The Best Inexpensive Skin-Care Gifts

It's that time of year again! I've gathered a few of my favorite skin-friendly products (along with some non-dermatological treats I've encountered along the way!) to help you tackle your holiday shopping with ease. None of the items on my list are over $50... but they'll all leave your friends and family feeling like a million bucks.

* For teacher gifts, treats for the neighbors, or any other gift-giving you do in bulk, I find that a nice green tea is always a crowd-pleaser. And what those pleased crowds might not even realize is that it's also a wonderful antioxidant, shown to fight the free radicals that cause skin damage. I love Adagio's Green Tea Sampler ($14). Or check out The Republic of Tea's Sip for the Cure collection ($4.75-10.50) -- a portion of each sale is donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help fight breast cancer.
* Lavender, which is proven to slow brain waves and induce relaxation, is another surefire winner. Look for it in skin-care products like Healing Garden Organics Bath Soak Fig & Lavender (around $10), or L'Occitane Lavender Harvest Cleansing Hand Wash ($16) and Hand Lotion ($16).
* Better yet, give the benefits of soothing tea and relaxing lavender with The Republic of Tea's Get Some ZZZ's Travel Kit ($15), which includes a travel tin of tea, earplugs and an eye mask, and a sleep-inducing lavender and chamomile pillow spray. Your lucky recipient won't want to wait for a trip to give it a try!
* Burt's Bees products are effective, adorably packaged, and easy to find at many drugstores (particularly convenient should you find yourself in a holiday pinch). If you know someone who loves sampling new cosmetic products, you can't go wrong with the Head-to-Toe Starter Kit ($15). It includes a generous assortment of Burt's Bees products, which use natural ingredients -- like soothing beeswax for dry hands and lips, or vitamin E, glycerin, and fatty acids to moisturize the body -- for an affordably decadent beauty routine.
* I see more and more male patients every year -- so don't hesitate to treat the guys in your life to pampering cosmetics, too! The Art of Shaving makes excellent products, like their moisturizing shaving cream ($14), which also comes in lemon, lavender, and sandalwood, or their lovely starter kits ($38), which include pre-shave oil, shaving cream, a shaving brush, and after-shave balm.
* When it comes to body scrubs, I can't get enough of Philosophy's fun and fragrant offerings, with scents like coconut milk, green apple, and lemonade. And for the classicists on your list, you can't go wrong with their signature Pure Grace Salt Scrub ($25).
* Take it from a lip-gloss fanatic: There's nothing better than a range of lip colors (and maybe even a little sparkle!) to make a glamour girl feel pampered. Benefit's Peace, Love, & Glossiness set ($26), for example, includes three double-sided tubes, and Josie Maran Cosmetics makes great palettes every year ($36), with four lip colors and four glosses to choose from.
* As temperatures drop, air becomes drier, and heaters start cranking, skin often takes a hit -- and no one wants to spend the winter with tight, itchy skin. Treat any dry-skinned friend to this Laura Mercier Purifying Oil ($40), though, and you'll really be spreading the cheer: Cleansing oils restore moisture and remove dirt and makeup without stripping skin's natural lipids. Is there any better gift than a winter's worth of healthy, dewy skin?
* I love visiting new countries and attending dermatological conferences across the globe... I just don't love getting there! Luckily for me, I've discovered Restoration Hardware's Luxury Plush Travel Set ($49). It's a must for any frequent travelers in your life -- this warm, familiar blanket and compact pillow are a lot more conducive to snoozing than the airlines' plastic-wrapped offerings.

Wishing you great skin (and happy gift-giving)!

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Dr. Baumann is author of the best-selling book, " The Skin Type Solution." To learn more about her revolutionary skin typing system, visit her Web site,


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