It happens to the best of us. No matter how well you know him, the impulse to Google "holiday gifts for him" — or "for dad", "for husband", et al. — is tempting. You just want to know what everyone else is buying, right? And then come the results: Watches, socks, ties, beer, and beer accessories. And beyond the occasional bottle of cologne, rarely will you see beauty gifts — let alone skincare gifts for men.
So, here's a hint for the holiday season, in case you are still searching for the perfect present: Men like skin care, too. "Gifting a product that’s also an experience feels really impactful, especially during the holidays when people tend to get really stressed," James O’Dwyer, one co-founder of the new men's skincare brand Soft, tells The Zoe Report in an email. You may've seen the beauty brand on Vogue's website, or while scrolling through Instagram; its cheery retro packaging and inaugural product, the Moisture Mask, are the antithesis to traditionally hypermasculine beauty products for men.
Of course, that doesn't mean you need to stick to men's brands when you do your holiday shopping this year. "Since we started working on Soft over a year ago, we’ve made a concerted effort to try as many products as possible and really understand what works," says Patrick Dolezal, another Soft co-founder. He notes that boutique beauty brands — like Glossier, Herbivore, and Summer Fridays — can have "an edge over the mass-market brands."
One such contender? "I’ve also developed an immense love for The Ordinary, because every product is focused on an active ingredient (or sometimes a couple), which has been really helpful in understanding the impact of each active at various concentrations. It’s been really beneficial in helping us think about our own formulas and interact with our formulist in a meaningful way," Dolezal explains.
And luckily, both Dolezal and O’Dwyer shared which beauty buys have found a way into their own skincare routines. Below, seven skincare gift ideas for the men in your life, inspired by their picks.
"When I was a student, I received a massive bottle of Kiehl’s Creme de Corps body lotion — something I would never have picked for myself. At the time, I had no idea that some people literally moisturize their entire bodies on a regular basis, and I didn’t really know what to expect," Dolezal says. "Suffice it to say, I leaned into the routine and had the softest skin for roughly 6 months afterwards."
"[The Moisture Mask is] formulated for all skin types, so anyone can use it," says O’Dwyer. "We also see it as a great way to introduce the men in your life to a more advanced skincare regimen. Most of us get dry around this time of year, and for guys who don’t know what to use, our Moisture Mask is an effective (and affordable) solution."