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Designing a Packaging System for Adult Personal Care Products

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The personal care products industry grows by the day. Consisting of massage oils, body oils, and lubricants, adult personal products can pose a unique packaging problem because they range in viscosity and are sometimes considered premium products that must be measured out with a great deal of accuracy.

If you’re working with adult personal products, designing the right packaging system starts with a solid understanding of the products you will be working with, and all of their unique characteristics. Here’s what you need to think about. 

What Goes Into an Adult Personal Products Packaging System?

When most people think about a packaging system, they might imagine the end of the production line where bottles are being labeled and placed into boxes. However, the reality is that a packaging system encompasses all of the steps from picking an empty container to filling it, capping it, labeling it, and sending it on its way.

With that in mind, a packaging system could consist of any or all of the following components:

  • A bottle rinsing station where containers are prepared to be filled.
  • A filling machine that fills to by weight, volume, or with high precision.
  • A cap sorting machine that aligns caps in the right direction.
  • A capping machine that sets caps onto the bottles.
  • A cap tightening machine that applies the correct torque to seal the bottles. 
  • A labeling machine that applies logos and product information to the bottles. 
  • A turntable to help workers place bottles into boxes. 

All along the way, conveyor belts help move bottles from one area to the next. In fact, conveyor belts play a critical role in allowing packaging systems to be modular. At Inline Filling Systems, all of our machines are designed to work together, allowing you to insert new machines at your operations grow. 

Methods of Packaging Adult Personal Products

Deciding how automated you want your packaging system to be is just one step in the decision process. For each component you choose to add to your production line, you’ll need to keep a variety of considerations in mind to choose the best machine. For instance, some filling machines only work with thin liquids. However, one of the single biggest factors you’ll need to consider for your entire packaging system setup is the type of container you plan to use.

The packaging itself will impact whether or not the containers need to be stabilized on their way through the production line; whether or not they are easy to close (i.e., standard cap) or require specialty capping systems (i.e., spray bottle top); or whether labels can be easily placed or require extra machinery (i.e., a rotor for applying labels to round bottles).

With these things in mind, here’s an overview of the most popular packaging options for adult personal products:

Packaging for Thin Liquids

These popular packaging options require special handling because they’re small (meaning standard roller belts won’t work with them) and sometimes breakable. The specialty caps may also require a special capping machine.

  • Dropper Bottles: Typically glass, dropper bottles are small and only hold a few ounces. The cap has a built-in dropper so that consumers can dispense a precise amount of product, which is popular for essential oils.
  • Mist Bottles: Glass or plastic, mist bottles are ideal for dispensing perfumes and sprays when only small amounts are needed.
  • Roll-Top Bottles: Roll-top bottles are small and commonly used for perfumes, essential oils, and other thin products that are meant to be applied to the skin. 

Packaging for Thick Products

These packaging options are ideal for adult personal products that tend to be thicker, such as lotions and creams. You may choose one over another depending on the thickness and the amount your consumer is likely to use. 

  • Cosmetic Tubs: About the size of the palm of your hand, cosmetic tubs are a simple solution for thick products that can be scooped out and used in large quantities. They feature a large screw-off top that’s easy enough to apply with machinery. 
  • Pump Bottles: Pump bottles are commonly used for lotions as they make it easy to dispense a controlled amount of product without risking contamination like a cosmetic tub can. 
  • Squeeze Bottles: Squeeze bottles provide a convenient way for dispensing products similarly to a pump bottle, but far more product can be squeezed out in the same amount of time just by exerting more pressure. Squeeze bottles tend to be smaller than pump bottles.

Best Practices in Choosing a Packaging System

Here are some best practices when choosing your packaging machinery. 

Consider Product Viscosity 

Adult personal products may be very thin, as is the case for certain body and massage oils, or they could be very thick, even gel-like. The reason why this poses a consideration is because a standard filling machine designed for thin liquids may not perform as well (or at all) with thicker products.

Think About Your Containers

Aside from the types of fluids you’ll be working with, you should also consider the types of containers you’d like to use as this will impact the capping and labeling process. For example, small bottles, like for body oil, may be unstable and require a special system to keep them upright. Smaller bottles may also be incompatible with the roller belts most packaging systems use. 

Determine Your Desired Accuracy 

If you’re selling a very expensive product like high-end body oil, you’re going to want to have a lot of control over how much product is dispensed in each bottle. However, achieving this precision means investing in more advanced filling machines. On the other hand, if you’re okay with just getting in the ballpark of a given weight or volume, this shouldn’t impact your decision too much. 

Get Equipment Recommendations

Now that you’ve explored the various ways adult personal products can be packaged, and how the viscosity and container you’re working with can impact your packaging system, you’re ready to take the next step in designing your solution. Of course, you likely still have questions pertaining to your company’s unique requirements, which is why it’s always a good idea to involve an expert. At Inline Filling Systems, our team is happy to guide you through the process. 

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