If you’re interested in making your own beauty, personal care and skincare products, you need to know how to choose the best containers for homemade beauty products. Learn everything you need to know to choose the right packaging for each type of project.
If you’re new to homemade beauty products, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all of the packaging options. Some of the most common questions I find people asking themselves are:
- What’s better – glass, plastic or metal containers?
- Is a pump bottle or a squeeze bottle the right choice?
- Is a glass jar or plastic tub a better choice?
- Do some containers work better for travel?
- Should different containers be used for products for personal use vs resell?
This is really just a short list of the questions I hear, but they are the most common. Fortunately, I have years of experience in making DIY beauty products to share with you.
I have a large area that’s dedicated to storing my containers for making DIY beauty products. The area has really grown over the years… I have just about everything in there you can think of and I have used it all for various projects.
Fortunately, you don’t have to acquire a huge stash of containers like me to be able to make your own beauty products. You can just purchase what you need as you go, and you’ll slowly create a collection that can be used for many different types of projects.
In this article, you’ll learn the types of containers that work best for each type of DIY beauty product. You’ll also learn about the main types of materials that beauty product containers can be made from so you can choose the best one for your recipe. And, of course, I’ll also answer some more common questions and talk about the best places to buy these beauty containers.
- 1. Homemade Lip Balms and Lip Gloss.
- 2. Homemade Cosmetics and Makeup.
- 3. DIY Skincare Products (like Face Creams).
- 4. Homemade Facial Wash.
- 5. DIY Face Masks.
- 6. Homemade Perfumes and Body Sprays.
- 7. DIY Bath Salts.
- 8. Homemade Body Scrubs.
- 9. Homemade Body Butters, Body Creams and Body Lotion.
- 10. Salves and Balms.
- 11. Homemade Soaps.
- 12. Beauty Product Ingredients.
Best Containers for Different Beauty Products.
Choosing the right containers for different projects is really important. The first thing you want to do is to figure out what type of personal care product you’re making, then you can decide on the kind of packaging that work best for your chosen skincare and beauty products.
1. Homemade Lip Balms and Lip Gloss.
One of the first projects I find a lot of people make is lip balm. It’s a beauty product most people can use, so it’s a great place to start.
For lip balm, there are 3 basic types of lip balm containers that are used – lip balm slide tins, push top tins and lip balm tubes. I personally prefer the tubes because your fingers never touch the product that way. I usually put my Homemade Lip Balm and Tinted Lip Balm in tubes.
However, there are a lot of people that like the idea of applying lip balm with their fingers from a push top or slide tin. A small lip brush can also be used with tins, which is a nice benefit.
For lip gloss, there are 4 standard types of containers – lip gloss tubs, lip gloss tubes, lip gloss applicator bottles and rollerball bottles. Depending on the recipe I’m making, I may go with one of these different types of containers.
If I’m making Honey Cinnamon Lip Gloss or Chocolate Lip Balm, I typically use a small tub. If I’m making Lip Gloss Rollers, I use a roller bottle.
2. Homemade Cosmetics and Makeup.
Making your own cosmetics is a lot of fun. Some beauty projects that I’ve really enjoyed making are DIY Blush and DIY Bronzer. I find for these types of products, you want a round shape cosmetic jar that’s easy to dip a makeup brush in. Wide mouth half pint mason jars work great.
As a side note, please make sure you’re using a clean makeup brush to dip in your makeup container so you don’t contaminate your homemade cosmetics. Since most homemade cosmetics don’t have preservatives in them, it’s important to be careful not to expose them to any contaminants (unless you want to learn how to use natural preservatives).
3. DIY Skincare Products (like Face Creams).
My favorite homemade skincare product is my Whipped Face Cream. Since it has essential oils in it, I like to store it in a small glass jar. It’s a cream that will separate and go bad more quickly than some other recipes, so I prefer to put it in smaller jars and use it up one small jar at a time.
If you can choose darker colored jars, that’s usually a good choice for more delicate products as they can help protect the ingredients from UV light exposure. My Basil Face Cream recipe is best stored in these types of jars as well.
If you’re making a serum, airless bottles make a great choice because you can pump out what you need without exposing the product to air. This will work for some face lotions, but not as well with some of the thicker face creams.
4. Homemade Facial Wash.
Face Wash is something almost everyone uses. We go through a lot in our home! I keep all of my homemade facial washes, like my Honey Tea Face Wash, in a glass foaming pump bottle. Plastic foaming pump bottles also work, but don’t use plastic if the recipe you’re making has citrus essential oils in it.
5. DIY Face Masks.
Most face masks don’t have a long shelf life, so I don’t typically make them in bulk. When I do, I love the wide mouth half pint mason jars. It’s what I put both my Brown Sugar Scrub Face Mask and my Hydrating Honey Face Masks in.
