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Insights: Articles & Resources by Oliver Inc.


Secondary Packaging for Health & Beauty Products 

Although branding is an important aspect of secondary packaging for health and beauty products, companies should also value design, ease-of-use, and sustainability.

    4 minute read

You’d expect that companies creating products to make customers feel, look, and smell good would value the appearance of their packaging—and they do. First impressions are critical in such a competitive industry.

There’s much more that goes into effective secondary packaging for health and beauty products than branding alone, however. Although the decorative effects impact sales, companies should also focus on thoughtful designs, authentication measures including tamper-evident packaging, sustainability efforts (support clean beauty initiatives, for example), and more.

There’s also something to be said about creating a complete experience for the customer, from the moment the product catches their eyes to when it's opened. Delivering that experience takes careful consideration of all aspects of your health and beauty packaging.

Here’s what you need to know.


Branding & Design

You know the cliché: You only get one chance to make a first impression. If that feels directly tied to health and beauty in general, it’s also true of the packaging. As customers walk down an aisle and scan crowded shelves, make sure your folding cartons have something to say.

The decorative effects available are almost limitless. Companies have found success in adding physical elements to their packaging such as foil stamping, cold foiling, embossing, or debossing. These elements can be combined for an even more alluring option. You could also mix in a glossy coating to add sheen, or a finish that’s soft to the touch.

Sometimes, the right color combination does the trick of grabbing customers’ attention, whether it’s vibrant highlights or something unique to your brand and audience. Consider hair-dye specialists Pulp Riot. They envision hair as a canvas for users—often young people with an alternative aesthetic—to get creative. As a result, their folding cartons feature sharp streaks of color against an almost comic book-like black and white background.

That creativity should extend to the packaging’s structural design. Folding cartons should be easy to open and use the just right amount of material for the products they hold to reduce waste and convey sleekness. They should also provide ample protection along the supply chain, and maximize shelf life.

In specialty packaging—such as rigid boxes for promotions, beauty kits, or special collections—you have even more room to impress with structure. The boxes can open in a creative way to double as a cosmetics display, for example. Consumers would be inclined to reuse such packaging.

Whatever it is, think about ways to keep customers coming back to your brand. If you get the right decorative touches and creative design, they might just spend time showing off to their friends in person, or followers on social media.


Sustainability & Other Considerations

Part of cultivating a health and beauty brand is appealing directly to your customers. Two of the topics that matter to them are sustainability and clean beauty, movements that speak to ethically conscious shopping. Companies that fail to address these initiatives risk falling behind their competitors.

Sustainability is a sticky issue in that every aspect of your product is tied to it. That means it’s an important conversation to have with your packaging partner: Do they rely on renewable energy, and can they offer tree-free alternative materials? Even if you choose paperboard, it should be sourced from a responsibly managed forest and include end-of-life instructions to promote recycling.

In addition to sustainability, your packaging should highlight clean beauty efforts. Messages like ‘Cruelty Free,’ ‘No Animal Testing,’ ‘Paraben Free,’ or a reference to your brand’s particular clean beauty campaign goes a long way in keeping consumers informed. It’s not just a best practice, it also can supplement branding.

Look to Tula for inspiration of when all aspects of packaging come together. The skincare company has developed clean beauty products with natural probiotics and superfood ingredients. These are listed prominently, while the appearance of the primary and secondary packaging for these eye masks complement each other perfectly: the holographic pouch plays off the smooth light blue and shades of white and grey of the folding carton.



All of this is achieved by taking a comprehensive view of their products. The company established its goals and partnered with a printing and packaging manufacturer to deliver this unique, creative solution.

Yes, the right partner can make all the difference.


Contact Oliver to learn how we’ve helped health and beauty brands get the most out of their secondary packaging.

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