If you own a handmade skincare business, including lip products in your line is a winning move. Not only do they boast a great profit margin, but the huge variety of lip balm packaging options you choose can easily make your brand stand out from the rest.
A well-branded lip balm has the power to make your business memorable and shareable while boosting your customer retention rates through the roof…for quite literally any target market under the sun.
This packaging guide (for online sellers specifically!) will walk you through every detail of giving your handmade lip balm the WOW factor every business owner aims for!
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.
Lip Balm Target Market
Before we dive into the specifics of lip balm packaging, it is a must for your to do your target market research to guide your reading.
This homework will determine every single aspect of your lip balm line:
- The type of lip balm you create
- The containers you choose
- Your label design
- The outer packaging for a memorable unboxing experience
Do not skip this step.
Understanding your target market is not just key for deciding on your lip balm packaging, but is the entire foundation of your skin care business and future success.
Types of Lip Balm
Once you know your target market, you need to decide which type of lip balm will go over the best for your ideal customer.
There are so many directions you can go with your recipes: beeswax lip balm, vegan lip balm, tinted lip balm, organic lip balm, herbally-infused lip balm, etc.
If you aren’t sure which type of lip balm to create, you can easily ask your audience (if you already have a following on a social network) or friends and family (if they are representative of your target market).
Another option is to go to a trusted online skincare community (we have a private Facebook group right here!) and ask other makers about their experiences selling lip balm.
Download your free Packaging & Label Worksheets Here!
Natural Lip Balm Recipes to Make and Sell Online
I have dabbled in all of the types of lip balms mentioned above, and the following three versions have continually generated the most sales in my own handmade skin care businesses:
Organic Lip Balm Recipe
If you’re looking for a slam-dunk, unisex, instant-win lip balm recipe, this one is IT.
I’ve been using this exact recipe for over a decade and it built the foundation of my skincare business (sold individually, in gift sets, in bulk, and with custom label options).
Get the organic lip balm recipe here.
Mica-Tinted Lip Balm Recipe
If you’re looking to add a little bit of color and shimmer to your product line, this mica-tinted recipe is a great one to try!
I sold a variety of seven different colors and mixed and matched them into different sets (pink tones, neutral tones, bulk, etc) – a super successful product with fun variations possible!
Get the mica-tinted lip balm recipe here.
Alkanet Root Lip Tint Recipe
If your customer base wants a little bit of color without the shimmer, consider a root-infused recipe.
There are many (many) online recipes that use beetroot as a natural colorant, but I found infusing a lip balm base with alkanet root to be a much more consistent, hassle-free experience with deeper color (while still being subtle).
Get the alkanet-infused lip balm recipe here.
Types of Lip Balm Containers
After you know what type of lip balm you will be adding to your product line, the first visual branding decision you need to make is the type of lip balm container to use.
Looking back at your target market homework and imagining the day-to-day life of your customer avatar, which would they be the most drawn to?
Consider the following details about your customer before settling on any of your lip balm packaging:
- Where will they be using and storing their lip balm?
- When will they be applying it?
- What price point will they be comfortable with?
- Do they have a preference (or aversion) regarding specific materials?
Lip Balm Tins
Lip balm tins are traditionally made out of aluminum and are very affordable, especially when purchased in bulk.
Customers tend to have a strong ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ opinion about tins, as they require using your finger to remove the balm for application.
Tins are generally a win for a sustainable target market, as they can be reused after the product is gone for storing household items (amongst other DIY projects).
Rectangular Lip Balm Tins
Rectangular lip balm tins have a vintage vibe to them that is fun to photograph and market.
The flat ‘clickable’ top is a unique detail that makes creating and applying labels a very straightforward process.
The slide top tins shown here come in black and silver, so you also have a few color palette options available.
Round Lip Balm Tins
Circular lip balm tins are more the norm, but that doesn’t mean they have to be ‘just’ silver.
