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Insights: Articles & Resources by Oliver Inc.


Packaging Considerations for Your Personal Care Products

As you ideate over personal care product packaging, you’ll want to consider effective branding, decorative effects, the unboxing experience, and embrace sustainable packaging practices.

    7 minute read

You’re focused on creating the best personal care products for your customers, but unless you can design packaging compelling enough to grab their attention, they won’t ever know about them.

A savvy printing and packaging partner should be able to help you with that, but you should take a few things into consideration first.

As you ideate over personal care product packaging, you’ll want to consider what constitutes effective branding, choose decorative effects, create an unforgettable unboxing experience, and find ways to embrace sustainable packaging practices.

Let’s unpack these considerations.

Effective Branding

Packaging considerations for personal care products must be centered around smart branding. From the materials and decorative effects you choose, down to messaging, each decision must reflect your brand.

Each of these considerations should inform consumers what you value and what separates you from the rest of your competitors.

Folding cartons are billboards on retail shelves, and in the hands of consumers. Make sure they clearly communicate who you are and what you’re about. Don’t be afraid to take your shot.

For instance, it doesn’t take more than a second of looking at Pulp Riot Hair products to know this hair color brand aims at artistic and edgy consumers. Pulp Riot Hair knows its brand, clearly.



Choosing Decorative Effects

Most of your brainstorming will likely orbit around which decorative effects to use, and how to properly employ them. Keep in mind that what’s ornate for one brand might be excessive for another, just as minimalist and elegant for a luxury beauty product might feel sterile or aloof to a younger and more playful customer base.

As you reflect on your audience, there are several decorative effects worth considering.

Foil Stamping

The process of applying metallic foil to substrates dates back thousands of years, including gold and silver flakes pressed into books. In its modern form, foil stamping involves adhering foil to your packaging material, picking from a plethora of metallic colors, using either high temperatures and pressure (hot foil stamping) or UV lamps (cold foil stamping).

Foil stamping can hint at your product’s premium nature, its shimmer suggesting a higher degree of quality.

For example, high-end skincare brand Luzern Labs relies on foil stamping to indicate a certain degree of scarcity and purity.



Embossing & Debossing

Adding a tactile dimension to your personal care product packaging, embossing involves raising a visual element in the substrate while debossing lowers a design feature. Both are effective ways to show a touch of brand sophistication.

Plus, their uniqueness will help your personal care product stand out on retail shelves. (Yes, literally!)

Embossing and debossing can be further blended with other decorative effects or remain the central design feature on your folding carton, as with the previous example from Luzern Labs.

Lamination & Specialty Coatings

Utilized to make folding cartons more durable and abrasion resistant, lamination and specialty coatings can also enhance their visual appeal. Typically derived from polyester, nylon, or polypropylene, these decorative effects can coat your entire personal care product packaging or be used to amplify a specific design feature, such as a logo or image.

Lamination and specialty coatings are great ways to combine shine and added rigidity, such as this UV varnish coating employed on folding cartons designed by skincare brand LilyAna Naturals.



Creating an Unforgettable Unboxing Experience

The ascension of e-commerce and digital consumership has energized the rise of connected packaging and memorable unboxing experiences, as well.

Connected packaging involves adding QR codes, hashtags, and barcodes to secondary packaging, nudging consumers to further engage with your brand online.

It’s an effective way to use personal care product packaging as a bridge to other things your fans may find useful, such as make-up tutorials or information on how they can participate in initiatives for so-called “clean beauty.”

In tandem with connected packaging, think through the entire unboxing experience. Consumers simply expect more from brands than they used to. Envision the ease of unboxing your products as well as pleasant surprises that might delight people, such as a playful message printed on the interior of a folding carton flap.

Both can be used to evoke strong emotional reactions from consumers already eager to use your personal care products. Including printed marketing collateral can also add value to the unboxing experience.

Embracing Sustainable Packaging

For many personal care product brands, sustainability will feature prominently throughout packaging design. As more and more consumers identify as eco-friendly or environmentally conscious, personal care product brands can’t afford to not go green.

This includes messaging on packaging as well as the choice in materials and overall folding carton structure.

If using paperboard for folding cartons, be sure it’s sourced from sustainably managed forests, as certified by the nonprofit Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI), or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Alternatively, you might integrate other renewable options into your personal care product packaging, such as substrates derived from hemp, cotton, sugarcane bagasse, and even post-consumer recycled paper.

Right-size packaging is a way to reduce your environmental impact by using only as much packaging material as needed to keep your personal care products secure and protected. Consumers notice when you stuff boxes and folding cartons with unnecessary layers of paper or plastic.

By localizing your supply chain where possible, shifting to more renewable sources of energy, and collaborating with more eco-conscious partners, you can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.

While embracing sustainable packaging is ecological imperative in its own right, including messaging on your secondary packaging that highlights the ways in which your brand is sustainable goes a long way in fostering brand affinity and encouraging others to be more environmentally responsible. This can include phrases such as “packaging materials made from post-consumer recycled paper,” for instance.

Oliver’s Design Process for Personal Care Product Packaging

When looking for a packaging partner to help design and manufacture folding cartons for your personal care products, there’s a reason so many industry leaders choose to work with Oliver.

But what makes the Oliver design process stand out?

We practice a human-centered approach to design, staying with you every step of the process. We ask you loads of questions to ensure that what you and your consumers care about most shows up in your packaging.

From executing your design and proofing it in one, easy-to-access and secure place, to manufacturing your folding cartons, we are a constant companion. Oliver is even there after delivering your packaging material, in case you have any follow-up questions, or just want to throw around new design ideas.

Because your success is our success.

Oliver is a printing and packaging firm with expertise in consumer goods, health and wellness, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and cannabis. Contact us today to learn more about which sustainable packaging solution is right for your personal care products.

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