The expert's view: packaging for skin care
Our series of interviews with Quadpack's category specialists continues. Next up is David Reguill, Skin Care Category Manager, who gives us his expert insights into the personal care market.
Quadpack: What is your role as Skin Care Category Manager at Quadpack?
David Reguill: As Category Manager, my mission is to encourage growth through the development and promotion of products and services related to the skin care market.
I manage Quadpack's skin care product portfolio, looking for opportunities to create new, differentiated packs that help our clients gain competitive edge. As such, my work is focused on centralising knowledge of the skin care market, products and trends, to enable us to propose the best solutions to our clients.
How do you come up with new packaging concepts?
DR: When thinking up new concepts, we try to anticipate need and lead new trends. Inspiration comes from a wide variety of sources. I maintain a continuous dialogue with people involved in the cosmetics market: suppliers, clients and even competitors. I look abroad, in Asia, in Europe, but also close to home.
My colleagues and I share experiences in our respective sectors and we often find that a make-up pack, for example, can function effectively for a skin care product. We also look at other markets for trends in technology, fashion, interior design, where there are fresh new ideas that sometimes can translate well to create original packaging concepts.
What added value does packaging bring to cosmetics?
DR: Packaging is the image of the formula contained inside. The formula determines whether a consumer continues to buy a product, but the pack often stimulates that important first purchase. Another added value is protection. Some formulas are very complex and need the pack to seal it and shield it from exterior contaminants.
Also, the consumer's experience depends on the application method. Ergonomic designs can make or break consumer engagement with a brand. Cosmetics packaging should add value in terms of aesthetics, protection and functionality. Finding the right balance between these three aspects is the key to successful packaging.
How do you help clients find the right packaging solution for their product?
DR: After a decade in cosmetics packaging, I have come to know most of the pack types and their benefits for skin care formulas. With this knowledge and a complete brief from the client, I examine the requirements of the formula, the brand and the budget to determine the right pack.
This may be a personalised product from our standard range or a bespoke design developed by our design & engineering team. Every detail is important at this point and this is why an accurate brief is crucial to direct our choice to one pack or another.
Of course, the client has the final decision and this is why we usually offer more than one option that will perform well for their product.
What are the current trends in skin care packaging?
DR: Right now, it's all about new ways of applying the formula. Not just the application method, like droppers and brushes, but also the materials of the applicator itself. Materials like steel and ceramic roller balls give a cooling sensation on the skin, while silicon brushes offer a pleasant massage effect.
Finishing and decoration are always evolving. This will be always a trending topic for cosmetic packaging, which is why it is important never to stop looking for new possibilities and ideas. Our acquisition of Technotraf Wood Packaging has placed the means of applying the current trend in wood within our hands. We have already added some stunning wooden components to some of our skin care ranges, like Montana, launched at LuxePack Monaco last October. Our acquisition of decoration specialist Krampak also puts us in control of the latest techniques to offer our clients.
What's next in skin care packaging?
DR: We already see skin care brands demanding more technical packaging solutions. Formulas are going to get increasingly complex and hard-working, using aggressive ingredients.
We are scoping out resistant materials that simultaneously protect the formula. Our current arsenal includes aluminium-lined tubes with superior barrier properties that offer powerful protection from external elements. We are also starting to introduce ceramic to replace stainless steel components. This material offers better corrosion resistance to all kinds of formulas. This is an innovation that we have included in some of our roller ball applicator packs.
In decoration, traditional decorations for the mass market, like sleevers, will start to be used for masstige and even prestige packs. In addition, new techniques that were impossible a few years ago are becoming a reality. Water transfer is just one example, where the appearance of any material like wood or marble is applied to a plastic component. The tests we have made so far are very promising indeed!