A short survey of sustainable cosmetics and personal care packaging strategies

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

A short survey of sustainable cosmetics and personal care packaging strategies
Brands, manufacturers, and suppliers all around the beauty industry are keen to use less energy, generate less waste, and reduce their overall carbon footprints. Here Cosmetics Design looks at a few of the packaging solutions that can help cosmetics and personal care makers advance their sustainability goals.

Sustainable packaging is as much about choice as it is innovation. While new brands like Seed Phytonutrients and LOLI Beauty have brought new material options to the beauty packaging business (cardboard bottles made of post-consumer waste, and compostable ‘plastic’ bags, respectively), Most brands are finding that existing packaging materials and use cases are sufficient.   


Using less packaging altogether makes sense for brands like New Zealand-based Ethique. To eliminate plastic bottles entirely, Brianne West formulates a full line of personal care products in solid bar form.

As West explained in her recent Indie Beauty Profile​, “We’ve essentially recreated every product in your bathroom—from shampoo to serum to sunless tanner—in solid form.The consumer enjoys luxury products that last 2-5x longer that their traditional bottled products, and even the sleeves they arrive in are 100% compostable, meaning zero consumer waste.”


More and more brands are experimenting with refillable beauty solutions. Lilu Lipcare’s lip balm pearls are one of the newer innovations in refillable lip care and color cosmetics.

And in Canada, the just-opened retail shop eco + amour is betting on bulk. “Toronto has a diverse selection of bulk food shops, but the beauty and self-care categories are trailing far behind,” ​noted the founders in a media release. “eco + amour wants to help people achieve their goals of low-impact living by offering a one-stop shop for self-care and home cleaning needs.”

Read more about eco + amour here on Cosmetics Design.


Packaging supplier Qosmedix has seen an increased demand for sustainable materials and containers, as Sari Sternschein tells Cosmetics Design in this video interview​ (filmed at Cosmoprof North America).

Brands and manufactures are asking for recyclable materials, namely glass and paperboard, she says.

These eco-friendly options, like the others mentioned in this article, are not only more sustainable than conventional plastic packaging, they also involve consumers directly in the solution. Giving people the option to reuse, refill, or recycle helps reinforce a brand’s eco-friendly efforts.  



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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