Photo Credit: Cottonbro
Gift Guide Season: The 10 Best Gifts For All Skin Types
Kahina Jean-Baptiste was a marketing major at Rutgers University-New Brunswick when she landed an internship with Unilever, a multinational consumer goods company responsible for household names like Dove, Hellmann’s, Simple Skincare, and St. Ives. Her work with one of their major brands changed her career trajectory.
“I worked on Vaseline where I got exposed a little to just beauty marketing in general,” shared Jean-Baptiste. “I fell in love with it, then I realized I love working in beauty on the corporate side. I fell in love with the products. Plus, I was already interested in skincare because I had bad acne growing up because I have PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome).”
Jean-Baptiste also had another connection to the beauty industry — her mom, who happens to be a cosmetologist. By 2019, the Haitian-born aspiring beauty expert started skincare blogging, sharing her preferred products and the knowledge she had acquired along the way. After receiving positive feedback about her recommendations from readers, Jean-Baptiste decided to head to esthetician school.
“I started off with a passion for skincare in general and learning how to treat my acne,” she said. “Then I just fell in love with helping other people with their skin. Now I’m just happy to be able to do both through blogging and working as an esthetician.”
Now Jean-Baptiste is your “estie bestie” who works with all skin types and ages to deliver the best possible results. The New Jersey-based esthetician took a break from her hectic skincare schedule to share her must-have gifts for all skin types. Her picks include several Black-owned treasures and proven essentials.
Read on for the 10 best gifts for all skin types and follow Kahina for more skincare tips.
1. Nécessaire Holiday Body Collection
Nécessaire is just ‘that girl’ for body care. The products work well, not just because they smell and feel good, but they actually have active ingredients that treat conditions like keratosis pilaris, which is also known as strawberry legs. So the rough and bumpy look and feel on the legs and on the body. It treats body acne. And of course, it treats dry skin.
The holiday body collection features their signature body wash, their lotion, body oil, and body exfoliator. That’s the perfect body care regimen for any skin type and condition. And they’re quality products. This is something that you’re going to want to give to your loved ones that really want to get their self-care on. So many people haven’t had access to the regular beauty providers because of COVID, and I think they do a fantastic job at providing that spa experience at home.
2. Krave Beauty Snack Pack Discovery Kit
The travel kit is perfect for the person who’s constantly traveling on the go. This pack comes with a cotton face towel, a reusable pouch, so you can use the pouch to carry the products and also carry any makeup, which is really clutch if you travel a lot. It comes with a notecard for you to write a nice letter to whomever you’re gifting it to, and it comes with their Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser. This cleanser is a really good daily cleanser that works for all skin types.
It comes with their Oat So Simple Water Cream which is their moisturizer and their AHA exfoliator. This is a treatment they’re going to use two to three nights per week to help give their skin back some glow, especially when you’re traveling. That can cause some skin irritation and dullness. Their Great Barrier Relief serum is my personal favorite from the brand. It’s a repair-all serum that helps hydrate and moisturizes, but it’s especially good if you damage your skin. So that tight dry feeling that you get if you’ve over-exfoliated or if you recently had a really bad breakout? It’s the repair serum for that. You’re really gifting somebody an entire skincare routine.
3. Sacheu Facial Roller
This is one of the few skincare devices that I think everybody should be using and could use at home. This is special because it’s not your average roller. There’s a lot of those rose quartz and jade facial rollers on the market and none of them are real because real jade is super expensive and rose quartz too. So you’re really just rubbing plastic on your face, and it’s not really going to do much in terms of helping products penetrate or helping soothe your skin.
But this roller is made out of stainless steel, which is really good when cold. You leave it in your freezer, and if you roll your skin in the morning before you apply your moisturizer and step out for the day, it’ll help reduce inflammation. It’ll help with calming acne because acne needs that cold to kind of help reduce the redness and inflammation.
4. Supergoop 3 Ways to PLAY Travel Set
This set is so mandatory for your friends who are traveling to the islands and outside constantly because they need regular SPF protection. And this kit is special because it provides three different forms of SPF that are travel-sized. It comes with their SPF Play facial lotion; that’s SPF 50 for the face. And then two SPF 50s for the body; one in the form of a mousse where it goes on like a body serum, and then one in the form of a mist where you could spray it all over your body and your face to reapply SPF as well.
I think SPF is always the perfect gift to give someone, especially Black people because we don’t wear sunscreen regularly. We think that melanin will naturally protect us, and that is not the case. Your skin will start to burn after as little as 20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure, regardless of the weather. It’s special because it goes on completely invisible on even the darkest skin tones, and it leaves no white cast.
