This year, at-home yumminess and self-care is the vibe for my holiday picks. The holidays are all about being cozy with friends and family — because we all know we’re the best versions of ourselves when we feel good. 

In this Holiday Gift Guide, say hello to artisan food, pretty little things, and chill entertaining options that will have even the pickiest of giftees ho-ho-ho-ing. Happy Holidays, friends! 

SHOP LISA’S PICKS

Iluna Night by Sarah Elizabeth 

Make like a middle schooler and show the besties some love with these handmade Swarovski crystal woven friendship bracelets. Elegant, but still massive amounts of fun, they’ll feel playground-giddy every time they look down at their wrist. 

Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Prepare to fall in love with Heitz Cellar’s wines. Gift idea #1: Plan an actual trip to their magical winery in Napa. Gift idea #2: This particular Cabernet is perfect for a wine connoisseur… without breaking the bank.  

Doen Paz Pajamas

It’s slumber party time! Rewind a few decades in these sustainably made pj’s. They are sleep-on-a-cloud soft and come in the sweetest of patterns. 

Suzanne Kaufman’s Oil Bath for the Senses

Hands down, heavenly ylang-ylang, patchouli, and lavender are the essentials any proper bath needs. After just one soak in this concoction of nourishing oils prepare for a new level of relaxation. 

Plant One on Me Planters

This Etsy shop is full of unique planters that will bring a sense of fun and life to a home. Holiday Hot Tip: They also make the best stocking stuffers!

Zingermans’ Sweet + Spicy Bread Gift Box

For the foodie / carb lover, this is a perfect hostess gift full of Zingermans’ signature specialty loaves. Chocolate Sourdough, Cinnamon Raisin, Chile Cheddar, and Peppered Bacon Farm breads will have the whole party talking… guaranteed. 

Anthropologie’s Agate Cheese Board + Herbiflora Cheese Knives

For those who love to entertain, this pairing is a no-brainer. Made from agate stone, the cheese board is modern and elegant all at once, and the brass and stainless steel knives with handles crafted in shapes of herbs — rosemary, thyme, and sage — is the perfect combination for appetizers (as well as a prime conversation starter). 

Hawkins New York 5-Piece Cleaning Kit

Gift the hostess in your life a beechwood set that makes cleaning actually enjoyable. It includes a glass brush, pan scrubber, dish brush, replacement brush head, and drawstring bag. All those holiday parties don’t have nothin’ on ya!

 

SHOP LAUREN’S PICKS

Flamingo Estate’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Created from a blend of Arbequina, Arbosana, Koroneiki Olives organically grown in Paso Robles, this oil has a fresh taste with floral and fruit-forward notes. Olives are hand-picked at their peak of ripeness and processed the same day. Talk about fresh!

Mount Lai’s Jade Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool

Jade is known as the stone of eternal youth, and Gua Sha has been practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It firms and lifts, promotes lymphatic drainage, reduces puffiness, and aids in circulation. (But we know we had you at “firms and lifts.”)

Art of Tea’s Organic Tea

Hand-blended, loose-leaf teas which each come with their own unique story. Browse through their various collections like White Coconut Creme Tea or Egyptian Chamomile, or gift a membership to their “Tea of the Month” club.

Kin Euphorics’ Spritzes

Co-founded by the gorgeous Bella Hadid, Kin was created with an intention to “transform the world’s oldest social ritual — drinking — into a conscious act of better being.” Delicious, with a beautiful design, it’s the perfect party gift… one that won’t lead to a hangover.

Barefoot Dreams’ CozyChic Throw 

A celeb favorite, these throws are known for being extra soft and cozy, with easy-care fabric that won’t shrink, pill, or wrinkle. It’s a perfect addition of simple elegance to any home décor.

Compartes Chocolates

Gift some chocolate with a twist. How about a Margarita themed chocolate bar? Birthday Cake flavor? What about Chocolate Dipped Apricots, or a customized box with your name or logo? Compartes has a luxury chocolate for literally everyone.

Sakara’s Beauty Water Drops

Designed to blend with any drink, Sakara’s Water Drops provide extra hydration as well as collagen and keratin support. It’s time to remineralize with the power of plants!

Our Place’s Always Pan

You’ve seen this pan all over social media. Not only do they come in the cutest colors — Lavender! Blue Salt! Sage! — they are designed to replace eight traditional pieces of cookware. It’s a fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest. We’ll be over for dinner at 7!

Lia Burke Libaire Prints

The Charleston based visual artist and designer creates vibrant, and often irreverent work. She is a Vogue favorite and is inspired by the sea, astrology, and botanicals. Her signature “evil eye” is a common theme throughout her work, and makes for a fun and unique gift. 

