Style & Beauty

The Tried-And-True Skin Care Gifts Our Editors Can't Live Without

Our favorite picks for the skin care-obsessed folks on your list.
11/19/2018 04:21pm ET
Clockwise from top left: Blue Mercury, Sephora, Target, Sephora, Sephora
These skin care products would make great holiday gifts for anyone on your list.

Being a beauty editor means trying a lot of different skin care products, all in hopes of finding the best things to recommend to you, our readers.

Each year, we go through plenty of serums, creams, masks and more to find our favorites ― the products that come out at the front of the pack and find a comfortable place in our #topshelfie.

Just in time for the holiday season, our editors have put together a list of skin care products ― both new finds and old faithfuls ― we just can’t live without. They would make great gifts, especially for the skin care-obsessed friends (or moms or cousins or brothers) on your list. Or, you know, you could gift them to yourself.

Whatever the case, we’ll say this: If we were lucky enough to unwrap any of the products below during the holidays season ― *hint, hint* ― we’d be happy.

1
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic
Skinceuticals
"I have recommended this in previous gift guides, and I just can’t leave it out of this one in good conscience. I’m 36, so I’m trying my best to avoid the effects of sun and gravity without Botox or fillers, but I also had a malignant melanoma when I was 26 so I listened when my dermatologist recommended this product to protect my skin against the elements. Thank god I listened, because it has made the biggest difference of any single product I’ve ever used. I’ve made the mistake of trying some different, more affordable, vitamin C serums, with terrible results. Damn it if this Skinceuticals vial doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg, but I think it’ll be worth it every time I get the all-clear at my annual skin cancer checkup." — Kristen Aiken, senior editor, Food and Style // Get Skinceuticals C E Ferulic for $166
2
M-61 Hydrate and Glow Must-Haves
Blue Mercury
"Know someone who’s thinking about getting a laser treatment? Give them this instead, even if it’s just for the PowerGlow Peel alone — these little pads exfoliate, clarify and give your skin a radiant glow that can rival a gentle laser. Every time I wipe one of these over my face, it resurfaces my skin, buffing away bumps and revealing baby-smooth skin. The kit is an absolute bargain and also includes Perfect Cleanse (a gentle cleanser), Hydraboost Cream, Hydraboost Serum 2.0 and Hydraboost Eye Concentrate." — Aiken // Get the M-61 Hydrate and Glow Must-Haves for $58
3
Mario Badescu Silver Powder
Nordstrom
"Mario Badescu's Silver Powder is supposed to help absorb excess oil, unclog pores and prevent breakouts. I was really skeptical about it, but honestly, I noticed a difference right after my first use. My pores looked smaller and blackheads less noticeable. As the day went on, the change didn’t seem to stick too much, but with regular use — say, three or four times a week — I'd say this product would definitely help keep blackheads and pores in check." — Julia Brucculieri, Style and Beauty reporter // Get the Mario Badescu Silver Powder for $12
4
Naturopathica
Naturopathica
"Naturopathica is, hands down, my favorite skin care brand across the board. Each of their full-sized products are a little on the expensive side (but worth it), but this kit gives you generously sized mini versions of some of their best potions for a fraction of the price. This kit includes the Oat Cleansing Facial Polish, Calendula Essential Hydrating Cream (perfect for quenching dry skin), Carrot Seed Soothing Facial Oil (it’s a game changer), Vitamin C15 Wrinkle Repair Serum and Vitamin K Brightening Eye Serum. I highly suggest this for anyone who’s still out there looking for their skin care brand soulmate." — Aiken // Get the Naturopathica Round the Clock gift set for $132 (a $210 value)
5
Tatcha The Water Cream
Tatcha
"This cream smells amazing and literally feels like it melts into my skin. It's just the right amount of moisture for winter — not too heavy." — Brittany Nims, senior editor, Commerce // Get the Tatcha Water Cream for $68
6
Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub
Sephora
"Winter is coming, and so are chapped lips — but not with this delicious product. I say delicious because you can (but probably shouldn’t) eat it, as Bite’s products are all free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates. This gentle scrub exfoliates and moisturizes to ensure your lipstick glides on with ease, and it tastes so good that you won’t mind when you accidentally lick some of it off." — Aiken // Get the Bite Beaty whipped cherry lip scrub for $18
7
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum
Sephora
"I started using Drunk Elephant's C-Firma serum after finding out it was considered a more affordable dupe (although it's still $80 and smells like hotdog water) for the pricier Skinceuticals C E Ferulic my editor loves (see above). I used it religiously until I finished the bottle — a sign I really like something — and swear it played a big part in making my skin look the best it's ever looked." — Brucculieri // Get the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum for $80