Some of the face masks I don’t normally make large enough quantities of to store are my Activated Charcoal Face Mask and my Pumpkin Face Mask.
6. Homemade Perfumes and Body Sprays.
The widespread use of essential oils has led to a lot of people making their own essential oil perfumes. There are 2 types people make most often – solid perfumes and liquid perfumes.
For the solid type, I like to use small metal tins. For the liquid types, I actually like to use rollerball bottles with a metal ball (they tend to apply better than the ones with plastic balls).
There are also some really cool perfume bottles you can use. They have an atomizer, which is a really fine mist sprayer that is ideal for spraying perfumes.
I find that men tend to prefer the term Body Sprays over perfumes, so if I’m making something that smells good for a man, I call it a Body Spray (check out my Men’s Essential Oil Cologne Recipe). I always go with glass spray bottles for body sprays (and room sprays). There a lots of sizes and colors available.
7. DIY Bath Salts.
Bath Salts are one of my favorite DIY beauty products to make because they’re so easy to create! I almost always store my bath salts in a glass mason jar, but plastic jars can work too if you won’t store them for a long time.
Some of the bath salt recipes that I keep handy in jars are:
- Lavender Bath Salts
- Pop Rocks Fizzing Bath Salts
- Lemon Eucalyptus Tea Tree Fizzy Bath Salts
- Activated Charcoal Bath Salts
- Matcha Green Tea Bath Salts
8. Homemade Body Scrubs.
Who doesn’t love a good sugar scrub? Mason jars are a popular choice for storing sugar scrubs and salt scrubs. If it’s a scrub you plan to keep in the shower, go with a smaller container and it’s okay to use a plastic tub if it won’t be stored long term (there’s nothing worse than broken glass in the shower).
Check out these awesome scrub recipes:
- Vanilla Sugar Scrub
- Charcoal Sugar Scrub
- Charcoal Salt Scrub
- Apricot Seed Scrub
- Green Tea Brown Sugar Scrub
9. Homemade Body Butters, Body Creams and Body Lotion.
Like many of the other products I make, I often find myself reaching for a mason jar to store my homemade body butters and creams in. There are some recipes like my Peppermint Body Butter that I keep in a larger jar whereas I make a nice Lavender Body Butter in a Jar in smaller jars.
Glass pump bottles make the best choice for homemade body lotion. This is specifically for lotions and not creams. If the recipe you’re making has a thicker consistency, a pump won’t work. You can also buy lotion pumps to add to bottles you already have.
10. Salves and Balms.
Most salves and balms that I see people making include essential oils. Glass balm containers are best for these cases (especially if a citrus oil is used), but there are recipes where a plastic salve container will work.
If you’re making a salve that is primarily made from carrier oils infused with dried herbs, a plastic container works fine. Some examples of this type of recipe include my Calendula Lavender Salve and my Matcha Green Tea Salve.
I prefer to store my essential oil salves in glass, but have put them in plastic before as well. Some examples of this type of recipe include my:
11. Homemade Soaps.
I haven’t quite ventured into cold process soap making yet, but I do make a lot of melt and pour soap projects. Melt and pour soap bases are usually made from glycerin.
If you haven’t worked with it before, glycerin can cause soaps to sweat, so they need to be stored a special way. The best way is to wrap each fully dried bar of soap tightly in plastic wrap. Then place it into an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
You’ll find these instructions mentioned in many of my melt and pour soap recipes:
- DIY Loofah Soap Bars
- Honey Lemon Soap Bars
- Layered Eucalyptus Soap Bars
- Apricot Seed Soap Bars
- Charcoal Face Wash Bars
If you’re making Foaming Hand Soap, you can use plastic or glass foaming pump bottles just like with face wash. We go through a bottle of hand soap a week at each sink in the house, so it never sits for long.
12. Beauty Product Ingredients.
If you make many DIY beauty products, you probably have a stash of ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, vitamin E oil and more. If you like to keep your bulk beauty product ingredients separate from the same items you use in the kitchen, glass jars are a great choice.
I also find that a lot of ingredients come in bags and pouches. Some of them reseal and some of them don’t. In these instances, I like to transfer those ingredients to mason jars for storage because I know they’re airtight.
It’s important you make sure to note the expiration date on each jar so you know when that ingredient has reached the end of its shelf life. Otherwise, it’s just a guessing game and you want to be careful with putting expired ingredients on sensitive skin.
Type of Materials for Beauty Product Containers.
The type of skin care packaging that makes a good choice for skin care products depends on the type of product you’re making. The best way to store different products will vary, depending on the ingredients and usage.
You’ll quickly discover that there are pros and cons to each type of material that you can store homemade beauty products in. Glass is usually my first choice, but there are good reasons for using other types of materials in some instances.
