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Title:
COSMETICS APPLICATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/039723
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
There is proposed a method and applicator for applying a flowable cosmetic to a skin surface. The applicator comprising a container for holding said flowable cosmetic, the container including an outlet, a valve configured for attachment over or adjacent said outlet, the valve being biased into a closed position, and a generally flexible porous head that extends over said valve, wherein when external pressure is applied to an outer face of said porous head the valve is caused to open thereby permitting the flowable cosmetic contained within said bottle to exude through the porous head to facilitate application of said flowable cosmetic onto a skin surface.

Inventors:
ANDERSON, Lenora (7/201 Main South Road, Morphett Vale, SA 5162, AU)
Application Number:
AU2017/050929
Publication Date:
March 08, 2018
Filing Date:
August 30, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ANDERSON COSMETIC SUPPLIES PTY LTD (7/201 Main South Rd, Morphett Vale, South Australia 5162, 5162, AU)
International Classes:
A45D34/00; A61M35/00; B65D47/44
Foreign References:
US5813785A1998-09-29
US20050066987A12005-03-31
US5087138A1992-02-11
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SUMMIT IP PATENT AND TRADE MARK ATTORNEYS (PO Box 81, Hope Valley, South Australia 5090, 5090, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
A flowable cosmetic applicator comprising:

a container for holding a flowable cosmetic, the container including an outlet; a valve configured for attachment over or adjacent said outlet, the valve being biased into a closed position; and

a generally flexible porous head that extends over said valve;

wherein when an external pressure is applied to an outer face of said porous flexible head the valve is caused to open thereby permitting the flowable cosmetic contained within said bottle to exude out through the porous head to facilitate application of said flowable cosmetic onto a skin surface, and when said external pressure on said outer face is reduced to a predetermined level the valve closes to stop the flow of said flowable cosmetic out of said container through the outlet.

The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claim 1 , wherein the porous head is removably attached over the valve.

The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claim 1 , wherein different sized and/or shaped porous heads can be attached over said valve.

The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claim 1 , wherein the valve comprises a valve body that engages a valve seat, the valve body being connected to a valve stem that is acted upon by a biasing member or the valve stem may act as the biasing member.

The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claim 2, wherein the porous head engages a flange on, or attached to, said bottle.

The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claim 5, wherein the porous head is attached directly to the flange, or the porous head is connected to a support that engages said flange.

The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claim 6, wherein the porous head is connected to a frame that slidably engages the support, whereby the support, porous head and frame form a head assembly that is removably attachable to the bottle.

The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claim 1 , wherein a support member is removable attached to the bottle and the porous head is attached to the support member, wherein the support member includes a circumferentially extending flange that projects forwardly from the support member.

The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claim 8, wherein when external pressure in applied to an outer face of the porous head, said porous head is compressed inwardly of the circumferential flange of said support member and said valve is caused to open.

10. The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claims 4 and 9, wherein a valve actuator is positioned within a recess in a rear of the porous head such that as the porous head is compressed the valve actuator is caused to move against the biasing member to thereby open said valve.

1 1 . The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claim 1 , wherein the bottle includes an intermediate member that is connected over the outlet, the intermediate member being configured to retain the valve and the intermediate member including an opening that coaxially aligns the outlet when attached to the bottle, the valve seat being located inwardly of the intermediate member and adjacent said opening.

12. The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claims 10 and 1 1 ,

wherein the valve includes a protrusion or is connected to the valve actuator, which extend outwardly through the opening of the intermediate member such that an inner surface of the frame or the porous member bears against the end of the protrusion or end of the valve actuator at least when pressure is applied to an outer face of the porous head, to thereby open the valve.

13. The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claim 1 , wherein the porous head is constructed from open cell foam, latex foam, foam rubber, polyurethane foam and polymer sponge.

