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What Is The Difference Between Skin Packaging And Blister Packaging?

By: Nathan Dube on June 18th, 2020

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What Is The Difference Between Skin Packaging And Blister Packaging?

Packaging Materials  |  Packaging Design  |  Food Packaging

Are you frustrated with not being able to understand the differences between skin packaging and blister packaging? Don’t worry, it happens to a lot of people. 


Maybe you’re a purchasing agent needing to make the right decision on packaging materials. Maybe you’re a small business owner getting ready to launch a new food product. Regardless of where you’re at in this process, we’re going to help you choose the right packaging for your products.


While blister packaging and skin packaging share some similarities in aesthetics and materials, they are best suited for different applications. Skin packaging is commonly used to package fish (such as smoked salmon fillets). Blister packs are more likely to house the fishing lure used to catch the fish!


Industrial Packaging has been selling blister packaging and skin packaging for many years. We talk to people on a daily basis who are searching for the right type of packaging and we help guide them to make the best decision for their business. 


In this article, we will explore the differences between skin packs and blister packs and take a look at the appropriate applications for each type of packaging.



What Is A Blister Pack?


Blister packs are made from a few different components: the blister board and the blister (typically plastic). A blister board is a type of paperboard backing that is commonly cut into rectangular sheets. They can be printed with branding and graphic elements to illustrate the price, features, and cost of your product.


Sometimes blister packs may have backers made of plastics or other types of materials such as aluminum film (for example, in the case of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals) depending on the source of the blister packs, however, blister board is the most common type of material used for blister pack backers.


blister packaging-1


The "blister" part of the blister pack is a pre-formed container usually made out of plastic and kind of actually looks like a blister. When packaging products with a blister pack, the product is held in place, resting between a backer made of blister board and a plastic pre-formed blister. 


Some examples of products that are commonly packaged in blister packs include fishing lures, small hardware components, drugs, toothbrushes, toys (action figures), candy, and hundreds of other various types of products.



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What Is A Skin Pack?


Skin packs (also known as skin packaging) are another type of carded packaging that is often confused with blister packaging. While skin packs look somewhat similar to blister packs, their applications are notably different.

Skin Pack

Like blister packs, skin packs have the same basic components - a board and plastic covering. The biggest difference is that after the product is between the film and the backer, it is uniformly sealed via a vacuum sealing machine.


It can then be shipped as is, or, it can be custom-cut with a device called a die-cutting machine. This allows for a uniform package that removes unnecessary material from the final product. It also results in a smooth, visually appealing package.


Once these processes are completed, the finished product is completely contained in the skin pack, surrounded by surlyn film.


The Differences Between Skin Packaging And Blister Packaging


A skin packaged item has a thin surlyn film shrunk around the product and is vacuum-sealed to the backing board. A blister pack features a hard plastic "blister" that contains the product but is not vacuum sealed to the backing board.


Which Is Right For You? Blister Or Skin Packaging.


With skin packaging, you will need a vacuum sealer and potentially a die cutter or some other method of separating the individual products from the master sheet. Blister packaging just requires a sealer.


When trying to figure out if blister or skin packaging is right for your products, you will need to ask yourself a few questions to help choose the appropriate form of packaging.


  • Do your products contain sharp or pointed edges? If yes, a blister pack is the better choice.
  • Are you packaging food that can spoil (for example, fish)? If you are, a skin pack is the superior choice.
  • What is your budget? With skin packaging, you will need a vacuum sealer in addition to a skin/blister machine. Blister packaging does not require this additional equipment.
  • Is speed to market important? If you answered yes, you may want to choose blister packaging as you can skip the vacuum-sealing step.


With the answers to these questions in mind, you should be able to start formulating a clearer picture of the type of packaging that is best suited for your needs.


After decades in the carded packaging industry, we here at Industrial Packaging are able to help you choose exactly the right machinery and materials for your needs. We are also uniquely positioned to help you choose the right packaging vendor, even if we are not the best fit.


If you are still unclear on which direction to go, feel free to reach out to one of our packaging specialists. They will be able to help you identify the correct type of packaging for your company and packaging line.


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About Nathan Dube

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.