3 trends shaping the future of cosmetics and fragrance packaging

Discerning consumers expect their packaging to be durable, practical and attractive. Although these properties may seem contradictory, the beauty industry faces challenges head-on. In this article, I’ll show you how to consolidate ease of use with eco-friendliness and premium product experiences in scalable form factors.


Convenience Cosmetics

Smart use drives packaging innovation, with pre-portioned packs for optimal product delivery, creating convenient cosmetics on the go. Oliver Wyman’s research found that 63% of people expected to travel the same way or more after the pandemic, so the focus is on convenient on-the-go and storage-enhancing packs.

Noble Panacea’s skincare line, for example, uses packaging in optimally dosed sachets that are then recyclable through TerraCycle.

Accessibility should be another key priority for brands – see it not just as a benefit for consumers of mixed abilities, but for anyone who struggles to open delicate packaging. New ergonomic shapes and easy-to-open designs are popping up, like Fenty’s Instant Reset Night Cream Jar that features an easy-to-open hinged lid for anyone with long fingernails or slippery hands.


Refills become regular

The charging revolution is well and truly underway. In the United States, from June 2020 to May 2021, the market for reusable packaging for beauty and personal care products grew by around 65%, according to Mintel.

Brands are working hard to give refillable designs a premium feel with covetable, designer packaging, such as Dries van Noten’s lipstick refill cases and By Far’s first fragrance, which takes the form of customizable and refillable bag charms.

Packaging manufacturer Aptar is banking on brand value and sales protection with its new Private Refill format. It revolves around a security key unique to each brand, and corresponds to the base of the refillable case with the refill ball. The format prevents customers from using the (usually cheaper) refill as a standalone format.

However, we think brands would be wise to consider the possibility of standardized packaging that allows consumers to refill packs with a different brand each time. Instead of forcing brand loyalty, it could have a real lasting impact.


Infinite recycling

Confusion and inconvenience remain significant barriers to recycling. The Paper and Packaging Board found that while 95% of Americans say they recycle, less than half know the basics of recycling.

It is therefore up to the brands to help with responsible disposal and eliminate the confusion with mono-material packaging. Skincare company Susanne Kaufmann has eliminated the use of plastic labels and instead prints directly onto recycled and recyclable jars and bottles using sustainable inks. And skincare brand Dermalogica has adopted a mono-material pump bottle that is fully recyclable, but features technical elements such as a twist lock, making it suitable for e-commerce.

Demonstrating how recycling and luxury can connect, Chanel’s No5 fragrance has been reinvented with the development of a crystal-like bottle created from recycled glass.

The samples are also getting a makeover. While traditionally these create a lot of small non-recyclable plastic or paper waste, Ren Clean Skincare has adopted a single-tube design made from 100% recycled aluminum that can be recycled again and even comes with a snap closure instead. with a plastic cap.

Dewi Pinatih is Head of Product Design at Stylus, the expert source for trends and ideas. Dewi’s work defines how shifts in consumer behavior, material innovation and technological advancements are influencing the future of design, across industries.

Donovan B. Sanford