Traditionally, skin care has not been the most giftable beauty category. It seems not many dream of opening a holiday present to reveal a cleanser and moisturizer in a pretty package. Skin care can be complicated and women may not always know what they need. This makes for a major hurdle to cross when competing against the more sparkly makeup and sentimental fragrance categories for those important holiday dollars.

Consumers want brands to make understanding skin care easy for them. One-quarter of U.S. women recently surveyed by NPD said they prefer to purchase skin care as a regimen or kit.* Purchasing regimens provides consumers with a trial period to see how the products affect their skin. Some retailers have started to capitalize on this. Sephora’s Favorites sets, or boxes that contain a multitude of brands centered on a theme, are released periodically throughout the year. While in the past there has been more attention on curating boxes for fragrance and makeup, this year a few of their skin care boxes sold out within a day of going on sale. Picking the right theme, such as “Superfoods” or “Beauty Remedies,” has been key to the retailers’ success, and manufacturers are taking note.

A slew of brands debuted gift sets this year by curating their own theme. Skin care for makeup lovers, skin care to create a glow and giftable sets that contain a full size mask along with a trial size regimen focusing on a particular skin issue are all selling out at specialty retailers. Sets like these put the “fun” in functional for consumers.

December, while very important to beauty, is just about 14 percent of prestige skin care’s yearly volume, according to NPD. Not surprisingly, skin care captures the smallest dollar share during the key holiday period. However, as the category continues to evolve into a more social and playful space, perhaps gifting skin care will one day become as exciting for everyone else as it is for those gifting other beauty categories.

*Source: The NPD Group / Women’s Facial Skincare Consumer Report 2017