I love getting presents but it does feel really nice to give to someone else. That’s why I put together a list of eight (beauty, skin care and grooming) brands with philanthropy as part of their mission — plus, my favorite product pick from each that anyone would be happy to receive this season.

This way, whether you’re buying for someone else or treatin’ yo’self, you’re still giving back.


Tatcha was founded upon the ancient, sacred rituals of Japanese Geishas, who were strong and captivating women. (See here for why the myth of Geishas as prostitutes is a wholly untrue and perpetuated stereotype.) Through the brand’s Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures program, every full-size product you buy from Tatcha funds one day of school for a girl in Asia and Africa with Room to Read to support the next generation of strong women.

Must have:

Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, $48, tatcha.com

Everyone should use an oil cleanser. Like dissolves like and cleansing with an oil breaks up and removes oil-based impurities like makeup and pore-clogging oils. This cleanser is gentle enough to use every night but strong enough to break up eyelash glue.


Love Beauty and Planet

What’s better than a product gift set? A product gift set you can get at the love of my life, Target, that also helps to save the planet. Love Beauty and Planet put together 10 holiday gift sets of which 100 percent of all profits will be donated to The Recycling Partnership to help improve recycling in U.S. cities. Each set comes with a different selection of products from shampoo and conditioner to dry shampoo to body lotion plus tote bags or cosmetic cases.

Must have:

Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower Gift Pack (Shampoo, conditioner and body wash plus cosmetic bag), $15, Target, in-store only

I’m a sucker for coconut and this version leaves behind a pretty and light fragrance. The shampoo and conditioner duo make your hair super soft and full of body. The body wash, which, like all of LB&P’s products are 100-percent vegan, leaves your skin soft without stripping. There are other fragrances to choose from (like dreamy Argan Oil and Lavender or sweet Murumuru Butter and Rose) so check out Target for all options.


Thrive Causemetics

Karissa Bodnar started the brand after losing her dear friend, Kristy, to cancer. For each product purchased, Thrive donates to help women thrive including funds, products and services to support women and their families, as well as animal welfare and the planet.


Must have:

Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara, $24, thrivecausemetics.com

If you want serious length and volume without the commitment to lash extensions, this mascara is your answer. I got a sample of this in my Ipsy bag and had to order the full-size. This gift is a perfect little stocking-stuffer.


Herbivore Botanicals

If clean ingredients, gorgeous packaging and names that sound good enough to eat don’t reel you in, Herbivore’s commitment to giving back will. In 2018 alone, the Seattle-based brand donated to causes including Women for Women International, Oceana and more. One dollar from every purchase of Prism Exfoliating Glow Potion goes to Queer & Trans Youth Music Project which organizes programming that focuses on music, empowerment and social justice.

Must have:

PRISM Natural Fruit Acid 5% Exfoliating Glow Potion, $62, herbivorebotanicals.com

Prism is a great gift for a serious skin care enthusiast. This lightweight serum is made with a fruit-derived 5 percent alpha hydroxy acid blend to gently exfoliate and tone skin, plus a mix of vitamin C for brightening and rose and aloe water and plant-derived, vegan sodium hyaluronate to reduce redness and hydrate skin.


Wren Natural

The idea for Wren Natural sprung from a major diet overhaul that made founders rethink the power of food in skin and personal care. UrbanFarmU, the focus of the brand’s Giving Back program that receives 10 percent of the brand’s profits, provides inspiration, knowledge and tools to help people grow their own food and live healthier lives.


Must have:

Facial Cleansing Grains, $25, wrennatural.com

This cleanser is a gentle physical exfoliant that won’t cause microtears in your skin. It comes as a powder and you add water to activate which means more bang for your buck. Plus, you can use this as a mask on days your skin needs a little extra love which makes for the best 2-in-1 gift.


Wailani Jewelry & Beauty

Ten percent of the proceeds from every bottle of Wailani nail polish benefits Rescue + Freedom Project, an animal rescue that saves animals from laboratory testing and abuse. RFP’s home, Rescue Outreach Center in Agoura Hills, California, was recently lost to Camp Fire on the west coast. While all animals, volunteers and staff are safe, the organization is in desperate need of donations.

Must have:

Nail Polish in “Freedom,” $10.50, wailanijewelry.com

Nail polish is a perfect gift. This gorgeous iridescent deep purple flatters just about any skin tone and makes you look like straight-up royalty. It’s chip resistant so you don’t have to worry about your nails throughout the holiday madness. Plus, it’s cruelty-free and vegan.


Lush Cosmetics

Giving back is at the heart of cult-favorite Lush. For every purchase of sweet-smelling, ultra-moisturizing Charity Pot body lotion, Lush donates 100 percent of the price minus taxes to small grassroots organizations in environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.


Must have:

Charity Pot, $7.95 for 1.7 ounces or $27.95 for 8.4 ounces (potted cream); $9.95 for 4.2 ounces (naked solid), lushusa.com or Lush, in-store

I’m a big Lush fan so this body lotion is a staple in my arsenal. Your skin feels soft — never, ever greasy — but absorbs fast and leaves your body with a healthy glow. You’ll smell pretty good, too. Choose Charity Pot Naked Body Lotion for a package-free, waste-free option to make the earth happy. This is the perfect gift for just about anyone. Who doesn’t want soft, healthy skin? 


Lucky Grooming

Lucky Grooming believes in revolutionizing men’s grooming with clean ingredients as much as giving back to those who serve. Throughout the year, the brand donates a portion of proceeds to organizations that support veterans, including The Gary Sinise Foundation, or provides plane tickets home to family, products and more to veterans or those in active duty.

Must have:

Classic Beard Oil, $20, luckygrooming.com

Beard hair, unlike most men’s hair on their head, is wiry and coarse. A beard oil with ingredients like coconut, patchouli, almond and apricot oils nourishes not only the hair but the often neglected skin underneath. For those without a beard, this oil contains ideal ingredients to moisturize and soothe dry, cracked winter hands.