CalPak’s Clear Cosmetic Case

Make travel a cinch with this clear cosmetic case. With two spacious zippered compartments, it’s water resistant and compact and will make for the perfect travel companion. 

The Conservatory’s Memo Pad

Because sometimes you need to actually write down all those million dollar ideas (rather than just plugging it into the Notes app). This memo pad is perfect for note-taking and is a staple on any desk. (Its sleek design and metallic foils ensure it looks the part as well.)

Lumira’s Arabian Oud Room Spray

For the boss in your life, gift the fragrance of opulence. The Arabian Oud Interior Scent captures the charm of the Middle East with smoky, fresh, and sophisticated aromas. With just a few pumps, it’s a smell that will awaken your mind and will last for several hours.

Want healthy, radiant skin that defies premature signs of aging? If so, you’ll need to take steps to support skin barrier function and protect against free radical damage.

Keep reading to see how it’s done. But first: what is the skin barrier and what does environmental stress do to your skin, exactly?

What Is the Skin Barrier?

Simply put, the skin barrier is the protective outer layer of the epidermis that keeps water and minerals intact. It’s also the first line of defense against harmful bacteria, fungi, and toxins from penetrating the body through the skin. It’s worth noting that the skin is a component of the body’s innate immune system, as well.

Skin cells layered in a brick-and-mortar pattern comprise the skin barrier. In this analogy, skin cells are bricks, and the glue holding them together consists of lipids, including fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides.

As we can see, skin barrier function is essential to maintain the integrity of your skin—not only for a glowing complexion but also for protection from external aggressors.

What Environmental Stress Does to Your Skin

There are many kinds of environmental stressors that can threaten skin barrier function, contribute to premature signs of aging, and otherwise damage the skin.

“Environmental aggressors are one of the main causes of aging skin,” Dr. Goldfaden begins. “Daily aggressors such as the sun, pollution, exhaust, smoking, secondhand smoke, radiation, the ozone, and topical ingredients (like phthalates and mineral oil) all contribute to the demise of our healthy skin cells.”

These environmental stressors allow free radicals to proliferate in the skin and body. (Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage in the body—and while environmental stressors do contribute to their presence, they also result from ordinary metabolic processes.)

As Dr. Goldfaden continues, free radicals “cause the breakdown of collagen, onset of wrinkles, cell mutation, aging, dark spots, dehydration, inflammation, and immune function damage.” In fact, they cause direct damage to the skin’s DNA and thus skin barrier function as well.

While environmental stressors are ever-present and have adverse effects on your skin—not to mention overall health—it’s essential (and possible!) to reduce their impact in major ways.

How to Protect Your Skin Barrier and Reverse Skin Damage

Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can simultaneously boost skin barrier function and reverse (and help prevent) skin damage.

To promote a healthy, protected complexion, loading up on antioxidants is a great place to start.

Eat Antioxidant-Rich Foods

First, dietary antioxidants have the power to neutralize free radicals, thus preventing cell damage before it can take its toll on your skin and health alike.

Aim to eat foods and drinks that pack key antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene, including:

  • carrots
  • tomatoes
  • collard greens
  • apples
  • mangoes
  • berries

Apply the Best Antioxidants for Skin

Then, of course, we have topical antioxidants in skincare products. While vitamins C and E and ferulic acid are among the most popular kinds (tip: benefit from their protective, glow-getting powers in Goldfaden MD’s Brightening Elixir), there are others worth mentioning that pack a serious punch to nourish and protect your skin.

Meadowfoam seed oil contains a blend of omega fatty acids to lock in moisture, balance the skin, and ward off free radical damage from UV rays, pollution, and other environmental stressors.

Next, niacinamide (aka vitamin B3) is a top trending topical antioxidant—and rightly so! Niacinamide is as well-rounded as it is potent; it has the power to brighten, hydrate, and protect your complexion from the elements—as well as refine pores—leaving you with nourished, radiant skin.

Last but not least, bakuchiol is an antioxidant that’s best known as a gentler, vegan alternative to anti-aging powerhouse retinol. With consistent use, you can say goodbye to fine lines and hyperpigmentation and hello to firm skin—all while reducing the potential for dryness, irritation, and photosensitivity.

Goldfaden MD is proud to introduce the newest product to our lineup for nourished, firmer, hydrated skin: the Radiance Repair Daily Renewal Serum. It packs a fortifying blend of meadowfoam seed oil, niacinamide, and bakuchiol so you can wake up to a tighter, brighter complexion.