If you’re into skincare—and I mean really into skincare—then no gift would make you happier than a new product or tool to add to your growing collection. Even if you have to buy it yourself!
That’s why I created this list of the ultimate gifts that any skincare enthusiast would love. I’m talking about the big guns here, like high-tech gadgets, powerful active ingredients and reparative hydrators. No, they’re not cheap, but they might just be the most worthwhile additions to your daily routine.
The Best Skincare Gifts of 2021
The ZIIP GX is like having a professional facialist on call to give you a customized skin treatment. This handheld device emits painless electrical currents (both micro and nano) that flood cells with ATP, a.k.a. cellular energy. Through an app on your phone, you can choose from a range of guided programs to target signs of aging, pigmentation, dullness, dark circles or breakouts. I’ve had mine for a couple years now, and it really does make a difference—as long as you’re consistent.
Red Light Man Combo Bodylight 2.0
Red light therapy is one of the best things that you can do for your skin, as well as your overall health—and the Red Light Man Combo Bodylight 2.0 is the ultimate way to enjoy all the benefits, from head to toe. This full body panel is fitted with the most optimal and powerful wavelengths of red and infrared light, so treatments take mere minutes. You can use it for everything from acne and anti-aging to workout recovery, hair loss, arthritis and even weight loss. I invested in this device last year and love it!
Allies of Skin Prebiotics & Niacinamide Pore Refining Booster
If there’s one ingredient that all skin can benefit from, it’s niacinamide—and Allies of Skin Prebiotics & Niacinamide Pore Refining Booster is one of the best formulas I’ve discovered. Not only does it have a high 10% concentration of the active, it also has a weightless, non-sticky texture and is free of silicones and fragrance. You can use this to address everything from redness to pigmentation to breakouts.
SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF
Ask any dermatologist to name the best vitamin C serum, and you’re guaranteed to hear about SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic. But now it has a little sister that I like even better: SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF. Just like the original, it contains 15% L-ascorbic acid and 0.5% ferulic acid at low pH level. But instead of vitamin E, it has 0.5% each of silymarin (milk thistle) and salicylic acid, which work in tandem to control oil and prevent breakouts. So you’re getting the benefits of a potent vitamin C and a mild BHA, all in one product.
Foreo Luna 3 for Combination Skin
The Foreo Luna 3 for Combination Skin takes washing your face to a whole new level. As you may know, I’ve long been a fan of this cleansing brush because of its ergonomic design and silicone bristles. It gives you the best deep-clean—so important when you’ve worn a lot of sunscreen or makeup—without irritating your skin or collecting bacteria. The device also syncs up with an app, so you can pre-program your cleansing preferences, and be guided through various facial massage routines.
Augustinus Bader The Cream
Augustinus Bader The Cream has a cult following, and for good reason. Even though it is extremely lightweight, it both hydrates and helps to repair your skin barrier with ceramides and fatty acids. It also features a proprietary amino acid complex that activates the regeneration of your skin’s own stem cells. Think of it as a complete skin treatment in one product.
Shani Darden Retinol Reform
I’m always recommending Shani Darden Retinol Reform as one of the best over-the-counter retinoids. The secret to its effectiveness is the combination of 2.2% encapsulated retinol and 2% lactic acid, which work together to treat fine lines, dark marks, breakouts and dullness. I saw great results from this product—see my full review here.
NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device
If your main concern is a lack of firmness, the NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device is the way to go. Although you can’t feel a thing, this handheld device works to tone and tighten your skin, leading to a lifted look over time. Just like the ZIIP, it’s powered by electrical current, but uses exclusively microcurrent, the best type for strengthening muscles. Another key difference is that you don’t need the guided programs—you can use it on autopilot as you watch TV or listen to a podcast.
NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1
Did you know that copper peptides are on par with retinoids as one of the best ingredients for all aspects of skin anti-aging? They work by removing damaged collagen and remodelling the skin, and they’re not associated with irritation, like retinol. NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1 is one of your best bets, with 1% pure copper peptides (GHK-Cu) and 1% GHK (which works synergistically with copper). Together, they target texture, tone, large pores and lack of radiance, helping skin to look healthier overall.
