Essential oils: the right packaging to avoid interactions
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Ubiquitous in many consumer products, including cosmetics, essential oils are complex substances containing many active compounds. How to control their possible interactions with product packaging, which may have undesirable implications in terms of stability or toxicity? During the Cosmetic Days 2018 dedicated to essential oils, Martin Foe, from packaging supplier Aptar, came to provide some answers.
Aptar is a packaging specialist, particularly in distribution systems such as pumps for perfumery or cosmetics. And it is precisely the pumps that Martin Foe chose to take as an example at the beginning of his talk.
Packagings and essential oils: a world of complexity
A pump is a very complex article, which can contain up to 16 to 20 components: seals, immersion tube, balls, springs, pistons, caps….
Multiple components mean very different materials: plastics, metals (steel, aluminium, stainless steel, etc.), elastomers, glass, ceramics, silicones, varnishes and surface inks, dyes, etc.) with very different characteristics and which are all likely to interact with essential oils.
On the other hand, essential oils are omnipresent in many industrial sectors and of course in perfumery and cosmetics, where they can be integrated into almost all types of products.
These essential oils themselves contain a large number of compounds, sometimes hundreds of molecules distributed in the major families of alcohols, esters, phenols, ethers, oxides, ketones, aldehydes or terpenes, whose properties are also very diverse. Each essential oil is characterized by a certain proportion of these different molecules, which makes each of them unique.
Several parameters influence the interactions between a cosmetic formula and its packaging.