and chocolates!) I like to use cute twist ties (Daiso is awesome for this, or try your local chocolate making store) or ribbons as closures.

Note...I've tried "cellophane" bags from the dollar store, but they aren't cellophane...and they kill the scent!

I know you can use plastic sandwich bags for this task - but beware! Sandwich bags are made out of polyethylene plastic, and this can kill your fragrance and essential oils quickly. I learned this the hard way - 20 bags of bath salts for a class, and not a single one smelled like anything!

I love Daiso, the Japanese $2 store! If you have one near you, check out their selection of sushi and onigiri packaging. It's great for things like bath cupcakes or beeswax candles (especially ones that look like sushi)! It's inexpensive - 8 or 12 or 16 for $2! - and it looks pretty cool. Check out their twist ties, cellophane bags, and silicone molds. Their cookie and chocolate mold section is great for cute things!

For bath cupcakes, I like to re-use small cupcake containers (we get them for Games Night, so we always have some around the house). I realize it means I have to give someone 12 fizzing cupcakes, but is that a bad thing?

Bonus! Here's a link to some great aged labels for spices, but they would look cool on amber bottles! And this link has a ton of apothecary style labels. I love these!


twobloomsdesignstudio said...

I've been on your blog before and didn't know you were in BC. I'm in Victoria, and I love going to Daiso when I go to the mainland. This is a great post, would love to check out that packaging store in Surrey but I'd go nuts and just recently got some great local packaging.

The label link is cool.


Anonymous said...

ryesgr 198I have actually created a sugar scrub that packages very nicely in malibu tubes, although I'm still perfecting ingredients.

I finely grind white sugar in a coffee grinder, use half the Polysorbate than most recipes call for, and more soft oils than hard butters (just a smidge of something like virgin coconut oil. unrefined shea or cocoa butter).

I do a lot of eyeballing to get the consistency thick enough so it squeezes out nicely, but isn't so runny that it will leak when the tube is standing on it's head (I believe the tiny amount of hard butter helps with this).

So far, I haven't experienced the product separating, but I'm still fussing with my formulations.

I've found that using 50% less Polysorbate (I use 20) than is recommended, prevents the 'tight' skin feeling after use.

Anonymous said...

Hello there, just wondering why…i put anhydrous balm into a squeeze tube and taped it up at top. Every 12 hours or so a very small amount of oil comes out of the tube, followed by the normal consistency. Do you think the lining of the tube is hydrophobic and is therefore drawing the oil out of the formula? Thanks, Sarah.