Black Is a Design Trend for Skin Care

Skin care packaging is no longer mostly white - here’s a slew of brands in black.

By Marie Redding, associate editor 04.09.16
White has always been synonymous with skin care packaging, for many brands. Marketers and package designers often say that white conveys “clean” and “clinical,” while giving consumers the impression that a product will be effective. This seems to be changing - and now there are lots of skin care products ‘dressed’ in black.

Some skin care brands are choosing black to convey “luxury.” Or, it is being used for a new product in a line, to highlight a specific ingredient that happens to be black.

Black packaging for skin care seems to be a popular design trend...

See the many examples in the slideshow above.

Black Makes a Powerful Statement

Revision Skincare, which is sold at both retailers and doctors’ offices, uses black packaging. The brand’s Vitamin C Lotion 30% and Retinol Complete are in airless bottles, which are described in the story, New Options for Airless Packaging. The line is shown in the slideshow above.

“Our objective was to design a package that conveyed what our products are all about - powerful results,” says Joan Gleason, director of marketing for Revision.

What do consumers think about the unusual color choice? Gleason says the feedback about Revision has all been positive. “Our clients love it,” she says. “While black is popular in the world of fashion, automobiles and other luxury brands, it’s less expected in physicians’ offices. Retailers like the aesthetic elegance of our packaging and the fact that it appeals to both females and males. Retailers find our black packaging refreshing, yet clinical.”

More Black - for the Luxe Brand, Retrouve

Retrouve is a luxurious skin brand that also opted for black. The brand’s elegant frosted glass bottles have black labels. The products were developed by Jami Morse Heidegger and her husband, Klaus Heidegger, who know a few things about the beauty industry, since Jami’s family business was Kiehl’s Since 1851.

The couple led Kiehl’s Since 1851 after taking over for Jami’s dad, Aaron Morse, in 1988. Jami’s grandfather, Irving Morse, had acquired the original pharmacy in 1921, after apprenticing with and working for John Kiehl.

When Kiehl’s Since 1851 was sold to L’Oreal in 2000, the Heideggers worked with their chemist  to formulate products that would “maintain the functioning of the living cells of the dermis,” while using ingredients chosen for their preventative properties” - and created Retrouve.

Black Is a Signature Color for Laxmi & DCL

Laxmi is a new skin care brand that uses black as its signature color. Its products are in shiny black airless bottles and jars. The brand’s founder, Leila Janah, is a part of the first group of women to win a spot in Sephora’s mentor program, Accelerate (will link to this story).

Dermatologic Cosmetic Laboratories, aka DCL, has launched “the next generation of cosmeceuticals” - and says its new black packaging conveys the brand’s mantra, “beauty from science.” The products are sold through dermatologists, and the brand has plans to expand distribution in 2016. 

Using Black To Highlight Ingredients

Instead of using black as a signature color, some brands are choosing black for one product, or a new line. In these cases, black is often chosen to highlight a specific ingredient in a product’s formulation. 

Boscia has a clay mask named Luminizing Black Mask, and the product itself matches its black tube. Boscia also markets Pore Purifying Black Strips, which contain charcoal. The adhesive strips are black, and they are in black packettes, and a black carton.

There are lots of other brands that are marketing products that are formulated with black ingredients - Givenchy, Korres, Dr. Brandt, Korres and GlamGlow are a few - see them in the slideshow above.

More Brands Using Black

There are other brands choosing black packaging for aesthetic reasons, or even to convey that a product should be used at night.

Caolion is a new Korean brand that uses stylish black jars for some of its products - and they are dual jars, which keep two different products separated.

The slideshow above also features more skin care products in black packaging - including Bobbi Brown, Dr. Jart, Perricone MD, Peter Thomas Roth, Lancome, Anthony, Philosophy, Koh Gen Do, and Erno Laszlo. 
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