January 23, 2024

Practical Tips for Beginners in Cosmetic Packaging Development

When you start developing your own cosmetics brand, you need to choose the right packaging material. To achieve this, market research is essential and packaging materials and forms that fit the brand concept and product characteristics must be considered. The more you think about and decide on the details of the packaging specifications in advance, the faster the cosmetics development process will be!

Raw material development stage, you need to establish and develop the components related to the product, primarily the packaging. This can be broadly categorized into two methods:

'Brand-Led Development' and 'Manufacturer-Led Development'.

1. Brand-Led Development:

  • The brand leads every stage from formulation to production.
  • It allows for quick development and cost savings.
  • Suitable for attempting design differentiation.
  • Requires knowledge of packaging materials.
  • If you are working with a sourcing agent, they may provide you with their catalog of packaging options.

2. Manufacturer-Led Development:

  • The manufacturer takes responsibility for all stages based on the brand's requirements.
  • The brand has limited options when selecting packaging suppliers.
  • Additional development costs and potential price increases are possible.
Cosmetic Packages
Cosmetic Packages
The stages of raw material development include:

Container Confirmation:
Containers are divided into primary containers and secondary containers.

1. Primary Container
Tubes, glass, pumps, etc., where the content is filled.

  • The 1st container is chosen based on its compatibility with the developed formulation, market references, and competitor product references. 
  • In the early stages of the business, it is recommended to use pre-molded containers that do not impose a significant cost burden. Pre-molded containers are products that container companies hold for commercialization purposes, so they tend to have lower costs and minimum order quantities (MOQ).
  • MOQ:
    The minimum order quantity for cosmetic containers is typically 3,000 to 5,000 units. Many raw materials also have a minimum order quantity of at least 3,000 units. In such cases, you can either confirm split purchases with the container company, receiving 1,000 units in three shipments, minimize post-processing to allow for delivery of just 1,000 units, or negotiate a higher unit price to secure a contract for 1,000 units.

2. Secondary Container
Secondary containers include items such as cartons, sprayers, inner boxes, outer boxes, and more. 

  • In many cases, when developing cosmetics, most people tend to focus only on the containers that hold the cosmetic formulation itself. However, it's essential to consider not only the primary container but also secondary packaging such as cartons and various other boxes for a comprehensive packaging solution.

Testing Process:

Conduct tests for formula stability, container stability, and compatibility between the formula and the container.

  • CT Test(Compatibility Test):
    This is a test aimed at minimizing and preventing problems that may occur in containers in advance. Determine the compatibility of the container and the dosage form, such as whether the contents leak, discolor, or are sturdy due to mismatch between the container and the contents.

Cosmetic Packages
Cosmetic Packages

Design Confirmation:

After selecting the containers to be used, the design process begins. 

  1. Once the final choice of containers has been confirmed, it's time to start the design work. At this point, you should obtain the die-cut template (Die cut) from the container supplier. The die-cut template represents the area available for your design, including dimensions and shapes. If you are working with a sourcing agency, they can provide you with this template.
  2. Once you have the die-cut template, provide it to your designer so they can create the artwork within the specified boundaries. The final design should be saved in an AI (Adobe Illustrator) file format, which can then be submitted to the container supplier to finalize the container's artwork and details.

Label Review:

The label design for the packaging that includes product information undergoes a legal review to ensure compliance with regulations. 

Label Review Process:
  1. Full ingredient information provided by the manufacturer
  2. Listed in order of ingredient content by manufacturer.
  3. When the manufacturer provides the brand with complete ingredient information and ingredient contents listed in order, the brand creates a label text based on this and delivers it to the manufacturer.
  4. If there is a problem with the Cosmetics Act, the brand will correct it.

The label review process is essential to ensure that the product packaging complies with legal requirements, including ingredient listing and other cosmetic law-related matters.

Inspection (Quality Control):

An inspection process is carried out for printing and color adjustments.

  1. Quality control for raw materials is essential to achieve the best results. 
  • On-site inspections are ideal before production, although costs and differences among suppliers can vary. 
  • After checking the contents of the purchase order, you must check the color and post-processing status.
  • When the order quantity is small, it's advisable to wait and inspect during production. 
  • Utilizing Pantone chips or samples from other companies is essential when selecting sample colors.

  1. Creating Packaging in the Desired Color:
  • For quality control of raw materials printing in the desired color, pre-adjustment is necessary. 
  • Decide on the desired color by using Pantone chips or samples from other companies. 
  • Specifications for printing and post-processing need to be determined. 
  • When determining the injection color, also use Pantone colors or samples from other companies for adjustments. 
  • Allow sufficient time for inspection, and make gradual color changes while ensuring quality in the color matching process. 

Standard Product Configuration/Limit Setting:

Set standard products and negotiate quality standards. 


Once these steps in the raw material development process are completed, preparations for product manufacturing are finalized, ensuring product quality and stability.

Additionally, when deciding to develop cosmetic packaging, you need to analyze competitor products, understand current trends, and determine consumer needs. Additionally, packaging materials must be selected that fit the brand concept and product features.

Following these guidelines will give you greater confidence in your brand's success in future product development efforts. The more carefully you consider and decide on the type and concept of the container, the more efficient your cosmetics development process will be. We hope this information helps you with your cosmetic container development!

Our company, Crescent Seoul collaborates with over 50 outstanding cosmetic packaging factories in South Korea. If you are looking for cost-effective and durable cosmetic packaging solutions, please feel free to contact us anytime!