14. The flowable cosmetic applicator in accordance with claim 1 , wherein the flowable cosmetic has a low viscosity and is a cream, lotion, mousse, foaming agent or liquid cosmetic. 15. A method of applying a low viscosity flowable cosmetic to a skin surface, including the steps of:

providing an applicator comprising a container for holding said low viscosity cosmetic, a valve configured for attachment over or adjacent an outlet of said container, a flexible porous head that extends over said valve;

applying an external pressure to an outer face of the flexible porous head to open said valve, wherein the low viscosity cosmetic contained within said bottle is caused to exude out through said valve and into the flexible porous head to facilitate application of said cosmetic to a skin surface; and wherein when said external pressure is reduced to a predetermined level the valve closes to thereby stop cosmetic flowing out through said valve into the porous head.

Description:
COSMETICS APPLICATOR

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of cosmetic application and in one form relates to an applicator for a tanning lotion. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There are various applicators disclosed in the prior art for applying cosmetic lotions to a person's skin. One popular type of cosmetic lotion that is regularly applied to the skin surface is tanning lotion. Tanning lotion can be applied at a salon in a tanning booth where a spray device is used to apply an even layer of tanning lotion to a person's skin.

Due to the expense and inconvenience of salon appointments many people use off the shelf products, wherein a user applies the tanning lotion to their own skin. Typically, with this method a person applies a portion of tanning lotion from a bottle directly to their body and then uses a mitt in an attempt to spread the lotion evenly over the skin surface. However, the application of these self-tanning lotions suffers from a number of limitations. In particular, the person is often unskilled and therefore the resultant tan may be irregular or patchy.

Since the person applies the lotion to one area and then essentially uses the mitt to spread it over the skin surface it can be difficult to avoid the creation of darker areas on the skin. This often necessitates the person to shower after the application to wash off excess lotion. However, this can also lighten the overall tan if the lotion has not had an opportunity to sufficiently absorb into the skin surface.

Furthermore, self-tanning methods require the person to wear gloves to protect their hands since the tanning mitt must be held firmly during the application process. If gloves are not worn the palms can become overly tanned and turn an unacceptable shade due to the hands being in constant contact with the mitt.

The use of the mitt in the application of tanning lotion can result in a less than desirable result and a degree of skill is required to provide adequate application. Furthermore, the use of the mitt results in significant wastage of the tanning lotion that is retained by the mitt and needs to be washed out after use. There are also other cosmetics, such as skin whitening creams and liquid foundation, that must be applied evenly over the skin surface to obtain the desired result.

It should be appreciated that any discussion of the prior art throughout the specification is included solely for the purpose of providing a context for the present invention and should in no way be considered as an admission that such prior art was widely known or formed part of the common general knowledge in the field as it existed before the priority date of the application.

It should also be appreciated that the phrase "external pressure" used throughout the description and claims relates to the pressure resulting from a user applying a flexible porous head of the applicator to a shin surface such that it bears against the skin to thereby open a valve. When the pressure is reduced the valve closes, however some compression of the flexible porous head may still occur.

Therefore, there may be different degrees of compression of the flexible porous head during use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the invention, but not necessarily the broadest or only aspect, there is proposed a flowable cosmetic applicator comprising:

a container for holding a flowable cosmetic, the container including an outlet;

a valve configured for attachment over or adjacent said outlet, the valve being biased into a closed position; and

a generally flexible porous head that extends over said valve;

wherein when an external pressure is applied to an outer face of said porous flexible head the valve is caused to open thereby permitting the flowable cosmetic contained within said bottle to exude out through the porous head to facilitate application of said flowable cosmetic onto a skin surface, and when said external pressure on said outer face is reduced to a predetermined level the valve closes to stop the flow of said flowable cosmetic out of said container through the outlet.

Preferably the porous head enables consistent or even application of the cosmetic to said skin surface. In one form the porous head is removably attached over the valve. Preferably different sized and/or shaped heads can be attached over the valve depending upon the region of the body that the flowable cosmetic is being applied to. The valve preferably comprises a valve body that engages a valve seat. The valve body may be connected to a valve stem that is acted upon by a biasing member or the valve stem may act as the biasing member. Accordingly, the biasing member may be integral with the valve or be a separate element, which is attached thereto.

