Introduction to Cosmetic Packaging

Learn how to make great packaging for your cosmetic products business, from the different packaging layers to packing each type of cosmetic.

Revenue for cosmetic brands is expected to skyrocket over the next few years. By 2028, it’s expected to hit $128.89 billion. That’s why the competition in this category is so fierce.

So how can businesses gain an advantage in this space?

One of the best things they could do would be to create the best packaging for all their cosmetic products. In today’s post, you’ll learn why cosmetic packaging is so important and what types you can use. 

But first, let’s discuss the reasons why you’ll want to invest in great cosmetic packaging.

Why Use Cosmetic Packaging?

Cosmetic Packaging Tape by Ash + Stone Skincare
Cosmetic Packaging Tape by Ash + Stone Skincare

Packaging serves many functions, especially for cosmetic companies. It goes beyond aesthetics though that is another valid reason. Below are some of the practical applications of cosmetic packaging.

Brands need to use cosmetic packaging to:

Promote the Brand

The first thing people interact with when shopping for cosmetic products is the packaging. They’ll use it to evaluate whether your product is a good fit for them — that’s if they manage to notice your products at all. 

It can be difficult, especially if they’re surrounded by comparable products. 

You want a packaging design that distinguishes you from the competition. This will make people discover and remember your brand. It’ll help you develop a brand identity. 

Use your cosmetic packaging to tell your story. Let people know what you’re trying to accomplish as a company. Establish what sets you apart from all the other brands in your category.

Protect Products and Customers

Product packaging refers to the casing used to present and protect products. Companies do this for safety and sanitary reasons. 

For instance, you’ll usually find lipstick cases sealed inside boxes or possibly even pouches. Customers will also find safety warnings and instructions on the packaging themselves.

Cosmetic products are sensitive to contaminants. Sealing them inside product packaging will lessen the chances of exposure which will make them last longer.

If you pick the right kind of packaging, products will have protection against minor bumps, scratches, dust, and dirt. This is crucial, especially for cosmetic brands with retail shops where shoppers interact with products all the time.

Improve the Presentation

Products need great presentation no matter how good they may be. Good design packaging will increase your credibility as a company and make your products appealing in the process.

It’s better for the customers as well. If you make your packaging design memorable, they’ll be able to recognize it faster. That means they’re more likely to find them even if they’re displayed next to similar products.

You can also use product packaging to appeal to your target demographic. For example, cosmetic products aimed toward young adults might consider a packaging design that’s hip and fun.

Custom Cosmetic Boxes by The Serene Essentials
Custom Cosmetic Boxes by The Serene Essentials

Ship Products to Customers

There are cosmetic packaging solutions that are specifically made for shipping. These are made from stronger materials than product boxes. That makes them suited to the challenges of transporting products to customers.

These are sometimes used for storage as well. It prevents dust from getting on the product boxes and keeps all items accounted for.

Any cosmetic company with an online store should have shipping packaging. It’s the only way they’ll be able to safely deliver orders to consumers. They’re easy to handle for delivery personnel. 

You can also print handling instructions on the sides of the shipping boxes. Some businesses even leave special messages for their customers which is a nice touch.

What Cosmetic Packaging Materials Should You Use?

There are many types of cosmetic packaging that you could use for branding and shipping. Below are some of the more popular options.

Product Packaging

These are packaging materials you can use to store and promote your products either online or through retail locations.

Product Boxes

Product boxes are the most commonly used type of packaging for cosmetic products. They’re great for lipsticks, mascaras, concealers, lip gloss, eyebrow pencils, and similar items.

Infinery Product Box
Infinery Product Box

You can order these in any size you need but only if your box supplier allows customization. Some even let you specify the exact number of boxes to print.

Stand-Up Pouches

Stand-up pouches look amazing on countertops and store shelves. If you add hang holes, you can display them on walls using hooks or pegs.

The best part about them is that you can make them resealable. So if you sell products like facial masks, they can just take one out and reseal the pouch afterward.

Lay-Flat Pouches

Lay-flat pouches are similar to stand-up pouches only you can’t display them upright. However, you can still add hang holes. You can make these resealable as well.

You also have the option to include tear notches. The purpose of these is to make it easier for customers to open their pouches. 

Product Shipping

If you’re mailing cosmetic products to customers, these are the packaging materials you’ll need.

Mailer Boxes

Whipped Bath Co Mailer Box
Whipped Bath Co Mailer Box

Mailer boxes are smaller than standard shipping boxes. However, they are just as durable so you shouldn’t worry about products getting damaged. 

