Wednesday, October 19


Slowing down global warming and environmental pollution in order to create a brighter future is in everyone’s hands. We are all aware of this fact, and the beauty industry has a crucial role to play in that fight. Many brands have already made a conscious decision to change their packaging to be more eco-friendly and more circular.
Some have gone as far as to adopt frugal packaging, using refillable containers.

But does all refillable packaging have the same purpose? Are there differences between the
different types of refillable packaging?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the various trends we can observe.


The use of refillable packaging in the clean beauty industry seems like a logical decision. Customers today want to feel good about every purchase they make. And that means choosing eco-friendly products with sustainable packaging. Indeed, it is no longer enough to simply focus on the product and not the packaging. That might have worked a decade ago, but not anymore. Refillable products encourage consumers to be more responsible when it comes to their consumption. They are usually made of durable materials for the outer case (the one that we need to keep) and recyclable material for the refillable part. This minimizes the amount of waste created while also saving consumers money.


When it comes to beauty packaging, we also observe a growing amount of interest in containers as accessories. Not only does the cream, serum or makeup you buy can be refilled, but its design turns it into an object you want to keep using. Clean beauty brand Oquist Cosmetics uses terracota ceramics as containers and encourages consumers to use the packaging for other purposes when it is empty, calling it skinterior design. These packaging turned accessories usually have a sustainable raison d’être and aesthetic quality to them, but they can also serve as branding tools for some companies. Product packaging can, for instance, be used to show a brands’ roots, like Korean brand Innisfree and its re-stay dispenser, inspired by ancient Korean porcelains.


Last but not least, while clean beauty is all about human and eco-friendly products, it does not mean it shies away from tech and innovation. The refill movement also benefits from new tech advancements. Biotherm, for example, introduced a fountain to refill bottles in stores and added an innovative step. After being refilled, the bottle is custom-engraved with a delicate wave motif, symbolizing its regeneration and indicating
how many times the bottle has undergone the refill process. Technology can become a great asset to support circularity with apps finding the closest refill station or the best place to recycle used packaging.

If consumers are more open than ever to refillable beauty products, they also are very attentive and knowledgeable about the material used and true circularity. They are not afraid to call out brands who pretend to offer refillable options while not really reducing their environmental impact. Greenwashing doesn’t go unnoticed anymore.

Monia MERABET, Founder of We Out Wow

WeOutWow is a trend and strategic innovation agency. We guide you to accelerate your growth, stay ahead of competition, be creative and develop concepts to out-wow your customers.

Based in Paris and Tokyo with a network of freelance trendspotters around Asia, Europe and the US. We scout new signals, concepts and trends daily in beauty, luxury and all creative industries.

We use this knowledge to provide you with inspiration and actionable insights. Our services harness trends for you to stay market relevant, create new business opportunities and optimize your strategies.

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