I grew up splitting my time between two houses: one with a single father in it (we ate a lot of ice cream), and the other kept my mom and sister, whose skincare educations started in their early teens. I did my best to leach off of not only their ageless beauty, but their extreme dedication to taking care of their skin! Some of the more dramatic phases included a period in my sister’s late teens where no one was allowed to touch her face, and now that I think about it, I’m not sure that rule has changed in the last 20 years…
Skincare gifts and the exploration of skincare products has always been a fun and welcome activity. More than that, surprising each other with cool new products – especially products with honest ingredients and fabulous packaging for my fellow entrepreneuresses – has become an annual celebration. Whether it’s some hand-milled soap as a stocking stuffer or a electric cleansing brush, we’re always watching each other’s backs! And more specifically, the skin on it.
Natural & Sustainable Skincare Gifts
Dear Gardener Set, $34
This set comes with a cooling aloe mist, healing and softening salve, and an organic poppyseed soap bar to help your loved one scrub off the hours spent digging in the dirt. The salve is made from organic Calendula, organic sweet almond oil, and organic beeswax. It’s excellent for heels, elbows, and hands, but use it wherever there’s a rough patch! The cooling aloe mist is going to be amazing once the sun comes back around in the spring. After a day under heavy rays, a little spritz of this will give a head start to soothing any burning or dryness.
Set this aside for your friend who loves to exfoliate because this wintry luxury is meant for someone who will appreciate it. (Bonus if they love a warm whisky drink while they’re in there! I believe that’s called a power shower?) Mixing these two concoctions in your hands while you’re steamy in the shower will produce an amazing scrub experience for the history books. The scrubs, itself, is cornmeal-based, so no worries about gross silicone entering the water system (yay). The scent hovers somewhere in the arena of orange, clove, and spice – add that to sweet almond oil and I’m pretty sure you’ll smell like one of Christina Tosi’s corn cookies.
Facial To-Go, $35
The photo I included above is actually of the four different facial-to-go sets you can choose from – three sweet milk sets and one clay treatment. The sweet milk sets come in orange, lavender, and chamomile. Within each sweet milk set is everything you need to refresh your face when it’s feeling like an oil slick or desert plain: nourishing lavender milk, a fine herbal cleanser, and an exfoliant with your preferred set’s main ingredient.
Lush Splash! Gift Set, $39.95
There’s something about salt water that makes every part of your body feel amazing. A different kind of amazing that maybe only mermaids feel on a regular basis. Hair gets a little extra wild and textured, and your skin feels youthful and hydrated. This Splash! gift set includes a dry shampoo bar made from sea kelp and sea salt, a beautiful bar of soap, lemony cuticle butter, a tub of cult-favorite body scrub, and an invigorating shower jelly that’s as much fun to play with as it is to smell. If you need a gift for someone who appreciates nature or longs for the sea, I promise that this will floor them!
Golden Wonder Gift Set, $19.95
A good bath is hard to find, and this gift is perfect for the person in your life that will always make time for a bath. Included in this gift are some of Lush’s newer products, like the candy-wrapped FUN bar which, when used sparingly, can add a honey-toffee scented experience to your shampoo, soap, or bubble bath experience (yes, it can be used for all three!). PS – The wrapper on that candy-looking bar is totally biodegradable, too. There’s also a limited edition bath bomb, appropriately titled Golden Wonder, which takes a sharp left turn and fills your bath with a fizzy ball of cognac and lime oil. (Yum!?) It also leaves behind a pretty gold luster in the bath water. The tub of Celebrate body lotion will be perfect for afterward, as it carries the cognac and lime scents over, using cocoa butter and almond oil to soften the crap out of skin. For under $20, this is a pretty intensely great gift for bath-lovers.
These fabric pieces aren’t just a smart way to wrap gifts in something that won’t immediately be garbage, they’re also an awesome way for Lush to partner up with some creative humanitarians and do some good! Each knot-wrap is totally different, all the way down to the fibers they’re made from! For example, the floral knot-wrap in the image above is made from fabric spun exclusively from recycled bottles! The colorful abstract knot-wrap on top of that one is a collaboration between Lush Japan and an organization that supports artists with Downs Syndrome. Can you think of a good reason not to wrap your most special gifts in these!?
Les Couvents des Minimes
Softness Duo, $19
This combination of lotion and cream will save winter-chapped skin from ultimate dryness. Included is a lotion for dry skin and a cream for sensitive skin, including soothing ingredients like calendula, mallow, and grapeseed oil.
For gardeners, climbers, athletes, or general non-shoe-wearing adventurers – this ornamental skincare gift is a perfect fit. The two products included are specific to their demographic: Hiker’s Foot Healer and Gardener’s Hand Healer. Thick, moisture-rich salves will totally rescue chapped, abrasive skin from the depths of dryness hell.
Must Have Collection, $18
If I had to pick a favorite skincare gift from this brand, this Must Have Collection would be it. You get all of the cult favorites from Le Couvent des Minimes for under $20! Included is shower gel, botanical cologne, hand cream, and a bar of take-you-back-in-time botanical soap. The ingredients that make up these products sound like an apothecary list from the 16th century: blood orange, lemon, wild pansy, hollyhock, rosemary, and burdock are just a handful of botanicals included.
Love Duo, $13.50
The combination of orange blossom and wild flowers inspired this duo. The included “Aimable” (?) hand cream is loaded with shea butter and citrus-floral scent, and is meant to be applied to the wrists to maximize the perfuming effect. The lip balm included also has a tint of orange blossom, as well as hyper-hydrating apricot oil and even more shea butter.
The amount of product you get for less than $30 is staggering. This is one of those sets where, individually, these products would be way more expensive – if you bought the full size of each of these products, you’d be looking at a price tag reading over $130. Thank goodness for the giving season, right? This set includes a cleansing milk to take off the day (including makeup!), a green apple peel mask for sensitive skin, antioxidant serum, hydrating mist, and a nutrient-giving moisturizer to finish you off. That’s an extreme facial – and it’s all organic! This also includes a bamboo wash cloth.
Ski & Sun Fun Set, $18
Perfect timing for winter sports! This is a really good combo that pretty much everyone you know is going to use: SPF 30 sunscreen and a protective, SPF 15 lip balm. Even if this gift isn’t for a snow bunny, this sunscreen is waterproof and zinc-based and also includes super-nutritious skincare ingredients like organic jojoba oil and aloe. Either way, skin will be happier when these two sun-battlers are around.
These organic lip glosses were formulated with – appropriately for Juice Beauty – berries. Raspberries, blueberries, goji berries and açai berries are mixed up with agave (yes, the sweet stuff) created four beautifully pigmented and extremely well-rated lip glosses. Each set comes in a cute little bag that would be perfect for stockings or slipping into a co-worker’s mailbox for an awesome and unexpected surprise! Oh, and as an accessibility bonus – these lip glosses are certified gluten-free!
Apparently, it’s easy to fall in love with this bamboo face cloth, because it’s sold by itself and usually comes in kits like the one listed above. If you think buying someone a specifically for their face is silly, buy yourself one, too, because it’ll seriously change the way you wash your face. Having a soft but scrub-ready cloth dedicated to your delicate facial skin is smart and hygienic! When it’s made from bamboo, it also makes your facial routine more sustainable. It’s a little added bit of luxury for the price of a couple of coffees!
If you’ve got a favorite brand or product that isn’t listed here, please leave it in the comments! I’m always down to add to this list & give you credit for your find!
Happy skincare hunting! And don’t forget to check out the rest of the gift guides in the Sustainable Shopping Challenge series!