The Importance of Packaging in Beauty Products

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Did you know that the most expensive ingredient in drugstore makeup and skin care is not some youth-restoring peptide or exotic plant extract but the packaging? Although skin care manufacturers spend millions of dollars on extracting skin-friendly nutrients out of herbs, plants, grains, and nuts, the total cost of the formula only makes about 1% of the product’s market value.

Consciously or unconsciously, a decision is already made thanks to first impressions. That’s why most skin care brands make an effort to improve packaging. Most people tend to pay more attention to how a product is packaged than anything else. There’s a good chance of a successful sale if a person likes how a product is presented.

The bottom line is, you can tell the quality of the product through its packaging. And in today’s post, we are going in-depth on the factors that make the perfect packaging:

The Material

Most liquid or cream-based cosmetics or skin care products are housed in glass, plastic or aluminum. Most high-end skin care products use glass because of its perceived higher value. As a material, glass is expensive and heavy. The heft gives a sense of luxury that most people take for higher value. Plastic is inexpensive and easy to produce. They range from HDPE through PETs. Some plastic containers mimic the look and heft of glass. Plastic material is a popular choice among drugstore brands because the material can be molded into various shapes and sizes.

Just like glass, aluminum is expensive but it’s very light and recyclable. But because the material is not translucent, there’s no way to see the product.

Most containers come in either clear or frosted containers, followed by silver and black. Aluminum containers are only available in solid colors in a metallic finish. Generally, packaging that are functional is preferred by consumers as opposed to pretty packaging that does very little to protect the product.


Most skin care products and liquid makeup are packed in containers with a dispenser fitted on the top. Open-mouth bottles and jars used to be the norm but out of fear of cross-contamination, sealed bottles with small dispensers became popular. The dispenser releases a certain amount of product while inhibiting cross-contamination. Pump-type dispensers are great for skin care and bath gels while droppers are great for foundation and serums because of the added control.

Boxes, Labels, and Printing

The label is one of the most important elements of the packaging. From here, customers can know more about the product, such as the ingredients, effects, health warnings and other pertinent information. Easy to remove labels are best for products in recyclable containers. Glass containers tend to feature embossed prints that cannot be removed.

As for the box, most skin care and cosmetics products are boxed. The box adds a layer of protection against physical damage and UV rays. Boxes are also useful in terms of adding additional spaces for ingredients, legal jargon, barcode and more instructions. But not all skin care and cosmetic products are boxed. Some products are stripped down to save cost, save space or save the environment.

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