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Whether you need the perfect gift for a picky friend or want to point a loved one toward cleaner products, this time of year your skincare gift to-do list might be daunting.
Before you give up and gift card, check out our list of go-to clean beauty gift list.
You get a moisturizer, and you get a moisturizer, and you get a moisturizer...
Gifting skincare products is a slippery slope. Nobody likes a gift they can interpret as “deal with your wrinkles” or “you’re looking spotty.” But if you’re here, you probably believe that healthy skin makes a great gift. The solution? Moisturizer. Unless you live in a tropical climate (and probably even then), winter’s dry air is anathema to healthy skin.
So if you really want to swoop in and save the day, gift a clean workhorse moisturizer like Ursa Major’s Golden Hour Recovery Cream.
It’s a clean skincare favorite thanks to its rich texture and versatility as a night cream, daily moisturizer, or intense therapy for skin that’s been mistreated by the elements.
This gift is gender-neutral, and everyone needs it. Your dad! Your boyfriend! Your teenage niece! Go totally Oprah on all your hard-to-shop-for friends and family. They’ll probably love it, but Ursa Major’s 30-day guarantee is even better than a gift receipt.
An unintimidating exfoliator
Exfoliating and moisturizing go hand-in-hand for healthy winter skin, but a good exfoliator can be a tricky ask.
The ones that rely on tiny beads of microplastic are a no-no for the environment and our health. Exfoliating brushes are hard to clean and need frequent replacement parts.
Instead, our favorite exfoliators rely on acids to remove dead skin cells and reveal healthier skin. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are the gold standard, but gentler peels can be an easier place to start. Don’t worry—exfoliating with acid is way less intimidating than it sounds.
Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Exfoliating Peel Spray relies on a gentle fruit-derived exfoliant and antioxidants to uncover brighter skin.
We love Juice Beauty’s commitment to natural solutions that work just as well as other high-performance brands without the compromise. This product is essential for anyone on your list living in colder climates, dealing with blackheads or acne, or just looking for some extra brightening oomph.
If you’re not yet on the bacteria train, it’s time. The benefits of probiotics for gut health are old news. But we’re not talking about that—we’re talking about the microbiome of your skin.
Just like your gut, your skin is crawling with organisms. Yes, ew, but also, cool! The most cutting-edge cleansers on the market understand the complex interplay between good and bad bacteria on our skin.
Our favorite of these brands, Mother Dirt, relies on a biome-friendly spray to restore clarity and balance to our skin by re-colonizing it with a bacteria that’s been eliminated by our sterile, modern environment.
Mother Dirt’s line of all-natural cleansers, moisturizers, and shampoos work alongside this good bacteria to achieve some pretty remarkable results.
We love Mother Dirt’s mission to change the way we think about skincare. Their new Skin Recovery Kit is a perfect gift for your crunchiest skincare junky friends who are ready to go a little far-out with a new skincare routine.
Celebrity-worthy eye gels
If you’ve spent any time on Instagram in the past year, you’ve seen a celebrity wearing those little under-eye patches that promise reduced puffiness, smoother skin, and a look that says “Why yes, I actually did get a full night of sleep.”
Eye gels range in price point and ingredient load, so we were pleased to see that BeautyCounter, a leader in creating safer beauty that actually performs, released their own brand as part of a special holiday gift set.
The Beautycounter Instant Awakening Trio includes two sets of Eye Revive Cooling Masks along with the Overnight Resurfacing Peel (an AHA/beta hydroxy acid combo) and Instant Glow Illuminating Cream. Dare we say this is a perfect gift for your long-suffering New Year’s Eve host or hostess?
Essential lighting for their self-care Sunday
Let’s face it, the self-care Sunday we all yearn for just isn’t the same without the comforting light of a candle. Since it’s likely that your crunchy friends will object to some of the ingredients in traditional candles, why not gift them a truly clean alternative?
Most of the objectionable ingredients in candles come in the form of synthetic fragrances. Essential oils provide a cleaner alternative with noticeably less sneezing. The paraffin wax in traditional candles may also release chemicals as it burns, so soy wax is often used as a cleaner alternative.
This 3-pack from Lite + Cycle features sophisticated scents created from all-natural essential oils, rather than synthetic fragrance, and the candles are crafted from American-grown soy wax. The engraved gold lid doubles as a striking surface for matches and looks beautiful sitting on a dresser or in a shelfie-ready bathroom. And with 65 hours of burn time each, they'll probably last for years of indulgent Sundays.
Bonus round: The Base Layer
We created The Base Layer because the active ingredient, polypodium leucotomos extract, has incredible sun protection benefits that go beyond what sunscreen alone can provide (if you think this sounds bananas, check out Sundaily 101—Part 2: Isn't Sunscreen Enough?).
But Sundaily gummies are beneficial for way more than just sun protection. Polypodium leucotomos also improves skin’s tone and texture, making them a powerful addition to any skincare junkie’s arsenal. Plus, we’ve included Vitamin D in our formulation, since most Americans are deficient in this crucial nutrient (especially in the winter!).
Did we mention our gummies are vegan, non-GMO, dairy-free, gluten-free, low in sugar, and that even your pickiest loved ones will like our short list of ingredients? We’re biased, but we think that makes a subscription an amazing gift for every single person on your list.
Start a subscription for yourself or a friend today. And happy shopping!