The 4 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile and minimal irritation

  • The best teeth whitening kits are easy to use and cause minimal irritation to your gums or teeth.
  • Our top overall pick, Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips kit, is effective, simple, and fairly affordable.
  • We interviewed four dentists to inform our choices and explain the ingredients and efficacy of each pick.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Dr. André V. Ritter, DDS, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at the NYU College of Dentistry.

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Some of the most delicious and beloved foods – red wine, coffee, soda – are not the best for keeping your pearly whites spotless. And that’s exactly why teeth whitening is a $3.2 billion worldwide industry. Consequently, there are thousands of options out there, including expensive services at your dentist’s office.

If you’re interested in whitening your teeth at home but don’t want to drop serious cash, there are several effective at-home teeth whitening kits. (You can also try a whitening toothpaste.) Below, we rank a few of the best options on the market with insight from four dentists: Dr. Ania Mohelicki DDS, Dr. Ira Handschuh DDS, Dr. Patrick Campbell DDS, and Dr. Charles Sutera DDS, FAGD.

Experts say that whitening kits are safe when used as directed. However, gum irritation and tooth sensitivity are common side effects even when you follow the directions. For more input on how to whiten sensitive teeth, see the FAQ section at the end.

We undertook hours of research combing through both consumer and expert reviews and ratings and did personal testing before settling on the whitening kits we’ve included in this guide. Each of the teeth whitening kits below are effective, easy to use, and less likely to irritate your teeth or gums.

Here are the best teeth whitening kits you can buy:

Best teeth whitening strips overall

crest whitening kit

If resting a tray on your teeth doesn’t sound appealing, Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips are an effective, dentist-recommended way to get whiter teeth.

Pros: Produces results in four or five uses, recommended by dentists, low peroxide levels

Cons: May irritate the gums

The Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips kit comes with 40 strips for 20 treatments (each treatment consists of a strip on the upper teeth and one on the lower teeth.) You are supposed to wear the strips for half an hour once per day.

Crest’s “Advanced Seal Technology” offers a no-slip grip, which allows you to drink water and talk while wearing the strips. Crest claims that after the 20 daily treatments, you can remove 14 years of tooth stains. Hydrogen peroxide is one of the active ingredients in the Whitestrips.

The Reviews team interviewed Dr. Hadaegh DDS to get his recommendations for the best whitening products. He recommended Crest’s strips because the hydrogen peroxide levels are relatively low yet still effective.

But, one drawback of using strips is that they don’t offer the custom fit of trays, which means you may notice some increased sensitivity if your gums come in contact with the whitening strips.

Best for sensitive gums

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If you’re looking for more precision in your application to avoid gum sensitivity, your best bet is combining teeth whitening gel with mouth trays or guards like in the Opalescence Go 15% kit.

Pros: Effective, greater control over application, potentially less gum sensitivity

Cons: Expensive

The benefit of using a mouth tray or mouth guard with gel is that, unlike white strips, you aren’t as likely to miss spots on the teeth or irritate your gums. 

If you don’t have whitening trays and want as close to professional results as possible, Dr. Hadaegh DDS has recommended Opalescence Go 15% to Business Insider in the past. “Like Crest 3D Whitestrips, the whitening gel comes in ready-made trays that adapt to your teeth all the way to your molars,” he wrote. “They have 15% hydrogen peroxide, which means you only need to wear them for 15 to 20 minutes a day for five to 10 days. It also contains potassium nitrate and fluoride to help reduce sensitivity while strengthening enamel.” Because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide is so high, there’s a chance you may still experience some sensitivity, in which case it’s best to switch to a less concentrated alternative like Crest Whitestrips.

The prefilled trays can be worn right out of the package, but the kit is more expensive than other reusable options on this list. It’s convenient, but you could save yourself money by buying reusable trays (or asking your dentist’s office to make you some) and replenishing your whitening pens when they run out. 

Best LED kit

best teeth whitening kit

If you don’t want to use strips and are determined to use an LED light, the SmileDirectClub Teeth Whitening Kit is the way to go.

Pros: Few reports of sensitivity issues, more precise application of whitening gel, reusable mouth guard

Cons: Expensive, dentists agree the LED light will not make a noticeable difference 

SmileDirectClub, like many of the more expensive direct-to-consumer teeth whitening kits on the market, includes a mouthguard with an LED light inside that’s meant to act as a catalyst for the hydrogen peroxide that whitens teeth — ideally, giving you professional results faster than other options. It also only requires 10 minutes of use each day.

However, studies don’t seem to agree with the marketing claims that LED lights make teeth whitening more effective, and most of the dentists we interviewed agreed that they don’t speed up the process. Dr. Campbell DDS put it succinctly: “Frankly, these products are not worth the money.” But, they do come with whitening pens that allow you a bit more control in terms of the application so you can avoid your gums and any increased sensitivity. There’s also the option to buy only the whitening pens and invest in whitening trays for safe and precise application.

If you don’t want to deal with whitening strips or buying gel and trays separately, or you’re committed to trying the LED light system, then SmileDirectClub’s Teeth Whitening Kit is one of the most convenient choices. 

It’s built to last you through one full year of treatments and includes nine whitening pens (enough for two full treatments, according to the company’s estimates, plus one bonus pen) and the LED light mouthguard. Unlike most LED options that need to be plugged in overnight before you can use them, SmileDirectClub’s version can plug right into your smartphone (Android or iPhone) and requires minimal battery power. 

The company recommends using the device for five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening every day for a week, once every six months. I tested the device and found the company’s estimates to be conservative — I got more than double the use out of the pens than expected. 

SmileDirectClub’s Teeth Whitening Kit is $74 for the LED Light and an estimated 12-month supply of whitening pens, and $40 for the LED Light and 6-month pen supply. You can find them all here

Best natural kit

teeth whitening

The Miswak Club Natural Teeth Whitening Kit is your best alternative if you’re looking for a natural, chemical-free approach to whitening your teeth.

Pros: Inexpensive, easy to use, no added chemicals

Cons: Takes some getting used to, smells weird

Teeth-cleaning sticks known as Miswak have been used for thousands of years in what is now Pakistan, India, many African countries, and other parts of the world. And, a meta-analysis in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that the Miswak was just as effective for oral hygiene as the toothbrush and toothpaste used by Western cultures.

The Miswak Club Natural Teeth Whitening Kit features two Miswak root sticks with two carrying cases. Each stick will last for three weeks of daily use. Miswak comes from the Arak tree, and this product contains no pesticides or chemicals. Miswak Club offers a 120-day money-back guarantee if you do not have noticeably whiter teeth after using their kit.

Several expert sites reviewed the Miswak Club kit because of the novelty of it. Bustle liked that it comes with two sticks in the kit, doesn’t make a mess, and is easy to bring along when traveling. Subaholic found that the root works great, but thought the taste was terrible. And, Apartment Therapy was put off by the “sweetly musky” smell of the root but found that when you soak it in water with some peppermint oil, it is much more bearable.

Some reviewers have noted that it may take a few weeks of daily use to notice effects and that the smell may be a bit off-putting.

What else we considered

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  • GLO Teeth Whitening Kit: Glo Science sells a similar device to SmileDirectClub; both use an LED mouthpiece to reportedly act as a catalyst for hydrogen peroxide. But SmileDirectClub is a better value at half the cost. We still recommend strips over gel and mouth trays over LED light options, though.

FAQs about whitening your teeth

What types of teeth whitening products exist?

There are essentially two types of kits: ones that bleach your teeth to take stains off and ones that physically scrape off the stains. Whitening trays and strips have been the standard for decades and generally rely on carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. Activated charcoal powders had a spike in popularity recently, but the dentists we interviewed would tell you to nix the powders. Dr. Handschuh and Dr. Mohelicki told Business Insider that they don’t recommend these because they can be abrasive and only remove surface stains. 

There is a third type of teeth whitening product that simply blasts your teeth with LED light, which typically claims to speed up the process and achieve more intense results. However, most of the dentists we interviewed agreed that any gains from this treatment are short-lived or nonexistent. “Most studies show some difference detected by computers, but no visual difference detected by the human eye. For the studies conducted in actual patients (in vivo), most found no added benefit for light-activated systems,” says Dr. Sutera.

Only the SmileDirectClub system in our guide uses this technology, but it is used in conjunction with a whitening gel and a mouthguard that may offer better control over your placement and avoid increased gum sensitivity in comparison to strips. 

Which teeth whitening products are most effective?

“Shopping for teeth whitening products is very simple.” Dr. Sutera explained. “There is only one active ingredient in all teeth whitening products: hydrogen peroxide. It’s the same agent whether it’s prescription use or over the counter. Any other ingredients in the product are inactive fillers needed to create the right consistency of the product.” If you see carbamide peroxide on your ingredient list, it’s just a derivative of hydrogen peroxide. 

“The key is to understand that whitening can be effective at any percentage, but what differs is the time of use. A high percentage of hydrogen peroxide typically is only kept on the teeth for 20 minutes maximum, while a lower percentage can be worn for 6 hours or overnight.” Dr. Sutera explains. “Much of the selection comes down to personal preference. If you have a tendency to develop tooth sensitivity or if you want to minimize the risks of irritating your gums, that’s when you’d select a lower concentration.”

A few warnings about teeth whitening kits

Peroxide is effective, but it comes with several warnings. Pregnant or nursing women may want to stop using peroxide-based whitening products. It also isn’t suitable for children under 14 years old. And, you should not use peroxide for longer than two weeks of daily use without the supervision of a dentist.

The FDA does not recommend using any whitening gels with a peroxide concentration of higher than 18%. Two of the kits we recommend use peroxide (Crest Whitestrips and SmileDirectClub) but they should be safe for most people.

Again, you should always consult with your dentist before starting a course of treatment. For instance, if your darkened teeth are due to the natural thinning of tooth enamel that comes with aging, whitening kits will not help you. Also, they cannot whiten fillings, dentures, veneers, crowns, or caps.

Most importantly, Dr. Mohelicki says the biggest concern is wearing whitening kits for the right amount of time. “Over-the-counter options are inexpensive when compared to in-office whitening, but they offer no gum protection. With no gum protection, users can experience increased sensitivity and even burns in severe cases.” 

How to use teeth whitening kits effectively

Before using a teeth whitening kit, brush your teeth so your whitening agent can make contact with the surface of your teeth to improve efficacy, and so it doesn’t accidentally create an uneven white. “Any buildup of plaque or food debris will not allow for the whitening agent to contact the tooth and therefore not allow the whitening agent to do its job,” Dr. Campbell explained. “You could end up with a speckled, uneven whitened appearance.” 

And, after you’ve whitened, try to avoid food and drinks that stain your teeth.”I recommend that my patients stick to a ‘colorless diet’ just after whitening,” Dr. Handschuh told Business Insider. “Meaning, avoid highly-staining food and drink such as coffee, red wine, tea, sauces, etc.” But, if you really want to, he recommends using a straw to bypass your teeth a bit. 

As Dr. Sutera explained, whitening your teeth and then having a glass of red wine is like “two people in a canoe paddling in different directions. The whitening products open the pores and clean them out. If you have coffee, tea, or red wine within 72 hours of whitening your teeth, your teeth are more likely to absorb dark stains and adversely impact your whitening results.”

Does teeth-whitening damage your enamel?

