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Inspired by food: BASF introduces cosmetics packaging to prevent oxygen penetration

By Andrew McDougall , 20-Jun-2012
Last updated on 03-Jul-2012 at 11:45 GMT

Chemical company BASF has drawn on inspiration from the food market to introduce a new thin plastic film for packaging its cosmetics, designed to prevent oxygen penetration.

The company’s Luviskol powders are polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) polymers, which are key components in hair care products, giving styling gels and mousses their tightening properties.

The powders need to be kept stable, avoid oxygen contact and minimize oxide penetration, thus the development of the protective packaging idea.

Penetration prevention

The new thin packaging film is made of the same ethylene vinyl alcohol plastics (EVOH) that are used to package food. It keeps the oxygen in the air from penetrating through to the PVP powders, with long-lasting effect for several years.

The packaging also has good chemical resistance and tensile strength, and is impermeable to gases and fluids.

The multi-layer and heat-sealed plastic film is also more environmentally friendly because it is completely aluminium-free.

"Our customers can benefit from a long shelf life, a consistent high level of quality and even more stable Luviskol powders", says Heike Kusche, global product management PVP cosmetics.

Protection is vital

As formula ingredients become more sophisticated, they can be more sensitive but also more aggressive, thus need to be kept more stable.

Especially with certain oils, mascara and hair dye products, ingredients can also permeate through plastic packaging, damaging the printing and outward appearance of the product.

Thus EVOH works as an effective barrier to product permeation and scalping, protecting appearance and extending the effective shelf life and possible distribution time of the product, and is the reasoning behind BASF’s choice for its PVP product.

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