There’s never been a better time to be you. The current era is one of virtually unlimited customization meaning that even if you’re buying or subscribing to a popular product or service, there are usually endless options to make them feel more like your own: phone configurations, clothes tailoring, personalized fragrances, and specially formulated makeup to name but a few examples. The very nature of skin makes it an ideal option for using person-specific products — and customizable skin care kits make it easy to build out a routine tailored to individual needs.
The holiday season is the perfect time to explore a unique skin care lineup, too. Whether you’re building out a custom routine for yourself (new year new you, right?) or looking to gift some specialized services to a friend, plenty of major brands are rolling out person-specific skin care to meet everyone’s individual needs. After all skin care is so tricky to gift — everyone has different skin types, concerns, and underlying issues. It would be a nightmare to gift someone skin care just for it to wreak havoc on their skin, and since most people aren’t licensed dermatologists or estheticians this is actually more likely than you’d think.
So take the guesswork out of skin care gifting and look no further than this curated list of customizable skin care kits. There’s quite literally something for everyone — in fact, that’s the whole point.
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Even if you haven’t heard the name Agency, you almost certainly know its acne-focused sister brand, Curology. The same way Curology uses digital technology to connect users with actual medical providers to concoct prescription-strength treatments, Agency works the same way — albeit with a different focus. Agency’s formulations are built around slowing or reversing signs of aging with a collection of targeted products. The stars of the collection are two custom-blended topicals: the Future Formula, often made with cell-revitalizing tretinoin; and the Dark Spot Formula, which is typically filled with ingredients like azelaic acid and hydroquinone. Starting at just $30 a month for a subscription with direct deliveries, the service is absolutely seamless.
While many other services are primarily focused on what’s happening on your skin, Veracity is far more concerned with what’s happening under it — namely, your hormones. Almost like a 23AndMe for skin care, Veracity’s Skin + Health test has clients send a saliva sample in a pre-packaged tube before analyzing it for hormonal and pH levels that could be spurring on anything from acne to rosacea. The Veracity team then builds out a custom skin care strategy of exactly how to treat any issues along with a recommended diet and lifestyle plan. It’s the ultimate self-hack.
Feedback from 7,000 women of color informed Glory Skincare’s service, a combination of science-focused products and tailored routines. Schedule an appointment with one of Glory’s skin experts for a walk-through of your ideal skin care routine — and it can be done from the comfort of your bedroom. Glory’s first in-house product is just as transformative as the regimen-building service, too. A dark spot-treating overnight serum infused with a carefully calibrated five-acid blend, it’s designed for those with melanated skin but works very well on all tones. It’s a glorious breakthrough sent right to your door.
High-tech products tailored to suit darker skin tones anchor 4.5.6.’s mission — and it’s securing plenty of fans in the process. Simply shop the products as you would at your favorite skin care retailer — there’s everything from exfoliating masks to gel cleansers — and you’ll be prompted to answer a series of easy-to-follow questions about your skin type and its specific needs. From there, the 4.5.6. team will create a custom blend to suit it from literally thousands of formulations. The products can even be bundled for convenience and discounts. It’s the ultimate hybrid between a prescription skin care service and good old-fashioned online retail therapy.
Reese Witherspoon once said that if it’s not nailed down, she’s monogramming it. That can apply to your skin care, too, if you go with Atolla’s custom-blending services. Another monthly subscription service, Atolla prompts users to fill out an in-depth questionnaire about everything from their top skin concerns to daily lifestyle choices like sleep patterns and water intake to come up with bespoke serums, cleansers, and moisturizers tailored to you. To drive the point home, Atolla even prints your name right on the label. You’ll have fresh, bouncy skin and feel like you own your own apothecary in the process.
Arguably the most well known custom skin care kit, Curology develops a skin care routine for you, determined by your dermatology provider on a person-by-person basis. This service is basically like seeing a dermatologist online — you fill out a detailed skin survey online, and get matched with a dermatology provider. You’ll then share close-up photos with your provider, who will create your treatment plan based on your skin type and goals, and within a week, your custom prescription skin care arrives at your doorstep.
Proven Skin Care
Proven Skin Care started as a personal mission in which founder Ming Zhao wanted to eliminate the guesswork in skin care. “As a person who had been told she had ‘difficult’ skin, I was constantly searching for better skin care. But finding the right products was time-consuming, frustrating, and expensive. And worst of all, nothing worked consistently,” she says on the brand’s website.
If this sounds like you or someone you’re gifting for, look to Proven for a holistic approach to skin care that's completely backed by data. Using your answers to their Skin Genome Quiz, the Proven database instantly sifts through your information to select the best ingredients for your skin — and the results are, well, proven.
Clinique is a household name in beauty but many people don’t know about its customizable skin care line, Clinique iD. With over 30 combinations to hydrate, treat, and clear your skin, all you have to do is select your base moisturizer, with options including a moisturizing lotion, an oil-free gel and a hydrating jelly serum with salicylic acid. Then select your treatment product according to your skin care concerns (uneven tone, texture, acne, dryness etc. ), and finally add to cart.
Dr. Barbara Sturm
One way to customize a skin care routine is by looking to the experts. Instead of buying one cleanser from this brand, a toner from another brand and a serum from yet another brand, look to a tried-and-true label with a complete range of products. And there is no better name to turn to then Dr. Barbara Sturm. Her molecular approach to skin care has earned the skin care guru international praise and this exclusive Net-A-Porter Advent Calendar is a brilliant way to experience the reach of her products. It’s the perfect gift for longtime fans of the brand, as well as skin care fanatics who are new to it and in search of effective formulas all in one place.
When Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Lopez are the spokespersons of a beauty brand, you know it’s got to be good. Hers is one of the latest brands in telemedicine, with customizable beauty and self-care services ranging from skin care and hair care, to supplements and even sexual health. The skin care offerings from the brand (titled Skin Rx), boasts prescription skin care that’s tailored to your needs. The brand connects you with a licensed medical provider who tailors hers products that get shipped right to your door. If you’ve been putting off going to the dermatologist, or are close to someone who needs to get in a visit and is simply too busy, this is a great acts of service gift to pamper and show that you care.