As you can see in the green version shown here, there are many colors to choose from if that’s an appealing direction for your branding.
Round aluminum tins tend to have a screw top and come in a wide variety of sizes.
Lip Balm Jars
Lip balm jars are similar to tins in that the user cannot apply it directly without using their finger (or applicator if they’re real hardcore).
However, jars tend to be a little bit deeper than a standard tin and come in materials that can appeal to different target markets.
Glass Lip Balm Jars
Glass lip balm jars have a certain feeling of ‘luxury’ and speak to an audience that doesn’t mind a heftier price tag.
The bamboo top on the frosted glass containers here also speak to a more sustainable, earth-minded audience.
Keep in mind with glass containers that the shipping will also be higher in conjunction with the weight.
Paperboard Lip Balm Jars
Paperboard lip balm jars make a statement and are incredibly lightweight.
This is clearly an attractive container for an eco-conscious target market and is easily matched with other product containers for a consistent brand look.
Makers will need a steady hand when pouring into these, as any little bit that gets on the exterior shows up as a permanent dark stain.
Plastic Lip Balm Jars
If you want to skip the cost of glass and paperboard but want to keep the depth of the jar, plastic lip balm jars are for you.
Plastic jars come in a variety of colors and textures, providing many branding possibilities.
(Make sure that you are purchasing BPA-free jars that are safe for cosmetics products.)
Lip Balm Tubes
Tubes tend to be the most popular type of lip balm packaging across the board. They make lip products easy to apply, can fit into a pocket, and more widely used across all target markets.
That being said, you still have plenty of variety to choose from!
Round Lip Balm Tubes
Round lip balm tubes are the most standard type you’ll see.
These come in a variety of colors, even some that have different color tops from the actual tube.
Round lip balm tubes can be quickly filled with the help of a lip balm tray or by individually filling with plastic pipettes.
Oval Lip Balm Tubes
Oval lip balm tubes are gaining popularity and no wonder – they fit more easily into a pocket, they don’t roll around, and they’re easy to identify in the bottom of a bag.
You won’t find as many color options with these – clear, white, and black are the most common.
If you choose to fill in bulk, you will need an oval filling tray instead of the kind mentioned above.
Paperboard Lip Balm Tubes
Paperboard lip balm tubes are a fun choice for the sustainable market.
If you’re looking to offer larger sizes of lip balm, you have tons of flexibility with these tubes! Many vendors offer .30 oz, .5 oz, 1 oz, and 2 oz.
As with the paperboard jars, keep in mind that oily ingredients can stain the exterior.
These paperboard tubes don’t fit inside of filling trays, so a steady hand is required.
Slimline Lip Balm Tubes
Slimline lip balm tubes are a unique choice for more feminine products. I use these for my mica-tinted lip balm as well as my alkanet-infused lip tint.
These hold about half the amount of product (.07 oz) as regular lip balm tubes (.15 oz), and this is important to mention in your online product descriptions.
A slimline filling tray is recommended, as these thin tubes can knock over easily when filled by hand.
It is important to note that the plastic tubes all have a twist-up dial on the bottom, whereas the paperboard tubes have a push-up disc instead:
Download your free Packaging & Label Worksheets Here!
Labeling Your Lip Balm to Sell
Lip Balm Labeling Requirements (for Selling Online)
Selling lip balm online versus selling lip balm in person (or having it sold for you in a brick-and-mortar) may have different labeling requirements depending on where you live.
For some individuals, a manufacturing address and contact information is required to appear on the label when selling your lip balm in a physical location.
Alternately, when selling lip balm online, a website URL may take the place of this information, assuming that the website has an address and contact information provided.
Other labeling requirements vary based on location and government regulations; this information is your responsibility to obtain and abide by.
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).
Lip Balm Label Design
Once you know the rules and regulations for your specific location, you can take the exciting step of moving to the label design process!
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.
