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Considerations in Sustainable Packaging for Cosmetic Brands

Consumers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability and practicality in cosmetics, and this extends to the packaging brands use. Cosmetics companies should take into consideration the push for eco-friendly packaging experiences when releasing new products. Today, we’ll discuss choosing cosmetics packaging that is practical for shipping and long-distance transportation, while checking the sustainability box that consumers are looking for. The main considerations brands should keep in mind are sustainability, the costs associated with different options, and the safety and user experience of packaging.

Basic Types of Packaging Materials

There are a variety of packaging options that are recyclable in the US, and range in cost as well as shipping feasibility. Some popular options include Polypropylene Plastic (PP) which is also known as number 5 plastic and is fully recyclable in the US. This material is lightweight and good for shipping.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is also a recyclable plastic option and is known for being durable and strong. It is a lightweight option that is suitable for shipping. However, this is not a good packaging option for products with high essential oil content, as this can leach the plastic into your product.

Glass is another packaging option, that tends to be a bit higher-end. Glass is recyclable and is common in eco-friendly brands as well as brands offering refillable products. Dark glass is also a great option for sensitive essential oils and serums that should avoid too much light exposure. Glass can be more expensive to ship, but the sturdier and more luxurious packaging experience can make the initial investments worth it.

Considerations in Cosmetics Packaging

While we have only covered a few of the options available, regardless of what packaging options you look into there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Namely, the sustainability and lig-term recyclability of your packaging, the costs you will incur and how this may affect consumers, and the feasibility of using certain packaging types for different formulas and product consistencies.


Crafting eco-friendly packaging is more important now than ever, and modern consumers highly value this. Additionally, sustainable production and shipping methods are within the control of the manufacturer and brand owners, and these can vary in price and feasibility depending on your product’s materials.


Different packaging materials will vary in their production cost as well as in the costs associated with shipping. Keep in mind the target demographic for your product and how much they may be willing to pay for certain packaging bonuses such as refillability, sustainability, or travel capacity.

Safety and User Experience

Keep in mind above all that not every packaging type is suitable for every product. There are certain ingredients such as alcohol and essential oils that can leach plastic or pigment into your product when it is inappropriately packaged. Also, keep in mind the nature of your product and in what forms it will deliver the best user experience, whether it be a pump bottle for ultra-hygienic concealer application or a larger tub to make a lotion easier to distribute.

How do I pick the right packaging for my cosmetics?

Packaging requires you to consider costs, sustainability, and the nature of your product. Not all materials are suitable for every ingredient, and it is vital to consider materials that will ensure the safe and effective delivery of your product.

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