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The Future of Cosmetic Packaging: Popular Trends in 2022

Elizabeth Heath

Jul 23, 2021 · 3 min read


Packaging represents a hugely important part of your cosmetics product. It’s your first line of advertising and marketing and can make the difference between a prospective customer taking a closer look or taking a pass.

Cosmetics packaging is also a rapidly changing landscape, as consumer expectations and sensibilities change, and novel packaging materials and methods are introduced.

There are two trend lines in cosmetics packaging, and they seem a bit divergent.

  • Consumers want to feel good about their purchases.
  • They want a luxury experience.

How do you give them both in the same package?

Let’s take a look at four current trends in cosmetics packaging, and how your new product or product line might capitalize on them.


“Less is more” might be an overused phrase, but only because it’s on-point so much of the time. Minimalist product design and packaging tells consumers a lot about your product:

- It conveys confidence. You know what’s inside the package is a high-quality product, and you’re willing to let the product speak for itself.

- It conveys purity and honesty. Simple, straightforward labeling and packaging puts the emphasis on ingredients and product performance, not on a fancy box or label.

- It projects Zenlike calm and order. Take a look at these minimalist skincare package designs in this article from The Dieline. They’re straightforward and soothing – almost as if they could never clutter up a bathroom counter.

Recycled Materials and Refillable Containers

In a climate where consumers are increasingly conscious of packaging waste, the use of recycled and recyclable packaging and materials will continue to be a top priority. Cosmetics Business and Beauty Makeup Supply also predict that refillable containers will gain ground as an eco-sustainable option.

Some of the benefits of using “green” packaging include:

- It sends a message. Using recycled materials also conveys a message about your brand – that you care about reducing waste and protecting the environment.

- It grows a customer base. Using refillable containers is a way to build brand loyalty and sell subscription services, where customers return their empty containers as a new one arrives.

- It might save you money. Recycled packaging materials are sometimes less expensive than first-generation plastics, cardboard, and metal.

Luxury Labels

Well, here’s the flipside of the sustainability and minimalism discussion: Consumers also love a pretty package! UK advertising agency Springfield Solutions predicts that embellished metallic textured print and labeling will continue to wow consumers.

Here are some things to know about enhanced labeling:

- A little goes a long way. A single word printed in gold metallic on your label conveys a sense of richness and luxury, while still staying minimal. This gorgeous gold and blue packaging from Orcé Cosmetics is a great example.

- Consumers are tactile. There’s a whole field of study called neuromarketing, which has repeatedly shown that consumers like to touch things they buy and are drawn to pleasant-feeling textures.

- It’s easier than ever. With digital printing advancements, effects like foil, metallics, velvet and other “luxury” textures and looks are more easily obtainable. And cardboard packaging with metallic or foil printing is still recyclable.

The Unboxing “Experience”

As cosmetics consumers do more and more of their shopping online, they miss out on the high-touch experience of a salesperson who is showing them products, offering samples, and wrapping their purchases. The substitute for this is sensory packaging that turns unboxing their purchase into an event.

Here are some ideas for creating an unboxing experiencing while still keeping things minimal and eco-friendly:

- Use packaging that multi-tasks. Who doesn’t love a good cardboard box? Pretty, sturdy boxes look great on a dresser or nightstand, for holding cosmetics, jewelry, loose change or earbuds.

- Make an impression with recycled materials. Foil-stamped, recycled cardboard, or recycled raffia used as packing material or ribbon can still offer the anticipation of a “big reveal” while not creating excess waste.

- Get creative with packaging. A lot of the unboxing experience is in the novelty of unwrapping something new and clever. Consider repurposing existing packaging types (bubble bath in a milk bottle – why not?) or exploring innovative new packaging materials. This article from Sufio offers some great ideas for eco-friendly packaging.

Green Meets Glam

We predict that the current consumer trend towards wanting greener cosmetic products, coupled with a willingness to pay more for products they perceive as luxury – based on ingredients, proven effects, or small batch production – will continue. That means your product packaging has to answer both calls, by providing a sense of pampering while also conveying environmental responsibility.

It’s a tall order, but it’s entirely doable. The team at Goldn will help connect you with the designers and suppliers who can help you make it possible.

Elizabeth Heath

Written by

Elizabeth Heath

Liz is a writer and editor based in central Italy.

Connect with Elizabeth Heath on LinkedIn.

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