Preferably the porous head engages a flange, on or attached to said bottle.

The porous head may be attached directly to the flange but preferably the porous head is connected to a frame or support that engages said flange.

In one form the flange extends circumferentially outwardly from a support member, which is removably attachable to said bottle.

The support member, porous head and frame may form a head assembly that may be removably attachable to the bottle.

Preferably the frame slidably engages the support member, such that when pressure in applied to an outer face of the porous head, the frame retracts inwardly of a circumferential flange of said support member to thereby open the valve.

The frame is preferably coupled to the support member to inhibit detachment therefrom.

In a preferred form the bottle includes an intermediate member that is connected over the outlet. The intermediate member is configured to retain the valve and includes an opening that coaxially aligns the outlet when attached to the bottle. The valve seat is located inwardly of the intermediate member and adjacent said opening.

The intermediate member releasably engages with the head assembly and preferably includes an O-ring seal. In one form the valve includes a protrusion that extends outwardly through the opening of the intermediate member such that an inner surface of the frame bears against the end of the protrusion at least when pressure is applied to an outer face of the porous head, to thereby open the valve.

The intermediate member includes sidewardly projecting lugs that are configured to engage with slots in a rearward part of the support member to thereby hold said head assembly in place during use. The slots may be generally L-shaped such that the support member is firstly slid longitudinally onto the intermediate member and then rotated to lock it in place.

In other forms the support member of the head assembly may simply frictionally engage the intermediate member or the support member and intermediate member may include cooperating threaded portions.

The valve, support member, porous head and/or frame may include channels, grooves or passageways for directing the flowable cosmetic therethrough to assist in the consistent or even application of the cosmetic to said skin surface. In another form a valve actuator may be connected to the valve to open the valve when said external pressure is applied. The valve actuator may extend outwardly from the support member such that a leading end is positioned within a recess in the flexible porous head.

The valve may comprise a valve stem and a valve head including a face. The valve stem extends through an opening in the intermediate member 30, wherein the opening includes a valve seat against which the face of the head is caused to bear when the valve is in a closed position. The aperture of the support member preferably coaxially aligns the opening in the intermediate member wherein the valve stem and or valve actuator are able to pass. The intermediate member may engage an annular flange on the bottle and may be held in place by way of clips that engage a ridge on said annular flange.

A valve spring may be positioned over the valve shaft and an end of the valve shaft is fixedly connected to the valve actuator. The valve spring biases the valve actuator outwardly, such that the valve stem which is attached to the valve actuator is caused to move outwardly whereby the face of the valve head bears against the valve seat thereby inhibiting the flowable cosmetic from existing through the valve.

The support member may be connected to the intermediate member by way of a bayonet type fitting, wherein lugs on the support member are configured to engage with a respective channel in an outer surface of the intermediate member. The channels may include respective projections or locking members to inhibit disengagement of the lugs. An O-ring may be positioned between the support member and intermediate member and engage an annular groove in a front of the intermediate member.

The valve actuator may have apertures in the leading end to provide a passageway for the cosmetic to flow out therethrough from within the bottle when the valve is open.

The outer surface of the porous head is shaped to assist in the application of the cosmetic. In one form the porous head may be generally concave or at least curved to thereby conform to a skin surface.

In one form the shape of the porous head is generally oval shaped or at least elongate, such that the usual direction of travel of the porous head when applying the cosmetic is in a generally longitudinal direction. In this way, the person applying the cosmetic can grasp the bottle and move the porous head backwards and forwards in a generally longitudinal direction to apply the cosmetic.

Cosmetics such as tanning lotions are typically applied to large areas of the human body in particular the limbs. Since the limbs of the human body are elongate the use of a concave or generally elongate porous head means that the maximum area of the porous head is applied to the limbs at all times during the application process.

