The popularity of handmade face serum has grown drastically in the last few years (by double*, to be exact), but for your formulas to stand out, you need brand-specific packaging.
As online sellers, there are several additional things we must consider, such as leak-proof seals, packaging filler, and the entire unboxing experience.
This facial serum packaging guide will walk you through every detail of presenting your amazing formulas to your audience and how to capture their attention even more once they receive their shipment.
*according to Google Trends over a 3-year period (2020-2023) in the United States.
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links (at no cost to you). Please read the disclosure for more information.
Face Serum Target Market
Before getting into the fun details of face serum packaging, figuring out your exact skin care target market is essential to guide your choices.
Individuals who use face serum tend to be more concerned about the appearance and actual health of their skin, which generally starts around the mid-twenty-ish age range.
Knowing your target market will make it ten times easier for you to decide:
- Which types of facial serums to create
- What type of applicator top to offer
- Your label design
- The outer packaging and unboxing details
These details will carry over into your entire skin care business, so make sure you’re putting the energy and time into your target market research.
Popular Face Serum Categories
Serums are a unique type of skincare product that get very specific depending on the individual using it.
The factors of choosing a serum come down to age, topical hydration needs, the presence of scarring or other epidermal trauma, and the lifestyle choices of the individual (diet, sleep, stress levels, etc).
In general, you will see the following ‘categories’ of facial serums mentioned in the skin industry and marketing tactics*:
- Anti-aging serums
- Skin brightening serums
- Acne fighting serums
- Hydrating face serums
- Exfoliating face serums
- Repairative face serums
- Firming face serums
*I say marketing tactics intentionally, as there is not a product out there that is going to stop anyone from aging.
‘Anti-aging’ is a marketing term that simply doesn’t make sense – let’s simply work together to make aging skin more moisturized and comfortable, shall we?
(Descending from my soapbox.)
All-Natural Face Serum Recipes to Make and Sell Online
If you are looking for effective, handmade recipes to add to your line after discovering your target market, the following all-natural serum recipes have gone over incredibly well in my shop, with the Dry Skin Face Serum as the top seller (hands down!).
You can also find all eight of these serum recipes bundled together here.
Adult Acne Face Serum Recipe
Adult acne is often caused by hormones, stress, and dry skin that clogs pores. This differs from the oil-induced acne typically seen in younger individuals.
To address this, this serum recipe focuses on using essential oils and carrier oils that are anti-inflammatory, skin-soothing, and nourishing.
Get the Adult Acne Face Serum Recipe here.
After Sun Face Serum Recipe
A nightly facial serum that’s designed to rejuvenate the skin and protect it from the damaging effects of frequent sun exposure.
This serum is specially formulated to address inflammation, neutralize free radicals, and shield against UVB damage.
Get the After Sun Face Serum Recipe here.
Dry Skin Face Serum Recipe
This face serum recipe works to nourish and moisturize the skin’s outer layer, enhance its elasticity, and alleviate any areas of dryness.
A winner for multiple age groups, especially popular in winter months and with a postpartum target market.
Get the Dry Skin Face Serum Recipe here.
Mature Skin Face Serum Recipe
This face moisturizer caters to the needs of mature skin.
It effectively hydrates, regenerates cells, tones, and improves skin texture by utilizing nourishing carrier oils and essential oils that are beneficial for the skin.
Normal Skin Face Serum Recipe
This recipe presents a natural moisturizer for the face, designed for individuals with normal skin that does not commonly experience redness or blemishes.
The serum deeply nourishes and repairs skin cells while promoting a balanced skin tone.
Get the Normal Skin Face Serum Recipe here.
Oily Skin Face Serum Recipe
This face moisturizer is specially formulated for individuals with oily skin.
It works to regulate or reduce the production of oil by the hair follicles, using a blend of nourishing carrier oils and essential oils that are beneficial for the skin.
Get the Oily Skin Face Serum Recipe here.
Sensitive Skin Face Serum Recipe
This face moisturizer is formulated to cater specifically to sensitive skin.
It works to soothe irritated areas, including those that may be itchy or discolored, and promotes the regeneration of skin cells.
Smoothing Face Serum Recipe
This is a recipe for a nightly facial serum made with natural carrier oils and essential oils, which can help restore skin for people experiencing persistent redness or surface imperfections like acne scars or sun damage.
Get the Smoothing Face Serum Recipe here.
Download your free Packaging & Label Worksheets Here!
Types of Facial Serum Containers
If using a natural recipe with essential oils such as the ones above, you should aim to purchase face serum packaging that is dark and preferably glass (the most common size is one ounce).
This is important to keep your formulas from oxidizing and stay within the promised shelf-life.
Even within these parameters, there are many directions you can go to achieve a look that is perfect for your branding and target market.
Tapered-Tip Boston Round Bottles
This is the most common type of dropper top bottle you will see for handmade businesses.
The bottle and tube on the inside are both glass, and this same style comes in a large choice of darker colors.
These can also be used to house your other products, such as hair serums or beard oils.
Rounded-Tip Square Dropper Bottles
Dare to venture outside the norm with a differently shaped container like this square dropper bottle.
Though it comes with a heftier price tag, these have a look of luxury and could easily be priced to match your investment.
Click through to see the unique rounded glass dropper on these!
Serum Bottles with Treatment Pumps
Yet another option is to use a treatment pump instead of a dropper top.
Keep in mind that you can venture outside of the amber and black color palettes – blue and green are common container colors for essential oil products.