They can serve another purpose too. Mailer boxes make great subscription boxes. They’re the best packaging to use if the goal is to create an unforgettable unboxing experience.

Shipping Boxes

Shipping boxes are large containers that you can use to fulfill bulk orders. You can resize them too if you need smaller or larger boxes.

They’re tough and secure, especially if sealed correctly. They also give you enough room for text. Use the sides to leave important reminders or thank customers for their purchases.

Packaging Tape

You need packaging tapes to seal shipping or mailer boxes. So you might as well customize them to add more branding to your packaging.

The design could be as simple as having your logo printed on them. Or you could go the extra mile and print a special message.

Product Presentation

Cosmetic packaging gets even better when you use packaging accessories that enhance the unboxing experience. Here are a couple of materials you could use.

Thank You Cards

Insert thank you cards in boxes or gift bags as a surprise for customers. You can use them to promote upcoming events or as discount cards as well.

Some cosmetic businesses use thank you cards to introduce other products to their customers. If you do, make sure you include a URL or social media page details where people can learn more about them.


Flyers can serve the same function as a thank you card. However, these are lighter and easier to fold. That makes them more convenient for customers to store and hand out to friends or family who might be interested in what you have to offer.

These are much bigger than thank you cards too. So they’re the better option for cosmetic brands that have a lot of products to promote.

Business Cards

Business cards are great marketing tools for anyone with a retail location. You can hand them out to shoppers so they’ll know how to get in touch with you. It’s handy for generating leads for any business.

You can make them a part of your packaging by leaving a business card inside each one. Customers can then hand them out to other people or keep them for reference.


Mardoodles Company Thank You Labels
Mardoodles Company Thank You Labels

Apply labels to your product boxes or pouches. Alternatively, you can use labels to seal your mailer boxes. 

They are great promotional accessories. And they make your packaging look more professional, which is the goal for most cosmetic brands.

Hang Tags

Hang tags aren’t just for clothing and accessories. You can also use them on cosmetic products. They’re ideal for situations where you need to include product information but have no room left on the packaging itself.

They also look great on gift bags. Use them to help establish your branding.

Gift Bags

Gift bags are used in retail locations as a way for customers to carry products out of the store. They’re reusable so it’s not that uncommon to find shoppers carrying them around long after they’ve made their purchases.

That’s one of the main benefits of using gift bags. They’re like walking billboards. More people are going to learn about your brand thanks to the constant exposure.

Tissue Paper

The Thrifty Handmade Tissue Paper
The Thrifty Handmade Tissue Paper

Tissue paper is a type of insert that you can wrap your products in. You can also add tissue paper inside gift bags as filler to make the packaging look more elegant.

They’re an inexpensive way to provide some product protection and promote your brand. 

The Importance of Customizing Cosmetic Packaging

Perception is everything for cosmetic brands. If the packaging doesn’t reflect what the products promise, they won’t appeal to shoppers.

Packaging customization makes sure that your brand will capture your target audience. Using similar design elements will also lead to brand consistency. Customers will have an easier time remembering and recognizing your products on store shelves or online marketplaces.

There are also practical reasons why you’ll want to customize your cosmetic packaging.

Picking the correct box size, for example, will help secure products better. They won’t move around as much during transport. 

You can save money too. Playing with all the available customization options can decrease your costs while still getting packaging that reflects your branding. Certain packaging materials are less expensive than others.

It will also allow you to tell your brand’s story. Let people know what your objectives are as a company and it’s trying to help.

Cosmetic Packaging Tips

Here are a few practical tips for those who are designing cosmetic packaging for the first time.

Minimalist Design

It’s never a bad idea to start simple. A minimalist design will not only keep your packaging clean but also make it look professional. 

Recyclable Materials

A lot of people care deeply for the environment. By only using recyclable packaging materials, you’re giving shoppers one more reason to buy your products.

Reduce Size for Travel

Consider using packaging that’s small enough to travel with. Many shoppers want products that they can bring with them while traveling.


Having the right cosmetic packaging means more business for your company. Not only does it protect your products, but it also attracts potential buyers. 

It’s important for establishing your branding too. You can make your packaging look a certain way so that it attracts the right audience. It will give you a voice. Make it tell the story of your company so that customers understand what makes your brand unique.

Use packaging to securely deliver orders to customers, provide contact information, introduce new products, and promote upcoming events.

When you’re ready to order your custom cosmetic packaging, head on over to PackM and see everything we have to offer. 

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