In another form the porous head may be disc-shaped for use when the cosmetic is being applied to small target areas of the body, such as between and around the fingers and toes. Alternatively, the porous head may have a tapered end that terminates in an apex and be of a size that corresponds to smaller target areas.

The porous head may also be generally teardrop shape having a first end tapered to a point and a second generally rounded end. Other sizes and shapes of porous heads are possible without departing from the scope of the invention.

The porous head may be constructed from open cell foam, such as but not limited to, latex foam, foam rubber, polyurethane foam and polymer sponge.

The flowable cosmetic has a low viscosity and may be a cream, lotion, mousse, foaming agent or liquid cosmetic. The cosmetic may be delivered to the porous head by applying pressure to the surface of the porous head that causes the valve to open thereby permitting the cosmetic to move into the open cells of the porous head.

The container in one form may be a PET plastic material resiliently flexible bottle. The bottle may preferably be a single use container and can be replaced when empty. Although it should be appreciated that the bottle in another form may be refillable and therefore reusable.

The bottle may have a capacity of between 100 ml and 150 ml, and may preferably be 120 ml. The head in one form may be oval shaped, having: a length of between 40-60 mm and preferably 50 mm; a width at centre of head of between 20-30 mm and preferably 25 mm; a width 5 mm from centre of head between 15-25 mm and preferably 20 mm; a width 15 mm from centre of head of between 5-15 mm and preferably 10 mm; and a width at opposite ends of head of between 5-1 1 mm and preferably 8 mm.

The container may be generally elongate and has a longitudinal axis. A front plane of the porous head may be oblique relative to the longitudinal axis of the bottle. The angle between the front plane of the porous head and the longitudinal axis of the bottle may be between 20° and 30°. Preferably the porous head may be removed from over the valve and a cap may be placed thereover when being stored. The residual cosmetic remaining within the porous head can then be washed out and the porous head stored for future use. Alternatively, when being stored a cap may be attached over the porous head to prevent it drying out. The applicator may include a cover that is pivotably attached to the cap, whereby when the cap is attached over the valve the cover may be configured to be pivoted such that it abuts a side of the container whereby a chamber may be formed between an inner surface of the cover and an outer surface of the container.

In one form a porous head or heads can be stored within the chamber. An inner surface of the cover may include engagement members for engaging the heads when not in use. In another aspect of the invention there is proposed a method of applying a low viscosity cosmetic to a skin surface, including the steps of:

providing an applicator comprising a container for holding said low viscosity cosmetic, a valve configured for attachment over or adjacent an outlet of said container, a flexible porous head that extends over said valve;

applying pressure to an outer face of the flexible porous head to thereby open said valve, wherein the low viscosity cosmetic contained within said bottle is caused to exude out through the flexible porous head to facilitate application of said cosmetic to a skin surface.

As a user depresses the porous head of the applicator onto the skin surface the low viscosity flowable cosmetic is releases through the valve, in one form being a spring valve, in a manner that evenly distributes the cosmetic through the whole of the porous head.

When the user ceases to apply pressure to the porous head or reduces the applied pressure to a predetermined level, the cosmetic ceases to flow into the porous head with the spring valve locking to prevent flow therethrough.

Preferably the porous head may be evenly covered with the cosmetic via the frame that has multiple holes or channels extending therethrough or due to the open cell configuration of the porous head. The user then glides the porous head across the skin surface to apply the cosmetic, applying greater pressure whenever more cosmetic is required.

In still another aspect of the invention there is proposed a kit including:

an applicator for a flowable cosmetic comprising a container for holding said flowable cosmetic, a valve configured for attachment over or adjacent an outlet of said container and at least two flexible porous heads that can be removably attached over said valve, wherein when pressure is applied to an outer face of said porous head attached over the valve, the valve opens to permit the flowable cosmetic contained within said bottle to exude out through the flexible porous head attached over said valve to facilitate application of said flowable cosmetic to a skin surface;

a cap being attachable over the valve when neither of the porous heads are attached over said valve to thereby seal the outlet; and

a cover pivotably attached to the cap, wherein an inner surface of the cover includes engagement members for holding the porous heads when not in use. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an implementation of the invention and, together with the description and claims, serve to explain the advantages and principles of the invention. In the drawings,

