When it comes to creativity and innovation the beauty and personal care industry routinely push the envelope to present consumers with a unique experience. Using several different materials and manufacturing techniques large and small companies in this industry are competing to be on top. The global beauty and personal care industry was valued at 422 billion dollars in 2020 and it’s expected to reach 558 billion by 2026. Although the Covid-19 pandemic slowed the global economy and resulted in some losses for the industry, many are energized and ready to come back even stronger with more innovative products and more importantly innovative packaging! The sky is the limit and several companies are working hard to reach it by jumping on some growing packaging trends in the beauty and personal care industry.

All things green!

34% of global consumers are reported to consider “environmentally friendly packaging materials” a key factor in their purchases, this statistic rises to 39% and 38% respectively when looking at generation Z and generation Y. In an effort to capture that demographic of shoppers and work on their own sustainability goals, many companies are making conscious decisions to phase out some packaging styles that are harmful to the environment. Companies of all sizes are actively spending money and time to develop and source effective environmentally friendly packaging alternatives. Back in 2018, L’oreal partnered with Ecological Brands to create the first paper bottle packaging that could withstand the moisture and humidity of a bathroom. The collaboration between the two was successful and this year L’oreal has announced that they will be working with paper bottle design company Paboco to create more paper bottles made of wood cellulose for their brands La Roche Posay and Khiels.

Recycling programs and reusable packaging are also becoming more popular in the beauty and personal care industry. These methods are out to help companies promote a circular economy by minimizing the amount of packaging waste that ends up in landfills. Leading beauty and personal care brands likes MAC cosmetics, Lush and Garnier (in partnership with Terracycle) all have recycling programs that encourage customers to return empty bottles, jars, etc. in exchange for rewards that customers can use towards prizes and future purchases. By doing this, companies are able to capture more waste and siphon it back into their production streams where it can be properly recycled back into materials that can be used for more product packaging. The reusable and refillable packaging is certainly a challenge in this industry however a number of brands are trying their hand at creating reusable packaging that can be refilled once the product has run out. Luxury brand Yves Saint Laurent applied this idea to a line of serums that come with a reusable outer holder for the serum and a smaller serum-filled cartridge that can slide into the reusable holder. A benefit of having refillable packaging is that there will be a net decrease in the amount of plastic that is used to package the product.

Adding Value to Packaging

One way companies are finding ways to stand out in the sea of competitors is by having multi-functional and value-adding packaging. Concealer with an applicator brush, rollerball eye cream, and foundation sticks are all examples of value-adding packaging to make life just a little bit easier for the user. Innovation in this realm always brings about unique products, Alleyoop’s All in One Portable razor is a great example of this. The razor includes a spray bottle, moisturizing bar, and razor cartridges. A user simply twists the center rotating dial to reveal each element and successfully shave with one product. As life picks up pace, products like this are attractive to those looking to prevent clutter and save time.

Stand-Up Pouches for Cosmetics?

Some of the most interesting developments in the beauty and personal care industry revolve around the style of packaging. Many formulas can go into various styles of packaging however companies want to choose the best and most efficient one. An increasingly more popular trend is using flexible standup pouches with pour spouts to house liquids like shampoo and conditioner. Oaui is a hair and body care company that sells standup pouches of their shampoo and conditioner so that consumers can refill their existing Oaui shampoo and conditioner bottles. This option requires much less energy to manufacture and transport while saving 60% more plastic than the traditional rigid shampoo and conditioner bottles. Resealable stand-up pouches have traditionally been used in the food industry however they are becoming an increasingly more popular way to package beauty items. Elf Cosmetics and Milk Cosmetics have used this method of packaging for product sets.

Transparency

Consumers are increasingly more interested in the background of the products they are buying. Whether it’s the ingredients, packaging materials, or company values consumers are more aware than ever of their purchasing power and they have a strong desire to support brands that are straightforward and honest. The NPD Group reports that companies like Deciem who own brands such as The Ordinary, NIOD, and Hylamide have built a strong rapport for ingredient transparency and in turn are gaining a larger share of the skincare market. The transparency doesn’t just end with the ingredients, consumers also want more clarity in the packaging of their products. Sustainability remains a common theme for shoppers and brands alike as environmental concerns grow.

The magic of Airless Jars and Bottles

Oxidation can cause some cosmetic formulas to change color, smell, and even texture, all realities that may turn customers off from repurchasing a product. An increasingly popular solution to this problem is airless jars and bottles. Airless jars and pump bottles work by implementing a vacuum seal technology to prevent the formula from touching the air until it’s dispensed, because of this preservatives are not needed in the product formula. This is especially helpful for organic and eco-friendly cosmetics that strive to limit the number of chemicals in their products. The airless mechanism can also be refilled and reused which is great for brands and consumers that wish to be more sustainable.

Conclusion

It’s widely accepted in the marketing world that one-third of consumer purchase choices are based on packaging. Knowing this, it’s important to be in touch with consumers as their tastes and preferences evolve. Ultimately, consumers want products that will work well and make them feel good. The practical elements of packaging will help to ensure the various formulas and tools are protected and working as they should.