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Cosmopack Asia 2023: Schwan Cosmetics reveals refillable lip liner to achieve a “closed loop”

#Cosmopack Asia 2023: Schwan Cosmetics reveals refillable lip liner to achieve a “closed loop”

14 Nov 2023 — German color cosmetics manufacturer and supplier Schwan Cosmetics is showcasing its refillable mechanical lip liner called PowerUpYourPout at Cosmopack Asia 2023 in Hong Kong starting today until Wednesday. 

Personal Care Insights speaks to Dr. Alexander Doll, SVP of R&D at Schwan Cosmetics and Sandra Schäfer, sustainable product development team lead at Schwan Cosmetics, about its new refillable lip liner and how the cosmetic industry has been shifting toward implementing reusable makeup solutions in a push for environmental sustainability. 

Schwan Cosmetics’ is the latest addition to the refillable packaging trend. The company says the refillable lip liner underlines its commitment to accelerating the cosmetics and beauty industry’s packaging waste reduction. 

“When considering our sustainability strategy, our long-term goal is to transition from a linear product life cycle to a closed loop,” says Schäfer.

“To achieve this, we aim to prevent waste in landfills and incinerators by replacing virgin fossil plastics in our packaging with recycled and bio-based materials and developing recyclable and refillable solutions. The PowerUpYourPout lip liners align perfectly with this strategy, allowing us to integrate closed loops for our products.”

Refillable revolution
The PowerUpYourPout lip liners reduce the environmental impact of mechanical lip liners with a “unique” refillable cartridge system, allowing consumers to replace the product without discarding the packaging. 

The tips of refillable lip liners in multiple shades of pink.Schwan Cosmetics made PowerUpYourPout to further the cosmetics industry toward circularity.“The focus of the Shapematic concept was on refillability. Therefore, the components had to be connected to each other so that they could still be disassembled after purchase, which posed a particular challenge in terms of the design and functionality of the individual components,” explains Schäfer. 

“For this reason, we opted for a plastic packaging material at the start of the project. This allows us to guarantee an extension of the product life cycle without compromising the performance of our product. And because our Shapematic can be refilled, plastic can be saved each time it is refilled.”

Along with the company’s existing refillable liquid eyeliners, the range offers consumers additional environmentally sustainable alternatives to single-use and disposable makeup products, which Schwan Cosmetics names a significant contributor to the beauty industry’s plastic waste.

“We encourage more brands to offer refillable options for their products in the beauty industry. Refillable products are a sustainable solution to reduce packaging waste and protect the environment,” expresses Schäfer. 

“We believe this trend will continue to grow in the future as consumers become more aware of sustainability and regulators increase their pressure on single-use packaging. There are already many innovative brands offering refillable options for products such as moisturizers, serums and makeup.”

Eco-friendly makeup
When speaking on the challenges of creating the refillable solution, Doll explains that on the technical side, adaptations were necessary on several machines, starting from filling to secondary packaging. 

“Machine investments in our German factory finally enabled this product solution. Moreover, we had a great forward-looking project team that could overcome all the challenges,” says Doll.

Additionally, the company’s existing eco-friendly, bio-based material pencils for eyeliner and lip liner were nominated for the Cosmopack Asia Awards in the sustainability category.Eyeliners lined up on the right side of the image.TheBetterBarrel was nominated for the Cosmopack Asia Awards in the sustainability category.

“Makeup pencils that have high-performance formulas traditionally require volatile ingredients. Airtight packaging is necessary to keep these ingredients fresh. Unfortunately, this packaging is usually made from virgin fossil plastic, which creates a barrier to holding volatile ingredients,” asserts Doll.

“Moreover, these airtight packaging materials are typically made of styrene co-polymers, which are recently under heavy discussions and already black-listed by many brands.”

Nominated as a finalist in the Cosmopack Awards 2023’s sustainability category, the company’s eco-friendly eyeliner and lip liner pencil, “TheBetterBarrel,” is an airtight packaging solution that effectively preserves volatile ingredients.

The pencils are free from polyvinyl chloride and thermoplastic polymer acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. They also biodegrade without leaving microplastics behind, as the pencils comprise 72% bio-based materials.

“With TheBetterBarrel, we are no longer limited to using styrenic virgin fossil plastic to preserve volatile ingredients in high-performing formulas. This means that our brands can now package their best-selling liners more [environmentally] sustainable while maintaining the newest high-performance formula,” continues Doll.

“In other words, it is now possible to have high customization possibilities with sustainable packaging material at our highest level of product performance.”

By Sabine Waldeck

This feature is provided by Packaging Insights’s sister website, Personal Care Insights.

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