How to Ship Skin Care Products

Learn how to pack and ship skin care products, and why you'll most likely be forced to ship them via ground transportation services
how to ship skin care products
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Like many other goods from a slew of industries, eCommerce has completely altered the way beauty and skin care products fall into the hands of customers. Gone are the days when the majority of consumers walked into a shopping mall and left with a handful of Sephora or Ulta products. Now, consumers can get virtually any skin care product online…and that means more opportunity for those kinds of small businesses to spring up. If your eCommerce business sells skin care, we’ve got you covered. This guide is all about how to ship skin care, including how to package these products properly and how to save the most money when sending them out. Time to get your glow on!

Table of Contents

Do Your Skin Care Products Contain Hazardous Materials?

One thing to ask yourself before shipping is whether or not your skin care products contain any hazardous contents. Similar to shipping makeup and cosmetics, you’ll know that carriers consider your products hazardous if the products are flammable. To see whether your products contain flammable materials, just look on the bottle or the box; it will usually say so.

Shipping hazardous materials involves a specific process, so this is important to consider before you go buying any shipping labels. If your products are indeed flammable, you won’t be able to send them with any air-based services, such as Priority Mail from USPS, or 3 Day Select, 2nd Day Air, or Next Day Air from UPS. Instead, you’ll need to ship them via ground transportation services, which leaves you with a few different choices.

Shipping Skin Care Products via Ground Transportation Services

If your skincare products need to go via ground transportation, there are two particular shipping carriers you should consider: USPS and UPS. Both carriers offer ground service, but when comparing the two, these services have a lot of differences from each other. In a nutshell, USPS Retail Ground (or Parcel Select Ground) will be cheaper than UPS Ground in the majority of cases. However, UPS Ground will undoubtedly be faster, no matter where you’re shipping to in the country.

FedEx Ground is also a fine option, but in our experience, it’s much more expensive than UPS Ground. Also, FedEx Ground features a similar delivery timeframe to UPS Ground. FedEx is the most expensive option of all three major carriers in the United States, and mostly specializes in business deliveries and niche shipments. Due to all of this, it makes sense to use UPS Ground over FedEx Ground in nearly every scenario.

USPS Ground vs UPS Ground: Which is the Better Deal?

In our experience, UPS Ground is the better service because of how fast UPS delivers these packages. UPS Ground is now speedier than ever, and if you’re not shipping far away, UPS sometimes even delivers these packages overnight or in two days! Ground service from USPS, on the other hand, advertises delivery timeframes of 2-8 business days. However, we’ve found that USPS ground packages can end up taking up to two weeks (or more) for final delivery!

One thing to note that is USPS Ground is more expensive than UPS Ground in a lot of cases. That said, we believe it’s worth it to pay a slightly higher premium for much more reliable service. So, overall, we recommend UPS Ground as the better option between the two.

Properly Packaging Beauty and Cosmetic Products

Most skin care creams and products already come in sturdy packaging material, such as plastic receptacles, screw-down bottles, or smaller boxes. So, all you’ll need to do is place these in your cardboard box and keep them from moving around too much! Easy enough, right?

To fill up the space inside your cardboard box, we suggest using plenty of packing peanuts, air pillows, or styrofoam products. Also, if you want your shipments to appear next-level professional, another kind of packing material else we recommend is custom molded package inserts. Most professional skin care brands use these. On top of keeping your products in place and protecting them from moving around and taking damage. Molded package inserts costs a bit more money, of course, but it’s well worth it to create a unique unboxing experience for your customers.

Learn more about the benefits of using custom packaging for your shipments.

Affix a Limited Quantity Label to the Outside of Your Box

If your products contain hazardous materials, you’ll need to affix a Limited Quantity Label on the outside of your box once it’s all packed up. This sticker signifies that your box contains products with hazardous materials, and allows workers to properly designate and handle these packages. When sending hazardous materials, it doesn’t matter if you’re shipping ground service with UPS or USPS; you still need the label, either way.

Affixing the Limited Quantity Label to the outside of your box is extremely important, as carriers can refuse your package if they find out you’re shipping hazardous materials and you didn’t add it!

Save the Most Money on Postage with Shipping Software

Whenever you ship a lot of skin care packages (or even just one or two), shipping costs can add up fast. That’s why it’s so important to save as much money as possible on your shipping labels…and the best way to do that is to use shipping software to buy discounted postage online.

When you use shipping software, you gain access to special levels of discounts that the carriers typically reserve for huge commercial shippers. For both USPS and UPS, these discounts pricing tiers are known as the following:

With the discounts you get from shipping software, you can save up to 50% off of UPS Ground labels, and up to 56% off of Parcel Select Ground labels from USPS*. You’ll also be able to print postage from the comfort of your own home, and schedule pickups from both USPS and UPS. With all these perks, you won’t just save tons of money on shipping costs; you never even have to leave your home to run your business, if you don’t want to!

*USPS ground service on shipping software is called “Parcel Select Ground,” and not Retail Ground…but it refers to the exact same ground-based service.

Frequently Asked Questions: Shipping Skin Care and Beauty Products

Below are three of the most frequently asked questions we see around shipping beauty and skin care products.

Are Skin Care Products Considered Hazardous?

Some skin care products are hazardous if any of the contents in them are flammable. If the products you plan to send contain flammable materials, then you’ll only be able to ship them via ground transportation service, such as USPS Retail Ground or UPS Ground. You’ll also need to affix the proper Limited Quantity Label to the outside of the package, which indicates that the goods inside the package contain potentially hazardous materials.

What is the Best Service to Send Skin Care Products?

The best service for sending skin care depends on whether you prioritize speed or affordability. If speed is what you’re looking for, then UPS Ground is the better option, since delivery typically takes anywhere between 1-3 business days. However, USPS Ground rates fell drastically in 2022, making it a cheaper option that a lot of shippers are willing to take advantage of in exchange for longer delivery times. Going by price alone, USPS ground service will feature more affordable rates in the majority of cases. That said, USPS advertises that their ground service takes between 2-8 days, but delivery can take much longer in certain situations—up to two weeks (or longer).

How Can I Save Money on Shipping Skin Care Products?

You can save money on your skin care packages by using shipping software to buy discounted postage online. Shipping software allows you to access the deepest discounts available on postage that carriers like USPS and UPS typically reserve for huge commercial shippers. In some cases, these discounts can save you up to 50% on UPS Ground labels, and up to 56% on ground service from USPS. This way, you won’t have to pay Retail prices for any USPS or UPS shipping service you use, and you can even print your label from your own home or office.

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