12 Christmas gifts for people who love natural skincare
Kinder to the environment, our skin and animal friends
So you’ve been handed five serums, sunscreens and moisturisers because your friend has decided to switch to natural skincare. This jump onto the clean beauty brigade has them dumping all their previously beloved products — and now they’re rushing to find replacements that have a high list of benefits but no adverse affects.
But opting for natural skincare doesn’t have to go the way of bashing synthetic ingredients with no backing. Neither do the new naturals have to empty their shelf for dabbas of homemade face scrubs and coconut-oil based ‘sunscreens’. There’s only so much haldi-chandan-dahi you can put on your face before you turn into a Simpson and still don’t yield the desired results. Even when we go the route of natural skincare, we need products that are consciously formulated to be effective without irritating our skin barrier.
Natural skincare translates to brands which are kinder to the environment and blend plant-derived extracts into their mixes to create formulas which actually work. Cruelty-free, they’re ethical in their approach.
The products in our gifting guide will aid people who are making the transition to natural skincare. From moisturising to cleansing and protecting – we’ve found everything they’d need to create a complete routine for their skin type.
‘Tis the season to be jolly — and kind, to each other and the pale blue dot we inhabit.
12 Christmas gifts for people transitioning to natural skincare
Centella Green Tea Facewash by Suganda, ₹700
When people want to switch over to natural skincare, face washes are the first to get dumped with fear over all the possible ‘chemical’ cleaning agents and detergents. But some cleansers can get the job done while incorporating ingredients with gentle surfactants and botanical extracts to remove oil, dirt and pollution from the skin.
This hydrating and antioxidant wash from Suganda both cleanses and hydrates skin. It’s packed with antioxidants and soothing ingredients like centella, green tea and panthenol.
Available in both scented and unscented versions.
Super Clay Mask by Bare Body Essentials, ₹750
If your friend grapples with an oil spill on her face, a weekly clay mask can help with clearing the pores of excess sebum production.
It temporarily soaks up all the oil and gives the appearance of smaller pores. But clay can also become too drying, especially if left on for too long. This only ends up triggering your skin to produce more oil to compensate.
The Super Clay Mask has all the preferred clays as ingredients – kaolin, bentonite and Dead Sea clay – but it also has a hydrating factor with the inclusion of sunflower and almond oil, vitamin E, aloe vera and cucumber.
Fruit Enzyme Alcohol-Free Toner by Tvakh, ₹325
Giving up on pharmaceutical products can mean saying goodbye to chemical exfoliators.
Instead of experimenting too much down the DIY route, suggest that they try milder products that provide exfoliation — the fruit enzymes in the Tvakh toner contain natural AHA and BHA-like properties.
While it may be slower to show results than the traditional chemical exfoliation route, consistent use can leave them with glowy and resurfaced skin. As long as they wear sunscreen after.
Caffeine & Cucumber Under Eye Cream by Neemli Naturals, ₹620
We have a lot of mixed opinions about the usefulness of eye creams, but one thing that all experts agree on is the benefits that blood flow-stimulating caffeine can have to brighten up the under-eye area and reduce dark circles.
The cucumber seed oil adds a refreshing burst of hydration and brightness, blended with shea butter, hyaluronic acid and almond oil to hydrate this delicate area of the face.
Plant Remedy Skin Elixir by YBP, ₹2,450
YBP’s Plant Remedy is a star in the beauty world, especially when paired with their Gua Sha tool.
It’s a simple ingredient list with argan oil, blue tansy oil, geranium oil and rosemary CO2 extract, all used for their medicinal properties to deeply penetrate the skin, soothe it when irritated, promote a healthy skin barrier and restore vitality.
You don’t need a lot, a few drops will get the job done.
SUN FLUID Tender Coconut Water with Turmeric & Basil Leaf by Forest Essentials, ₹975
Please don’t let them try any ‘natural DIY sunscreen’ recipes they find online. For sun protection, we need to trust cosmetic chemists who do it best.
This product really lives up to the fluid part of its name with a watery texture that’s easy to spread. It’s non-sticky, leaving behind a slight glow to the skin. More suited for those with combination to dry skin types.
It protects, hydrates and brightens with aloe vera and the vitamin C present in tender coconut water.
Illumine Supercritical Face Oil by Pure Earth, ₹8,200
We know you just gasped at that price tag for a 30ml bottle but hear us out. This is a superstar in the natural skincare world. It combines oils of apricot kernel, seabuckthorn berry, rosehip, hemp seed, amaranth and more, each with their own skin benefits.
This is all they would need in their skincare routine other than a cleanser and sunscreen. You get high amounts of Omega 7, squalene, polyphenols and provitamin A, which when combined, nourish and repair the skin, fight free radical damage and help reduce skin inflammation.
Cleansing Balm with Matcha Green Tea by Earth Rhythm, ₹750
A good first cleanse is important to fully rid the skin of impurities of the day. Have them put away the coconut oil and try the Match Green Tea cleansing balm by Earth Rhythm.
Rich in antioxidants, you need a scoop of this cleansing balm on dry skin to gently massage off foundation, eye makeup and sunscreen along with the dirt and grime that’s settled on the skin.
Lightly wet your hands and then massage your face again to emulsify the oil into a milky texture. Followed up with a regular cleanser and you’ve got yourself a clean slate to apply the rest of your night-time products.
Antioxidant Lip Balm by Daughter Earth, ₹475
You will need to make them promise not to lose this lip balm like the rest of their chapsticks. It’s a lovely mix of antioxidant oils from watermelon seed, grape seed and pomegranate along with mango seed butter to nourish and squalane from olive oil.
The liquorice extract is soothing on the delicate skin of our lips that we’ve spent too many days rubbing and tugging at to remove lipstick. The antioxidants in this balm will help fight free radical damage from the sun which can cause hyperpigmentation of the lips.
Indulge Facial Cream by Conscious Chemist, ₹945
Another great option for a moisturiser, if you’re looking to gift natural skincare, is a lighter face cream from Conscious Chemist that’s suited to oily and combination skin. Also for those hot and humid monsoon days when the thought of moisturiser makes us sweat.
The Indulge Facial Cream is a multitasker. You get hydration and moisture from hyaluronic acid and glycerine, and amazing antioxidants in the form of a strong vitamin C derivative. Vitamin E, aloe vera leaf extract, matcha green tea and niacinamide round out this ingredient list to make it a fully-loaded formula that harnesses the best of nature and science.
Kumkumadi Miraculous Beauty Fluid by Kama Ayurveda, ₹2,550
The name sounds a little narcissistic, but after your best friend uses it, she will accept that it truly is a miraculous beauty fluid.
You may already be familiar with the traditional kumkumadi thailam, a blend of oils and herbs that does wonders for the skin with its antiseptic, anti-bacterial and disinfectant properties.
It brightens the complexion and evens out skin tone. It’s called a serum but has an oil-like consistency. All that’s needed is two or three drops to spread across the face and neck.
Hydrating Mist Toner by Sukin, ₹850
There used to be a time when toners smelled (and felt) like you were applying nail polish remover on your face. The high alcohol content would dry out the skin for a few brief moments of an oil-free appearance but invite long-term dryness and damage.
Hydrating toners and mists changed the game, balancing and soothing the skin after cleansing. Sukin’s hydrating toner seems simple — with just rose water, glycerine and chamomile, but it gets the job done to bring life back to dull and dry skin while calming down any possible irritation.