“Most studies show that whitening does not damage enamel,” Dr. Sutera said. Though, there has been recent research that shows teeth whitening can affect proteins deeper in the tooth, though researchers are not currently sure if the damage is temporary or permanent, according to Dr. Sutera.

How can you prevent tooth sensitivity?

“It is common for the majority of people to experience increased tooth sensitivity after having teeth whitening done.” Dr. Mohelicki says. “However, for those who already have sensitive teeth, I recommend starting out by trying a whitening toothpaste. This takes significantly longer than trying an over-the-counter product or having teeth bleached in-office, but it can be significantly less painful.”

For whitening toothpaste, Dr. Sutera recommends patients with sensitive teeth use a toothpaste with potassium nitrate and fluoride and also use a fluoride mouth rinse. According to Dr. Sutera, potassium nitrate is the primary ingredient that helps with sensitive teeth, and fluoride a secondary option that has also been shown to help.  

If you have sensitive teeth and want to use a teeth whitening agent, you may just want to avoid higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. “The suggestion I would make is to use a lower concentration of whitening agent to get their desired whitening outcome while minimizing the risk of tooth sensitivity.” Dr. Campbell said. “Although anecdotal, I’ve found that brushing with Sensodyne toothpaste before and after whitening has helped me avoid sensitivity.”  

Why do you feel increased sensitivity after you whiten?

The bleaching temporarily weakens your enamel so the bleach can pass through it and further lift those stains, explained Dr. Mohelicki. “When [our enamel] is weakened during the bleaching treatment, many patients find that it can be hard to consume hot beverages, ice-cold beverages, or even eat certain foods. This typically wears off within 72 hours of ending treatment.” 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 11 best sheet masks we’ve tested for every skin type

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  • Sheet masks offer an easy, speedy way to treat your skin without having to leave home.
  • We’ve tested dozens of sheet masks and rounded up our favorites for every skin type.
  • You can also check out our guide to the best moisturizers.

As well as being renowned for their incredible hydrating properties, sheet masks treat different skin concerns, from soothing sensitive skin to brightening dull complexions. Some are great for a pre-night-out boost, while others work better if you wear them before you go to bed, so the serum can soak in and you can wake up with glowing skin. Many experts are now using sheet masks as part of their daily skincare routine.

With the incredible number of sheet masks on the market, working out which one is right for you can be a minefield. As well as researching thousands of reviews from beauty experts and buyers, we’ve tried and tested all sorts of sheet masks to come up with our top picks.

Here the best sheet masks in 2021:

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Farmacy Coconut Gel Sheet Mask Sheet

farmacy sheet mask

The Farmacy Coconut Gel Sheet Mask Sheet is loaded with ultra-moisturizing ingredients for a boost of hydration in a pinch.

Farmacy’s Coconut Gel Sheet Mask is loaded with nourishing ingredients like coconut water, hyaluronic acid, and cucumber extract. Hyaluronic acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, so it delivers some serious hydration. Paired with calming cucumber extract and moisturizing, refreshing coconut water, this mask works for any skin type. Just slap the Coconut Gel Sheet Mask on for 15 minutes — that’s all you need for the mask to work its magic. Take it off to reveal more supple, smooth, calm skin.

Coconut Gel Sheet Mask (small)
Patchology Hydrate FlashMasque 5 Minute Facial Sheet Mask

patchology sheet mask

For smoother, hydrated skin in just five minutes, the Patchology Hydrate FlashMasque 5 Minute Facial Sheet Mask is hard to beat.

Patchology’s mask is your secret weapon for defeating dry skin because it features ingredients like hyaluronic acid for hydration, and vitamin B5 and betaine to improve elasticity and smooth skin. Traditionally, sheet masks take up to 20 minutes to work, but the Patchology Hydrate Flashmasque accelerates delivery of the ingredients to the skin with its unique material, so you see results in just five minutes.

This speedy skin saver is perfect for a last-minute touch-up before you put on your makeup or before you go to bed. It is the ideal quick fix for winter when your skin needs some extra hydration or on a long flight (as long as you don’t mind scaring the flight attendants).

Hydrate FlashMasque 5 Minute Facial Sheet Mask (small)
Erno Laszlo White Marble Bright Hydrogel Masks

Erno Laszlo sheet mask

For an easy, fast path to radiant skin, the Erno Laszlo White Marble Bright Hydrogel Masks should be your go-to sheet mask.

The White Marble Bright Hydrogel Mask from renowned skincare brand Erno Laszlo is designed to instantly brighten skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots and aging. The serum is made up of allotonin to plump up the skin, essential oils including peony and chamomile to moisturize, and sunflower seed oil to protect against wrinkles.

We’re obsessed with Erno Laszlo’s range of sheet masks, and this one is awesome. Each sheet mask comes in two pieces of gel-like material. It felt a bit slippery and strange, but it was easy to apply. I liked that it didn’t slip off my face so I could walk around while the mask did its work.

White Marble Bright Hydrogel Mask (small)
Dr. Jart+ Dermamask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution Mask

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When you want to give dry, sensitive skin some extra love without spending a fortune at the spa, the Dr. Jart+ Dermamask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution Mask is ideal. 

Our favorite water-based face mask for sensitive skin comes from the legendary Korean Brand Dr Jart+. The mask is packed with hydrating ingredients like algae extract, aquaxyl, xylitol, and oligo-hyaluronic acid to moisturize sensitive skin without irritation. The mask is designed to calm redness and cool irritated skin, making it a godsend for people with sensitive skin. It works just as well for those with oily, dry, or combination skin.

Dermamask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution Mask (small)
SK-II’s Pitera Facial Treatment Mask

SKII sheet mask

Japanese brand SK-II’s Pitera Facial Treatment Mask is a cult classic because it visibly hydrates, brightens, and firms your skin.

The SK-II Pitera Facial Treatment Mask is an all-in-one sheet mask that does everything you need for a glowing, gorgeous complexion. The sheet is soaked with SK-II’s signature serum Pitera. Discovered in a sake brewery back in the ’70s, this liquid is packed with naturally-derived vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. It is designed to refine texture and address uneven skin tone, dryness, large pores, and oiliness. SK-II suggests you use a mask once or twice a week or before a special event.

The SK-II Pitera Facial Treatment Mask lived up to the hype in our testing. It made my skin look more radiant instantly, and my skin felt tighter and softer. The mask fit well and stayed put, although it felt a bit slimy. Granted, most face masks feel a bit slimy because it’s the slime that fixes your skin.

Pitera Facial Treatment Mask (small)
Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask

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For smoother skin in just 15 minutes, the Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask is our top pick.

Tatcha’s gel-like face mask is packed with powerful anti-aging products including red algae and hyaluronic acid, as well as green tea and rice to target dryness, dullness, and loss of firmness. It is derived from coconut and is more effective than paper masks.

Tatcha claims it can increase the skin’s total moisture by 200% in 15 minutes. While we can’t verify that claim, we can say that it left our skin feeling great. It’s a bit fiddly, as you have to remove one of the layers to put it on, but it fit well. 

Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask (small)
Leaders AC Clear Treatment Mask

AC Clear sheet mask

If you’re prone to breakouts and want effective instant relief, then you’ll love the Leaders AC Clear Treatment Mask.

The AC Clear Treatment Mask from Korean company Leaders Insolution balances skin and provides relief for irritated, stressed, and sensitive skin that’s prone to breakouts and inflammation. This hypoallergenic 100% cotton sheet mask is packed with maple water, hyaluronic acid, and snail secretions to calm skin and reduce redness. It’s gentle enough to be used daily and the more often you use it, the better the results.

AC Clear Treatment Mask (small)
Tonymoly I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask

tony moly sheet mask

For a fun and very affordable sheet mask with great results, the Tonymoly I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask is a winner.

Established in Seoul more than 10 years ago, Tonymoly pioneered the Korean sheet mask beauty trend that has spread across the world. The innovative brand is now a household name in the US. There are 14 different masks in the Tonymoly I’m Real Sheet Mask collection to address every possible skin concern and we’ve tried them all. Our favorite is the I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask.

Ideal for dull, dry, and stressed-out skin, this highly moisturizing sheet mask is soaked with nutrient-rich avocado essence. The paper sheet has a pleasant smell but feels quite delicate. After leaving it on for 20 minutes in our testing, our skin definitely felt softer and looked fresher.

I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask (small)
St. Ives Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask

St Ives sheet mask

St. Ives’ Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask helps calm even the reddest of faces.

Just like the oatmeal baths of your childhood, St. Ives’ Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask soothes whatever is ailing your face. Sunburn? Pop this on. Windburn? You got it. That’s all thanks to the oatmeal extract. It works to calm any type of skin issue while leaving your face feeling refreshed and clean.

And since it’s in an easy-to-use sheet, you can get all of the benefits without the mess. This is actually a great mask to pop on after you’ve applied a more detoxifying mask. It will calm things down while sealing in the good-for-you ingredients of the first.

Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask (small)
Leaders Cosmetics 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask

7 wonders face mask

Leaders Cosmetics 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask helps fight free radical damage, leading to a bright, beautiful complexion.

If you live in a city, it’s not just the sun you have to worry about every time you step outside. Free radicals brought on by pollution can wreak havoc on your skin, leading to a dull complexion. But a skincare regimen rich in antioxidants is perfect for combating these issues. And Leaders Cosmetics 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask should be a regular part of any antioxidant-rich regimen.

This little mask is chock-full of good-for-you ingredients that help fight free radicals. Vitamins C, B, and E are the powerhouses of this mask, while acai berries come in for the assist. All these ingredients work to wick away the negative effects of pollution.

7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask (small)
Check out our other great skincare guides

body lotion

The best exfoliators


The best moisturizers


The best eye creams

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 9 best lip balms with SPF – because your lips need protection, too

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Best lip balms with SPF 4x3
  • We know that wearing sunscreen is crucial, but we often forget to apply it to our lips. 
  • A good lip balm with SPF will block harmful UV rays while moisturizing your lips.
  • We consulted two dermatologists and gathered our nine lip sunscreen mainstays.

You’ve probably heard numerous times from your doctor, dermatologist, or favorite beauty YouTuber that wearing sunscreen every single day is a must. And they’re definitely right. But one part of your body that can sometimes get overlooked when it comes to SPF is your lips, which need protection just as much as the rest of your body. 

A great way to deliver SPF to your lips on a daily basis is with SPF. But not all of these tubes are created equal. So we turned to Dr. Elizabeth K. Hale, a board-certified dermatologist and senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation, and Dr. Marie Hayag, board-certified dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics who advised us on working lip balms with SPF into our daily routines. You can read on to learn more from our experts and hear about our team’s nine tried-and-true lip balms with SPF. 

