How to achieve the “apothecary aesthetic” for your skincare brand

The word “apothecary” is an archaic English term that was used to denote a person who formulated and dispensed medicines from an old-fashioned pharmacy. Their lotions and potions were packaged up in glass jars and bottles, and stacked on wooden shelves, ready for surgeons, physicians, and patients.

While the term “apothecary” has been phased out in favor of “chemist” or “pharmacist”, the aesthetic associated with the era has made a glamorous return. Many brands are adopting this simplistic style, subtly reinforcing the idea that their formulations are high-quality, and don’t require unnecessary adornment. Interested in the idea of adopting the apothecary look for your own brand? Here’s how:

  • Embrace simplicity: The key appeal of the apothecary aesthetic lies in its simplicity. Instead of metallic finishes reminiscent of the Y2K era, or the bold typography favored in minimalist aesthetic, opt for simple packaging that echoes the vintage charm of glass jars and bottles. For instance, consider using amber glass to showcase your products, and choose a simple and elegant font that’s evocative of old-fashioned apothecary labels.
  • Include natural elements: To really tap into the historical aspect of the apothecary era, incorporate botanical illustrations and earthy tones to evoke a connection with natural ingredients. Apothecaries used a wide range of natural materials, such as leaves, bark, flowers and seeds. So including a nod to nature will really evoke this bygone era. Plus, it also resonates with the current trend towards eco-consciousness.
  • Storytelling: The apothecary era was steeped in stories of remedies and discoveries. To bring this element of storytelling to your own brand, craft a narrative around your products, showcasing the origins of the ingredients, the inspiration behind their creation, and the benefits they offer. Not only will this serve as a nod to the time of apothecaries, but it will also help to build your brand identity and encourage brand loyalty. You could also include handwritten notes in limited-edition batches, to really infuse that old-world, bespoke charm into your customer products.
  • In-store experience: If you do have a physical store, consider curating the space in a way that transports your customers to a former era. Think rustic wooden shelves and vintage apothecary tools. Perhaps you could even consider demonstrations or workshops on natural skincare 

Here at APG, we have a range of packaging solutions that are conducive of emanating that coveted apothecary charm. To discuss our packaging solutions in more detail, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Amber glass jarsApothecary aesthetic