Learning how to safely ship perfume and makeup is an important part of running a successful cosmetics or fragrance business. Delivering your products in pristine condition builds trust and creates a loyal customer base. For this reason, shipping perfumes, makeup, or other cosmetics not only involves understanding the applicable shipping regulations but also requires knowing how to properly package those products. In this post, we’ll cover both aspects of proper cosmetics shipping.
Can You Mail Perfume, Makeup, and Cosmetics?
The short answer to this question is: it depends. Guidelines vary by product and shipper. For example, shipping perfume via FedEx has different requirements than shipping perfume via UPS. In this section, we’ll address how to ship perfume, makeup, and other cosmetics via USPS, FedEx, and UPS.
When shipping cosmetics, perfumes come with the most restrictions since nearly all varieties contain some type of alcohol. The United States Postal Service will ship perfumes that contain alcohol domestically, provided they’re sent via ground transportation. But when it comes to shipping products via domestic or international air service, perfumes that contain alcohol are banned due to their potential flammability. Full USPS guidelines for shipping perfume can be found here, along with detailed instructions on properly packaging flammable liquids for mailing.
Shipping makeup and other cosmetics like powders, compacts, creams, and lotions via USPS is permitted as long as the items are non-flammable and non-hazardous. USPS regulations for mailing liquids of any kind include the following guidelines:
- Liquid containers must close via a closure method such as a screw cap.
- The liquid container must be lined with absorbent material capable of absorbing all of the liquid in the container.
- The liquid container must be placed in a leakproof container like a sealed bag.
- The outside of the package must be marked as containing a liquid.
- The outer shipping packaging must be securely sealed and capable of withstanding the stress of regular handling in the mail system.
Shipping perfume via FedEx is possible, provided you apply to become an approved hazardous materials shipper and agree to abide by their long list of restrictions and guidelines on packaging and labeling your perfume or cologne for shipping. Although it may sound a bit odd to think of perfume as a hazardous substance, alcohol is highly flammable no matter what it’s used in. Carriers like FedEx that agree to transport these types of goods want to make sure their employees are protected as they work hard to get your products delivered safely.
As for products that are not flammable or hazardous, FedEx will accept makeup and other types of cosmetics for shipment via ground and air. Perishable or liquid products must be sealed in a double bag using a minimum 2-mil watertight plastic bags. The inside of the foam packing container must be lined with a minimum 2-mil plastic liner and absorbent material.
Similar to FedEx, shipping perfume or colognes that contain alcohol via UPS involves using the UPS Hazardous Materials Contract Services. This can be accessed by setting up a shipping account and following the step-by-step instructions found here. To send these types of hazardous liquids via ground or air, you must follow their special packing and labeling guidelines, which are designed to comply with relevant US and international regulations. Other non-flammable and non-hazardous products like cosmetics and makeup do not require special labeling or packaging beyond packaging liquids in waterproof, sealable containers.
Shipping Perfume, Makeup, and Cosmetics Safely
Beyond the labeling and packaging restrictions required to ship perfumes and cosmetics like makeup, keeping your customers’ orders safe during shipping involves packaging them to withstand the rigors of regular handling. Here’s how to package them so they arrive at their final destination in prime condition.
If you’re shipping liquids like perfume, facial cleansers, or makeup, begin by sealing the bottle in a leak-proof bag. This could be a ziplock-style bag or a plastic bag with adhesive at the top that allows for a tight, complete seal. Even the most well-packaged liquids are capable of leaking, especially if the bottle or container gets damaged by rough handling.
Thermal bubble wrap
Wrapping your sealed perfume or cosmetics in thermal bubble wrap provides a second layer of protection and decreases the chances the container will break during transit. Thermal bubble wrap also protects heat-sensitive liquids from changes in exterior temperatures. Transfer centers and delivery trucks are often inadequately climate controlled, so using thermal bubble wrap can help shield your products from extreme heat or cold.
Leaving room for a defensible space between the wrapped product and the exterior packaging is one of the most effective ways of ensuring the perfume or cosmetic container remains undamaged. Fill those few inches of space between your wrapped product and the cardboard shipping box with additional padding like packing peanuts or shredded or crumpled paper. This layer can help absorb sudden shocks like the box being dropped and can help keep the interior product packaging intact in the event the exterior box gets crushed or punctured while in transit.
When mailing liquids like perfume, facial cleansers, or makeup, a sturdy, double-walled cardboard box is the go-to choice for many. This type of packaging is designed to stand up well to being jostled and roughly handled as the package travels through multiple trucks and logistics centers en route to your customer’s front doorstep. Choose a cardboard box large enough to accommodate the interior packaging materials, providing enough space to fit packing material around the wrapped product.
A Partner for Shipping Perfume, Makeup, and Cosmetics Safely
Selling perfumes, makeup, and other cosmetics is a great way to start an online business. But shipping these types of products requires understanding the regulations for shipping restricted items like perfumes, colognes, and liquids. In addition, properly packaging your products prevents them from getting damaged during the shipping process, in turn preventing disappointed customers and return-related headaches.
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