David Roberge

By: David Roberge on February 18th, 2015

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The Skinny on Blister.. and Skin Packaging

Packaging Materials

How do you tell the difference between blister and skin packaging?


Skin and blister packaging are both very common choices for retail display packaging, and they both have their place. 


They are similar, but have different characteristics that benefit different types of products and different levels of protection:

Skin packaging is a vacuum process that draws a flexible film around your product which adheres to a paperboard.

  • Firmly unitizes your product on the board
  • Special tooling not required
  • Multiple, varied products can be run at the same time on your packaging line
  • Manual to automatic equipment available
  • Easy to change over to increase or decrease film thickness
  • Not ideal for products that are heat-sensitive

Blister packaging uses a pre-formed, rigid blister which also adheres to a paperboard.

  • Can handle loose, small, multiple products, (e.g., individual screws)
  • Relatively easy to open if sealed properly
  • Re-usable container (open the back of the paperboard and use the pre-formed blister to hold items)
  • Stock blister sizes are available
  • Manual to automatic equipment available



Skin packaging and blister packaging can be used for small quantity production to very large quantity production. As a general rule, skin is less expensive. The ultimate decision is more often driven by application than by cost. Send us your product(s), we would be happy to sample both for you.

 If you are looking to optimize your next packaging design, this cheat sheet that is a must have for a more efficient design process! 

 Free Infographic for optimal packaging design

About David Roberge

I am grateful for my 9 years as part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I was able to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier that I was able to share that knowledge with you. I love learning, hiking, and growing people and teams both personally and professionally, and helping companies grow better.