Types of Cosmetic Packaging: What is Right for Your Product?

From sleek glass bottles to convenient, recyclable plastic tubes, cosmetic packaging materials play a crucial role in product preservation and presentation. There is a wide variety of packaging styles and materials to choose from, each catering to diverse consumer preferences and product formulations.

Understanding the options available and how they may benefit your offering will ensure that you make the right choice. Packaging is, after all, the first point of contact consumers have with your products.

variety of cosmetic products with plastic packaging

Importance of Packaging for Health and Beauty Products

Health and Beauty products rely on the good characteristics of cosmetic packaging materials, which include product protection, keeping products safe from contamination, ensuring proper hygiene in handling, providing important details like ingredients and communicating brand identity.

Packaging often indicates product value to consumers. Investing in three-layer packaging for health and beauty products is for a good reason. Packaging for these products usually consists of three elements:

  • Outer Packaging: The outer packaging is the container into which orders are packed. Its purpose is to protect products during transit.
  • Inner Packaging: Inner packaging houses the product and is another layer of protection. It also displays the product on shelves. 
  • Product Packaging: The product packaging is the container that houses the product and helps it maintain its quality. There are three materials to choose from, each available in various shapes and sizes to suit your needs.

When deciding between the types of cosmetic packaging for your products, consider these factors:

  • What will be most appealing to your target audience.
  • Which packaging material aligns with your brand’s personality and corporate culture.
  • Local packaging regulations.
  • Your shipping methods, choosing the packaging that will best protect products during transit.
  • Packaging flexibility if your products need to be squeezed out of their containers.
  • The packaging’s sustainability, as many consumers prefer to reuse or recycle empty containers.

Cosmetic Packaging Materials

Whether you manufacture fragrances, hair care products, body care products or makeup, materials matter when it comes to health and beauty packaging. From glass to plastic, and metal, each option is diverse and offers unique qualities. These qualities help keep your products in good condition and protect them from external sources that can harm their integrity. You want to ensure that the material you choose is visually pleasing, functional, and safe for your products.


Metals like aluminum or tin give products a vintage aesthetic, helping them stand out from other products. They are available in forms like deep cans or screw-top lids but are better suited to powders, balms and scrubs. Aluminum is durable and often used for aerosol cans. Metals may react with certain ingredients like sodium gluconate, which you often find in cleansing products. This reaction can impact the product’s quality.


Glass is a non-crystalline amorphous solid that does not undergo chemical reactions with alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids or other ingredients. It is a sturdy material that adds a more sophisticated look to your products and is recyclable. While high-end products often use this material, glass is heavy and can break easily.


One of the more common packaging materials, plastic, is inexpensive, shatterproof and lightweight. It can also easily be molded into various shapes and sizes. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a widely diffused polymer, is a popular choice. It stops chemical reactions when storing products long-term. Another ideal, lightweight plastic to consider is high-density polyethylene (HDPE). It is versatile and has excellent tensile strength. HDPE is also recyclable and can contribute to a circular economy, a benefit to environmentally-conscious consumers.

Types of Packaging for Cosmetics

Whichever material you choose, packaging for health and beauty products comes in various styles to suit different products and consumer preferences. From convenient tubes or luxurious jars, there is something to complement any product. 


Jars are ideal for creamy or thick substrates, allowing consumers to use every last drop of the product. Practical and convenient, plastic jars often have screw-on lids or hinged caps to help products maintain their quality. Products that are well suited to this type of packaging include:

  • Primers
  • Loose powders
  • Mousse foundations
  • Lip or cheek tint
  • Creme eye shadows


The ideal candidates for tube packaging are products that need control during application. They are lightweight, easily fit into pockets or purses, and offer design flexibility. Whether the products need a solid or squeezable base, tubes offer easy portability and application. These products include:

  • Lipsticks, balms and glosses.
  • Mascara.
  • Concealers.
  • Lotions.


Liquids like foundations, lotions, toners and serums are often in bottles with droppers, the popular flip-top caps or pumps to control dispensing. These containers can carry various volumes of liquid products and are available in different shapes and sizes. Alternatively, choose bottles with a trigger sprayer for facial mists and setting spray.


Compacts are small, portable cases that hold products, typically for on-the-go touchups. They often have hinged or snap-shut lids and include applicators and mirrors for applying bronzers, pressed powders, eyeshadows, and blushes. The main purpose of a compact over another type of packaging is to offer product protection during travel.


Pots are a common packaging type that is easy to use, letting consumers dip their fingers or a spatula directly into the product. They offer flexibility for different types of formulations and come in various sizes. Most types of products can fit into pots with screw-on or snap-shut lids, including:

  • Lotions.
  • Gel-based products.
  • Loose powders.
  • Creme eyeshadows.

Pouches and Sachets

Sachets are ideal for sampling as they are small enough to house a small taste of your cream, gel, or liquid products. They can be completely customized and feature an open tear notch, making them user-friendly. Pouches are large sachets holding makeup products, bath salts, or face masks. They are lightweight and flexible, which helps minimize shipping costs.

Partner With The Plastek Group for Health and Beauty Plastic Packaging Solutions

Packaging is the first exposure consumers have to your products. It is also the layer of protection that ensures products stay intact and protected against air, heat, or ultraviolet light, which can affect color, smell, texture, and product integrity. 

Plastek is a global supplier of plastics. We specialize in providing plastic packaging solutions in your industry and can meet your unique packaging needs with user-friendly designs. When you partner with us, you enjoy family values, personalized support, and service from a company dedicated to sustainability best practices.

Contact us today to request a quote or to learn more about our package design and development services.