Here are the best lip balms with SPF you can buy:

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Vanicream Lip Protectant Sunscreen SPF 30

skincare for runners_Lip balm Vanicream Lip Protectant

Lip Protectant/Sunscreen SPF 30 (small)

I’ve tried a few lip balms with SPF, but this one from Vanicream is my preferred pick. On top of a simple formula, the consistency is nice and creamy. It also lacks any sort of strong sunscreen smell or taste, which is a dealbreaker for me. However, without a mirror at hand, it’s hard to know if you’ve rubbed in all of the white cream and sometimes it takes a bit of lip-smacking to reduce the tint. Katie Decker-Jacoby, style & beauty reviews fellow 

This lip balm contains both titanium oxide and zinc oxide for effective protection against damaging UV radiation. Additionally, it is water-resistant, free of fragrances, flavoring, and dyes, making it a great option for people with sensitive skin. Dr. Marie Hayag, board-certified dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics 

Aquaphor Lip Protectant and Sunscreen Ointment

Best lip balms with SPF_Aquaphor Lip Protectant and Sunscreen Ointment

Lip Protectant and Sunscreen Ointment (small)

I bought this lip sunscreen ointment because I’m never without Aquaphor’s ultra-nourishing Lip Repair. The two products have similar ingredient lists and consistencies. And though I’m not a huge fan of the sunscreen smell and taste, they’re minimal and do not override the efficacy of this balm. The formula specifically caters to those with sensitive skin, and I find this to be true, as well. Katie Decker-Jacoby, style & beauty reviews fellow

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm

Best lip balms with SPF_Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm

Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm (small)

As someone who is sensitive to the sun and prone for my fair skin to burn, I’m especially cautious with the products I’m using. That being said, I use SPF just about everywhere, even in the colder winter months. I absolutely swear by Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm. It has SPF 15 and also prevents my lips from being chapped. It applies buttery smooth, as its name suggests, and smells divine. Victoria Giardina, Buying Guides Fellow

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30

Best lip balms with SPF_Kiehl's Since 1851 Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30

Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30 (small)

I have a tube of this in the clear/untinted shade in every hiking backpack I own. It’s moisturizing without feeling sticky and goopy, and the balm doesn’t melt — even during multi-hour-long hikes in the sun. The SPF 30 is strong enough to keep my lips from burning, and the clear shade I use most often comes in handy when I need to reapply sunscreen on the bridge of my nose or the tops of my ears. The metal tube feels more substantial and luxurious than other balms, and the cap screws onto the tube so there’s no chance you’ll lose it at the bottom of your bag. It does, however, contain octocrylene so it’s not reef-safe and I don’t use this when I’m around the beach. Jada Wong, senior editor

Supergoop! PLAY Lip Balm SPF 30 with Acai

Best lip balms with SPF_Supergoop! PLAY Lip Balm SPF 30 with Acai

PLAY Lip Balm SPF 30 with Acai (small)

The tube and formula remind me of old-school Vaseline, but much more protective and way less goopy. The SPF 30 is great for protecting my lips and the formula includes shea butter for lots of moisture. It doesn’t contain any oxybenzone, octinoxate, or octocrylene that would be harmful to coral reefs, so I always use this when I’m around the beach. Jada Wong, senior editor

Coola Classic Liplux Organic Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30

Best lip balms with SPF_Coola Classic Liplux Organic Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30

Classic Liplux Organic Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30 (small)

If you’re looking for a quality plant-based sunscreen lip balm, this one from Coola offers broad-spectrum protection, instant moisture, vitamins, and antioxidants. Plus, it’s water-resistant for 80 minutes and should be reapplied every two hours. Dr. Hayag says, “This is a good balm that provides broad-spectrum protection against UV rays while also providing hydration to the lips through ingredients like jojoba and avocado oil.” 

Colorescience Lip Shine SPF 35

Best lip balms with SPF_Colorescience Lip Shine SPF 35

Lip Shine SPF 35 (small)

For days where you want more color and luster, this lip gloss checks off those boxes — plus, it has broad-spectrum SPF 35 sun protection. You can reapply every two hours, but every 40 minutes if you’re swimming or sweating a lot. According to Dr. Hayag, “This is a great gloss that contains zinc oxide and Vitamin E to aid in photoprotection. It also contains hyaluronic acid, helping the lips stay well moisturized. Additionally, it has peptides that give the lips a more plump appearance.” The shade selection includes rose, pink, champagne, coral, and clear. 

CoTZ Lip Balm Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45

Best lip balms with SPF_CoTZ Lip Balm Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45

Lip Balm Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45 (small)

With a zesty kiwi-lime-ginger tang, this product is ever so slightly tinted to avoid that white cast other sunscreens oftentimes leave behind. It’s also cruelty-free, reef-friendly, and free of chemical sunscreens, oil, lanolin, and gluten. Dr. Hayag says, “This contains zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and iron oxide to cover UVA/UVB rays and blue light. It is moisturizing, yet water-resistant and has antioxidant protection.”

MDSolarSciences Hydrating Sheer Lip Balm SPF 30

Best lip balms with SPF_MDSolarSciences Hydrating Sheer Lip Balm SPF 30

Hydrating Sheer Lip Balm SPF 30 (small)

This tinted lip balm has a gentle, cruelty-free, and reef-safe formula that does all of that, but of course fends off ultraviolet rays, too. The broad-spectrum SPF 30 sheer tinted balm comes in red, pink, and nude. According to Dr. Hayag, “It also has multiple ingredients in it to help keep your lips moisturized, like avocado oil and olive butter. The balm also contains shea butter, which is rich in antioxidants and soothes and softens the lips.”

FAQs

Best lip balms with SPF 4x3

What is SPF and what SPF should I wear on my lips?  

SPF stands for sun protection factor, which is the measure of how well a certain formula will protect you from the sun’s rays. “For example, if you use an SPF 30 product properly, it would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you used no sunscreen,” Dr. Hale explains. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends SPF 15 for daily wear and SPF 30 for prolonged outdoor activity. 

What’s the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

There’s ultraviolet A (UVA), which is connected with skin aging, and ultraviolet B (UVB), which is linked to burning. Instead of worrying about whether your lip balm protects against UVA or UVB rays, Dr. Hale says to pick broad-spectrum sunscreen products, as they shield your skin from both rays. 

What can sun damage do to your lips? 

The skin on your lips is thinner and missing a layer that the rest of your body uses for UV protection, so it’s more susceptible to burning. Too much sun exposure without any protective lip balm can lead to dryness and flakiness, and even skin cancer. Dr. Hale says, “About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.” 

Are there certain ingredients I should look out for?

According to Dr. Hale, there are two groups of UV-blocking ingredients: physical and chemical. The former are ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, while the latter includes components like avobenzone and octisalate. “Look for products with antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C,” Dr. Hayag says. “They neutralize and boost protection from free radicals produced by UV radiation and visible light.”

As for ingredients to avoid, Dr. Hayag explains that products with menthol — the thing that gives cough drops and pain relief creams its cooling effect — can irritate the lips. You should also stay away from phenol and fragrance for the same reason. 

When should I wear it and how often should I apply?

Our experts urge you to wear lip balm with SPF both outdoors and indoors, as the sun can penetrate through glass windows. And they suggest reapplying every two hours, but more frequently if you’re eating, drinking, or swimming. 

What should I do if my lips get sunburnt? 

Dr. Hale recommends the following steps: move into a shady spot, stay hydrated, take Advil or Motrin to reduce inflammation, and apply a water-based, moisturizing lip product. For the very last step, she advises steering clear of petroleum and oil-based balms that could possibly aggravate the burn.

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Dermstore is having a huge sale, including up to 20% off Dr. Dennis Gross, Sunday Riley, and Dermalogica

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

skin care products body 1 dermstore
  • Dermstore is one of our favorite spots to stock up on luxury beauty products from brands like Dr. Dennis Gross, Foreo, Dermalogica, and more.
  • Now through March 10, Dermstore is holding its annual Beauty Refresh Event, featuring up to 20% off these brands and more.

Spring is just around the corner. You’re probably already thinking about spring cleaning your home and swapping out your bulky parka for a light denim jacket, but don’t forget to take a look at your beauty cabinet, too. 

With a new season ahead, there’s no better time to refresh your skincare routine or pick up some new makeup to try out. Dermstore is one of our favorite spots to pick up high-end beauty products across skincare, makeup, haircare, and more. Right now, the site is offering up to 20% off on a wide range of products as part of their Beauty Refresh Sale with promo code GLOWUP.

Shop the Dermstore sale now or keep scrolling for our favorite deals from the sale

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (medium, Preferred: Dermstore)Trinity® Facial Toning Kit + Trinity Wrinkle Reducer Attachment Set (medium, Preferred: Dermstore)Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel – Packettes (60 count) (medium, Preferred: Dermstore)Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment (1.7 floz) (medium, Preferred: Dermstore)Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum (medium, Preferred: Dermstore)Thermafoliant Body Scrub (medium, Preferred: Dermstore)Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream (medium, Preferred: Dermstore)

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We’ve tested dozens of moisturizers for dry skin – these are the 15 best

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Best moisturizers for dry skin 4x3
  • Whether your dry skin is seasonal or not, treating it can often seem impossible.
  • We consulted two dermatologists and our team to learn about dry skin and which products to buy. 
  • If you have a different skin type or are unsure, see the best moisturizers for every skin type. 

Tight, red, itchy, rough – these are all descriptors of dry skin. And while dry skin on its own is tough, peeling or flaking can also appear, especially during the transition from the summer season to fall and winter, no matter your skin type. 

If you notice your skin experiencing dryness, you likely also notice that not all facial moisturizers can get the job done in curing it. The most important things to keep in mind when buying a moisturizer are the ingredients and consistencies of the lotion itself. We spoke with Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, board-certified dermatologist of Mariwalla Dermatology, and Dr. Corey L. Hartman, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology, to break down these details, and help guide us toward the best moisturizer for dry skin.

Click to jump to the best face moisturizers for dry skin that you can buy:

The best face moisturizers for dry, sensitive skin

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CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

Best moisturizers for dry skin CeraVe Moisturizing Cream 4x3

Moisturizing Cream (small)

This cream has a thick consistency, so you’ll never have that tight, still-dry feeling. But it’s non-comedogenic, so it doesn’t clog pores or leave you feeling greasy, either. It’s free of fragrance and other common irritants, which is why it’s a great choice for sensitive skin types. — Kyle Kerchaert, senior video producer, beauty and style

Once I reached my mid-30s, it felt like all the moisture had been sucked from my skin. The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream was the only thing that calmed and hydrated my face. And though I was originally worried that it would be too thick, it absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling soft, not greasy. — Jamie Feller, account executive

I grew up with severe eczema on my face, and this moisturizer was the only thing that was gentle enough to be used on my sensitive skin. While it may seem too thick at first, it absorbs very quickly, leaving your face soft and dewy. — Grace Wade, associate health reference editor

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

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Ultra Repair Cream (small)

I have recommended First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream time and time again because it’s just that good. It’s unscented and has a creamy consistency. I apply it every night to my face and neck, and it has never led to breakouts on my sensitive skin. — Victoria Giardina, buying guides fellow

Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion

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Moisturizing Lotion (small)

The Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion is ideal for dry, sensitive skin. It contains no fragrance, dye, formaldehyde, or lanolin. It contains both humectants and emollients to provide a mix of hydration and moisturization. Dr. Corey L. Hartman, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology

Clinique Moisture Surge 100-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator

Best moisturizers for dry skin Clinique Moisture Surge 4x3

Moisture Surge 100-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator (small)

I have dry, sensitive skin as well as rosacea, and this has been my year-round lifesaver. It’s a gel-cream so I initially had my doubts, but whenever I even think of trying another moisturizer, I come back to this. This product is paraben-free, fragrance-free, and oil-free, and also has hyaluronic acid and aloe water. — Magenta Ranero, senior chart editor, Insider Intelligence

The best face moisturizers for dry, acne-prone skin

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Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream with Hyaluronic Acid for Extra-Dry Skin

