So you’ve nailed your formulation, chosen your packaging, and now you’re ready to design the labels for your amazing new skincare product.
Labels are one of the most visible parts of your brand, so it’s important to get them right. Customers may even choose your product simply because of how it looks on the shelf. Labels should align with your branding, be eye-catching and contain all the information required by law.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
First and foremost, it’s essential your label contains all the information required by law, including the ingredients, measurement unit, business name and address and any relevant warnings.
Then there’s the information not specifically required by legislation, but recommended to minimise safety risks or meet insurer requirements. This includes an expiry date, batch number, usage instructions and relevant precautions.
Not only do labels need the correct information, but some of it also needs to be in a particular format and position. Something as simple as not listing ingredients in the right order, not listing the right type of address or not displaying the measurement unit correctly could land your business in hot water. It will also make your brand look unprofessional if the label is non-compliant.
It’s your responsibility as the skincare brand owner – not your graphic designer – to make sure it includes all the correct information.
My Cosmetics Labelling Essentials guide contains everything you need to know about how to label your products correctly. I also offer a Label Review service to give you peace of mind your labels are compliant.
The next step is to work out the size of labels you need. This will depend on the packaging you’ve chosen as well as the amount of information that needs to go on the label. Some packaging suppliers can provide product specifications to give you an idea of the packaging dimensions and what label size will work. If they don’t, you’ll need to measure it up yourself. A simple but effective way to do this is to use a measuring tape against the packaging to estimate the label size, then cut out a bit of paper and see how it fits on the label until you get it right. You could also try an online calculator to help you out. Long Story Short print labels in any size required to suit your products.
In addition to having compliant label content, you also need an attractive label design. Your label design needs to reflect your branding, including your logo, fonts, colour palette and overall style. Ideally the label should highlight your brand’s point of difference. You don’t necessarily want to just follow the latest trend as your product won’t stand out on the shelf, but your labels should look modern. Although you could create your label design yourself, unless you have a natural eye for design and good IT skills I highly recommend having your label designed by a professional graphic designer. Before you choose one, take a look at the designer’s previous work to make sure the style is what you’re after. Long Story Short have worked with a lot of skincare brands and have some beautiful examples of labels they’ve created at affordable prices. They also offer Branding Packages to guide you through the process of creating the perfect Skincare Label.
Decide on what material your labels should be made from. Some common examples of materials to choose from are paper and vinyl. Then there are other options to choose from like gloss or matte laminate finish. You’ll need to consider the type of product when making your decision, e.g. if you have a product that’s going to be around water, like a body wash, the label will need to be waterproof. The label type you choose may also depend on your brand philosophy and the what type of feel you want your brand to have (natural, fun, luxury, high end). You could even choose for your label information to be screen-printed directly onto the packaging but this can be an expensive option. Your label designer can also give you advice on which label type will be best based on the design and your branding.
When it comes to label printing, you can either print your own labels at home or get a professional to do it. Printing labels at home yourself can be a cheap option if you’re starting out, but to get a professional-looking result it’s worth paying for your labels to be printed. With Long Story Short having small minimum numbers and affordable prices it makes it an achievable option. Plus, it’ll save you the time and stress of trying to do print them yourself (trust me, I’ve been there!).
By following these steps, you should end up with a gorgeous, professional-looking and compliant label that will help your product fly off the shelf.
Jennifer Rudd, Founder - Skincare Business Foundations
I’m a cosmetic regulatory consultant and business advisor for Australian skincare brands. I support skincare brand owners with friendly expert advice, time-saving regulatory guides, and the one and only ‘how to start a skincare brand in Australia’ course.
With a diverse corporate background in risk management, auditing and compliance, I now combine my business know-how with the insights and knowledge gained from having had my own skincare brand to help others build a solid business foundation. I am a passionate advocate of the Australian natural skincare industry and the founder of an active online support community, Natural Skincare Makers Australia.
I’d love to help you on your skincare business journey. Read more about how I can help you here: https://www.skincarebusinessfoundations.com.au.