I have very strong theories about packaging. It isn’t just a storage mechanism, it’s also a strongly psychological part of a product.
When developing a new product, the final packaging type should be as much a part of the initial concept as the formula. They are supposed to work together, after all. It’s difficult, because the myriad choices of packaging mean that several strategies might be tempting – you could put the formula in a pump (airless or dip tube), or a tube (what shape? what opening?), an ampoule thing, or a special click-through pen, etc etc etc.
You ideally want to have a package that feels great to the touch and in the hand, so that you give the impression of preciousness and quality, and which isn’t cumbersome or fiddly. If the packaging doesn’t work, if the dropper doesn’t suck up enough per squeeze, or the formula is too thick to come out of the tube, or if the wiper leaves too much lipgloss on the applicator, it becomes a psychological barrier to the person who has bought the product, and you can be damn sure they won’t buy it again.
How many times have you considered dabbing on a certain product that you like for its effect, but the prospect of dealing with that damn lid, or having to wipe off globules of eyeliner from the tip, stops you? You might like the product when it gets to your skin, but you’d rather just stick with something easier, thanks.
I am truly terrible at applying eye cream at night – I can very rarely be bothered. However, I decided that this laziness had to end, as I approach the dreaded 3-0 (oh gawd), and fine little lines are appearing at the corners of my eyes… (oh gawd x 3000). So I’ve been testing out various eye creams that seem like they might help.
I found that the packaging actually plays a huge role in how likely I am to use the product, purely on the basis of my laziness. After all, I already have 253 steps in my night time regime; I am thoroughly bored of it by the time I get to the final, eye cream stage.
Above, we have three different eye hydration products – all great, all very excellent formulas*. However, the jar is only one I reach for – so much easier to use, so much less fuss and dribble than the dropper, and far more unlikely to get the wrong amount than the tube.
There are many, many people out there with strong vendettas against jars, as they say that the formula gets contaminated from your fingers, or can go off from being exposed to the air, but to them I saw pshhhaww. My hands have been washed 25 times by the time I dip into anything, thank you very much, and the preservatives in any product make it more than safe enough to expose it to the air. If there is an ingredient that shouldn’t be exposed, such as L-ascorbic acid, then by all means put it in a pump, but if not, let us dip our fingers to our hearts’ content and trust in the power of preservatives.
What is your favourite packaging method? I am super interested to know – do other people feel the same way, or is this all in my head?
*from left to right:
Weleda Wild Rose Renewing Eye Cream