The small core of industrials producing airless pumps and that could be numbered, at first, on the fingers of both hands see themselves facing what is not yet a flood of competitors but could well become one. Some 500 million airless systems are probably produced each year in Europe, the annual growth rate approaching 15%, meaning that at this rate, the market will simply double in size within five years. Enough to attract anyone wanting a piece of the cake.
What is an Airless system?
But in fact, what is an airless system? According to the definition given by the Airless Pack Association, created by four majors of the global industry in 2009 (Rexam Megaplast, Lablabo, Quadpack / Yonwoo): “An airless packaging is a non-pressurized, tamper-proof, dispensing system, combining a mechanical pump with an airless filled and sealed container, which delivers the product with no intake of air. The container is either deformable or rigid, with a piston or a pouch.”
A simple and clear enough definition that still gives us a chance to grasp at the sum of technologies involved behind this kind of product. A container, a pouch (inserted or formed after delamination of a coextruded layer in the container) or a piston, a pump (not an ordinary one), often sophisticated systems to render this pump, specifically airless, a packaging process free from contamination ... the protection demanded by an increasing number of brands of health care/beauty products has a price.
The first airless systems were adopted on a large scale by tooth paste makers in the mid ’80s, for technical and marketing purposes. Then very quickly the cosmetic industry got something out of it....today, consumers are more than satisfied…for a number of reasons...
Little or no preservative
The preservative agent will safeguard the microbial stability or avoid alteration of the ingredients involved in the composition of a cosmetic product once the bottle is opened. With the use of an airless system with an actuator or a pump there is no need to open the bottle, hence avoiding exterior contamination.
This explains why the reduction or even the absence preservative agents is completely compatible with airless systems. Some preservative agents are known to be subject to controversial issues regarding their side effects on health.
Efficiency guaranteed right to the last drop
The airless bottle by preventing air oxidation preserves some sensitive ingredients from deteriorating, such as vitamin C, this is what happens when the container is opened. It guarantees maximum protection against bacteria and micro-organism (viruses, fungi, yeasts) and some allergens (pollens, spores, dust). In the end, whether liquid or pasty, whatever the formulation, its purity and efficiency remains right through.
Where organic makes sense
Piston or pouch, whichever system used, consumption is optimum, with no product waste. Dosage being extremely precise, can range from 0,1 to 3 ml and airless bottles can be used in any position including upside down, making them easier to use. The benefits of the airless system in natural and organic cosmetics are considerable. Taking good care of oneself without harming Mother Nature, is taking into consideration the principles of sustainable development through responsible consumption. The airless system meets this requirement with the use of natural less aggressive biodegradable substances instead of artificial substances. The system itself is made from recyclable material.
But the change has also to do with the design that combines aestheticism and practicality to comply with choice criteria of all cosmetic products from luxury brands to mass brands.
The European market estimated to half a billion unit per year keeps on growing steadily. Currently, several dual systems are marketed with pouches or pistons that can deliver two incompatibles or complementary products. Both pumps are activated by a single actuator keeping the two incompatible products separated until dispensing or, for two complementary products each pump has its own actuator allowing each product to be used in turns.