Survey Results: Balancing Aesthetics and Sustainability in Packaging

Ron Myers
By Ron Myers

As an Aesthetic Business Coach and Mentor, Ron helps aesthetic clinics and suppliers to maximise their profits.

Companies in the aesthetic industry often prioritise visually appealing packaging to attract clinic owners and practitioners, neglecting sustainability considerations. However, for products used within premises where customers rarely see the packaging, should suppliers focus more on sustainable design?

Addressing sustainability in outer packaging could lead to cost savings, reduced storage space, and decreased landfill waste. A case in point is a filler company that incorporated sustainable design principles by packaging four syringes in the size that some manufacturers use for one, reducing the use of shipping containers and carbon emissions associated with manufacturing abroad.

By reducing outer package size, shipping costs can be lowered, carbon emissions reduced, and storage space optimised.

I organised a survey of 136 UK-based aesthetic clinic owners on attitudes towards the packaging of aesthetic consumables.

It revealed that over 80% felt limited in clinic storage space and could benefit from smaller plastic and cardboard packaging of consumables. Interestingly, over 78% considered the external appearance of packaging (excluding retail skincare) unimportant. While some practitioners may be concerned about the aesthetics of sustainable packaging, compromises can be made by using display packages for branding purposes.

Only 22% of the surveyed clinic owners had contacted their suppliers for more sustainable packaging, with varied responses. Additionally, respondents noted that pharmacy-based distributors could do more to minimise packaging materials during shipping.

Furthermore, 74% believed that sustainability and environmental concerns would play a crucial role in marketing their businesses over the next five years.

This survey highlights the need for both suppliers and distributors to address the carbon footprint and recyclability of consumables used in the aesthetic sector.

While the retail beauty industry prioritises visually appealing packaging, it may not be as critical for consumables used in clinics. Companies have the opportunity to prioritise sustainable packaging design, resulting in cost savings and waste reduction.

Clinic owners are encouraged to share these survey results with their suppliers and advocate for more sustainable packaging practices. Suppliers should also conduct their own surveys to understand the evolving priorities of clinic owners in 2023.

For full survey results and over 50 comments from practitioners please visit -

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