We have you covered this Christmas, whether you’re looking for a gift for an experienced beauty fan or a complete novice to skin care.
Although the holidays may be the happiest time of the year, the rush of celebrations may leave you feeling less than joyous. Indulging in rich meals with friends and family, staying up late at holiday gatherings, and braving the cold all have the potential to wreck mayhem on your complexion and make you feel more no-no-no than ho-ho-ho. That’s the appeal of presenting (and getting!) skin-care items, accessories, and technology at Christmas and Chanukah. The NPD Group, a marketing research firm, reported in October 2022 (PDF) that 28% of American customers intend to purchase a beauty product as a present during the 2022 holiday season, with an average of $161 spent on beauty gifts per giver. We’ve gathered some fantastic gifts and stocking stuffers that will continue to spread joy long after the holidays, whether you’re looking for a cost-effective choice or wanting to splurge. Here are 11 holiday present suggestions from dermatologists, ranging from popular faves from TikTok like Foreo’s Luna 4 Cleansing Massager to results-driven items fueled by hot ingredients like bakuchiol and ceramides.
1. A Set of Skin-Soothing Sheet Masks
Korean beauty, also known as K-beauty, is a fad that’s here to stay in the United States due to its emphasis on clear, clean, well-hydrated skin and natural-looking makeup. Sheet masks are a fun and affordable way to test it out. According to the Cleveland Clinic, sheet treatments can help moisturize the face more equally while calming delicate or inflamed skin. TonyMoly (TonyMoly.com), a well-known K-beauty brand, provides more than a dozen various component choices. Having trouble deciding which sheet mask to place in your gift for Christmas? Choose products with vitamin C. I’m vitamin E or lemon-infused. According to the Cleveland Clinic, I’m Tomato because both of its components are antioxidants and may help to lessen the look of fine lines. Want to treat the K-beauty aficionado in your life to something special? Give them a Facetory multipack (Facetory.com) so they can sample a variety.
2. A Depuffing Gemstone Roller
Searching for a cosmetics item that will fit neatly inside a stocking? Choose a rose quartz facial roller, advises Kathleen Cook Suozzi, MD, an associate professor at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut and the head of Yale Medicine’s program in aesthetic dermatology. Although there isn’t much scientific evidence supporting these devices, she asserts that anecdotal evidence suggests they may help your skin look less puffy: “If you wake up feeling a little tired or bloated after your holiday party, or you drank too much champagne, you can chill your face roller in the fridge, and then you can roll the puffiness out, helping the lymphatic system remove excess fluids and toxins that accumulate under the skin.” The Vasanti Rose Quartz Roller and Gua Sha Tool (VasantiCosmetics.com) is a wonderful luxury option that provides two tools in one, while the EcoTools Mini Rose Quartz Roller (Ulta.com) is a perfect option for those on a tight budget.
3. A Hydrating Eye Cream
Giving eye ointment as a present is advised by board-certified dermatologist Lindsey Zubritsky, MD, of Pittsburgh. “Eye cream is such a wonderful present idea because it’s not something we all consider to include in our skin-care regimen,” she adds. “Also, the holiday season can be full of tension, anxiety, and sleepless nights, which can show up around our eyes, so adding an eye cream around this time is a wonderful suggestion.” She advises selecting an eye cream with components like vitamin C, caffeine, or niacinamide that are hydrating and brightening. Ceramides and peptides are also helpful in an eye ointment, says Boise, Idaho-based board-certified dermatologist Dustin Portela, DO, as are hydrating components like hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, and glycerin.
4. An AHA/BHA Exfoliating Treatment
Drunk Elephant, a cult beauty brand, creates skin care products without using ingredients that could cause irritation, including sodium lauryl sulfate, alcohol, silicones, perfumes, dyes, and artificial sunscreens. T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (Sephora.com), one of their best-selling skin care items, is a chemical cleanser made with alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA). According to a previous study article, these mild acids help exfoliate dead skin cells and encourage skin cell renewal, making the skin look smoother and clearer. And for a budget-friendly 10-minute exfoliating therapy, the Ordinary’s AHA 30 percent + BHA 2 percent Peeling Solution (TheOrdinary.com) is a choice for under $10.
5. A Face Cream With Protective Ceramides
Looking for a present that will moisturize and shield the skin? According to board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, look for a moisturizer that contains ceramides (a form of fatty acid). Ceramides help to build a barrier that shields the skin from irritants, germs, and other environmental pollutants that might damage it, according to the expert. She also cites research showing that these fatty acids can help seal in moisture for increased humidity and suppleness of the skin, which was published in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology in 2018. A ceramide face cream would make the ideal holiday present because it works particularly well in the cooler, dryer months. Elizabeth Arden’s Advanced Ceramide Lift and Firm Day Cream, available at ElizabethArden.com, is recommended because it is luxurious and profoundly hydrating and “has the added advantage of giving mild protection against UV radiation.”
