The holidays might be fast approaching but there is still time to come up with unique gift ideas for your friends and family. Since some of us are under lockdowns, it might be particularly difficult to get to stores to shop this time around. Of course, there are many online options. But, how about coming up with a handmade gift? A DIY self-care kit might just fit the bill. And, it is so important to care for oneself these days. Maybe more so than before the pandemic.
Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.Parker Palmer
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who would not enjoy and appreciate a thoughtful, handmade box with gifts for natural face, bath, and body care. And, handmade gifts can be customized for the specific needs of the person you are giving to. You are likely aware whether the recipient of your DIY skincare gift box prefers to bathe or shower, or whether they like heavy woodsy aromas or prefer romantic floral or uplifting citrusy smells.
Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.Eleanor Roosevelt
Giving self-care gifts (or any gifts for that matter) is great not only for the recipient but also for the person giving. Can you imagine the impact when the gift is actually handmade? Even more joy, appreciation, and gratitude!
Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of a gift, that gift can elicit feelings of gratitude—it can be a way of expressing gratitude or instilling gratitude in the recipient. And research has found that gratitude is integral to happiness, health, and social bonds.5 Ways Giving Is Good for You
Best self-care gifts are tailored to the recipient
This is the genius of handmade skincare gifts. You can fully customize what goes into them, depending on the recipient’s preferences, their skin type, and even their ethical stance.
- For vegans, you’d avoid any animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax or lanolin and substitute with 100% vegan ingredients (like carnauba wax).
- For eco-friendly peeps, you’ll make sure to choose a thoughtful Earth-loving packaging for your self-care box.
- For the recipient who prefers more traditionally masculine smells, you’ll use woodsy or citrusy essential oils to add natural fragrance to the product.
- For someone who loves all flowers, but loathes lavender, you’ll make sure to avoid this particular essential oil.
And so on. You get the point.
DIY self-care gifts are not cheap
Making your own handmade gift box is much more affordable than buying a ready-made product, but, it should not be seen as cheap. With natural skin- and body care, the finished product can only be as good as the ingredients you put in that bottle or jar. It makes little sense to cut corners here, especially when there are so many affordable organic carrier oils, butters, waxes, essential oils to choose from, for example at Plant Therapy, my go-to source for many materials.
Perfect synergy in one little gift box
The DIY recipes will help you make below are for a variety of products but they all are perfect to bundle into a self-care gift set. You can customize the boxes in whatever way you want. Here are a few ideas:
Daily facial care gift box
- Face Cleanser
- Face Toner
- Face Oil
- Lip Scrub and Balm Combo
Pamper yourself gift box
- Body Scrub
- Body Oil
- Hand and Body Cremé
Face Spa Gift Box
- Face Scrub
- Face Toner
- Face Oil
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.Maya Angelou
DIY self-care kit to make this giving season
1. Body Scrub
Who doesn’t love a wonderful, 100% natural, sugar and honey body scrub to buff and polish while in a bath or shower? A body scrub is fully customizable regarding:
- the main ingredient (salt or sugar or mix)
- base oil (for example almond or olive oil for drier skin, hemp seed or jojoba for oilier skin types)
- essential oils (personal preference)
- additives (dried orange or lemon peel, strawberry seeds, poppy seeds, coffee grounds, and so on)
For a basic recipe, see this DIY Sugar Body Scrub Recipe
2. Hand and Body Butter
Some of the best and safest natural cosmetics to give are butters, salves, and oils. Since they lack water in their formulation, they will not spoil and do not need any preservatives. They are also some of the easiest to create.
A nice hand- and- body cremé is just that easy and again, very customizable. The recipe below adds a bit of arrowroot flour which makes the butter non-greasy. However, for winter times, you might want to skip it. Again, it all depends on personal preference.
Read here to make the Four Ingredient Non-Greasy Body Cremé
3. Body Oil
Whether body- or face oil, these gifts are probably the easiest to make. Really, it only takes a few minutes to mix the oils together. The most important and creative part is to research (ask the recipient) about their preferences and skin type, and then to tailor your DIY gift to their specific needs.
Some oils are more suited for drier or more mature skin types (olive oil, sweet almond oil, apricot seed oil, fractionated coconut oil, rosehip seed oil, and more). Others are more suitable for oilier or even blemish-prone skin types (jojoba, grapeseed, hemp seed, pomegranate seed oils, tamanu). Some have an earthy or nutty scent which might be off-putting to the recipient (hemp seed, hazelnut, tamanu). Others have almost zero fragrance (jojoba, grapeseed, camelia).
Another factor to consider is whether the oil is used for face or body and whether you are looking for a faster absorption (camelia, argan, jojoba), or whether you are looking for a heavier, more occlusive treatment for the skin (sweet almond and avocado oil for example).
For more in-depth information about choosing the right carrier oil, see the article here.
And here is the recipe for my super easy and fully customizable DIY Body Oil.
4. Lip Scrub and Balm Combo
These are ideal, small-item gifts that are super quick and fun to make. Include them in the self-care kit or use them as stocking stuffers. They are perfect for this purpose. When it comes to lip balms, you will have to research whether your gift recipient is okay with using beeswax or would they rather prefer a plant-based wax. Other than that, the sky is a limit in terms of customizing.
- For coffee lovers – make a coffee and vanilla-scented scrub and balm combo
- For PSL lovers – add some Pumpkin, Cardamom, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon essential oils
- For a purist – make it unscented.
And so on.
5. Facial Toner
Even in wintertime, a face toner is a great all-around gift. Easy to make and customize, it can be as little as a hydrosol with a bit of aloe vera for the slip. Or, you can customize it with specialized skincare botanical additives like:
- For sensitive skin – use chamomile hydrosol and a few drops of Blue Tansy essential oil
- For Oily skin – use lime or lemongrass hydrosol with Cypress or Vetiver essential oil
- For mature skin – go for the all-time favorite, like this Rose Facial Toner
6. Facial Cleanser
Everybody washes their face. Some prefer to use soap and water, others stay away from soap altogether. Here again, you can tailor your gift to the specific needs of the recipient.
Face Oil Cleanser
Such an awesome, natural way to remove makeup and the daily grime from the face. Free of soap, easy to use, completely customizable to specific skin types.
Read this post for the basic recipe and ideas for customization.
Foaming Natural Soap Cleanser
For those who want the second step of washing (following the oil cleanser) or those who do not love the oil cleansing method, there is a foaming soap cleanser. Featuring Honey and Aloe Vera as start ingredients, this is super gentle on the skin even with the little addition of pure Castille soap.
Read this post about my Easy Foaming Soap Cleanser.
7. Facial Oil Serum
Lastly, an oil serum. These make a great gift for anyone on your nice list. Man, woman, old, young. Everybody can benefit from a face oil serum that is fitting for their skin type. All you need to get to make and include it in your DIY self-care gift kit is the oil or oils blend, essential oils that can therapeutically benefit your friend’s skin, and a pretty, dark-glass bottle for the oil so that it won’t lose its efficacy when exposed to sunlight.
For a basic recipe, read about Making your Own Skincare and find the recipe toward the end of the post.
I hope this post gave you a few ideas for a handmade self-care box that will make a perfect gift for that skincare lover in your life. Happy Holidays and Happy Giving!