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4 Hot Trends in Beauty Packaging

by Janet Freund  |   Oct 27, 2021

There have been a lot of new trends in beauty products packaging in the past few years. Why? Because it is growing, even during the pandemic. How big is the beauty industry? Up from $483B in 2020 to $511B in 2021 — and with an annual compounded growth rate of 4.75% worldwide — it’s predicted to exceed $716B by 2025.

While growing, it’s also a very competitive market. As beauty, cosmetic, and wellness companies compete for consumers in a crowded market, they look to innovation and other trends to stand out and sell more. We wanted to chime in with the trends we have seen from our customers. These trends may inspire beauty brands, and even other industries, to change up their primary packaging.

The 4 Beauty Product Packaging Trends we’ve seen from our customers are:

  1. Push for Sustainability
  2. Increased Need for Liquid Dispensing
  3. Quest for Differentiation
  4. Enhanced Functionality

Let’s break each of these trends down further and explain why they are so important.




Consumers in general are pushing to see more sustainability from the companies and products they buy. According to several sources, this is especially true in the beauty industry.

In a recent article in Beauty Packaging Magazine, Lisa Petersmark, Vice President of Marketing of Aptar Beauty + Home, reports that sustainability and e-commerce friendly packaging are two mega trends that come up continually. “The conscious consumer is very aware of the environmental impact their purchasing habits have on the ecosystem and are purchasing from brands who align with their values, which cascades up to us as the suppliers,” she says. “This could mean multiple things including the ability to recycle packaging or purchasing items that come from recycled packaging.”

From the same article, Melanie Gaudun, business development manager at Viva Tubes IML says, “Brands are interested in ‘having a sustainability story’ [meaning] less metal, less plastic, PCR options, mono-material, etcetera.’ She added, “Opportunities lie in removing all metal mechanisms, reducing plastic, converting to 100% PCR, and utilizing new technologies to offer clear PCR streams that look and perform like virgin plastic.”

Our customers, from beauty and other industry segments, have been increasingly asking for PCR bottles. PCR, which stands for post-consumer recycled, means it is reclaimed from the end-user then crushed, melted down and used again. (Other recycled content in glass comes from broken or reclaimed scrap within the glass manufacturing process itself.)

What’s amazing is that this circular loop of glass recycling can be repeated endlessly without damage to the end product. That makes glass a so-called permanent material, unlike plastic whose recycle life has limitations.

To meet this trend, we’re proud to say that select bottles offered in the Carow Packaging line of products contain more than 50% PCR glass, near the highest percentage in the industry. That recycled content level is something our customers also can state on their product labels – and labels don’t need to be removed when glass is recycled, which is a recycling added plus.



Beauty application

There has been a “very liquid formula” trend in the skincare and hair care markets in the past few years. So, new packaging is needed where closures must be able to dispense just the right amount of liquid, like serums and oils.

That is why dropper pipettes are playing an increasingly important role in beauty products applications, because of their precise dispensing functionality.

What is making up this trend towards more “liquid” formula? Serums for skin care.

Skincare made up 42% of the global cosmetic market in 2020. It follows that this trend will continue as consumers become more educated about sun damage — indicating potential for growth within the subcategories of sun protection and anti-aging skincare products.

According to an Allied Market Research Report, cosmetic face serums are a skincare treatment based on oil and water that helps to treat the skin. The high moisturizing property of the face serum is attracting customers, particularly middle-aged people who wish to maintain a more youthful appearance, who opt for it instead of using any other cosmetic product. In response to an increase in demand, the cosmetics face serums market has taken considerable steps to address particular skincare issues such as acne, skin lightening, ageing, and wrinkles.  

An article in Vogue Business states that customers are also adding more steps to their skincare routines. Serums with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and retinol have all seen a 20-40% increase in searches during the pandemic. Niacinamide serum has seen searches grow by 193%. Niacinamide serum minimizes redness and blotchiness, minimizes pore appearance, regulates oil, and minimizes lines and wrinkles. Its recent popularity is likely due to the up-close-and-personal nature of Zoom calls or video communication, which can highlight skin imperfections.

At Carow Packaging, we have a wide array of dropper pipettes to meet our customers’ needs. But choosing the right dispensing system is important. That’s why we created our complimentary Dropper Pipette Buyers Guide.