Lip Balm Label Templates
If, on the other hand, stepping into design shoes and starting from scratch is NOT exciting for you, worry not.
There are multitudes of lip balm label templates available to you, individually and in bundles.
The use of templates is not just for novice designers – they can also save tons of time for even the seasoned entrepreneur by avoiding that ‘blank canvas syndrome’.
Templates work by giving you a start of the design with editing rights to all of the different variables: colors, fonts, placements, graphic imports, etc.
Here is an example of a grid lip balm label template that kept the original template design closely intact but changed the color palette and fonts:
Individual Lip Balm Label Templates
If you are just now starting your business with lip balm and want to keep to a small budget, check out our individual label templates on Etsy:
Bundled Skin Care Label Templates
If you know that you’ll be expanding your line beyond lip balm, consider getting a label template bundle that includes many sizes and product types to get the most bang for your buck.
Download your free Packaging & Label Worksheets Here!
Lip Balm Safety Seals
Regardless of where you sell (online vs in-person), you need to seal your products with a tamper-evident closure.
This gives your customer security and trust while also providing you with professional detail.
Sealed Lip Balm Label
One common approach for safety-seals are by purchasing lip balm labels with a tab that attaches the tube to the lid.
In this example, the neon pink line (under the word ‘love’ on the right side) represents a perforated edge that allows the customer to remove the top of the lip balm easily.
Another option is to safety-seal your lip balm with the addition of shrink wrap.
Shrink wrap is a special kind of plastic that fits loosely over your lip balm tube and morphs to the size of the product with the help of a craft heat gun.
Tip: Have the exact size of your tube on hand (shrink wrap comes in a large variety of sizes).
If you want to keep more of a small-batch, handmade look, consider the use of extra details such as washi tape.
You can use this to connect your lip balm tube and cap together, and then place your label on top.
See the example below for using washi tape along with lip balm labels that have seals.
Lip Balm Unboxing Ideas
Another distinction of selling online is the importance of the ‘unboxing experience.’
Give them a WOW.
This is the difference between customers leaving a review or not, recommending your lip balm to a friend or family member, and even sharing your products on their social media handles.
This is your chance to really make yourself and your brand memorable and shareable with your lip balm packaging!
Small earring boxes fit up to two plastic lip balm tubes perfectly.
These are great for gift-wrapping options, favor boxes, or simply an added touch for luxury lines.
Tie the boxes up with thin satin ribbon, washi tape, or raffia papercraft ribbon.
Extra points for adding your logo with a sticker or stamp (explained below).
Organza Favor Bags
These organza favor bags are great for everyday packaging or for use in bulk orders – an affordable, fast way to add a bit of flair to your lip balm packaging.
If you create lip balms as favors for weddings or showers, you can easily attach a small cardboard tag with extra information (such as wedding date, expected baby arrival date, etc).
Cotton Muslin Bags
Cotton muslin bags are a hit with the sustainable crowd – they have a natural vibe and are reusable for future use.
Take advantage of the fabric by getting a logo stamp with fade-resistant ink for classy branding.
Bonus that these come in a variety of sizes to use for your entire skincare line!
Getting a business branding stamp with your logo is an amazing investment.
Use it to stamp the jewelry boxes or cotton muslin bags mentioned above, the outside of your shipping boxes, on thank you notes, etc.
I have purchased several from West and Sage on Etsy and LOVE them (and the shop owner, Kelly – she’s the best).
If a stamp doesn’t match your branding, you can also add personalization to your boxes with a branded logo sticker.
I purchase these in bulk and use them on my exterior packaging, as well as include extras for my customer paperclipped to their thank you note.
Think beyond your logo with this…add a trendy graphic, quote, or inspirational saying with your URL on the side.
Get Feedback on Your Lip Balm Packaging
Wondering how you can improve your lip balm packaging?
Wanting feedback on a label design or unboxing choice before purchasing?
Need help generating ideas for a unique 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!