The last time you shelled out money for a face wash or shave cream simply because it had interesting packaging was probably never. And true, you'd do better to judge by the list of ingredients than design, but still, the way your product is bottled up can actually matter.
Skin-care packing is as much a science as the product it's protecting, and it is something a new all-natural men's grooming line called Ernest Supplies took seriously when considering how to stand out from the crowd. The result is an unusual and innovative, but still useful and purposeful pouch to house each of the company's three products: a Protective Matte Moisturizer, a Soap-Free Face Wash, and a Cooling Shave Cream. The pouch recently won Ernest Supplies the 2013 American Graphic Design Award in skin care and an Editors Award from 'Brand Packaging' magazine.
So what's the fuss? Overall, the pouch cuts down on carbon footprint, costs less than traditional packaging, is optimally designed for not spilling when in transit and is easily outfitted with barriers that protect the product inside from outside pollutants.
Each pouch is lined in a metalized film bonded to a BPA-free poly layer, which means that it's impossible for UV light (which can come even from fluourescent lightbulbs) to sneak in. It's also nearly 100% oxygen tight. This protection matters because regular packaging lets small amounts of these corrosive elements pass through their walls, which, in turn, degrades the quality of the cream or lotion inside, boosting the need for higher levels of superfluous ingredients such as preservatives.
Another benefit is that Ernest Supplies' packaging travels significantly better than tubes or bottles, which have a tendency to open up in transit. The pouches, which use a small twist-on cap, can be tossed, smashed, and even stepped on without the worry that they'll break open and spill over everything in your bag.
"We took our cue from the food industry since they have such stringent codes for freshness and quality," John Cafarelli, founder of Ernest Supplies, tells 'Mens Journal.' The company found that pouches have a carbon footprint that's about one-fifth less than more traditional packaging, and costs less to use, meaning that Ernest Supplies was able to invest money in better quality ingredients for its concoctions.
All of which are derived from 100% natural sources, which Cafarelli says was the number one concern that led him to create Ernest Supplies last year. He found no lack of all natural products, but he wasn't finding any that worked sufficiently. "It wasn't good enough that I use the most-effective and top-quality products," he says, "I needed them to be present in levels that actually make them effective." And true, when you compare ingredient lists to those of some other all-natural brands, you'll find that Ernest Supplies has the good stuff listed up top: jojoba seed oil in the Protective Matte Face Moisturizer ($25 for 3.4 ounces), avocado and macadamia nut oil in the Cooling Shave Cream ($25 for 3.4 ounces), and glycerin in the Soap-Free Gel Face Wash ($18.50 for 3.4 ounces).