What are the Properties of Amber Glass Bottles for Cosmetics?


When you’re trying to decide on the right kind of packaging and bottles for your product, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting, and what to expect. With so many options and varieties to choose from, knowing the type of cosmetic bottle that will fit your needs (and the needs of your customers) is crucial. 

Amber bottles have seen an increase in popularity in recent years a more minimalistic/ natural approach is trending cosmetics, with consumers looking to decrease their carbon footprint and develop a more sustainable lifestyle. 

So, what can you expect from amber bottles? Let’s answer a few common questions so you can make a more informed decision on whether you should use them for your product(s). 

How is Amber Glass Manufactured? 

Amber glass gets its unique color from natural impurities in the sand used to make it. Things like nickel and carbon are often added to give it a deeper color. Compared to blue-green glass, amber utilizes those natural impurities, rather than trying to hide them. Blue and green glass contain cobalt and chromium, respectively. 

The sand and ash collected for amber glass are melted down at a very high temperature. Once it has become molten that other ingredients are added, and the molten mixture is poured into the glass mould and formed to set.

Aside from looking great, lets explore some properties of amber glass and evaluate to what extent it is suited to cosmetic products.

What Light Protection Does Amber Glass Offer? 

Properties of products such as food, medicine and cosmetics can be altered by light through a process referred to as photochemistry; chemistry as a result of light (“photo”).

Amber glass absorbs the most comprehensive range of light waves of the light spectrum. For most pharmaceutical products, amber glass is the best choice for protection from UV light. The colour serves purpose beyond being aesthetically pleasing, helping to keep the product safe and unchanged.

Does Green or Blue Glass Offer the Same UV Protection as Amber Glass?

Green glass can be manufactured using a feeder colour in green, with an minimum order quantity of 1 week of production (producing around 1 million units). Typically this is produced every 3-4 months. 

Light transmission through green glass is significantly reduced, however the green glass does not offer UV protection.

Another method of producing green glass is by covering clear glass with a coloured lacquer, this can also include UV protection if desired. Lead time for lacquering is around 2 weeks and pricing is similar to the method of manufacturing green bottles using a feeder.

How Sustainable is Amber Glass?

When most consumers see a product in amber glass, they’re more likely to think about simpler times and sustainability. Amber glass has a more natural, less-manufactured look when compared to other varieties, including green glass. 

But, is it actually sustainable? Is it available with recycled content? 

Amber glass is easy to recycle and can be made from previously-recycled materials. But, that’s just the start of its sustainability. Amber glass is one of the most eco-friendly options because it contains virgin materials. Clear glass can start to take on a green hue when it’s recycled due to the added materials. Amber, on the other hand, can be recycled numerous times without any changes. It is infinitely recyclable. 

Additionally, amber glass is 40% less polluting than plastic when you recycle it. While plastic bottles are recyclable, the process releases more carbon emissions into the air. It’s relatively easy to recycle amber glass, using fewer resources and energy to do so. 

Why Do Cosmetics Companies Use Amber Glass?

Even though amber glass can be slightly more expensive, cosmetics companies have started to use it more frequently for a variety of reasons. First, there are the UV benefits, especially if certain cosmetics contain botanical ingredients. 

Then, of course, there is the push for sustainability. Consumers are becoming more conscious than ever about what they buy. They want to know how it will impact the planet, and how they can do their part. Amber glass is a small step in the right direction, but it can drive people to make better, more eco-friendly choices.

Another reason brands are opting for amber is because people like the “old-fashioned” pharmaceutical look of the bottles, this especially complements cosmeceutical products – skincare which is able to penetrate deeper than the epidermis.

Amber glass can be recycled, but people also like to repurpose them in their own homes. Ranging from storing ingredients, decorations, or even flower vases, there is a wide variety of ways people choose to reuse amber glass packaging. So, they aren’t just practical and good for the environment, but they naturally promote themselves as a great marketing technique for brands, too. 

Whether to Choose Amber Glass? 

As you can see, there is a range of benefits when it comes to using amber glass bottles for cosmetic or light sensitive products. Amber glass is attractive, good for the planet, and can draw in customers as a trending style. Whether you only want to consider amber bottles for their nostalgic factor or because you’re trying to become more sustainable in your business efforts, you could try this classic standard for cosmetic storage. 

With manufacture of amber glass available within the UK and Europe, using a local supplier can help keep costs low, lead times short and maintain control over the quality of the products.

Taking the time and the initiative to choose amber cosmetic bottles over alternatives can make a big difference in how your customers view you and your brand. It might seem like a small change, but because of the way consumers tend to see amber bottles and what they represent, you might be surprised at how much of an impact making this packaging change can actually have on your sales and your image. 

What Styles of Packaging is Amber Glass Available In?

If you’re looking for a specific bottle style, you won’t be disappointed when you go with amber. Amber glass is available in several different “looks”. They are most notable and easy for consumers to pick out due to their “old-fashioned” style. Some of the most notable styles for amber bottles include: 

No matter the size or shape you need for your products, you’re bound to be able to find amber glass shapes and sizes that best fit your needs and what your consumers might appreciate. 

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