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How Plastic Custom Cosmetic Tubes are Manufactured?


According to a study by Research and Markets conducted in 2019, the market cap, tube packaging can reach up to is a massive $35.7 billion. It has one of the highest CAGR out of many industries. The same study concluded that plastic custom cosmetic tubes are a game-changer in this niche.

Cosmetic tube suppliers are witnessing an overwhelming increase in demand. And with excessive demand, competition always follows. More and more people are investing in creating these hollow and empty cosmetic tubes. 

Custom cosmetic tubes are the best packaging for both consumers and cosmetic brands. Their cost efficiency, portability and freedom of customization attract the cosmetics brands. Ane as far as consumers are concerned, they are happy with getting a cosmetic product that is durable and convenient to carry around at the same time.

Owing to the scarcity of information on the web, we are presenting you with an article that will familiarize you completely with how plastic custom cosmetic tubes come into existence. Believe me, it isn’t some rocket science. 

All you will be needed to do is set the parameters and enter the materials in the specific machines. Technology has made the tube manufacturing easier than it has ever been in history.

There are just a few processes that your raw material will have to go through and boom! The magic of the creation of custom cosmetic tubes happens. We have explained the whole process in the simplest of terms below.

What Materials are Required for Plastic Custom Cosmetic Tubes:

It is self-explanatory that these empty cosmetic tubes are primarily made up of Plastic. But if we dig deeper, we will realize that these tubes include different variants of Polyethylene. Their composition changes depending upon whether the tube has one or more layers.

Below, we have explained each one of the Polyethylene variants. 

Low Density Polyethylene

LPDE is the most commonly used form of Polyethylene by cosmetic tube suppliers.  It is extremely bendable and contains a soft texture. But the most amazing quality is its low weight. 

Its low weight doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t durable. It can protect the product from impacts and moisture. The only downside is its inability to be an effective resistant against gases. It is used for film purposes in the packaging industry. 

High Density Polyethylene

HDPE tends to be a little firmer than LDPE. It is mainly derived from petroleum products. It is colorless in its original state. It has much better resistive capabilities and is less elastic. Unlike LDPE, it can’t be deformed easily.

HDPE custom cosmetic tubes are mostly used for shampoos, gels, bleaches etc.

Ethyl Vinyl Alcohol Copolymer

EVOH tubes have the lowest permeability of gases and used in atmosphere sensitive products. Most of the products that are highly vulnerable to gases like Oxygen and Carbon dioxide have EVOH custom cosmetic tubes.

It is the most expensive variant used rarely by high-end brands.


Laminate is a type of plastic custom cosmetic tubes which consists of several layers. Each layer has its own set of purposes. Laminate in most cases is used when extensive branding of the product is required. They offer great freedom in customizing your tube as you want.

They are also capable of providing protection against heat, impact and other atmospheric factors.

Sleeve  Cosmetic Tube Manufacturing:

Sleeve is the essential part of a tube and should be prepared beforehand. You also have many choices in terms of material. But Plastic is mostly used in sleeve manufacturing so we will keep our discussion focused on it.

Raw material would have to go through the following three phases for Sleeve manufacturing.




  • Extruding:

  • At the start, you will have to insert your raw material, whatever it is in the extruder. An extruder is a special machine that will completely deform the material.

  • In the first step, the extruder will completely melt the resin by passing it through a hot plate. The resin that was solid when it entered will now be liquified. 

  • Your melted material will now be molded by the machine. It is done by passing the liquified resin through an oval-shaped frame. The liquid is kept in the frame for some time. This is where the sleeve is colored. It is up to you. You can keep the sleeve in its original color or you can give it any Pantone color.

  • Cooling:

  • After the resin is molded in the desired shape, it is then cooled down. The sleeve may have gotten the hollow, oval shape but it still will be in a semi-molten form. You can let the sleeve rest in the open atmosphere and have it cool on its own. 

  • But such practices consume too much time so it isn’t considered practical. That’s why there are specific refrigerators that cool down the steaming resin and harden the sleeve.

  • Cutting:

  • This is the last step and by now, the sleeve for the empty cosmetic tube will functionally be ready. There is just a small step left. The sleeve obtained will be a continuous cylindrical hollow structure. You will have to cut it in accordance with your desired size.

  • There is a special cutting machine where you will just have to enter the size requirements and the machine will take care of everything else. After this step, you will have your hands on a functioning and applicable sleeve for your custom cosmetic tubes.

Custom Cosmetic Tubes Manufacturing:

After you have a sleeve in your hands, all you need is a container around it and your work will be done. Keep in mind that these cosmetic tube suppliers aren’t degree holders or have spent decades perfecting this art. You can easily become a pro in Custom cosmetic tubes manufacturing in just a couple of weeks. 

Once you have a sleeve, you can opt for any of the following three methods.

1.Compression molding

2.Injection molding

3.Blow molding

  • Down’s Method of Compression:

  • This is the most widely used method through which the sleeve is converted into fully functional custom cosmetic tubes. 

  • In the first method, you would have to put your sleeve in the heading operation which attaches the shoulder of the tube to the sleeve. Keep in mind, until now sleeve was just a hollow cylinder.

  • In the next step, sleeve reaches the slug station where a steaming strip is melded at the end of the sleeve. It is then sent to the molding station where it where the orifice of the empty cosmetic tubes is sealed.

  • After this, the tube enters the accumulator. It is the accumulator’s job to level the head, shoulder and sleeve of the tube.

  • Accumulator then sends the tube to the designing machine where it is customized. Here you are faced with multiple options. You can either opt for printing, flexography or foiling. Some cosmetic tube suppliers even choose multiple options at the same time. 

  • Next comes the printer. Here first the texture is treated with plasma or flames to inking. Then the desired text or symbols are carved on the surface of the tube. This ink is wet and requires UV treatment. 

  • This marks the completion of the process of manufacturing custom cosmetic tubes. All that left is putting the caps on and packing it.

  • There are separate capping operations where the tube is conveyed. Here the caps are put on and sealed. The tube then falls on the rotating belt and packed into the shipment-ready cartons manually. And that’s it. You can now ship them to anywhere in the world you want.

Injection Molding:

Injection molding was introduced in 1930 and has been used by cosmetic tube suppliers since then. They are mostly used for manufacturing caps. In this process, melted raw material is injected into a cavity. This cavity is molded keeping in mind the shape you want. 

So when the material is cooled down and hardened, it takes up any shape you want it to be. It is an easy method but it takes too much time and isn’t suitable for large tubes.


There can be a slight change in the end result depending upon customers. Some cosmetic tube suppliers provide a tube that has an unsealed root but the cap and head are assembled. Some customers want to fill their product from the bottom and then seal it themselves. Just so the head of the custom cosmetic tubes remains intact. Such tubes are called open-end tubes.

There is also another type, known as closed-end tubes. Their name is self-explanatory. Here the root of the tube is sealed by cosmetic tube suppliers. So the customer will have to fill the product through the orifice and take care of capping itself. 

Both of the above practices have their own perks. It depends upon the customers and what suits them best.


  • Custom cosmetics tubes industry has huge potential. If you are trying to jump into it, right now will be the most ideal time. With this article, you will at least have an idea of what you are getting yourself into. Empty cosmetic tubes manufacturing isn’t as hard as it may appear. We have given a gist of exactly every step that you will have to go through in order to get your hands on these little magical tubes.

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