6. A High-Tech Facial Cleansing Tool
According to Zubritsky, facial cleaning products are enjoyable to use but not absolutely essential, which makes them excellent presents. According to her, using facial cleansing products as part of a nightly skin-care routine can be very calming. Look no further than TikTok’s beloved skin-care brand Foreo’s recently revealed Luna 4 (Foreo.com), the fourth iteration of their well-known Luna cleansing massager, for a high-tech skin-care present that is generating a lot of social media excitement. The silicone brushes on this cleaning implement make it efficient and antimicrobial while still being soft on the skin, according to Zubritsky. And it has two sides! “One side efficiently and thoroughly cleanses your skin, and the other side is a firming massage device that helps transport your skin care deeper into your skin where it needs to be,” the expert claims.
7. A Hydrating Lip Treatment
Lip remedies are always appreciated as holiday gifts because the cold weather causes chapped, cracked lips. Look for components in lip treatments that are the most moisturizing but also the least irritating, advises Zubritsky. She likes to use lip remedies containing petrolatum, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, or dimethicone and stays away from strongly scented products because they can irritate or make the lips even drier. Her go-to pharmacy staple for moisturizing and shielding lips is Aquaphor Lip Healing (Ulta.com). “It includes nutrients like shea butter and vitamins C and E, and it can mend and soothe even the driest of lips,” she adds. If you’re looking to spend on a lip-plumping treatment, she recommends SkinMedica’s HA5 Smooth and Plump Lip System (SkinMedica.com). This two-step lip therapy, according to her, is amazing because in addition to hydrating lips, it also improves rosiness, plumpiness, and diminishes fine wrinkles around the lips.
8. A Skin-Brightening Vitamin C Serum
Whatever the time of year, a vitamin C-infused present will always make you smile (and your skin). Every skin-care routine should include it, according to Zubritsky, because it can prevent free radical harm while also assisting in the treatment of fine lines and discoloration. It should be used daily and is a component of every skin-care routine, so it makes a wonderful present for the skin-care addict in your life, the expert advises. The mix of chemicals in L’Oreal Revitalift 12 percent Pure Vitamin C + E + Salicylic Acid Serum (LorealParisUSA.com), which she recommends as a budget option, “work harmoniously to show younger-looking skin,” according to the product’s manufacturer. However, if you want to splurge, try out the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, a dermatologist choice (SkinCeuticals.com). “It shields and treatments while erasing wrinkles, balancing tone and structure, and lightening dark areas,” adds Zubritsky.
9. A Wrinkle-Reducing Bakuchiol Serum
Give your present recipient a serum that contains this powerful plant-based skin-care component. “Bakuchiol has acquired favor over the past few years because it is a plant-based option to retinol that may help promote collagen,” says Gary Goldfaden, MD, a Hollywood, Florida-based dermatologist and creator of Goldfaden MD. According to a small study published in 2019 in the British Journal of Dermatology, this ingredient has emerged as the industry’s go-to retinol substitute because it is safe for all skin types and offers comparable benefits to retinol, such as reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, with a lower risk of side effects. Dr. Goldfaden’s own pricey Goldfaden MD Radiance Healing Daily Rejuvenation Serum contains it as a crucial component (Goldfaden.com). He advises those on a tight budget to look into Bakuchiol Skin Revive Night Moisturizer by BYBI Beauty, which retails for less than $20.
10. A Skin Moisture-Boosting Humidifier
According to Dr. Engelman, humidifiers help maintain ideal air humidity levels by adding moisture to arid surroundings. This has great advantages for the epidermis. “If the air doesn’t have enough moisture, the environment actually pulls moisture from the skin in a process called transepidermal water loss, which can leave the skin dry, cracked, and irritated,” she says. “For instance, in cold, dry winter months, or in the summer when air conditioning is on full blast. By adding more moisture to the air, a running humidifier prevents transepidermal water loss, making your skin, head, and hair healthy. She adds, “I strongly suggest the Canopy Humidifier (Canopy.com) because it makes use of smart technology to maintain the air at an ideal humidity level (40 to 60%) so your skin and hair can remain dewy.
11. A Fuss-Free Beauty Gift Card or Subscription Box
Are you uncertain of the recipient’s skin requirements or type? Feeling overrun by choices? Or simply searching for an ideal last-minute gift? With a gift certificate or subscription program, think outside the box. With 1-, 3-, 6-, or 12-month membership options, BeautyFIX (Dermstore.com) is a monthly delivery package of the newest and best skin-care products from companies like Arcona, Boscia, La-Roche Posay, and Grown Alchemist. Alternatively, if you know the recipient frequently visits a dermatologist’s clinic, consider giving them an Alle gift certificate (Alle.com), which they can use to purchase Skinmedica goods or procedures like Botox and Juvederm injections.