Just as important as your soap recipe and design, is the way you package it for your beloved customer. Your packaging speaks volumes to the care and dedication you have to developing your brand for public consumption.
If you are simply making soap (hot- or cold-processed) with no active ingredients or health claims for the customer, your labeling requirements are minimal according to FDA guidelines therefore your packaging can be a bit more imaginative. I will list a few packaging ideas from the most minimalistic in design to the more customizable and sturdy.
With absolutely no packaging whatsoever, this is the most environmentally conscious way to put your soaps in customers hands. This also subjects the soap to the most environmental factors and excessive touching and handling--but hey, its soap.
Whether you use the individual shrink bags or have a shrink wrapping system, this is a great way to protect oddly-shaped soaps, keep intricate decorations in place, and block moisture. It does take a bit of practice to cut, seal, and shrink the bags sufficiently without any holes. But once mastered, this can be a quick and cost effective way to protect your soaps until your customers are ready to use them.
Tissue or Other Wrapping Papers
Another eco-friendly way to package soaps is with wrapping paper. Paper is a thin, breathable, and recyclable material that comes in an extensive range of colors, patterns, and textures. It may takes a few tries to master your folding technique, but the end result has a very neat and stylish appearance. Though a bit more time consuming, I’ve seen plenty of YouTube videos where people used coffee filters for round soaps.
Bags (Organza, Cello, or Glassine)
The sky is the limit when finding the perfect bags to package your soaps and compliment your brand aesthetic. Choose from an array of clear or colored organza, cellophane, or glassine bags to protect your product from dust and frequent handling until the customer is ready to use it. Be sure to add a tag or sticker with all the important information to stay FDA compliant.
Cigar Bands or Wrap Around Bands
A popular and simple way of labeling soaps is add a wraparound band, also referred to as a cigar band. This band allows customers to appreciate both the scent and design of your soap in cost effective way. This also eliminates the amount of trash generated and offers a compostable option.
Pre-folded boxes are the most time-saving and protective option for soap makers. Recyclable and in a range of designs, with or without windows, soaps are safe from drops and frequent handling. Soaps are still able to breath and the fragrance carries through.
Adding a complimenting accessory to your soap line up is an easy way to upsell your product and increase a customers final purchase amount. Customers love the convenience and thoughtfulness of a soap dish, sisal, or tule lather bag or wash cloth. Add your branding to make these accessories exclusive to your business's shopping experience.
What About My Melt & Pour Peeps?
If you create using melt and pour soaps then the only options you really have are shrink wrap or cellophane bags. Due to its highly humectant properties, glycerin soaps will attract water in the air causing it to "sweat". You have to put a moisture-blocking barrier between the soap and the air immediately after cooling. Even if utilizing low sweat base.
Be sure that whatever packaging you decide on, it has to be labeled for resale in accordance with FDA regulation. Even though the FDA does not regulate the manufacturing of soap and cosmetics, they still provide guidelines for labeling that must be followed. Read more on their website at www.fda.gov.