Before teams of chemists were in the lab developing cutting-edge products, cosmetics and skin care were simple. They often came in the form of a bar of soap and a glass jar filled with a thick cream. As beauty products became more complex, custom cosmetic packaging grew more important. In contrast to other industries, such as office supplies or food, the cosmetics industry is constantly updating existing products and creating new ones.
Active ingredients in new products may be sensitive certain environmental factors and require updated packaging to accommodate them. There is no longer a “standard” regarding the size and shape of a container. Cosmetic companies often work in close collaborate with the packaging firm to develop innovative form factors, closure mechanisms and labels.
Eco-friendly packaging has come to the forefront of the packaging industry. Consumers concerned about the environment may actively look for brands taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of the products developed. To respond to these expectations, cosmetic packaging changed dramatically.
Packaging that can be recycled enables consumers to feel more activein the green movement. Lightweight materials that use fewer resources and packaging that incorporates recycled materials are more prevalent than even a few years ago. Plastics, corrugated cardboard and paperboard are examples of packaging that uses post-consumer recycled materials. For custom cosmetic packaging that cannot be recycled, such as clamshells, pouches and pumps, many companies may turn to bio-resin based plastics. This type of container breaks down quickly in landfills.
Cosmetic packaging may also be developed to meet the needs of a particular target audience. Small children often put non-food items in their mouths. Child-resistant packaging with special closing mechanisms and caps can help prevent this from happening with cosmetic products. One goal of tamper evident packaging, such as cellophane rings coving the exterior of a cap and foil seals under the cap, is to protect the integrity of the contents.
Cosmetic products that target specific concerns such as anti-aging, wrinkles and dark circles may require a precise dose of lotion, serum or gel. Custom cosmetic packaging can take that into consideration by adding a pump to the container that dispenses the required amount.
The highly competitive cosmetics industry uses a variety of marketing mediums and mechanisms to differentiate their products and attract the target audience. The packaging and labels are often the first part of the brand that consumers see. This first impression may be paramount in the way the brand is perceived by consumers, and it needs to be positive.