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Hydro Boost Gel-Cream with Hyaluronic Acid for Extra-Dry Skin (small)

My skin feels soft, hydrated, and supple when I use this gel cream, especially during the cold winter months. I appreciate that it’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog my pores, as I have acne-prone skin. It’s also fragrance-free. This moisturizer contains humectants such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, along with emollients like olive extract — all of which help to pack quite the punch in the best and most hydrating way possible. — Katie Decker-Jacoby, style & beauty reviews fellow 

Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Cream

Best moisturizers for dry skin Hada Lobo Tokyo Skim Plumpling 4x3

Skin Plumping Gel Cream (small)

I discovered this moisturizer on a desperate Reddit search for an oil-free formula that wouldn’t irritate the seborrheic dermatitis that sometimes pops up on my face. This gel formula is gentle and non-irritating, and it feels like a glass of water for your skin. It also cleared up the minimal flaking I was experiencing from my AHA serums. It does leave a bit of a dewy finish, so I prefer it at night or with some extra setting powder under makeup. — Kyle Kerchaert, senior video producer, beauty and style

C’est Moi Gentle Moisture Lotion

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Gentle Moisture Lotion (small)

C’est Moi is better known for their colorful makeup, but I picked up this moisturizer on its website on a whim and have loved it. My skin gets very dry in the winter, and so I’m always on the lookout for products that deliver a lot of moisture for a budget price. This one isn’t greasy or oily at all, and I was shocked at how moisturizing even a small amount of product felt. — Allison Jiang, story production fellow

Lotus Moon Vitamin B Hydrating Gel

Best moisturizers for dry skin Lotus Moon Vitamin B 4x3

Vitamin B Hydrating Gel (small)

I have dry, sensitive, and acne-prone skin and this plant-based moisturizer is a champion at hydration. It has a gel formula, so it’s lightweight, absorbent, and doesn’t make me sweat on hot days. It also smells lovely and helps keep my breakouts at bay. — Stephanie Hallett, senior personal finance editor

The best face moisturizers for dry, mature skin

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SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter

Best moisturizers for dry skin SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter 4x3

A.G.E. Interrupter (small)

The A.G.E. Interrupter is an advanced wrinkle treatment that combats the visible signs of aging caused by glycation, which is a major factor of the natural aging process. Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, board-certified dermatologist of Mariwalla Dermatology

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

Best moisturizers for dry skin SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 4x3

Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 (small)

The Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 contains free fatty acids to replace cellular lipids and nourish dry skin. This is a crowd favorite for those with extremely dry skin that is worth the splurge. Dr. Corey L. Hartman, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology

fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream

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Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream (small)

This is actually a night cream I use as a regular moisturizer in the winter when my skin is its driest for a big hydration boost. It works great under makeup, helping to impart a dewy look that I generally have trouble achieving due to my skin’s aforementioned dryness. It’s essentially an amped-up version of my other favorite Fresh moisturizer. — Ellen Hoffman, executive editor

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer

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Water Drench Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer (small)

This moisturizer is probably my most-recommended skincare product ever. I generally have really dry skin, but you’d never know it when I’m using this gel-like formula from Peter Thomas Roth. It makes my skin soft and plump, but never leaves behind a sticky residue. The best part about it, though, is that its effects last all day (and I’m not just regurgitating brand copy here — this is literally one of the only moisturizers I truly feel this way about). — Sally Kaplan, deputy editor

The best moisturizers for extremely dry skin

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SkinFix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream

Best moisturizers for dry skin Skinfix Barrier 4x3

Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream (small)

The Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream is a deeply hydrating face cream with active lipids, peptides, small particle hyaluronic acid and rich shea butter for brightening, firming, and plumping. Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, board-certified dermatologist of Mariwalla Dermatology

Nourish Organic Lightweight Moisturizing Face Lotion

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Lightweight Moisturizing Face Lotion (small)

The Lightweight Moisturizing Face Lotion contains argan oil to replenish moisture and rosewater to improve tone, hydration, and elasticity. Shea butter acts as a seal to lock in the moisture and repair the barrier. Dr. Corey L. Hartman, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

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Healing Ointment (small)

My eczema reacts so badly around my eyes that even the best eye creams and the best moisturizers cannot bail me out. In times of distress, I smear just a small amount of Aquaphor onto my under eyes to restore moisture. I apply it as needed, but most typically before bedtime to lock in moisture and before I apply makeup so my eyelids can soak it up and prevent my concealer from looking cakey. — Jacqueline Saguin, style & beauty reviews fellow

FAQs

Which ingredients should you look out for when buying moisturizer for dry skin?

To start, it’s helpful to know the three categories of moisturizing ingredients: occlusive, emollient, and humectant. An occlusive forms a barrier to retain moisture, an emollient traps water, and a humectant brings water to the top layer of the skin. Dr. Mariwalla and Dr. Hartman recommend ingredients that fall under these groups, including ones like ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, squalene, petrolatum, shea butter, and lactic acid. 

On the flip side, there are of course ingredients that could further irritate your dry skin, such as fragrance, retinoids, glycolic acid, alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, and salicylic acid, according to both dermatologists. 

What are the differences between creams, lotions, and gels?

The key differences are their ratios between water and oil. According to Dr. Hartman, creams are composed of half water and half oil, lotions contain mostly water and less oil, and gels are water-based and lack any trace of oil. This matters because, according to Dr. Mariwalla, thicker creams typically deliver more moisture than thinner lotions and watery gels. For example, extra dry skin might require a heavy cream, while dry, acne-prone skin might benefit from a lightweight, oil-free gel.

Is there anything else I can do for my skin before applying my moisturizer?

Face moisturizers alone likely won’t relieve your dry skin. Dr. Hartman recommends washing your face with a cream or oil-based cleanser and staying away from foamy ones. For good measure, Dr. Hartman adds, “Avoid hot water, use less soap or cleanser, and wash for shorter periods of time. Moisturizer works to strengthen the skin barrier and to trap in water, so apply the moisturizer immediately after washing.” After applying moisturizer in the morning, Dr. Mariwalla advises layering on sunscreen to block harmful UV rays, which is a step all skin types should take. 

Rest assured, if you consistently experience dry skin, seeing your dermatologist is a good idea. Your dermatologist can help uncover the reason for your dry skin and if you perhaps need stronger prescription treatments. 

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The 5 best body moisturizers our team has tested

  • It’s typical to prioritize facial moisturizers, but body creams are just as important.
  • A good body moisturizer will replenish, soothe, and protect your skin without being too sticky.
  • The Kiehl’s Crème de Corps is our favorite  – a rich cream that will instantly give you soft skin.

Many of us neglect our skin from the neck down but moisturizing our limbs is equally as important  – especially when you get out of the shower. As your skin dries, the water evaporates off the top layer, which can sap moisture from your epidermis. Smoothing on moisturizer keeps your skin feeling soft and hydrated instead of tight and itchy. This is doubly true for folks with skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis. Proper hydration can help you avoid painful flare-ups, making a body moisturizer a must-have in your beauty arsenal. 

There are all sorts of body moisturizers out there – from balms to creams to lotions – and the one you choose depends on your skin type and preference. To save you time and effort finding the right one for you, we’ve rounded up the best ones, some with self-tanning properties and others boasting antioxidants for skin-boosting benefits. If you have a specific skin condition, however, it’s a good idea to check in with your dermatologist before starting any new project regimen, just to make there won’t be any adverse effects. 

Here are the best body moisturizers in 2021:

The best body moisturizer overall

Kiehl's Crème de Corps

Kiehl’s Crème de Corps is our top body moisturizer overall because it gives you soft, smooth, and healthy-looking skin with immediate results.

Pros: Good for normal, dry, or sensitive skin; no added synthetic fragrance 

Cons: Some may find it a bit greasy

Kiehl’s Crème de Corps is a lifesaver that targets dryness, dullness, and uneven skin texture, giving you brighter-looking skin. It nourishes, locks in moisture for hydration, and leaves your limbs feeling soft and smooth. 

The rich body lotion is packed with a powerful blend of ingredients, including antioxidant-packed beta-carotene, skin-softening cocoa butter, and moisture-replenishing olive-derived squalane. The beta-carotene is also what gives the lotion its slightly orange tint.

In testing, I found Kiehl’s Crème de Corps had a whipped butter-like texture and a pleasant, subtle fragrance that stems from the ingredients. The body lotion absorbed quickly leaving it looking instantly smoother. However, despite claiming to be non-greasy, it did feel a little greasy on my skin, possibly due to the cocoa butter and oils like olive and avocado.

The best drugstore body moisturizer

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion is an award-winning drugstore moisturizer that hydrates without leaving behind a greasy feeling — and without the big price tag too.

Pros: Affordable, fragrance-free, non-greasy, non-comedogenic, soothing oatmeal is good for eczema and itchy skin, great for all skin types including sensitive, oily, and dry skin

Cons: Left behind some residue on skin

Designed to absorb quickly and last 24 hours, this body moisturizer’s gentle formula promises to leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and healthy-looking

Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion works wonders for dry skin and is ideal for daily use. It contains natural ingredients like oatmeal to relieve dry, itchy skin, while emollients soften dry areas.

In testing, Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion was the perfect consistency — not too thick or too thin. It didn’t irritate my sensitive skin and made it look smooth, though it left a slight residue. I appreciate its pump dispenser (for extra convenience), and the fact its fragrance is subtle.

The best body moisturizer to splurge on

Sol de Janeiro Mini Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

The Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream has a velvety consistency that doesn’t leave a residue — and it smells like a tropical island.

Pros: Fast-absorbing, hydrating, delicious smell, antioxidant-packed ingredients, cruelty-free, paraben-free

Cons: The scent can be a little strong, especially if you use a lot of product

Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream product smell like coconut trees and sandy beaches. Its consistency is super smooth and glides seamlessly over the skin. It’s especially great for dry areas and, though I focus the product on my upper thighs during the summertime, it’s still a go-to in colder months when I hop out of the shower.

It’s also fast-absorbing. In fact, your skin will feel instantly hydrated the second you swipe it on. Though the scent may be too strong for some, I only noticed an extra potent scent if I apply more product than average.

At $45, this body butter is a bit of a splurge. But if you want to cut costs a bit, the brand has a mini version for $20. — Victoria Giardina, buying guides fellow

The best with antioxidants

Necessaire 1

For instant hydration and long-term protection, Nécessaire Body Lotion is well, necessary.

Pros: Formulated with vitamins A, C, and E; fast-absorbing, paraben-free

Cons: May be greasy if much product is used

Necessaire’s Body Lotion is a top-tier product for including popular skin-care ingredients in its body-care products. This ensures the skin on your arms and legs is just as hydrated, healthy, and nourished as the skin on your face.

This minimalist tube is packed with vitamins A, C, and E, and omega fatty acids 3, 6, and 9 for an added, antioxidant-filled boost. There’s even niacinamide — an ingredient more commonly found in serums — to help soothe irritated skin and smooth out fine lines. The formula still manages to absorb quickly and doesn’t leave much greasy residue, though that depends on how much you pile on.

 

The best for self-tanning

Jergens Natural Glow

For hydrated, firmer skin, and a natural-looking glow, Jergens Natural Glow +Firming Daily Moisturizer is our top pick.

