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The Best Materials for Skincare Packaging

three types of skincare product packaging

The skincare industry is huge. Just look in the nearest department store and you will find an eye-popping assortment of face and body products: toners, moisturizers, exfoliators, cleansers, masks, peels, moisturizers and so much more. So, how do you stand out?


Packaging is one of the most important aspects of marketing and selling your skincare products. Your packaging plays a significant role in buying decisions. It communicates to customers about your product, quality, and brand. For these reasons and more, skincare packaging ought to be attractive in order to make a lasting impression on customers.


If you are unsure about what kind of packaging would work well for your brand, this guide can help you!

a variety of skincare products with white packaging

Types of Product Packaging

Packaging is a form of communication. It speaks to the quality of the product, the brand behind it, and ultimately to its value. The type of packaging you choose can have a major impact on your product’s success in the market. There are three types of packaging:


Primary Packaging

This is the packaging that directly comes in contact with the product and usually contains instructions and warnings. Primary packaging can take many forms such as boxes, blister packs, cans, or bottles. The type of primary packaging you pick will depend on your product and its use by consumers.


Your primary packaging needs to be strong enough to withstand the transport and distribution processes, including the handling and storage of your skincare products by a number of individuals. Convenience is secondary when it comes to primary packaging.

Secondary Packaging

Secondary packaging is used for transporting, storing, or handling products in a group at a location other than where they will be sold to the end-user.


It provides protection from damage due to handling, stacking, or transportation while ensuring that the skincare products inside remain clean and free from contamination, which could otherwise reduce their value or even make them unsafe for use by the end consumer.


Secondary packaging also helps protect against loss in case of breakage or spillage in transit and is mainly used as additional protection for the primary packaging.


Tertiary Packaging

Finally, tertiary packaging is the outermost protective packaging used in order to ship a product. It is also known as transit packaging or bulk packaging and is designed to protect products during handling and distribution.

woman sitting in a room full of boxes

Factors to Consider When Discussing Skincare Packaging


Transparent bottles make it easy for consumers to see the product, but they may be more susceptible to light damage. Opaque bottles protect the product from harmful UV rays and preserve freshness.


Some products are actually designed to be stored in dark places as exposing them to light can affect their quality and potency. For example, if you have a high concentration of essential oils or other light-sensitive ingredients in your skincare products (which can easily react with light), you might want to choose opaque packaging to avoid spoiling them.



BPA stands for bisphenol A, a chemical used in some plastics. BPA has been linked to reproductive disorders, cancer, heart risks, and other health concerns.


In an effort to reduce exposure to BPA, consumers have been persistently asking manufacturers to phase out the use of BPA in packaging. So if you want to ensure your products are completely safe to use, you must consider BPA-free packaging.


Skincare packaging isn’t about ‘pretty’ anymore. Both influencers and consumers are urging brands to put out packaging that’s easy and convenient to use.


For instance, all the Fenty SKIN products come with a twist-top feature, which allows the company to integrate the lid for the bottles into the same body, making the packaging extremely convenient to use. It also helps cut down on additional plastic.



With environmental awareness on the rise, it is not just about the product anymore; it is also about how that product is packaged and what can be done to make it safer for the planet. More than 50% of consumers in the US are concerned about the eco-friendliness of their product’s packaging.


Therefore, environmentalists are also pushing for more eco-friendly packaging, which centers on using materials that are less harmful to the environment. And companies need to take heed of this demand.


Again, taking Fenty SKIN’s example, the brand’s products come with a refill option, so you can send back your empty containers and get your new orders in the same packaging.


eco friendly skincare packaging

Best Materials for Packaging Skincare Products


As an elegant, upscale material, glass packaging reflects well on your brand and is visually appealing to consumers. It also provides many advantages for skincare products, particularly on the marketing side.


When it comes to marketing your skincare products, glass packaging is hard to beat. It is an attractive material that adds sophistication to your product line and makes you stand out from the competition.


Glass gives your product a premium vibe that can inspire confidence in consumers choosing you over other brands. It’s also easy to spot glass bottles on store shelves, which makes it easier for people to find your products.


Clear glass is perfect for showcasing the color or design of your product inside the bottle, which is especially useful if you are working with liquid skincare products.


Having said that, glass packaging comes with some significant drawbacks as well. It is tougher to ship products in glass packaging. You are required to monitor the logistics very carefully to ensure your products reach the customers in the intended condition.


Glass is also more expensive than plastic. Of course, you can charge a premium price in exchange, but you need to make an investment upfront.


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Metal packaging is ideal for skin care products because it is durable, dependable, and it keeps the product safe from light and air. If you want to ensure your product remains unspoiled and full of nutrients, metal packaging may be the way to go.


A metal container can be made of aluminum, tin-plated steel, or tin-free steel. All these materials are fairly appealing, so marketing them is never a problem either.


Metal canisters also offer great protection for your products, as they are able to resist impact and offer a high level of chemical resistance to the product inside. Additionally, metal is recyclable so it’s an eco-friendly option as well.

skincare products next to a mirror

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) packaging is one of the most widely used plastics in the world. PET is strong and lightweight and may be transparent or opaque. It’s a good choice for packaging skin care products because it delivers high performance and value. PET offers:


  • Excellent barrier properties – It provides exceptional protection against light, oxygen, and moisture that can degrade the quality of your product over time. PET also protects your products from chemical composition-changing reactions.


  • Superior temperature resistance – The molecular structure of PET stabilizes at higher temperatures, giving it higher heat tolerance than other plastics. This means the product inside can remain safe from heat damage.


  • Semi-rigid – PET offers excellent squeezability, making it perfect for creams and other thick liquid skincare products.


Because it is plastic, Polyethylene Terephthalate is also easier to transport and doesn’t require extremely careful handling.

Polypropylene Plastic (PP)

Polypropylene plastic is known for its ability to be 100% recyclable in the United States. It is also BPA-free, so it is an FDA-approved material for skincare products. Below are some reasons why you should consider using PP packaging for your skincare products.


  • PP is a very lightweight material, so will not add extra weight to your shipment.


  • If you plan on selling internationally, PP is suitable for all countries so you don’t need to worry about having to change packing when selling outside the US.


  • PP can be manufactured in a range of different colors, which allows you to further brand your product and stand out in the market.

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE is a low-cost, lightweight, abrasion-resistant, and impact-resistant packaging material. It is also transparent, which allows consumers to see the product inside.


HDPE containers are designed to prevent leakage during transport. And they are ideal for skincare products that are sensitive to temperature or need to be protected from light.


Although it is lightweight and flexible, HDPE is strong so it can be used for packaging heavy products. It is recyclable and moisture resistant. The only drawback is that you can’t ship products containing essential oils in HDPE. The oils may react with the plastic, enabling it to leak into the formula and contaminate it.

two hands holding a skincare product

And that’s all folks!


That’s everything you need to know about skincare packaging. Understandably, choosing the right packaging is a daunting task. And once you have the right material, you need to brand it well to make it look coherent with your company’s image. It is a long and tedious process that can make or break your sales. So, why not let the experts do it for you?


At Aventive Studio, we are committed to helping health & wellness brands develop modern and strategic visual brands. We have helped countless businesses get their designs right, and we can do it for you, too. Reach out to us to get started.

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