Figure 1 is a side view of one embodiment of the applicator of the present invention illustrating the abutment of a porous head with a skin surface;

Figure 2 is a perspective view of the applicator of Figure 1 ; Figure 3 is a perspective view of the application of Figure 1 with a smaller head attached;

Figure 4 is an exploded view of the applicator of Figure 2;

Figure 5 is a side cross-sectional view of the applicator of Figure 1 , illustrating the valve biased into the closed position; Figure 6 is a side cross-sectional view of the applicator of Figure 1 , illustrating the direction of pressure being applied to open the valve of the applicator and the flow path of the cosmetic;

Figure 7 is a perspective view of the applicator of Figure 1 and a cap, cover and head assemblies in a detached arrangement; Figure 8 is a perspective view of the applicator, cap, cover and head

assemblies of Figure 7 in a connected arrangement;

Figure 9 is a side view of the applicator, cap and cover of Figure 8;

Figure 10 is a side view of the applicator, cap and cover of Figure 9, illustrating the pivoting of the cover relative the applicator and cap; Figure 1 1 is a cross-sectional side view of Figure 9 illustrating the position of the head assemblies;

Figure 12 is a cross-sectional side view of Figure 10 illustrating the position of the head assemblies when the cover is in an open position; Figure 13 is an exploded view of another embodiment of the applicator illustrating an alternate valve assembly;

Figure 14 is a perspective view of the assembled applicator of Figure 13;

Figure 15 is a rear view of the applicator of Figure 14; Figure 16 is a cross-sectional view of the applicator of Figure 14 illustrating the valve in a closed position; and

Figure 17 is a cross-sectional view of the applicator of Figure 14 illustrating the valve in an open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED AND EXEMPLIFIED EMBODIMENTS

Similar reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the drawings. Dimensions of certain parts shown in the drawings may have been modified and/or exaggerated for the purposes of clarity or illustration.

Referring to the drawings for a more detailed description, an applicator 10 for a flowable cosmetic 12 is illustrated, demonstrating by way of examples,

arrangements in which the principles of the present invention may be employed. As illustrated in Figure 1 , the applicator 10 comprises a bottle 14 and a head assembly 16 attached thereto. The head assembly 16 includes a flexible porous head 18 and a support member 20 having a forwardly projecting circumferential flange 22. As will be illustrated in Figures 4 to 6 the flexible porous head 18 is attached over a frame 24 that slidably engages the support member 20, such that when pressure is applied to an outer face 26 of the flexible porous head 18, the frame 24 retracts inwardly of the flange 22 to thereby open a valve 28.

As further illustrated in Figure 1 an intermediate member 30 is connected over an outlet 32 of the bottle 14. The intermediate member 30 is configured to retain the valve 28, as will be discussed with respect to Figure 4.

In use, as the flexible porous head 18 of the applicator 10 is applied to the skin surface 34 the valve 28 is caused to open which allows a flowable cosmetic 12 contained within the bottle 14 to flow out through the flexible porous head 18 so that it can be applied onto the skin surface 34. The flexible porous head 18 is shaped to allow the user to move the outer face 26 over the skin surface to thereby spread the cosmetic 12 evenly thereover. The reader will appreciate that the cosmetic 12 may be any type of flowable or low viscosity cosmetic, such as but not limited to lotions, mousses, foams or liquids.

As illustrated in Figures 2 and 3 the shape and size of the flexible porous head 18 may be different depending upon the application. As illustrated in Figure 2, the head 18 may be generally oval in shape and is configured to apply the cosmetic to a larger area such as when apply tanning lotion to the legs or arms. Figure 3 illustrates a smaller generally circular head 18 that can be used to apply a cosmetic to a localised or hard to reach area such as when applying tanning lotion to the fingers or toes. The flexible porous head 18 of both Figures 2 and 3 are tapered around a peripheral edge 36 to assist in a gradient of cosmetic application and to avoid sharp contrasting lines in the application process.