Pros: Affordable, gradual and natural color, bearable smell for a self-tanner

Cons: Only comes in two shades

Not only does Jergens Natural Glow +Firming Daily Moisturizer target dry skin, but it also provides a gentle-looking tan and helps reduce the appearance of cellulite in seven days.

This multipurpose moisturizer is formulated with vitamin E, collagen, elastin, and ginseng to help hydrate, firm, tighten, and improve the elasticity of your skin. What’s more, its color-enhancing complex subtly yet gradually deepens your skin tone, so you don’t need to worry about looking like an Oompa Loompa.  

It comes in two shades (fair to medium and medium to dark) and leaves behind uniform color with a streak-free finish. For best results, exfoliate first before applying all over your body, but do so sparingly on knees, elbows, and ankles. Wait a few minutes for the lotion to dry before dressing and be sure to wash your hands — unless you want them to be extra tan.

This is my go-to body moisturizer for parties, weddings, or whenever I want to take my fair skin a hue tanner. It does the job and always results in a smooth finish in less than a day.  And, unlike many self-tanning products, the smell is bearable thanks to odor-reducing technology.

Check out our other buying guides

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Read the original article on Business Insider

The 4 best whitening toothpastes of 2021 that help remove surface stains from your teeth

  • Trading your regular toothpaste for the whitening kind lifts surface stains while also cleaning.
  • While studies show charcoal toothpaste doesn’t actually whiten teeth, other ingredients are proven to work.
  • Colgate’s Optic White Express White Toothpaste is our top choice because results show up in just three days.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Unless your smile is already blinding, pretty much everyone wants whiter teeth. Our smile is one of the first things other people notice when meeting us, and considering most of us indulge in teeth-staining compounds like coffee, red wine, maybe even cigarettes, there’s ample opportunity for pearly whites to be brighter.

While whitening strips can be expensive, painful, and require effort, incorporating whitening properties into your toothpaste helps you get more out of something you’re going to do twice a day, regardless. 

Contrary to occasional misconceptions, most whitening toothpaste is safe and suitable for daily use – but you have to choose the right product. While whitening toothpaste generally doesn’t cause tooth sensitivity, some harsher whitening toothpaste can cause damage to tooth enamel if used for weeks or months at a time. In fact, one of the most popular of-the-moment toothpaste ingredients, activated charcoal, is not only useless when it comes to whitening teeth, but it also has the potential to damage your enamel, discolor it permanently, and damage your gums, according to a 2019 study in the British Dental Journal. 

What’s more, not every ingredient is equal: A 2019 study in the Journal of Applied Oral Science found that whitening toothpaste with blue covarine and microbeads (like that in Oral B 3D White Perfection – 3DW) were the most effective at whitening teeth after just one brush, and ones with hydrogen peroxide made pearly whites pearlier when used over time.

This kind of toothpaste helps remove surface stains, showing off the natural appearance of the exterior of your teeth. It will not actually whiten the enamel itself, but merely reveal its true color. For deep stains and/or for teeth that are yellowed or otherwise discolored, talk to your dentist about professional whitening.

And before you start even a DIY tooth whitening program, it’s a good idea to see a dentist and get a deep cleaning. That way, your at-home whitening efforts can be more of a maintenance approach than an attempt to tackle the issue of stained, discolored teeth. 

As for which whitening toothpaste is right for you, that depends on factors ranging from tooth sensitivity to ingredient preference to how much time you’re willing to invest daily. 

Here are the best whitening toothpaste options:

Best whitening toothpaste overall

colgate

Colgate Optic White Platinum Express White Toothpaste is safe for daily use, affordable, and you’ll see results in three days.

Pros: Works quickly, safe for long-term use, includes fluoride to prevent cavities

Cons: Slightly more expensive 

The job of toothpaste is, first and foremost, to clean your teeth. While white, bright teeth look great, actual cleaning is more important than cosmetics, as far as oral health is concerned. So it’s good to know that Colgate’s Optic White Platinum toothpaste protects tooth enamel and can help prevent cavities thanks to the inclusion of fluoride along with the other ingredients.

As for the whitening effects of this potent toothpaste, those come thanks to hydrogen peroxide. The toothpaste has two times more hydrogen peroxide than most other kinds of whitening toothpaste. According to the many buyer reviews online, you really can see whitening results in just a matter of days, especially if you are generally careful about what foods and beverages you ingest and how you consume them.

After a month of using Colgate Optic White Platinum Express White Toothpaste twice daily, you can expect a marked lightening of your teeth. Results will probably plateau at that point, and you can shift into a maintenance mode.

Best for a deep clean

Crest

If you’re serious about oral hygiene, committing to the Crest 3D White Brilliance Teeth Whitening Two-Step System will give you very pearly whites.

Pros: Effective and long-lasting, provides excellent cleaning, breaks up stubborn stains

Cons: Requires double brushing, may lighten gums as well

The Crest 3D White Brilliance Teeth Whitening Two-Step System requires brushing your teeth twice — once with Step 1: Deep Cleansing Toothpaste, then with Step 2: Whitening Finisher — but it’s highly effective for whitening your teeth.

The first part of the two-step system is all about cleaning. The toothpaste contains a 0.454% concentration of stannous fluoride which helps fight cavities and gingivitis (gum disease, e.g.) and that will break up plaque and freshen breath. When you move to the second step, a gel that features hydrogen peroxide, you are applying a whitener to freshly cleaned teeth. 

The 3D White Brilliance system will cost you more than you’ll pay for most whitening toothpaste, and the process is a bit more involved, but it will dramatically whiten most teeth over time.

Best budget

arm and hammer

Not only does Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste leave your mouth fresh and your teeth white, but it’s also affordable.

Pros: Great low price choice, baking soda acts as safe abrasive, suitable for perpetual use

Cons: Some people dislike taste

I’ve been an Arm & Hammer toothpaste user for more than a decade, and every time I switch brands (say during travel or when we forgot to restock and I have to dip into the reserve mini tubes collected from dentist’s visits) my mouth never feels quite as clean.

Arm & Hammer uses baking soda in all sorts of products, and in this case, that’s the ingredient that provides safe, gentle abrasion to help break up plaque and tartar (hardened plaque, essentially) and remove surface stains. Fluoride is on hand to help prevent cavities and to kill off bacteria, and peroxide helps whiten your teeth.

I was tempted to make this product the number one pick, as it’s surely number one in my book, but while many people love the feel and the aftertaste of this baking soda-based toothpaste, an equal number of people hate the taste, so it’s not right for everyone. 

Best for sensitive teeth

Sensodyne

Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste will whiten your teeth and make them less sensitive at the same time.

Pros: Ideal for sensitive teeth, rebuilds enamel over time, gently lifts stains

Cons: Whitens slowly

If your teeth are sensitive, it most likely means is that you have weakened enamel which is leaving the sensitive interior of your teeth overexposed. This is usually caused by exposure to the acids found in everything from citrus fruit to coffee to wine — the very same things that leave stains and damage the appearance of your smile.

For sensitive teeth that are also not as white as you’d like, Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste is a great choice. The formula is designed to help re-harden tooth enamel damaged by acids and to actively strengthen each tooth and prevent future damage. It is a low abrasion toothpaste, thus it won’t cause any enamel wear and tear itself, and it features fluoride to help fight off bacteria.

What this toothpaste does not feature is hydrogen peroxide, so it will not whiten as quickly as many other options. Rather than bleaching stains away, Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste takes a longer approach to whitening, helping restore and refresh your teeth and to slowly but reliably remove stains and prevent new ones from forming.

If you get your teeth to a healthy, resilient state in which they are ready for more intense whitening, go ahead and switch brands. If you have always had sensitive teeth, then consider makingSensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste your lifelong go-to choice.

Check out our other oral health buying guides

oral b 1

The best toothpaste you can buy

Nobody likes going to the dentist, but if you take good care of your teeth between visits, the cleaning will go easier. We researched and tested many kinds of toothpaste to find the best ones you can buy.


The best natural toothpaste you can buy

Natural toothpaste formulas don’t have to be lacking in powerful ingredients or great flavor.


The best toothpaste for sensitive teeth you can buy

Don’t let tooth sensitivity make that hot cup of coffee or cold glass of water a misery to drink. You can treat your pain with a great toothpaste for sensitive teeth.


The best electric toothbrush you can buy

We want you to keep your teeth healthy and strong for a lifetime. That’s why we’ve done the research to bring you five electric toothbrushes that we feel are the best choices for the most people.

We visited the top consumer websites, listened to actual product owners, and considered advice from dentists and dental hygienists when making our decisions. So go ahead and break out your favorite toothpaste. Healthy, clean white teeth are on their way.


The best toothbrush you can buy

There’s plenty to be said for the classic manual toothbrush: It can’t run out of batteries and it’s compact, lightweight, and portable.

We chose a wide array of manual toothbrushes, from the low-cost disposable brush you keep on hand for guests to the Cadillac-level manual toothbrush that the classic oral hygiene aficionado will appreciate to unique options, like charcoal-infused toothbrushes that might just help bring out your brightest, whitest smile ever.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 6 best women’s razors we’ve tested

Billie
  • A good razor will smoothly and effectively remove unwanted hair without irritation.
  • We asked our Insider Reviews team for their go-to shavers to compile a master list of our top picks.

Shaving is a totally personal choice – one that not everyone decides to participate in. But if you’re someone who prefers to remove their body hair, there are several ways to achieve smooth legs, hair-free underarms, and a groomed bikini line. But the fastest, easiest, and least painful is generally shaving. That’s why we gathered up our top picks for women’s razors based on research and testing.

Whether you prefer a subscription-based razor so you’ll always have one on hand or need a specially-designed trimmer for sensitive areas, these are the ones that do the best job. They remove hair and stubble without irritation (also known as that dreaded razor burn), making shaving a self-care process rather than a chore.

For the full experience, you may also want to grab some great shaving cream and a good moisturizer once you’ve settled on the right razor for your needs.

Here are our top picks for the best women’s razors:

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Billie Razor Starter Kit

Billie

If you’re always out of fresh razors, subscription-based startup Billie has high-quality razors at a budget-friendly price. 

Billie’s Razor Starter Kit is all about convenience, with the brand delivering a high-quality razor straight to your door as often as you need. With an easy-to-grip handle, flexible head, and more space between the blades than other razors, it makes shaving simple and ergonomic. The pastel and punchy hues coupled with a sleek design also can be a decor piece for a shower shelf, too. The razor also comes with a magnetic mount that sticks to your shower wall, so you never have to go hunting for your razor.

The downside of the subscription model is that you can’t purchase one at the drugstore in case of an emergency, so you’ll be left using another brand-new-to-you razor you may not like.

But that doesn’t mean you should discount this service. Insider Reviews strategic partnerships manager Elisabeth Chambry is a fan, saying that it immediately stood out to her because of the design, price, and effectiveness. “It consistently produces the smoothest shave I’ve ever experienced.” You can read our full review on the Billie Razor here.

The Starter Kit (small)
Gilette Venus Extra Smooth

gillette venus extra smooth

The Gillette Venus Extra Smooth has five blades for a super-close shave, but the “moisture ribbon” can protect your skin from nicks, cuts, and razor burn.

The Gillette Venus Extra Smooth Women’s Razor provides a super-close shave, thanks to the razor’s pivoting head that glide over knees, ankles, and contours of underarms.  Irritation isn’t a concern, thanks to its “moisture ribbon” — an extra slip to help prevent shaving mishaps and irritations. That said, the strim is thin, so it’s best to use shaving cream to prevent cuts.

