Skincare Packaging Design

Skincare Packaging Design

The onset of the COVID-19 health crisis meant major shifts for some in the beauty and wellness industry. Social distancing and spending more time at home presented many challenges for eCommerce brands selling cosmetics as consumers evaluated just how essential their beauty products were—while skincare brands saw an added interest during this time. For example? Lip cosmetics sales plunged 62.4 percent during the week of April 4, 2020. But skincare sales held strong. 

But the pandemic may have only sped up an already-existing trend. Even before COVID-19 dominated the headlines, consumers were starting to shift their attention away from cosmetics, embracing the use of skincare products instead. Want proof? From 2012 to 2019, the size of the global skincare market grew by 41.8 percent, with a projected valuation of $189 billion by 2025.  

Some industry experts chalk this movement away from cosmetics and towards skincare products as the responsibility of Gen Z as they come to age since this generation has not embraced cosmetics in the same way that their predecessors have.  

eCommerce skincare sales are gaining steam. And in an increasingly competitive market, retailers need to make the most of every opportunity they have to connect with consumers—and packaging is an important aspect of that strategy. 

Skincare Packaging Design for Your Brand


Marketing teams put a great deal of thought into their brand storytelling and brand standards, and your packaging should be an extension of this. This should be true of the packaging that holds your raw skincare product—your product packaging, also referred to as your primary packaging—as well as for your secondary packaging, also called delivery packaging. These packaging items are an opportunity to connect with consumers and tell your brand story.  

Sometimes skincare products also come with tertiary packaging. This is known as inner packaging, and would include things like a branded box that your primary packaging arrives in, but not the box it ships in. Again, both the inside and outside of this packaging is a chance to tell your brand story and make a lasting impression on consumers. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when developing your skincare packaging.  

Product Packaging Needs 

The right skincare packaging for your brand sometimes depends on the composition of the raw product and what these materials call for. For example, you may need to factor in the following characteristics: 

  • Light-blocking ability. This will prevent the materials from breaking down, which often translates to tinted or non-translucent packaging. 
  • Capacity to hold up under acidic conditions. Some products, like those made with fruit extracts, may have high acidity levels that could corrode certain metal tins if they are not also coated with a protective barrier. Glass or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are good choices for these kidneys of products. 
  • Squeezability. Some skincare gels or creams are easiest to use when squeezed out of a tube. Consider the way your customer will interact with your product, and choose the packaging that will be the easiest to use.  
  • BPA-free plastic. If your packaging is plastic, you may want to consider BPA-free plastic, as many consumers now look for this labeling if a package is plastic.  
  • Eco-friendly materials. More and more consumers want to choose products for their life that don’t harm the environment, and their skincare products and packaging are no exception. Packaging that’s biodegradable, refillable, or recyclable isn’t just good for the environment, it’s an opportunity to connect with environmentally conscious consumers. 

Other things to consider? 

  • The colors you use 
  • Labels that are moisture- and oil-resistant 
  • Information on safe, proper usage, allergies, and whether a product is vegan and/or eco-friendly 
  • Branding that is consistent with all of your marketing 

What’s more, you should think about how your product packaging and delivery packaging impact fulfillment. Your third-party logistics (3PL) provider can be an invaluable resource to help you determine ways to optimize packaging for fulfillment including: 

  • Reducing packaging to limit costs for materials 
  • Optimizing packaging to ensure your products arrive intact 
  • Deciding how many different sizes of boxes and bubble mailers you will need 
  • Designing packaging for kits and bundles that expedite fulfillment 
  • Selecting sustainable packaging options to meet consumer demand 

Trends in Packaging for Skincare Products


Customers are engaging with products across social media platforms, looking for solutions that they want to become part of their daily routine. After all, consumers want skincare products they can connect with; that will improve the look and feel of their skin and be the solution they’re looking for. While this means that skincare brands should feel somewhat timeless, it’s still essential to understand current packaging trends in the skincare industry. Here’s what’s happening in 2021: 

  1. Inclusive packaging. Consumers want to see that their skincare brand is inclusive; that they reflect the stories of customers with a wide range of skin types and skin tones and that the retailer has thought about more than just one skin color when developing and honing their product 
  1. Small, illustrated patterns and designs. Across the beauty and wellness industries, packaging is trending towards the inclusion of tiny illustrations and/or intricate patterns that connect with the product that’s inside the package.  
  1. A vintage unboxing experience. Maybe it’s because skincare consumers want to know that the products they’ve purchased will stand the test of time and be a long-term solution, but a popular trend in the world of eCommerce skincare packaging is a vintage unboxing experience; meaning vintage and retro-inspired labels, logos, shapes, and even textures.  
  1. Simple geometry. One prominent skincare packaging trend that’s expected to continue to grow in popularity through the coming years is geometric shapes and bold angles; think geodes, crystals, and abstract silhouettes, paired with neat lines and a minimalist aesthetic.  
  1. Anatomical and technical pen-and-ink drawings. Perhaps the slowdown of 2020 has consumers inspired to harken back to the days of apothecaries and anatomical illustrations. Skincare packaging has taken on this trend. It feels honest, simple, and grounded; like it was established before flashy marketers and slick campaigns.  
  1. Color blocking and organic shapes. Just a stone’s throw away from minimalism, this aesthetic feels modern and vintage all at once. These are familiar and modern all at once—which feels safe and fresh in an uncertain time—and are dappled with unbalanced shapes and tiny freckles, and both vibrant and muted colors.  
  1. Front-and-center minimalism. Another trend that is gaining momentum is centering a sleek, no-frills product name on the front. Consumers want something simple that won’t add clutter or chaos to their life; they want something clean and easy. 

Skincare Kitting and Subscription Packaging


Often, skincare offerings come in kits with multiple steps and products, or ongoing subscriptions. In these cases, the product packages need to accomplish a few things: 

  • Inform consumers about the order in which the products should be used and the proper usage of each product. 
  • Delight them with beautiful packaging that they want to keep as part of their daily routine. 
  • Optimize fulfillment with fast, easy, question-free kitting 
  • Look for options to simplify repeat orders 

In this case, brands should work with their 3PL partner to develop packaging that does not take up excess space in the warehouse and reduces the amount of time and work needed to pick and pack an order and get it ready for shipment.  

Set Yourself Up for Success


No matter what goes on the label of the package for your skincare products or how it’s designed, OceanX understands that your primary, secondary, and inner packaging are all key to your brand’s fulfillment success and can have a huge impact on how your customers interact with your brand.  

Skincare is where we got our start. With decades of industry experience in packaging, subscriptions, and kitting specifically for skincare, we can offer invaluable insights into the best options to delight your customers, optimize your fulfillment, and grow your brand. From the kind of box or bubble mailer you use to the packing materials, and even the tape that goes on the box, we can offer guidance to revolutionize the way you deliver exceptional skincare products to your customers. To learn more, request a free quote today!