As illustrated in Figure 4 the intermediate member 30 includes a base 38 for connection to a correspondingly shaped engagement surface 40 of the bottle 14. The intermediate member 30 further includes a forward portion 42 extending outwardly from the base 38 and having an opening 44 that is configured to coaxially align the outlet 32 when the intermediate member 30 is attached to the bottle 14. Lugs 46, 48 project sidewardly from the forward portion 42 and are configured to engage with L-shaped slots 50 in a rearward portion of the support member 20, as illustrated in Figure 7, to thereby hold the head assembly 16 in place during use.

The forward portion 42 includes an annular groove 52 for holding an O-ring 54 in place to create a seal between the intermediate member 30 and support member 20.

The valve 28 comprises a valve stem 56 in the form of a resiliently deformable sprung valve and a protrusion 58 attached thereto, which extends outwardly through the opening 44 of the intermediate member 30, as illustrated in Figure 5. The valve 28 is located within outlet 32 wherein the valve stem 56 bears against shoulder 62. When assembled the valve stem 56 biases the protrusion 58 against a valve seat 60 of the intermediate member 30 to thereby close the valve and inhibit leakage of the flowable cosmetic 12 therethrough.

The support member 20 of the head assembly 16 includes an aperture 64 that is configured to coaxially align opening 44 wherein the protrusion 58 extends therethrough. A central region 66 of the frame 24 overlays the protrusion 58, wherein the valve stem 56 biases the protrusion 58 against a valve seat 60 as well as biasing the frame 24 forwardly within the flange 22, as illustrated in Figure 5.

The frame 24 further includes voids 68 through which the flowable cosmetic 12 is able to flow when the valve 28 is opened. As illustrated in Figure 6, in use when pressure is applied to the outer face 26 of the flexible porous head 18, in the direction of the arrows, the frame 24 is moved inwardly of the flange 22. The central region 66 of the frame 24 bears against the end of the protrusion 58 and moves it rearwardly against the bias of the valve stem 56. This causes the valve 28 to open thereby permitting movement of the flowable cosmetic 12 therethrough, as illustrated in Figure 6.

As illustrated in Figure 7 the head assembly 16a having a larger flexible porous head 18 and the head assembly 16b having a smaller flexible porous head 18 can be detached from the intermediate member 30. When being stored a cap 70 is configured to enclose the intermediate member 30 and protrusion 58 that extends therethrough to inhibit opening of the valve 28. The cap 70 frictionally engages an edge 72 of the base 38 in a conventional manner.

The cap 70 includes disc-shaped projections 74, 76 that are configured to engage circular apertures 78, 80 in a cover 82. In this way, the cover 82 is able to pivot relative to the cap 70 that is attached to the bottle 14. The bottle is shaped such that when an edge 84 of the cover 82 abuts a correspondingly shaped shoulder 86 on the bottle 14 the inner surface 88 of the cover 82 is spaced apart from an outer surface 90 of the container 14 thereby forming a chamber 92. The chamber 92 is configured to accommodate the head assemblies 16a, 16b when not in use.

As illustrated in Figures 1 1 and 12, the inner surface 88 of the cover 82 includes engagement member 94, 96 for holding respective head assemblies 16a, 16b in place within the chamber 92.

Figure 13 illustrates an exploded view of a preferred embodiment of the applicator 10, which includes a valve 28 comprising a valve stem 100 and valve head 102 including a face 104. The valve stem 100 extends through opening 44 in the intermediate member 30. The opening 44 includes a valve seat 106 against which the face 104 is caused to bear, as will be described with respect to Figure 16. In the present embodiment, the intermediate member 30 engages an annular flange 108 on the bottle 14, and is held in place by way of clips 1 10 that engage a ridge 1 12 on the flange 108.