1. Glass Containers.
If safety is your number one concern like it is for me, my recommendation is to go with glass first. Look for glass made in the USA (or Europe) as glass imported from China has been known to be tainted with lead. Mason jars are an easy choice (but not the tinted ones).
If you’re looking for containers for products that contain natural ingredients like essential oils, the best choice is always glass. It’s better to choose a dark colored glass over clear glass.
I have a variety of brown and cobalt glass bottles that I use for various purposes. If you can get ultraviolet glass bottles, those will do the best job at keeping the sunlight out.
2. Stainless Steel Containers.
If it’s a situation where glass isn’t feasible – like when you’re traveling or small children use the product unsupervised – then stainless steel is the second best choice.
It leaches less than plastic, but there are sometimes other metals mixed in with the stainless steel, making them less safe than glass. I mainly use stainless steel tins for salves and balms.
3. Silicone Containers.
Making something that needs to be able to be squeezed out easily? You’ll quickly find that silicone is your best friend.
There are so many silicone tube options out there! Cosmetic tubes made from silicone are great for homemade toothpaste. They’re also a great choice for lotions and creams that you want to take on the go.
4. Plastic Containers.
If you decide you absolutely have to go with plastic, try to avoid storing anything in them that could cause the plastic to deteriorate. Citrus essential one of the biggest offenders! I also try to make sure to use the product up quickly when I choose plastic.
I have a ton of clear plastic jars with black plastic lids that I put smaller things in. They work really well for samples to give to friends or to include with customer orders if you resell the beauty products you make.
Is Reusing Empty Containers Okay?
I’m a huge fan of recycling and upcycling containers for my own products. If you have a container you want to reuse, the first thing you want to do is ensure that the structural integrity of the jar or bottle is intact.
You need to make sure the personal care product containers you’re considering have airtight lids to keep your creation well preserved. If you inspect the container and it’s in good shape, then you should be able to reuse it.
It’s also very important to make sure any containers you’re reusing are cleaned and sterilized extremely well so you don’t end up with microbial growth in your DIY products.
How to Recycle Unwanted Containers?
If you have beauty or makeup products that you’ve finished using, and you don’t see yourself reusing those containers, you can recycle them. Terracycle has a great recycling program that allows you to recycle these types of packaging by dropping them off at an easy access recycling point. Check the Terracycle website for more information.
Deciding Between the Different Sizes.
If you’ve spent any time shopping for beauty product packaging, you’ve probably noticed that almost every type is available in a variety of sizes. You’ll want to make sure you choose the right size for the right type of product.
If it’s something that will spoil quickly, I recommend using smaller containers. On the other hand, if it’s something you go through really quickly, it’s okay to put it in a larger container.
If you travel a lot, you’ll also want to factor that in. There are a lot of really great compact containers that work great for travel. If you are planning to take any of the products you make on a trip, a plastic bottle may be a better option than a glass bottle so you don’t risk breakage during transport.
I also like to have a few different colors of lids to visually help me differentiate between which product is in which jar. Of course, you can label them, but it’s easy to visually differentiate between a silver lid and a black lid without having to take the extra step of labeling.
Does Container Quality Matter?
Are the cosmetic products you’re making for personal use or for resale? If you’re making them for your own use, you can usually get away with cheaper containers.
If you’re making them to sell, you probably want to go with high quality containers. Choosing containers with thick walls can help to prevent breakage in shipping.
Homemade products also make a great gift for many special occasions, and the product packaging you choose for gifts may vary on the intended recipient(s).
Best Place to Buy Cosmetic Containers?
There are a lot of companies in the packaging industry selling containers for beauty and skincare products. Three of the places I shop most often are Mountain Rose Herbs, Your Oil Tools and Amazon. You’ll find some great options for storing your own natural products from these companies.
Mountain Rose Herbs specializes in selling ingredients for DIY beauty products and related projects, so I trust the containers they sell. They have a good selection of basic types packaging for different types of homemade products, as well as a variety of sizes.
Your Oils Tools has pretty much every type of container you can think of. They have a better quality selection than Amazon and they have a rewards program if you buy a lot of beauty product making supplies like me.
Of course, like everything else, you can get beauty packaging on Amazon as well. It’s really important to read the reviews on different containers that you’re considering as the quality can really vary from one seller to the next.
Sometimes I prefer the convenience of paying a little bit more to not have to read the extensive reviews, which is why I prefer Mountain Rose Herbs or Your Oil Tools. But if you’re on a budget and don’t mind spending extra time reading and researching, you can also find some decent beauty containers on Amazon.
I hope this article on the best containers for homemade skincare and beauty products answered all of your questions. If you have any questions about cosmetic packaging that I missed or would like a recommendation for a specific personal care product you’re making, please leave a comment below.