Depending on how often you shave and the sensitivity of your skin, the disposable blades can last anywhere from three to 10 uses. The handle initially comes with two blade cartridges, but after that, you’ll need to buy more. The Venus Extra Smooth‘s handle fits comfortably in your hand, making it easier to reach those tricky spots on the backs of the ankles or under your arms. 

I’ve been using this razor for years and always buy the product in bulk every time I go to Costco. They last long, work well with my sensitive skin, and never leave a trace of stubble. Victoria Giardina, Buying Guides Fellow

Extra Smooth Green Women’s Razor (small)
Schick Intuition Sensitive Care Razor

Schick Intuition

With the Schick Intuition Sensitive Care razor, there’s no need for a separate can of shaving gel because it’s built right into the razor cartridge.

When we tested the Schick Intuition Sensitive Care razor, it stood out for never nicking or irritating the legs. Despite refill cartridges tending to add up in price, it’s well worth the buy. The razor gives a reasonably close shave, thanks to its built-in shaving gel, the perfect time-saver that self-lathers for you. 

The razor cartridge has four blades surrounded by a water-activated, soap-like shaving “gel.” It provides enough slip for a comfortable, close shave, but on the downside, the gel wears away within just a few uses, so you must replace the cartridge while the blades are still usable or use a separate shaving gel until the blades become dull enough to swap for a new cartridge. 

Intuition Sensitive Care Razor for Women with Natural Aloe (small)
Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle

Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle

The two-in-one Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle has a five-blade razor on one side and a battery-powered bikini trimmer on the other.

Ideal for bikini lines, the battery-powered trimmer on the Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle makes cleaning up your bikini line a breeze. We tested this razor in the shower on the bikini area for many months and never experienced a nick or cut — even without shaving cream.

The trimmer blade comes with a comb covering that’s adjustable to four different lengths. You can also remove it entirely for a closely-cropped trim. This isn’t the razor for you if you’re looking for an ultra-close shave. But for fast, irritation-free trimming and shaping, it’s an effective tool.

The gentle AAA-battery-powered vibration delicately and easily removes hair with one pass of the shaver. On the opposite side of the trimmer, you’ll find a traditional five-blade razor surrounded by a water-based hydrating serum that you can use on your legs, underarms, and even sensitive areas.  This two-in-one trimmer proves you don’t need a separate razor to remove unwanted hair.

Hydro Silk TrimStyle (small)
Gillette Venus Snap

gillette venus snap

Despite its miniature size, the Gillette Venus Snap does just as good a job of removing hair as its full-size relatives. 

The Gillette Venus Snap is small enough for travel, yet mighty enough to achieve smooth, bare skin. We’ve used the Venus Snap while traveling and really appreciated not only the carry-on-friendly size but also the convenient plastic carrying case. This razor is also refillable, so you can replace a dulled cartridge with the Venus Extra Smooth refills.

The razor’s head is a regular-sized Venus Extra Smooth blade, so you’ll get a super-close, long-lasting, and comfortable shave on your legs, underarms, and — if you’re careful — your bikini line as well.

It’s the diminutive handle that makes this razor so special. It’s miniature and well-designed for an easy grip, so you’ll have as much control as a full-size razor.

Venus Snap (small)
Schick Silk Touch Up

Schick Hydro Silk Touch Up eyebrow Razor

Kiss peach fuzz, stray chin sprouts, and rogue eyebrow hairs goodbye with the Schick Silk Touch Up.

These teeny Schick Silk Touch Up razors are a godsend for those of us blessed with more peach fuzz than we really want. They’re also great for removing any hair on the chin, upper lip, and even patches of dry skin around the chin, nose, or mouth. Insider Reviews editor Maria Del Russo loves to use her Touch Ups around her eyebrows. She credits the angled blade with making it easy to maneuver around your arches without worrying about knicking off the wrong hair. 

The razors have a protective guard that prevents cuts or irritation to the skin. The blade lasts a long time before going dull and the razor comes with a small plastic cover to protect it when not in use. One of the best features about the Schick Silk Touch Up razors is how it leaves the skin: Silky smooth for a polished, near-flawless look, serving as a wonderful base for foundation makeup.

Silk Touch-Up Multipurpose Exfoliating Dermaplaning Tool (small)
Check out our other hair removal guides

woman shaving

The best women’s shaving creams


The best at-home waxing kits


The best tweezers


The best shaving kits


The best safety razors for men

Read the original article on Business Insider

30 companies that give back all year long – not just around the holidays

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

companies that give back cotopaxi
Cotopaxi is a B Corp that puts 1% of its yearly revenue toward grants to nonprofits making sustainable changes in poverty alleviation.

  • Giving back is woven into the business and operations of these 30 companies. 
  • If you shop from the following brands, you’re also supporting several charitable initiatives. 
  • Need more gift ideas? Check out our ultimate gift guide.

Aside from volunteering with or sending direct donations to nonprofits that make our world a better place, one way you can do your part throughout the year is to support businesses that give back. During these tumultuous times, giving back to those in need has never felt more urgent and necessary.

If you’re gifting your loved ones, it’ll only benefit more parties if you buy from companies with a social and environmental conscience. 

When you buy a gift from these 30 companies, you’re also helping to plant a tree, improve livelihoods in underserved areas, save an animal, and more.

Shop at these 30 brands that give back all year long:

Blk & Bold

Blk & Bold  coffee

Shop gifts from Blk & Bold

Blk & Bold, a newly certified B-corporation, prides itself on prioritizing giving back as much as making a profit. The company donates 5% of its profits to supporting at-risk youth and works with over ten organizations with various missions to improve the lives of kids across the country.

Learn more about the initiative here.

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods can flannel

Shop gifts from Uncommon Goods

Combine unique and fun finds with giving back through Uncommon Goods’ Better to Give program. Not only are you supporting small businesses by shopping with Uncommon Goods, but once you select a Better to Give partner, you’ll also be supporting the causes most important to you. Uncommon Goods currently works with organizations that focus on issues including forest conservation, supporting those whose lives have been impacted by conflict and natural disasters, and more. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Bookshop

The Vanishing Half 1200x900

Shop gifts from Bookshop

Bookshop allows customers to support local bookstores from afar by allowing readers to purchase books directly from their favorite bookstores. If you would like to support a specific bookstore, use Bookshop’s store locator and your pick will receive 100% of the profit from the sale. Bookshop’s mission is to support independent bookstores by connecting them with potential customers. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Everlane

companies that give back everlane

Shop gifts from The 100% Human Collection at Everlane

Everlane donates 10% from every purchase in this collection of tees, sweatshirts, face masks, and tote bags to the ACLU and has raised over $1 million to date. 

Learn more about the initiative on each individual product page in the collection

Bombas

companies that give back bombas

Shop gifts from Bombas

Whether you’d like to gift athletic socks, hiking socks, or dress socks, Bombas has you — and the feet of someone in need — covered. For every pair purchased, it donates a specially-designed pair to a homeless shelter. It has donated more than 43 million pairs to more than 3,000 giving partners in the US. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

STATE Bags

companies that give back state bags

Shop gifts from STATE Bags

When you buy a STATE bag, the company fills another with school supplies and gives it to a local student in need at a “Bag Drop” rally. It also shines a light on issues like mass incarceration, the Flint water crisis, and Black Lives Matter through its #WhatDoWeTellTheKids initiatives. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Leesa

leesa foam

Shop gifts from Leesa

Leesa donates one mattress to a nonprofit for every 10 sold and has donated more than 37,000 mattresses so far. The gift of a better night’s sleep for your recipient (plus someone in need) comes in the form of four different mattresses

Learn more about the initiative here.

AUrate

companies that give back aurate

Shop gifts from AUrate

Fine jewelry startup AUrate finds beauty in honestly priced, ethically sourced gold jewelry — as well as the power of reading. Every year, it donates thousands of books to students in need in the US. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Cotopaxi

companies that give back cotopaxi
Cotopaxi is a B Corp that puts 1% of its yearly revenue toward grants to nonprofits making sustainable changes in poverty alleviation.

Shop gifts from Cotopaxi

For colorful outdoor and travel gear they’ll be proud to carry, shop at Cotopaxi, the B Corp that puts 1% of its yearly revenue toward grants to nonprofits making sustainable changes in poverty alleviation. So far, it has awarded 42 grants in six countries. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Cuyana

companies that give back cuyana

Shop gifts from Cuyana

In line with its “Fewer, Better” philosophy, Cuyana encourages shoppers to clean out their closets by providing shipping labels to thredUP. Send in a box of high-quality apparel they no longer need, and they’ll receive a credit to shop at Cuyana. When that credit is spent, Cuyana donates 5% of the profit to H.E.A.R.T. (Helping Ease Abuse Related Trauma). 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Skylar

companies that give back skylar

Shop gifts from Skylar

Skylar is a natural, eco-friendly fragrance company that makes candles and perfume perfect for gifting. It donates a portion of proceeds and time to Step Up, a nonprofit dedicated to mentorship for girls. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Thrive Market

Thrive Market

Shop gift memberships from Thrive Market

Thrive Market, a place to shop natural and organic products for less, offers a one-for-one membership program. That means that every paid membership gives a free one to someone in need, like a low-income family, student, teacher, veteran, or first responder. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Parachute

companies that give back parachute

Shop gifts from Parachute

For every Venice percale bedding set sold at Parachute, it donates one malaria-prevention bed net in partnership with the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Causebox

companies that give back causebox

Gift a subscription from Causebox

Causebox stands out among the bevy of beauty and accessories subscription boxes by only featuring socially conscious products and companies that give back. Its main areas of impact are women’s empowerment, supporting disadvantaged producers, education and skill development, and poverty alleviation. The company itself also helps various charity partners raise funds and awareness. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Wildfang

companies that give back wildfangjpg

Shop gifts from Wildfang

Wildfang, a female-founded and women-run clothing and accessories brand, donates a percentage of profits from full-price goods to a rotating monthly charity. Charities have included Planned Parenthood, Black Girls Code, and Girls Inc.

Learn more about the initiative here.