If shopping in larger quantities outside of Amazon, keep in mind that you can sometimes mix and match bottle types with various applicator tops depending on the vendor.
Labeling Your Face Serum to Sell
Facial Serum Labeling Requirements (for Selling Online)
If you choose to sell your handmade facial serum online or in person through a physical store, you may need to comply with different labeling regulations based on your location.
When selling in a physical location may need to include a manufacturing address and contact information on the label. However, if you sell your serum online, you can include a website URL in place of this information, as long as your website provides contact information and an address.
It is crucial to note that labeling requirements differ depending on government regulations and location. As a seller, it is your responsibility to acquire this information and follow the regulations accordingly.
Makers in the United States can refer to the FDA Cosmetics Labeling Guide.
Marie Gale also has an easy-to-follow book called Soap and Cosmetic Labeling (How to Follow the Rules and Regs Explained in Plain English).
Facial Serum Label Design
Once you know the rules and regulations for your specific location, you can take the exciting step in your face serum packaging by designing your labels!
If you haven’t already established the visual branding details for your skin care business, make sure you have that nailed down before you start designing:
- Color Palette Guide for Skin Care Businesses
- How to Choose the Right Fonts for Your Skin Care Business
Once you have your branding basics, the easiest online graphic design tool to use is Canva (which is currently free to use for the basic elements).
You can also get a month of Canva Pro free here to access the entire library of images, the resize feature, and background remover.
Facial Serum Label Templates
Designing from scratch not-so-much your thing?
There are multitudes of face serum label templates available to you, individually and in bundles.
Not only are templates useful for new designers, but they can also be a significant time-saver for seasoned entrepreneurs.
Templates can help to overcome the “blank canvas syndrome” by providing a starting point for the design and allowing for customization of variables such as colors, fonts, placements, and graphic imports.
Here is an example of a grid facial serum label template that kept the original template design closely intact but changed the color palette and fonts:
Individual Face Serum Label Templates
If you are just now starting your business with serum and want to keep to a begin small, check out these individual templates on Etsy:
Bundled Skin Care Label Templates
If you’re planning to add more items to your line besides facial serum, it’s a smart move to grab a label template bundle that comes with different sizes and product types:
Facial Serum Label Material
Choosing a plastic-coated label for facial serums is the best choice for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the most significant is that it helps to keep oily stains off of the label.
Facial serums are made with oily ingredients that can leak or spill out of the container, leaving stains on the label, making your products look unprofessional.
The plastic coating can also help to protect important information such as the product name and ingredients list, ensuring that consumers have all the information they need about your serum.
Download your free Packaging & Label Worksheets Here!
Facial Serum Safety Seals
Whether you are selling your products online or in person, it is crucial to use a tamper-evident closure to seal them.
This not only ensures the safety and confidence of your customers but also adds a professional touch to your business.
The most common option is to safety-seal your face serum with shrink wrap.
Shrink wrap is a special kind of plastic that fits loosely over your serum bottle and then shrinks down to the size of the product with the help of a craft heat gun.
You can get shrink wrap for lids, or you can get a larger version that wraps around the entire length of the bottle.
You can still add branded, unique details even with the professionalism of shrink wrap.
Connect your bottle to the lid with a detail such as washi tape to provide a classy handmade look.
Huge bonus that these can be used across all of your packages for a splash of flair.
Facial Serum Unboxing Ideas
The significance of the ‘unboxing experience’ is a huge factor that sets online sales apart.
This can be the deciding factor in whether your customers leave a positive review, recommend your products to others, or share your business on social media.
Seize this opportunity to make a lasting impression and enhance the memorability and shareability of your brand with your face serum packaging!
Sheer Organza Bags
Sheer organza favor bags are an affordable, easy way to package your face serum.
These add a little extra touch and help customers to feel like they gifted themselves something luxurious and special.
Make sure to check the dimensions of your bottles, as they come in a large variety of sizes.
Cotton Muslin Bags
If you are wanting a bag that you can stamp your logo on, cotton muslin bags are your answer.
These are a hit with the sustainable crowd, though can really be branded to any target market.
Watch your sizing on these also – available in teeny tiny to large and in charge!
Investing in a business branding stamp featuring your logo can be incredibly handy.
Use it to stamp your cotton muslin bags, the exterior of your shipping boxes, thank you notes and other promo materials.
I have purchased several from West and Sage on Etsy and LOVE them (and the shop owner, Kelly – she’s the best).
If the stamp doesn’t match your branding, you can customize your boxes by using branded logo stickers.
You can buy them in bulk and use them on the outside of your packaging.
You can also include extra stickers for your customers and attach them to your thank-you notes and business cards.
Think beyond your logo with this…add a fun graphic, quote, or inspirational saying with your URL on the side.
Shipping Box Filler
Most all facial serum bottles are glass, which means you have to cushion them well in the shipping box so that it doesn’t shatter.
There are many options with this, but crinkle cut is my personal favorite.
Crinkle cut filler comes in many colors (match your branding!) and makes for a memorable unboxing moment.
Honeycomb packing paper is also a great idea to protect glass containers, and much better for the environment than styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Get Feedback on Your Face Serum Packaging
Wondering how you can improve your face serum packaging?
Wanting feedback on a facial serum label design or unboxing choice before purchasing?
Need help generating ideas for a unique face serum target market?
Ask for input and share feedback in our private Facebook group, DIY Skin Biz Community – connect with other makers in our industry!
Grow Your Skin Care Business!
Browse through the resources below to boost your handmade business visibility and profitability!