How Can I Future-Proof my Skincare Brand?

Here at Lifestyle Packaging we’ve been receiving a lot of enquiries for sustainable packaging, especially for skincare and cosmetics products. So we decided to take a closer look at this trend and find out more about brand aspirations in the market place. In this article we will share some of the statistics we came across and some of the top decisions we are making to support our customers.

Beauty customers worldwide put environmental awareness at the heart of their purchase decision, according to a report published in April 2020 via the Boston Consulting Group. The report also suggests over two-thirds of customers name packaging as a decisive factor in their investments. And almost 3 out of 4 customers are willing to pay more for skincare and haircare products if the brand uses sustainable packaging. As interests in the environment and ethical lifestyle choices grow, customers are shifting their focus to sustainable living for the benefit of the planet.

For beauty brands, this is good news. Customers are becoming more and more aware of the impact their daily routines have on the environment, and they seek a green solution to support wildlife and nature. As a result, almost half of consumers actively avoid packaging that can have an adverse impact on the environment.

When we look at it, the reason is simple: nearly 7 in 10 customers associate plastic packaging in any industry with oceanic pollution and landfill waste. Beauty at the expense of the environment is an attitude that is disappearing from the market and the drive for sustainability is also being strengthened by legislation. Customers expect brands to show valuable ethics and also a sustainable strategy. What does this look like in practice for the skincare and haircare sector?

Sustainability: Talk the talk

Consumers are savvy. The quest for sustainable beauty begins with the packaging. However, as sustainable communication software expert Provenance explains, your packaging needs to be the first evidence of the brand’s efforts to preserve the environment.

Maybe you’re thinking of zero waste packaging but think one step ahead. The packaging provides valuable information about your recipes, the production process, the source of supply and brand values. The packaging is where brands can talk about their sustainable strategy, and that’s precisely where the Provenance software solution comes to shine.

If you’re not familiar with the group, the Provenance Framework is an open source rulebook for sustainability communications to help brands communicate on sustainability with integrity and avoid greenwashing. Brands can rely on the Provenance Framework to validate their sustainability claims such as recyclable packaging, zero waste process, environmentally friendly production and ethical sourcing. Find out more at

Indeed, as more and more customers question whether their favourite brands are doing the right thing, transparent communication can make a great deal of difference. Verified green certifications and processes can ensure brands can face the market’s scrutiny with validated ethics standards.

The role of packaging in zero waste ethics

What does zero waste look like in terms of beauty packaging? Customers are willing to pay more for packaging that isn’t harming the planet. But from a branding perspective, sustainable packaging may seem challenging to transition to due to the traditional processes and materials used to create the brand image. However, with the shift to zero-waste most customers now expect this modern and sustainable packaging to be minimalist. For example, consumers are willing to buy skincare or haircare items with no packaging, such as soap bars. In this very well-connected world it is important to remember the other channels your brand is taking shape – across social media platforms, online, email presence and in contacts with clients – and use this to inform the reasons for your packaging choices.

Where zero waste is challenging to achieve, packaging solutions that reduce environmental waste can be the best step:

  • Refillable or reusable packaging, such as Bath House
  • Recycling friendly packaging such as cardboard fibres,
  • Recycled packaging linked to a recycling programme, hence making the most of materials that would otherwise increase pollution risks.

Convincing customers to give up the bottle for the benefit of zero waste packaging is a lot easier than expected, thanks to the rising awareness of environmental sustainability.

Unsplash – CC0 licence

Are we moving in the right direction for the environment?

Countless brands are already embracing sustainable packaging successfully. As the beauty industry is also moving towards organic and bio products, it makes sense for customers to trust brands with an all-encompassing green strategy.

We feel that environmentally friendly approaches need to be reflected through the sourcing, supply chain and production processes, with packaging being the final green branding step. As back-to-nature becomes symbolic of quality, green beauty branding is a growing trend. Green is beautiful, which is why the global clean beauty market is expected to reach 11558.5 million USD by 2027. The appeal of a safe and non-toxic product in transparent and sustainable packaging is the biggest trend for the future.

What do customers want from green packaging?

Customers appreciate that green packaging needs to meet new priorities. They are willing to sacrifice the high visibility branding design for honest packaging solutions that fully reflect their green ethics. Yet, they don’t want to compromise on quality. Sustainable but practical, it’s what the perfect clean packaging should be.

As such, the question of hygienic requirements is important. While soap is a self-cleaning product, other items are likely to get contaminated at the contact of others if they are left without packaging. Therefore, when protective measures require it, packaging is a must. Customers expect sustainable strategies to inject honesty in every step of the communication process, from labelling to listing ingredients and packaging materials.

Considering the type of product plays a big part in the finalising the best design of sustainable packaging; whilst lotion and balm work well in a glass jar with aluminium cap, some products need flexible packaging. With small doses and sampling, some brands are opting for a recyclable Snappd sachet to eliminate single use plastics whilst maintaining the benefits of a single dose and great customer experience. While the industry strives to develop better materials to replace the functionality offered by plastic, sometimes taking a step in the right direction by using a recyclable product is proving to be the best option initially.

In conclusion, sustainability for beauty brands encompasses a positive change of tactics, from transparent communication about all green efforts at a production level to the choice of zero waste and honest packaging. As the product presentation and process change, the branding strategy needs to build a green future for each business.

Before you leave, make sure you keep up to date with the latest from Lifestyle Packaging.

Fill in your details below and we'll add you to our mailing list.


Don't miss a thing from Lifestyle Packaging.

Fill in your details below to be added to our mailing list.