Dermaflash Dermapore Ultrasonic Pore Extractor & Serum Infuser
Dermaflash Dermapore Ultrasonic Pore Extractor & Serum Infuser could be a great addition to your routine if you struggle with clogged, congested pores. This two-in-one device has an “extract” mode that uses sonic vibrations to gently loosen and remove dirt, oil and blackheads. Then, on the “infuse” mode, the vibrations enhance the penetration of your favourite serums so they work more effectively.
Osmosis MD Renew Advanced Retinal Serum
Retinaldehyde is one of the best-kept secrets of the retinoid family. It’s actually stronger than retinol, because it converts to active retinoic acid in just one step. But it’s somehow less irritating, and is even more effective for acne. My top pick is Osmosis MD Renew Advanced Retinal Serum, which has a potent 0.15% concentration of retinaldehyde in a lightweight, silicone-free cream-gel base.
Verso Super Facial Serum
If you find retinol too irritating, but still want a strong anti-aging treatment, Verso Super Facial Serum deserves your consideration. This rich serum contains 0.1% of a stabilized vitamin A complex, which includes retinol retinoate, a powerful but gentle retinoic acid ester. So it acts like a 0.8% retinol, sans side effects.
BeautyBio GloPRO Microneedling Facial Regeneration Tool
The BeautyBio GloPRO Microneedling Facial Regeneration Tool comes with everything you need to get started with microneedling at home. The roller itself is covered in tiny shallow needles, which stimulate collagen and increase the absorption of your topical skincare treatments. I also like this tool because as you roll, it also delivers red LED light and microcurrent to enhance healing. With continued use, you can expect, plumper, firmer, glowier skin.
Sisley Paris Sisleÿa L'Intégral Anti-Age Eye & Lip Contour Cream
Sisley Paris Sisleÿa L'Intégral Anti-Age Eye & Lip Contour Cream is the Rolls Royce of eye creams. Not only is it incredibly luxurious to use (and comes with a petite massage tool), it really does it all—hydrating, brightening, firming and de-puffing. The texture is also perfect, as it’s nourishing but non-greasy, and wears beautifully under makeup. There’s a reason you’d be hard-pressed to find a negative review!
iS Clinical Cleansing Complex
If there’s one cleanser everyone raves about, it’s iS Clinical Cleansing Complex. No matter what your skin type, you can benefit from this hydrating, jelly-like cleanser. It’s sulfate-free, and contains willow bark extract to gently exfoliate while it removes every trace of dirt, oil and makeup. Afterward, your skin feels soft and fresh, not stripped.
Skin Gym High Frequency Wand
If you deal with the occasional breakout, the Skin Gym High Frequency Wand could be a worthy investment. Inspired by professional facials, it zaps blemishes with high-frequency electrical current, which helps to shorten their lifespan—no drying spot treatments required. It comes with three different treatment heads: the mushroom is for flat areas, the dot-point is for pimples, and the spoon is for contours (like around the nose).
Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment
Adding a gentle acid toner to your routine is a total game changer, and Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment is the closest match to the famous Lotion P50 (which is way trickier to get hold of!). This is a mix of mild acids (lactic, citric, phytic, malic, salicylic and acetic), plus niacinamide, glycerin, gluconolactone and horseradish extract. It’s gentle enough to use daily after cleansing to exfoliate, brighten, smooth and even out tone.
PMD Personal Microderm Classic
Why pay for professional microdermabrasion treatments when you can invest in your very own PMD Personal Microderm Classic? This device uses the same exfoliation and vacuum technology to resurface (and you won’t believe how much dead skin it takes off!). It’s a great alternative to acids, and is equally effective at brightening, softening, clarifying and anti-aging.
EleVen by Venus Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35
Nothing in your routine is as important as sunscreen. But if you’ve struggled to find one that doesn’t give you a white cast, feel greasy or break you out, EleVen by Venus Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 is for you. Not only is it completely weightless and invisible on all skin tones, it also gives incredible protection from UVA (the rays that cause aging and skin cancer).
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