72% of American shoppers claim that packaging design influences their buying decisions. In the absence of information about product differences, people will choose a product based on the attractiveness of the packaging. That’s proof that design matters and companies need to start doing more to invest in their packaging’s look to ensure they’re making the right impressions on their target audience. They also need packaging that differentiates their brand from all of the other options on the shelf.

While there are many ways to differentiate beauty product packaging, like shape, materials, and unique design, nothing plays a more important role than the use of color. 75% percent of snap judgments about consumer products are based on color, according to Inc. Magazine.

Color can be used to signal to customers as to which products are yours (easily picking your brand out on a crowded shelf), which products are part of a specific product line (like regular vs. organic, calming vs. energetic), and which products represent a particular scent or benefit. It’s all to stand out on the shelf and help the customer make choices easier.

While sources vary on the exact percentage, several surveys show that over 50% of purchasing decisions are made in-store, thus not planned or researched. Consequently, catching the shopper's eye and conveying information effectively are critical to boosting sales.

Newton Labs Products

For example, with our launch of our multi-color EuroDrop® caps earlier this year, we were able to create a custom color cap for Newton Labs to match their logo and labeling. Maurine McCleskey, Quality Assurance/Inventory Control Specialist of Newton Labs said, “When we went to place an order for new caps, Carow suggested that we could get caps that match the actual PMS color that our label is and that just made sense, even though it costs more. It makes our product look a thousand percent better. Sitting on the shelf, the yellow color cap just distinguishes it.”

In another example, Benefit brand, named one of the12 best cosmetic packaging designs by DesignRush, takes advantage of bright and exciting colors. Pinks, whites and silvers are the main colors used, either working as a background color, as an accent, or in the typography.

Beauty Packaging Magazine shared that Coty is giving CoverGirl a new look this year—with more colorful packaging and vibrant graphics that mark a return to the brand's more familiar look before 2018.

You can see the variety of colored caps and dropper pipettes we have available for serums and essential oils, to help brands stand out on the shelf.



As we said, beauty brands are always in search of an edge that will help their products stand out in a crowded marketplace and dispensers can provide differentiation in unexpected ways. A wide range of options has been available for packaging skincare products, to accommodate different product formats and formulations. According to a Research and Markets report, Nerd Skincare, for example, uses bottles, tubes, jars, and droppers in glass, plastic, and metal accommodate their product formulations and innovate delivery.

Apart from plastic and glass, color, and different tips formats, manufacturers are adapting their production for aesthetically sound wood and precious stones in dropper designs. You can see some examples of dropper innovation here. But sometimes aesthetic differentiation isn’t enough.

According to a Transparency Market Research Report, since droppers are gaining popularity as the go-to solution for the packaging of serums, oils, and homeopathic medicines, it has become important for manufacturers in the droppers market to deliver high performance and robust designs in products.

Packaging suppliers have been offering beauty brands ways to differentiate designs offering convenience, ease-of-use, and advanced capabilities. For example, in order to stay competitive in the highly competitive beauty sector, manufacturers in the droppers market are boosting their design capacities in products that not only offer branding benefits, but also provide functional advantages.

Finally, consumer priorities shift quickly, which is why it’s essential to pay attention to these trends. Agility and speed matter in the beauty market. Beauty companies who can react quickly to changing trends fare best and can take advantage of increased sales opportunities. Carow Packaging can help you source, customize, and test new packaging products, in many cases without having to commit to large quantities.

With our most popular products made in the USA, we can help beauty brands to quickly pivot to meet emerging trends and have the packaging they need in their hands quickly.

Aesthetics and functionality have long been the key considerations for beauty products’ primary packaging – and it’s even more important due to this growth in demand for serums, lotions and oils. Combined with the multitude of color, style and performance options, dropper pipette systems can offer a packaging solution that is both beautiful and responsible.

Want to learn more about the Carow Packaging difference and how we have the products beauty brands need to stand out and sell more? Give our Solution Specialists a call at 815-455-4600. We are happy to explain how we can customize, manufacture, and source unique product solutions to meet your packaging needs.

Janet Freund

Author: Janet Freund

Marketing Manager



Let’s talk about your market and your unique packaging needs.