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Style How to choose a skin care gift for the picky beauty buff

Aesop Atlas of Attraction Contours of Discovery Gift Kit.

DANIEL HERRMANN-ZOLL

As a result of increased awareness of ingredients in beauty products, many of us have become incredibly discerning about what we will – and won’t – lather onto our bodies. It’s a level of knowledge that can make giving the gift of skin care during the holidays an intimidating prospect. Whether your loved one prefers fragrance-free, all natural or the top dermatologists-approved formulations, finding just the right present among the thousands of seasonal specials can be daunting.

But fear not. For those who don’t know hyaluronic acid from charcoal, there are several clues to help narrow your focus. To guide your selection, figure out which brands your recipient prefers by taking a peek into their medicine cabinet or logging onto social media to see who they’re following or posting about. If you’re still unsure, look for luxe options that will appeal to a broad audience, such as a bar of soap from Roger & Gallet or a tube of L’Occitane hand-cream.

Another option is limited-edition collaborations and gift sets, which are created just for special occasion gifting. Consider Australian skin-care brand Aesop, which in my experience makes for a universally well-received gift. This holiday season, Aesop collaborated with Dutch couturier Iris van Herpen on a collection of four gift kits. Housed in a reusable case featuring a customized van Herpen couture pattern, they contain a mix of products that feel and smell as good as they look.

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Aesop Atlas of Attraction Contours of Discovery Gift Kit, $150 at Aesop stores, counters and through aesop.com.

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