JUDY

judy emergency kit review

Shop gifts from JUDY

Judy’s bright and expert-informed emergency preparedness kits empower you to get your safety plan in place. It just launched earlier in 2020 but plans on donating 1% of sales annually to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, which provides essential equipment and training to supplement city resources. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Love With Food by SnackNation

companies that give back love with food

Gift a subscription from Love With Food by SnackNation

Better-for-you snack subscription service Love With Food by SnackNation nourishes both stomach and soul by donating at least one meal to a family in need — through Feeding America — for every snack box purchased. Thanks to its subscribers’ healthy appetites for organic and all-natural snacks, it has donated over 1 million meals. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

ThirdLove

companies that give back thirdlove

Shop gifts from ThirdLove

ThirdLove partners with Good360, I Support the Girls, and more organizations to donate its comfortable bras to women in need. It has donated more than $40 million of bras to date, and in the past, it has also donated a bra to a California wildfire victim for every bra purchased. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Warby Parker

companies that give back warby parker

Shop gifts from Warby Parker

If this were like any other year, Warby Parker would distribute a pair of glasses for every pair sold in two different ways. The first helps train adults to administer basic eye exams and sell glasses for affordable prices, while the second gives vision care and glasses to students in need. Its partners include VisionSpring, the Department of Education in New York, and the Department of Health in Baltimore

Instead, Warby Parker has temporarily suspended glasses distribution due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, it’s providing PPE and preventative health supplies to healthcare workers and communities in need for each pair of glasses purchased. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Allbirds

companies that give back allbirds

Shop gifts from Allbirds

Lightly used shoes from this popular startup known for its use of unique materials are sent to Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that donates shoes to people who have been affected by disasters. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

United by Blue

companies that give back united by blue

Shop gifts from United By Blue

The conservation-minded outdoor brand pledges to remove one pound of trash from the planet’s oceans and waterways for every product sold. It has removed more than 3.5 million pounds of trash through organized cleanups, while also using more responsible materials like recycled polyester in its products. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Ethique

companies that give back ethique

Shop gifts from Ethique

Gone are the days of wasteful plastic haircare and skincare bottles. Ethique packs the essential ingredients into a concentrated bar that’s equivalent to three bottles of liquid shampoo, then donates 20% of profits to conservation, animal welfare, and environmental groups and “adopts” animals to pay for their care. It has worked with over 170 organizations worldwide and has ongoing partnerships with Rainforest Trust and HUHA, among others. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Avocado Mattress

companies that give back avocado mattress

Shop gifts from Avocado Mattress

These eco-friendly mattresses are made from materials like natural latex harvested from sustainable tree-tapped sources and organic cotton. The company donates 1% of revenue to environmental nonprofits like Plastic Oceans International and Big Green

Learn more about the initiative here.

Tatcha

companies that give back tatcha

Shop gifts from Tatcha

Every purchase from this Japanese beauty-inspired brand helps fund girls’ education. Tatcha’s Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Future program with nonprofit Room to Read has funded more than 4.6 million days of school for girls in Asia and Africa.

Learn more about the initiative here.

Patagonia

companies that give back patagonia

Shop gifts from Patagonia

Since 1985, Patagonia has donated $89 million to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups. It also donates to nonprofits through its Employee Charity Match program, invests in socially and environmentally minded companies through its own venture capital fund, and donates new and used clothing. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Yoobi

companies that give back yoobi

Shop gifts from Yoobi

Yoobi partners with the Kids In Need Foundation to donate a school supply to a classroom every time you buy one of its products. We’re fans of its sturdy notebooks and weekly calendar planner pads. So far, it’s donated supplies to more than 4 million students.  

Learn more about the initiative here.

KitNipBox

kitnipbox $74.97, 3 months

Gift a subscription from KitNipBox

Each month, this cat toy and treat subscription service donates a portion of proceeds and products to shelters, rescues, and other feline welfare causes. It supports more than 100 animal welfare organizations. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

BarkBox

companies that give back barkbox

Gift a subscription from BarkBox

BarkBox has thousands of rescue and shelter partners that benefit from each subscription purchased. Be on the lookout for custom codes from your favorite organization. When you use the code, BarkBox donates $25 to that rescue or shelter. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Sand Cloud

companies that give back sand cloud

Shop gifts from Sand Cloud

Anyone who loves spending time at the beach should be more invested in protecting marine life. Sand Cloud, which makes Turkish cotton beach towels, donates 10% of profits to organizations that protect and preserve beaches and oceans. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Natori

companies that give back natori

Shop gifts from Natori

Natori’s giving program is unique in that it’s customizable and gives you the power to support a cause you care about. When you add one of its bras or lounge products to your cart, you can choose the nonprofit org that will receive 1% of your purchase. There’s a whole directory of organizations but some featured ones include The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Equal Justice Initiative

Learn more about the initiative here.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

64 thoughtful and fun gifts that won’t cost you more than $25

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

large format print main02 three prints with hands_2x

The elements of a good present – being thoughtful, useful, or novel – aren’t restricted to a big budget. But the best gifts under $25 are usually hidden in a minefield of totally expendable knickknacks. 

As a team of product journalists and reviewers, we’ve put together a list of the best affordable gifts we know of,  based on gifts we’ve received, gifts we’ve given, and others we’ve found along the way. All of them are things we have or would gladly buy and use in our daily lives.

Check out all 60+ gifts under $25: 

This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Under Armour. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*

A reflective card game that encourages connection

were

We’re Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Target, $25

This card game is unlike any you’ve played before. Its three carefully crafted levels of questions spark connections and stimulate reflective conversations. You’ll leave the game making friends out of strangers or diving deeper into your friendships. 

A custom plaque for the music lover in your life

miley

Custom Spotify Song Plaque, available at Etsy, starting $22.50

These custom music plaques have become a popular gift for music lovers. Commemorate their favorite song with this clear piece of home decor that pulls up music with a quick scan. It’s great for anniversaries, letting you add a personal photo along with you and your significant other’s song. 

An assorted cookie tin

cookies

6-Count Cookie Tin, available Milk Bar, $20

Satisfy their sweet tooth with this assortment of cookies. You can’t go wrong with Milk Bar’s best, from its fudgy Chocolate Confetti Cookie to its fruity Blueberry & Cream Cookie.

An ambient moon lamp

saturn

Saturn Moon Lamp, available at Amazon, $21.99

This Saturn-shaped moon lamp gives off a soothing ambient glow to brighten up their room. Whether they use it as a subtle night light or as a room accessory, they’ll have fun matching the lamp to their mood with its 16 color options.

Hip wine glasses that elevate a nice dinner

wine

Hip Wine Glasses, available at Crate & Barrel, $6.95

There’s nothing that screams elegance more than a nice set of wine glasses. At only $7 each, Crate & Barrel’s stemware styles are the perfect guest to accompany your next charcuterie board. 

A sentimental card to keep forever

cards

Aya Paper Co. Gratitude Greeting Card Set, available at Kohl’s, $15

Is their love language words of affirmation? Then this is the perfect find. Express your admiration for the ones you love with these greeting card keepsakes. 

A milk frother that brings the taste of a cafe closer to home

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PowerLix Milk Frother, available at Amazon, $19.95

A milk frother is an unexpectedly convenient tool to have around the house, and it can make a frothy latte or cappuccino that tastes closer to what you’d find at the cafe.

Reusable straws that fold up on the go

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Food52 Reusable Straw Set, available at Food52, from $25

Food52’s reusable straw sets come in a pretty color palette, and each pack includes carrying cases and cleaning squeegees. They can toss one set in their bag, leave one at work, and keep one in the car.

A cult-favorite clay mask that basically vacuums out pores

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Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask, available at Target, $7.99

The Aztec Clay Mask has been called “the world’s most powerful facial” and it’s also under $10. It can be mixed with water, but it works best with a little bit of apple cider vinegar. You can read a full review here.

A cozy, activity-ready beanie

Cheap gift ideas Under Armour

Unisex UA Truckstop Beanie, available at Under Armour, $22

There’s no such thing as too many beanies, and Under Armour’s truly stands out thanks to its sweat-wicking, quick-drying material. Its acrylic knit design will keep them warm on long walks, but it’ll also keep them from overheating during winter workouts. If they’re into fitness but not into hats, Under Armour’s gift guide is a great place to check out clever gift ideas.

*Sponsored by Under Armour

Their new favorite pair of socks

bombas

Women’s Tri-Block Ankle Socks, available at Bombas, $12

Men’s Tri-Block Ankle Socks, available at Bombas, $12

Bombas is one gift we find ourselves giving friends and family every year. They’re the best socks we’ve ever tried, and they’re a little more expensive than someone is likely to spend on socks for themselves, making them a great gift.

A Disney+ subscription

Originals Disney Plus 4x3

Subscribe for $6.99/month or $69.99/year

It gives you unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox, and costs just $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year after a free seven-day trial. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.

And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.

A large photo print of a meaningful memory

large format print main02 three prints with hands_2x

Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $20

Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $20 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $20, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $25.

A roulette of spontaneous date night ideas

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Date Night Bucket List, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Never run out of fun and new date night ideas — and take some of the pressure off deciding on an activity.

A cold brew coffee tool that makes a quart of liquid

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Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $24.99

This cold brew maker is as inexpensive as it is convenient, and it can save hundreds of dollars per year on iced coffee. It easily fits into most refrigerator doors, is simple to use, and makes a good amount of cold brew at once. If they need more than one quart, there’s also a two-quart option.

A trio of bestselling lipstick shades

Beauty gifts under $25 Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath Labs Mini MatteTrance Lipstick Trio, available at Sephora, $25

This paraben-free, ultra-pigmented trio features tiny but mighty editions of Pat McGrath Labs’ MatteTrance lipsticks.

A hair towel that cuts down on drying time by as much as 50%

aquis hair turban

Aquis Original Microfiber Hair Turban, available at Amazon, $20.99

Aquis’ cult-favorite hair towels have inspired a slew of rave reviews online, including one from our own team of product reviewers.

The towels are made from a proprietary fabric called Aquitex that’s composed of ultra-fine fibers (finer than silk) that work to reduce the amount of friction that hair experiences while in its weakest state. Plus, it speeds up drying time by as much as 50%.

Textured dip bowls for condiments

Gifts under $25 dip bowl

Textured Dip Bowl, available at West Elm, $6.50

Ideal for snacks, condiments, and the basics they love to cook with frequently. 

An approachable cookbook that’s great for hosting

Where Cooking Begins

“Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook” by Carla Lalli Music, available at Amazon, $21.99

This is the cookbook to beeline it to if your recipient loves to host friends for dinner. You can find more great options here, too.

A holiday shave set from a popular startup

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Shave Set, available at Flamingo, $16

Flamingo is the women’s brand of Harry’s, and it’s got the same M.O.: to make better hair removal products for a reasonable amount of money, and to present them in a way that makes them feel special. Its Shave Set comes in a recyclable pouch with a razor and two blade cartridges, luxe foaming shave gel, and a shower hook.

Smart outlet plugs that let you turn devices on or off from anywhere

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Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Mini, available at Best Buy, $14.99

A small but convenient gift, smart wifi plugs let the owner turn their electronics on or off from anywhere with their smartphone thanks to the Kasa app. If they have a smart home gadget, they can use the voice assistant to turn things on and off as well. In the Kasa app, they can also set schedules and “scenes” for controlling many devices with one button. 

A custom family portrait – including pets

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Custom Family Portrait, available at Etsy, from $15

For an especially thoughtful, impactful gift, order ahead of time and get a custom portrait of your little family — pets included.

A mini griddle that makes individual servings of breakfast foods

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Dash Mini Maker: The Mini Waffle Maker Machine, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99

This tiny waffle maker is perfect for single-serving breakfasts, or for meal prep (just freeze your waffles ahead of time). It’s compact for confined spaces, heats up in a few minutes, and has a non-stick surface that’s easy to clean.

A lifetime REI membership

REI

REI Membership, available at REI, $20

Perfect for the outdoorsy types, an REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here.

A set of three silk hair scrunchies

SlipSilk

Slipsilk Mini Scrunchies, available at Sephora, $20

Silk is often used in products like headbands and pillowcases to reduce friction and breakage of hair, and these hair ties serve the same purpose. Designed to keep hair from catching, crimping, and pulling, these hair scrunchies are gentle on strands and around the wrist.

Containers of Belgian chocolate for fondue

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Decadent Chocolate Fondue, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Order a stoneware container of Belgian chocolate that you can heat up for a night of hassle-free fondue. 

A water bottle with a built-in filter system

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Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle, available at Amazon, $16.99

The Brita water bottle has a built-in filter that can improve the taste of water by reducing its chlorine content and smell. It can replace an estimated 1,800 single-use plastic bottles each year.

