It seems like such a good idea - an easy gift-giving solution. A bar of soap, a bath bomb, or your favorite skincare products. While on the surface these all seem like great gifting solutions for everyone on your list. In truth, gifting skincare products can get complicated. In this Podcast we are going to sort out the do’s and do not’s of gifting skin care products.
I’ve been in the retail skincare industry for over ten holiday seasons now. Each year we sell huge amounts of bars of soaps, bath bombs, lotions, and skin care products for use as gifts. And each year we stop some of our customers from buying skincare products as gifts because there are some people and situations where gifting bath, body, and skincare products are just not appropriate.
The key to success when gifting bath, body, and skincare products is to know the people you are gifting and their preferences.
DO gift beauty products to close friends and family who you know love self care products.
DO gift beauty products to people you care about who you know need some self care but never spend money on themselves.
DO gift beauty products to people you know cannot afford to buy these items BUT only gift things you KNOW they will love and use.
Do NOT gift skincare products to the elderly unless you know it's already a product they love and use. Especially avoid items like sugar scrubs or exfoliating poufs and brushes for the elderly as their skin is thin and can tear easily. The same applies to small children. The market is full of tempting bath bombs and other products for kids but we do not recommend gifting them without consulting their parents first.
Also - make sure the child is aware that what you are gifting is indeed soap or bath products and not food. I’ll never forget when one of our sales associate's gifted a pure white bar of soap molded like Santa Claus to her grandchildren and they took bites from the soap thinking it was white chocolate!
Do NOT gift skincare products to anyone unless you are absolutely sure you know of their allergies. Some people have extreme allergies to specific types of oils and those with gluten and nut allergies can actually have severe allergic reactions to the wrong ingredients.
While for many of us, the gift of bar soap or beautifully scented bath products may seem like a dream gift, to others it can be a bit too personal and interpreted the wrong way. Think about who you are gifting and make good decisions. If you really want to give the gift of self-pampering, opt for a gift certificate instead.
DO gift skincare products when you know its the line and products the recipient already uses, loves or has been longing to try.
Now, I know many of you love your skincare line so much you want to share it with as many people as possible. That’s awesome. And wonderful that you want to support businesses you love. BUT and this is a BIG BUT - do not invest too heavily in this strategy.
When you gift a full sized skincare product to someone and they return it because it misses the mark, the business has to refund and then toss the skincare product. Common practice, and in some states, the law, dictates that returned bath, body, and skincare products cannot be resold. So in the end you may actually be hurting your local shop rather than helping with your purchase because they will be out your sale as well as the product you bought.
If you are really set on sharing your favorite products, purchase sample sizes. Most often sample sizes cannot be returned as the policy of the shop so be sure you are gifting them to someone who will love trying the product. Or use them as stocking stuffers.
Speaking of samples, I know it’s super tempting to gift all those unopened samples you’ve been saving in your bathroom cabinet over the years. Or even to re-gift a skincare product that missed the mark for you.
Do NOT gift skincare products that are more than six months old as they will be past their prime.
When it comes to facial skincare products, the best type to gift are the more general skincare products that can be used by most skin types like lip oils, lip balm, facial masks labeled for all skin types, or a beautiful face oil. Avoid anything that is intended for a specific skin “Type” for example - cleansers, treatments, and serums are very personalized, making them more difficult to gift.
If you know the person on your list has sensitive skin just avoid gifting any skincare product to that person and either opt for a gift certificate or a different type of gift because skin sensitivities vary so much from person to person.
The most popular self care gifts are bath and body gifts by far. In this category the most popular are bar soaps. You really cannot go wrong with a beautifully made bar soap. Another great gift combination is a bar of soap with a complimenting small sized lotion and mist. Again, do not gift large sizes unless you absolutely know the recipient uses and loves that product.
Another great gift is a set of small 2 ounce sized lotions. These are really nice to have on hand for traveling or putting in a desk drawer or purse. And the small sample size gives the recipient the opportunity to try something new without being stuck with a large bottle if the scent is a miss.
After that, if you know the person is a bath lover the gift of bath bombs or bath oil can be very thoughtful. Problems in this area arise when someone who only takes showers receives a basket of bath products. So again, know who you are gifting to and gift accordingly.
Avoid gifting bath products that are colored very strongly as they can leave annoying rings around the tub.
When it comes to fragrance, look for phthalate free fragrance or better yet, opt for all natural essential oil scents. By far and above, the most popular is Lavender, with Orange and citrus close behind. You usually cannot go wrong if you stick with 100% natural ingredients in either of those scents.
When gifting bath, body, or skincare products make sure they are clearly labeled with the instructions and ingredients or include an insert card directing the recipient as to where to find this information. If you are gifting someone who does not use a computer, then take the extra time to print this information off and include it with the gift.
Overall, I generally recommend using bath and body products as stocking stuffers to complement other gifts rather than the bulk of the gift.
Great combinations are a warm blanket topped with a beautiful bar soap and candle, or a thick lovely bath towel set with bath bombs, an essential oil diffuser with a few essential oils, an organic sheet set with a relaxing lavender essential oil mist, fluffy slippers with a soothing foot cream, or dish towels with organic dish soap and lotion.
I want to make a comment here about donating. Over the years it has come to our attention that some customers gift skincare products to local elephant sales and Santa shops at the local school. That’s great but again, do not gift old products and definitely never gift a product you have opened and used. That would be the equivalent to donating a half eaten bag of stale potato chips.
Rampant at this time of year are the large “spa” gift baskets we commonly see at discount and department stores. Usually these baskets are made up with a wide variety of cheaply produced lotions, liquid soaps, bath salts and bath tools. I recommend avoiding these baskets although I know the low price and large gift size make them tempting. Often these baskets are made with unhealthy preservatives or harsh ingredients. Instead, either make up your own basket of quality products, purchase a more expensive basket from a company you trust, or purchase food baskets instead.
Well that sums up my do’s and do not’s for gifting bath, body and skincare products. Thank you so much for tuning in, I hope I helped you make some decisions about who and what to gift self care products to this season.
I am the natural skincare formulator, biologist, certified clinical aromatherapist, and obsessed self-care advocate who founded 7 Day Glow's holistic, simple skincare approach. I'm on a mission to empower women with the tools they need to find and maintain their Glow simply and with confidence.
Notice: These statements and blog content have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in our articles and podcasts are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice. The content of these blogs, podcasts and associated products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using products or following blog/podcast advice.