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How to Design Skincare Packaging

The secret’s out! The formula for your skincare is only as successful as its appearance and marketing campaigns.


Let’s face it, Cetaphil is an exception. Not all brands can afford to package good formula in unimaginative design elements and still make millions out of it.


More often than not, skincare brands need to put out exciting packaging to convince people to try what’s inside. So, how do you achieve that? This guide will help you do just that!

Key Considerations When Designing Skincare Packaging

The design of the packaging is an important part of creating a successful skincare product. It can determine whether your skincare business will attract new customers and pick up sales.


Here are some things you need to consider in your design plan, and be sure to reach out to a branding professional to create a custom brand strategy and visual identity for your business! Consumers can always tell if companies went the cheap route on designs, and you want to establish trust with your customers from the very beginning.


The Preferences of Your Target Audience

The main thing to consider when designing skincare packaging is what type of person you are trying to attract to your product. From there, you can determine the colors and designs that will appeal to your target audience. Here are some considerations:

woman using anti aging cream

Age Range

Younger consumers prefer bright, bold colors while older consumers tend to choose more subdued shades. Your skincare packaging should reflect the age range of your intended consumers.



Skincare packaging for male consumers should appeal to the buyer in them, even if it isn’t conventionally “masculine” as believed by countless brands. Similarly, female consumers don’t always desire “feminine” packaging. If your brand caters to a group of minimalists, you can use pastel colors to appeal to their buying senses.



Skincare packaging for consumers who are into sports or other active outdoor activities can be designed to appear rugged and durable. Brands that are more laid back would likely benefit from more relaxed or elegant packaging.


Amount of Time Spent on Grooming

If you are selling beauty products for people who don’t spend much time on grooming, you might want your packaging to be sleek and simple. On the other hand, if you are selling to consumers who perceive skincare as an investment, you have the flexibility to be intricate with your design elements.

Your Brand Guidelines

Your skincare packaging design should align with your brand’s colors, personality, voice, etc. For example, if you have a playful tone of voice in your marketing material, then this should be reflected in the design of your product packaging.


The same goes for color schemes: if you use red in your logo and business cards, then using red on your packaging will make the product seem coherent with your brand.


ColourPop is an excellent example of a beauty brand that sticks to its brand guidelines when it comes to product packaging. The brand name itself guarantees ‘popping’ and ‘fun’ products, therefore, their products always come in popping packaging.


If you are unsure about your current brand guide, then consider getting a professional design agency to create a customized brand strategy that will help you make more sales. We do that here at Aventive Studio, and you can see some examples of our past branding and website design projects here.


Your Supply Chain

How you are going to sell your products — online or offline? For instance, if you are selling online, you need to make sure your product is packaged sturdily so that it doesn’t lose its appeal by the time it reaches the consumer.


Besides, since you are shipping to consumers directly, if something breaks or spills in transit, you will be responsible for handling the refunds or resending on the customer service side which can get expensive.


powder foundations on a white background

Designing Your Skincare Packaging

Zero In on Your Ideal Buyer

Your ideal buyer is not just a demographic profile! They are someone with a particular mindset who goes through a specific process when they are looking for skincare products to buy.


By spending time and energy getting clear on exactly who your ideal buyer is, you can develop messaging that resonates with them and design packaging elements that compel them to take action.


A good way to get started with this process is by creating buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customer, and they can help you stay focused on who you’re making the packaging for.


For example, let’s say that you are creating a new line of skincare products for people who want an organic and natural approach to their skincare routine.


If you create a buyer persona based on someone who is environmentally conscious and concerned about their health, it is going to be much easier to design your packaging than if you were designing it for someone who wanted something simple and effective without any fuss.


Pro tip: Even if you think that your target audience is obvious, it is worth creating a buyer persona anyway. It will give you some extra direction in terms of how you design and market your products. We include buyer personas in all of our personalized brand strategy packages.