A reusable shopping bag that comes in tons of fun colors

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Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag, available at Amazon, $12

Baggu bags are popular for a reason — they come in tons of fun prints and can fold down to pretty much nothing even though they can hold 50 pounds of stuff. 

An indoor wireless smart home camera

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Wyze Alexa-Enabled Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera, available at Chewy, $25.98

The popular Wyze Indoor Camera is an inexpensive, Alexa- and Google Assistant-enabled smart home camera that lets you see inside your home from anywhere when using your mobile device. It also has night vision. 

*This product was selected at a price point below $25, but prices can often fluctuate slightly above or below $25. 

A spray that protects your shoes from stains

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Jason Markk Repel Spray, available at Amazon, $17

This Jason Markk spray repels water and oil to keep your shoes free of stains and water spots. It’s water-based, so it’s okay to use on a variety of materials — from suede to nubuck leather to canvas and others. It sprays a fine mist that covers large areas both quickly and evenly. 

Soft, cozy underwear that comes in holiday patterns

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MeUndies Boxers, available at MeUndies, $24

MeUndies makes some of the most comfortable underwear and loungewear for men and women that we’ve found at Insider Reviews. And, beyond that, we love their festive patterns.

Because they’re pricier than most people are willing to pay for their own underwear, these make a great and surprisingly luxurious gift. 

Coasters made from reclaimed vinyl records

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Upcycled Record Coasters, available at Uncommon Goods, $18

These upcycled coasters are made from reclaimed vinyl records and sealed against moisture. Each set includes a variety of music genres. 

A water bottle that keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours straight

Gifts under $25 Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask 12 oz Kids Wide Mouth Bottle, available at Hydro Flask, $22.46

Hydro Flask’s cult-favorite water bottle keeps chilled drinks cold for up to 24 hours. This particular version is marketed with kids in mind, but the smaller size and bright colors also work well for adults on the go.

Fast-absorbing, moisturizing hand sanitizer

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Touchland Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $12

Touchland makes hand sanitizers that aren’t sticky or drying. We like them because they’re fast-evaporating, moisturizing, and effective

An eco-friendly utensil set for eating on the go

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United by Blue Utensil Kit, available at United by Blue, $24

Perfect for eating on the go or at a campsite, this utensil kit comes with two stainless steel straws, one silicone straw tip, one straw cleaner, one stainless steel spork, and one pair of stainless steel chopsticks.

United by Blue is an eco-friendly outdoors retailer, and the carrier is made from 100% recycled polyester ripstop with a water-resistant finish.

A protective phone case

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Incase Phone Cases, available at Incase, from $14.95

Incase probably already makes your laptop case, and their phone cases are great for many of the same reasons. They’re lightweight, add another layer of protection, and allow for some fun personalization. 

A membership to unlimited reading

Scribd

Scribd Membership, available at Scribd, $9.99/month

Enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of books, audiobooks, and magazines for less than $10 a month with Scribd. (Or $13 per month for access to Scribd and the New York Times). If they aren’t a bibliophile already, Scribd will make them one. 

A cult-favorite fidget toy

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Speks Classic Magnet Balls, available at Speks, $24.95

Speks are one of our all-time favorite fidget accessories. They’re tiny magnetic balls that you can break apart, reconfigure, and otherwise mold, mash, and build with. They help us divert just enough energy to remain productive throughout the day. 

Herbs de Provence in a cool ceramic crock

Cheap Valentine's Day Gifts

Herbes de Provence in Ceramic Crock, available at Williams Sonoma, from $14.95

Switch it up for the cook in your life with this tasty herb mix. The classic blend of thyme, basil, savory, fennel and lavender hails from the South of France, and Williams Sonoma recommends using it to accent poultry, meat, sauces, and soups. 

Spiral hair ties that don’t leave kinks in their hair

Gifts under $25 Invisibobble

Invisibobble Pouch of Awesome, available at Ulta, $16.10

Inivisibobble makes popular spiral hair ties that apply even pressure to a ponytail, providing a strong but comfortable hold. This set comes with four hair ties: the Slim, Scrunchie, Basic, and Power.

Chip-resistant, vegan nail polish that comes in over 40 colors

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Smith and Cult Nail Polish, available at Smith and Cult, $18

Smith & Cult’s rich, chip-resistant nail polish comes in 47 colors and the kind of beautiful bottle you leave out on the vanity because it’s just that nice to look at. The formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, and don’t have potentially harmful ingredients like formaldehyde or camphor,  among others.

An advent calendar of 24 herbal teas

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Pukka Advent Calendar, available at Amazon, $14.37

This pack of 24 tea bags in different varieties supplies a full month of daily spontaneity and self-care. According to Pukka Herbs, all its teas and supplements are ethically and sustainably sourced. 

Charitable lottery tickets that donate money to a deserving organization

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Scratch-off Donation Card, available at LottoLove, from $5

When you scratch off a card from LottoLove, you won’t win any money. Instead, you “win” a charitable prize that’s donated to someone in need. There are four possible prizes, which help provide clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, or literacy tools. To date, LottoLove and its charitable partners have impacted lives in over 60 countries.

Lip gloss that’s moisturizing and not sticky

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Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss, available at Sephora, $14

Tower 28 makes soft lip glosses with subtle color and a non-sticky, moisturizing formula with ingredients like raspberry seed oil and rosehip oil. Pick it up in 10 colors. 

A set of glasses that have a how-to diagram for Bloody Marys

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Bloody Mary Diagram Glassware, Set of 2, available at Uncommon Goods, $25

These cute Bloody Mary glasses make a playful science out a truly perfect spicy and savory Bloody Mary. 

Reusable beeswax sandwich wraps

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Beeswax Reusable Sandwich Wrap, available at Food52, from $18

Beeswax Sandwich Wrap is made from cotton infused with beeswax and natural oils. It acts as an eco-friendly substitute to plastic sandwich bags, and which can be reused over and over and over again.

Gourmet flavored syrups that are perfect for coffees and teas, and even cocktails

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Monin Mini Coffee Syrup, available at World Market, $9.99

Did anyone — anyone at all — say cocktails? Monin’s coffee collection has everything needed for café-inspired drinks, be they cocktails, lattes, coffees, or teas. It includes five syrups ranging in flavors from amaretto to Irish cream. Plus, Monin has a recycling initiative that works to improve the health of bee populations. 

A smart chip that helps you find items you’ve lost

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Tile Mate, available at Target, $24.99

How nice would it be if every time you lost something, you could find it within a few minutes? Use your smartphone to make the Tile Mate ring aloud, and you’ll be able to locate your keys or wallet using the sound. 

A travel-size duo of two cult-favorite NARS products

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NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil Duo, available at Sephora, $20

NARS’ velvet matte lipstick pencils are travel-sized so your giftee can bring them on trips or easily throw them into purses and pockets for on-the-go use. The formula is non-drying and long-lasting, and they can be used to line, define, and fill in lips with colors that range from subtle to rich. 

A popular lip mask that creates a protective seal to lock in moisture overnight

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Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, available at Sephora, $22

Laneige’s hyper-successful Lip Sleeping Mask uses a combination of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, minerals, antioxidants, and fruit extracts to form a protective layer over the lips to lock in moisture overnight. It has over 7,000 ratings on Sephora, and an average rating of 4.5-stars out of five. 

A slip-resistant armband to keep their phone in place on a run

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Tribe Cell Phone Armband, available at Amazon, from $14.98

If you’re going to buy an armband for a runner, you’re probably going to wind up buying this version from Tribe. It has over 18,000 reviews on Amazon (with a 4.2-star rating overall) and, while it’s not the most perfect out there, it’s frequently recommended for its water-resistant and no-slip design. 

Knee-high socks from one of the best loungewear companies online

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Tommy John Knee High Casual Sock, available at Tommy John, from $18

Tommy John is another company responsible for some of the very best loungewear and underwear on the internet. Their knee-length socks have light compression to support blood flow, and the “comfort cuff” design means you should be able to peel them off without finding marks left over. 

A ceramic jewelry holder and ring dish

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Cactus Jewelry Holder Dish, available at Amazon, $17.99

A cute, quirky ceramic ring dish and jewelry holder that looks like a cactus.

An adjustable phone stand for their desk, dinner table, or kitchen counter

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Lamicall Adjustable Cell Phone Stand, available at Amazon, from $11.99

Whether they use it as a desk accessory or to prop up their YouTube search for “how to chop onions” while they cook at home, a lightweight, adjustable phone stand comes in handy more often than you’d expect. 

One of the best new books of the year

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“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah, available at Amazon, from $17.39

If you’re looking for a good book to gift, look no further than the reading lists already on Amazon — from the best books of the month, to the best books of the year, to the 100 you should read in a lifetime

All the tools you need for a delicious, fast avocado toast

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Avocado Toast Breakfast Set, available at Walmart, $11.50

This set of breakfast tools makes a thoughtful gift for anyone who wants a delicious meal faster, which is never a bad thing in the morning.

A photo book with some of their best memories

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Custom Softcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising from $15

For a sentimental gift under $25, we recommend these beautifully designed photo books that look like a personal magazine, curated by you for them.

Bath salts that are the perfect excuse for relaxation

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Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts, available at Dermstore, $18

Herbivore Botanical’s bath salts include nutrient-rich Pacific sea salts combined with ylang-ylang and vanilla essential oil. They’ll moisturize the skin and provide a deeply relaxing, calming effect on the brain to decrease anxiety and restlessness.  

The best hair mask you can buy

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It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask, available at It’s a 10, from $12.49

Perfect for color-treated, heat-styled, and otherwise damaged hair, It’s a 10’s hair mask deep-conditions strands with a blend of moisturizing ingredients like oat kernel extract, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, and linseed extract. We ranked it the best hair mask you can buy

Fruit ice molds to liven up water or cocktails

Gifts under $25 fruit ice balls

Fruit Infusing Ice Balls, Set of 4, available at Uncommon Goods, $10

This slow-melting ice mold can add a crisp, refreshing burst of fruit or herbs to their water. All they have to do is add their fix-ins to the mold, fill with water, and freeze.

A cute, bunny-shaped loose-tea infuser

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Fred & Friends Brew Bunny Tea Infuser, available at Amazon, $9.79

Gift them some relaxing time spent sipping their favorite tea (which you could pick up as an accompanying gift). 

The makeup remover tourists stock up on in French pharmacies

Bioderma

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Makeup Remover, available at Amazon, $14.90

Bioderma’s makeup remover is a cult-favorite among makeup artists, celebrities, the average person, and the Insider Reviews team. We’ve ranked it the best makeup remover you can buy, and it’s one of the many beauty products tourists are known to stock up on when visiting a French pharmacy. 

Silicone gloves that keep the other half of the avocado fresh

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Avocado Huggers, Set of 2, available at Uncommon Goods, $8

These little silicone cups hug the remaining half of an avocado to keep it fresh in the fridge. 

Tickets to an event you know they’ll appreciate

StubHub gift card

Live concert and game tickets, available at Stubhub, from $15 per person

Once it’s safe to attend live events again, is there a good concert, play, or game you think they’d love? It doesn’t have to be expensive to be impactful. Grab tickets and make a night of it — or, if you live far away, make sure they get to go with a friend or two.

Read the original article on Business Insider