5. Belif 4 Piece Moisture Festival Set
Most people in the wintertime complain about having dry skin and about their skin being dull because of the cold winter air, and this kit addresses it all. It comes with their signature Aqua Bomb cleansing balm. This is a balm that’s an oil cleanser. It’s great for your friends that wear makeup because cleansing balms are great to remove makeup and SPF in one.
And then it comes with their hydrating toner which works for all skin types. It’s super nourishing. It has all sorts of humectants, which are ingredients that help bind water to the surface of your skin. And then it also comes with their moisturizing balm which works for all skin types. It’s super hydrating and nourishing. Then, their moisturizing eye cream is great for people who struggle with dry under eyes or dull under eyes as well.
6. Topicals Duo
This duo comes with their iconic Topicals faded serum and their Like Butter serum. So the faded serum is going to address hyperpigmentation, acne, and dryness. And these are full size, so these are the big guys. This serum is special because it comes with ingredients that suppress the excess production of melanin, which is what causes hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. So what it does is it works to prevent dark spots from forming as you work to correct hyperpigmentation. And it has a lot of antibacterial ingredients. So it also helps address acne. I think products that can address hyperpigmentation and acne are really rare and special. And this is definitely one of those products that does both really well, and it’s suitable for all skin types as well, which makes it the perfect gift.
The Like Butter serum works to hydrate the skin, calm any redness and inflammation, but the real tea is that it’s amazing for eczema. You could use it all over your body but also on your face. It’s a really good cream for eczema and psoriasis sufferers. So I think that duo is the perfect gift for somebody to give to someone who may have skin conditions like acne, hyperpigmentation, and eczema as well.
Topicals Duo, $56
7. Beauty Strike November Must Haves Bundle
It’s only $25, and it comes with some really amazing travel-size products. They give you the green tea cleanser. It’s a hydrating cleanser that helps with redness, inflammation, and dryness. And their mandelic acid toner. This toner is an AHA toner. It’s an exfoliating toner that’s going to help clear acne and hyperpigmentation. Then they give you a hydrating toner as well. Their rosewater toner helps moisturize and hydrate the skin, and that one is safe to use daily.
The pineapple and papaya exfoliator uses the enzymes from pineapples and papayas to buffer away the outermost layer of your skin that has dead skin cells and excess oil and sebum. So it’s basically a kit to help cleanse your skin and treat your skin for skin conditions like hyperpigmentation and acne as well. I love Beauty Strike in general. It’s an amazing Black-owned brand.
8. Ixora Botanical Beauty Donkey Milk Duo
This is for your dry-skin friends or your eczema friends. This is incredibly moisturizing and hydrating, but most importantly it will calm any redness, irritation, and eczema flare-ups down. The cleanser is amazing. It’s super hydrating and nourishing. Donkey milk is what helps with acne really well. And then it comes with the moisturizer. These are both full-size products as well.
The moisturizer is a great daily moisturizer, especially in the wintertime, where you’re going to need that extra layer of moisture. It’s a really great brand and those are their champion products. So that duo is perfect for somebody who’s new to skincare, doesn’t really know where to start, and they’re just looking to get their skin right because these products work well with all skin types.
9. LA Beautyologist No Drip Cleansing Cuffs
It is a cuff that you use when you wash your face. You know when you wash your face, and you feel the water and the soap dripping down your elbows and arms when it’s done? That is my biggest pet. I hate that feeling, especially when I’ve already done my body care because now my skin is wet. It’s really annoying. But these cuffs prevent the water from dripping down, and I promise you, not a single drop of water will make it past that cuff. It works so well. And they’re super cute.
It comes in all different colors. I think it’s a great little skincare gift for your skincare-obsessed friend. It’s cute, it’s Instagrammable, and it’s just such a genius invention for an inconvenient problem.
10. Absolute Joi Ultimate Double Cleansing Oil Kit
Absolute Joi cleansing oil is their hero product. It is so good at removing makeup and sweat. Double cleansing is my preferred method to remove makeup. I hate makeup wipes. They’re very abrasive on the skin. You need something nourishing to help remove the makeup so that you don’t strip your skin of its natural oils and hydration in the process of cleansing, and cleansing oils help address that. Because it’s an oil, it’ll dissolve waterproof makeup as well.
You could use it on even the heaviest makeups and mascaras and false lashes. This kit comes with their cleansing oil and then their regular hydrating cleanser, as well as their hydrating toner.