Determine The Number of Packaging Layers You Want

The number of layers in your skincare packaging depends on the type of product you are designing. For instance, if you are designing a cream, it will usually consist of two layers: the inner tube/jar and the outer box.


However, if you are designing packaging for a serum, which will have to be shipped in glass containers, you would most likely need to create multiple layers to keep the product intact. The more layers, the more design variations you need – so plan ahead.

woman putting lotion on her hand

Research The Trends

Take inspiration from trends. Trends are usually based on popular culture, so check out what is trending right now for similar skincare brands. These are your competitors, and it helps to keep an eye on them!


What marketing platforms are they using? What do their product photos look like? What colors do your competitors use? What are they not doing so well? Find the gaps and weaknesses so your brand can swoop in and attract customers!


For example, minimalism has been trending for a while now, so brands are collectively opting for reserved packaging designs unless their brand guide is exactly the opposite of minimalism – as in the case of ColourPop.


However, remember that you want your brand to be timeless. This means that even as trends come and go, your colors, fonts, and messaging should be memorable and strong enough to remain the same over time.


That’s why it’s so important to work with a professional branding agency: you want someone who knows the difference between trendy and timeless so you don’t need to turn around and change your brand every few years.

Create a Mood Board

Skincare packaging design is about more than just pretty colors and fonts. It is about creating a mood and an experience. Your packaging needs to reflect your brand’s values, philosophy, and aesthetic so that it stands out from the crowd.


And the best part is, inspiration for your designs doesn’t have to come from totally unexpected places. You can start by creating a mood board to help you capture the essence of your brand in images that can be used as references or inspiration for your product labels and packaging design.


Designing a meticulous and research-oriented process, so creating a mood board is the best strategy for moving forward. You can also show your mood board to your branding agency or graphic designer to give them an idea of your vision, and they can show you whether or not that vision will attract the customers you want.


Choose the Right Packaging Material

One of the most important parts of your skincare packaging design is choosing the right material.


Not only because you need to ensure that your product will be handled and stored properly, but also because not all designs look good on all materials. When you are designing your packaging, it helps to have a concrete idea about which materials you will be printing your design elements on.


Check out this in-depth guide to the best packaging materials for skincare products that we have created to make your process simpler.

woman applying skincare mask to face

Create Your Content Foundation

A content foundation refers to the information that you need to put on your skincare packaging. This should contain information about the product such as its ingredients, benefits, and how it should be used. Many of your customers will want to see this before they spend money on your brand.


The following are five important pieces of information that should be included on the packaging of your skincare products:


  • Brand Name: Your brand name should be prominent and immediately followed by the product’s name and type. For example, if the product is a facial cleanser, then the brand name could appear as Brand X – Facial Cleanser or Facial Cleanser by Brand X.


  • Ingredients: The ingredients must be listed clearly, as this will help customers make an informed buying decision. The list should also be presented in descending order of their quantities in the formulation.


  • Declaration of Net Quantity: You ought to share the net quantity clearly on the packaging so that customers can easily see how much product they will get for their money.


  • Function and Directions for Use: This can be printed on a sticker or so that customers can read it before use and peel it off later. Some brands opt to include these directions on a box rather than on the product due to space constraints.


  • Warnings: Information regarding side effects or allergies needs to be included on your packaging. This is crucial information that your customer needs before trusting you.

travel sized skincare products

Print and Review

Finally, print out your design elements and analyze them in real life. Experiment and test variations in the packaging until you find what works best for your target market, and then apply it consistently across all your marketing materials.


Remember that the more you invest in testing and refining these elements, the better results you will see from your skincare marketing and branding efforts.


Your packaging is an opportunity to shape how people feel about your brand and products before they use them.


Aventive Studio helps skincare businesses get their branding right from the start. As a branding agency, we provide you with the expertise you need to capture your audience’s attention at first glance and sell more products. Let’s create something beautiful together.

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