8
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Treatment
Sephora
"I found Kate Somerville's ExfoliKate this year and it's become my go-to for exfoliation a few times a week. I prefer to use it in the shower since the granules are so tiny. Yes, it's expensive, but a little goes a long way. I bought my latest bottle over the summer and it's still in use. My skin feels softer and cleared out after I use it. A tip: If you wear contacts or have sensitive eyes, be sure to really keep your eyes closed while using this cause if the little grains get in your eyes they're hard to get out." — Kate Auletta, senior editor, Culture and Parenting // Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive exfoliating treatment, $24
9
Dr. Loretta Micro Peel Peptide Pads
Dr. Loretta
"2018 was the year I fell in love with glycolic acid, the star ingredient in these pads by Dr. Loretta. I use them about three or four times a week after washing my face to get rid of any last bits of dead skin and make my skin a prime canvas for applying serums and moisturizers. Since incorporating them into my routine, my skin feels softer and looks more even. Just a note: Glycolic can increase your sensitivity to light, so make sure you also wear sunscreen. To be extra safe, I use these before bed when I won't be exposed to sunlight." — Brucculieri // Get the Dr. Loretta Micro Peel Peptide Pads for $60
10
Image Skin Care Ormedic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex
Amazon
"Full disclosure: I didn’t realize this product was designed to enhance lips after they’ve been injected with dermal fillers. If you take one look at me, you’ll know I’ve never had lip fillers. But I grabbed a tube of this out of a sample bag thinking it was a regular lip balm, and I’ve been hooked ever since. It doesn’t seem to have any lip-plumping powers whatsoever, but I don’t care because it’s one of the only lip products that keeps my lips moisturized without feeling sticky or smelling weird. And it’s long-lasting, absorbing for hours on end." — Aiken // Get the Image Skincare Ormedic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex for $19
11
Origins Blooming Sheer Lip Balm
Origins
"I'm recently obsessed with the Origins Blooming sheer lip balm. It's tinted and goes on so creamy. It feels like a hydrating chapstick with a nice touch of color." — Nims // Get the Origins Blooming Lip Balm for $20
12
Banila & Co. Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm
Peach and Lily
"This cleansing balm, which basically feels like mostly hardened coconut oil, works wonders for melting away my makeup — even my layers of mascara — without stripping my skin. Plus, it smells amazing and the newly revamped formula, which includes plenty of naturally derived ingredients, is safe for all skin types. I typically rub this all over my face to break down the dirt and makeup, then splash with warm water and pat dry. My skin is left feeling clean and super soft." — Brucculieri // Get the Banila & Co Clean It Zero cleansing balm for $19 (100 mL)
13
Farmacy Honeymoon Glow Night Serum
Sephora
"Farmacy's Honeymoon Glow resurfacing night serum is another glycolic acid-based product that I'm loving right now. I use it a couple of times a month when I feel like my face needs a little brightening boost. You just apply before bed (after cleansing) and let it work its magic while you sleep. When you wake up, simply wash your face as you normally would (I just use water) and you can almost feel the dead skin residue rinsing away. It's great." — Brucculieri // Get the Farmacy Honeymoon Glow resurfacing night serum for $58
14
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen
Blue Mercury
"This sunscreen is like an SPF primer and goes on so soft, it makes my skin feel like butter. It's such a good primer for concealer and other makeup." — Nims // Get the Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen for $32
15
St. Ives Soothing Oatmeal Sheet Mask
Target
"I love masks of all kinds. Generally, there's a slight tingle with every mask I put on, at least for the first 20 seconds, until my skin settles. (I tell myself this is normal?) But that wasn't the case with this mask. When I first discovered it, I was dealing with irritated skin and some bad hormonal breakouts, and as soon as I put it on my face, my skin felt instantly soothed. This mask is so gentle and calming, and left my skin feeling both hydrated and happy." — Brucculieri // Get the St. Ives soothing oatmeal sheet mask for $2.32
16
Burt's Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream
Burt's Bees
"I used this moisturizing cream daily until I finished the bottle — again, a good sign — and I really liked the way it left my skin feeling. This cream kept my skin moisturized but didn't feel heavy at all, which is exactly what I love." — Brucculieri // Get the Burt's Bees daily moisturizing lotion for $15

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

Beauty Boxes Under $20