A valve spring 1 14 is positioned over the valve shaft 100 and the end 1 14 of the valve shaft 100 is fixedly connected to a valve actuator 1 18. The valve actuator 1 18 is configured to extend through aperture 64 in the support member 20, wherein a leading end of the valve actuator 1 18 is positioned within a recess 120 in the flexible porous head 18 that is accommodated within the forwardly projecting circumferential flange 22. The support member 20 is connected to the intermediate member 30 by way of a bayonet type fitting, wherein lugs 122 on the support member 20 are configured to engage with a respective channel 124 in an outer surface of the intermediate member 30, wherein the channels 124 include respective projections to inhibit disengagement of a respective lugs 122. An O-ring 54 is positioned between the support member 20 and intermediate member 30 and engages an annular groove 52 in a front of the intermediate member 30.

As illustrated in Figure 14, when assembled the flexible porous head 18 of the applicator 10 is held in a curved or generally concave configuration. This is done to improve contact of the outer face 26 with the skin surface 34.

As illustrated in Figures 13 to 15, the bottle 14 includes a depression or grip surface 128 to assist with grasping and application of pressure by a user. A user is able to position their thumb in or on the depression or surface 128 thereby being able to control movement of the flexible porous head 18 over the skin surface 34 and when required apply sufficient pressure to open the valve 28.

As illustrated in Figure 16 when assembled the aperture 64 of the support member 20 coaxially aligns the opening 44 in the intermediate member 30. As further illustrated in Figure 16 the valve actuator 1 18 has apertures 130 in the leading end to provide a passageway for the cosmetic to flow out therethrough from within the bottle 14. The intermediate member 30 further includes an annular recess 132 into which a rear edge of the valve actuator 1 18 can move when pressure is being applied to the outer surface 26 of the flexible porous head 18. Figure 16 illustrates the valve 28 in a closed position wherein the valve spring 1 14 biases the valve actuator 1 18 outwardly, such that the valve head 102 and valve stem 100 which is attached to the valve actuator 1 18 are likewise caused to move outwardly whereby the face 104 bears against the valve seat 106 thereby inhibiting the flowable cosmetic from existing through the valve.

When pressure is applied to the outer face 26 as indicated by arrow 134 in Figure 17 the valve 28 is cause the open. The external pressure, such as when the flexible porous head 18 is pushed against a skin surface 34, bears against the leading end of the valve actuator 1 18. This causes the valve actuator 1 18 to move rearwardly wherein the rear edge of the valve actuator 1 18 moves into the annular recess 132. Since the valve stem 100 is fixedly connected to the valve actuator 1 18 the valve head 102 is moved away from the valve seat 106. This allows the flowable cosmetic to pass out though apertures 130 in the direction of the broken arrows, and into the flexible porous head 18, wherein the cosmetic can be applied to the skin surface 34.

The reader should appreciate that some compression of the flexible porous head 18 may occur without the valve 28 opening. This may occur when the applicator 10 has sufficient cosmetic within the flexible porous head 18 however the user is squeezing it out from within the porous material to thereby apply it to the skin surface 34. Furthermore, the configuration of the applicator allows progressive opening of the valve 28 wherein when only a small amount of cosmetic is required the valve 28 only needs to be opened slightly to replenish the porous material.

Alternatively, when the applicator is being used for the first time or reused the valve can be open to the greatest extent to charge the porous material for use. The illustrated invention provides advantages over the prior art. The applicator 10 enables a user to evenly apply a cosmetic, such as a tanning lotion, onto a skin surface while minimising wastage and the mess that is typical with currently available self-tanning methods. The invention also provides an applicator that has a replaceable bottle wherein the head assembly, cap cover and intermediate member can be reused multiple times. The modular configuration of the applicator also means that components can be replaced when worn or damaged and the applicator can be disassembled or at least partially disassembled to facilitate cleaning of the components. Various features of the invention have been particularly shown and described in connection with the exemplified embodiments of the invention, however it must be understood that these particular arrangements merely illustrate the invention and it is not limited thereto. Accordingly, the invention can include various modifications, which fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.