Editor's Picks: In Support Of 'Me' Time


The importance of self-care is engrained into our lifestyles, encouraging time to rest, take a bubble bath (or two), cozy up with a good book, escape for a calming outdoor walk and take a break from the hectic pace of everyday life. According to Apple, self-care was the app trend of the year in 2018, and in 2019, mental health-themed books outsold books about diet and exercise in Barnes & Noble stores. 

From self-help to self-care, the influence of the internet and Millennials have changed the way we treat ourselves. Audre Lorde elaborated on the term in her 1988 book, A Burst of Light, writing that “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” Gone are the self-help books that emphasize strenuous workout classes, rigid diets and heaps of self-denial. Gracy Obuchowicz, a facilitator, self-care mentor and coach, defines self-care as assuming that “we’re OK as we are, and we just need to take care of ourselves.” She adds, “Self-care alone is not enough. You need to have self-awareness, too. Self-care plus self-awareness equals love.” While self-help encourages us to find solutions to our problems, self-care tells us that we are already fantastic just the way we are. 

The self-improvement industry is a $10-billion-dollar business, and on Instagram alone, there are 24 million posts (and counting) with the hash tag #selfcare. From puppy cuddles to cups of hot tea, the posts are comprised of anything and everything that produces feel-good emotions. But self-care is more than the occasional yoga class or leisurely stroll. Self-care is the continuous process of recognizing your needs and investing time and energy toward becoming your best self. 

As the generation that spends the most time on the internet, Millennials also devote the most time and money to the self-care industry. In 2015, according to the Pew Research Center, more Millennials reported making personal improvement commitments than any other generation before them and spent twice as much as Boomers on self-care essentials. One study by the Institute of Education Services found that the self-care revolution could have been born from the internet. People use the internet to find self-care strategies, research mental health and find information on nutrition and fitness. To some, self-care can be a complete lifestyle change, and while end users are catering to their personal needs, they’ll be looking for products to guide them. Help your clients capitalize on self-care’s feel-good energy by providing products that make wellness a priority. 

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This full-sized square bottle of polish holds .33 ounces and is a great giveaway because of color-matching abilities. Hand these out at car shows, liquor promotions and at women’s conferences and events. There are more than 270 nail colors to choose from along with base coats, top coats, nail treatments and cuticle oil, and all products are made in the USA and are Prop 65-compliant.

Diamond Cosmetics  /  PPAI 319488, S3  /  www.diamondcosmetics.com

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You can’t have self-care without skin care. Perfect for beach trips, picnics and just about any outdoor event, this SPF 30 sunscreen lotion comes in small, easily storable packets. The formula is both water- and sweat-resistant and is recommended for dry, normal and mature skin types. 

Chocolate Inn/Taylor & Grant/Lanco  /  PPAI 111662, S7  /  www.chocolateinn.com

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With this combo, end users can pucker up and lather up at the same time. This product pairs a Mineral SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen in a 1.5-ounce bottle with a Mineral SPF 15 Broad Spectrum Lip Balm. Both sunscreen products offer safe, effective protection against the effects of UVA and UVB rays. Hand out this practical two-in-one set during fun runs and sporting events.

Raining Rose, Inc.  /  PPAI 232508, S7  /   www.lipbalmcompany.com

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Who wants chapped lips and bad breath? Absolutely no one. This Double-Stacked Mint and Lip Moisturizer Jar is the perfect compact combo and another cool way to show end users you’re thinking about them. Next time you’re attending a trade show, planning a fundraiser or working at a large conference, try handing out these bad boys. The mints and balm are sugar- and gluten-free, in flavors that include peppermint, wintergreen and cinnamon. Get matchy-matchy or mix it up, because options are important for everyone’s self-care journey. 

SnugZ USA  /  PPAI 112982, S10  /  www.snugzusa.com

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Get ready for hot summer days, cool summer nights and all the activities in between with the Fun in the Sun summer essentials kit. This new all-in-one set features all the must-haves for summer including a 1.9-ounce SPF 30 sunscreen, a one-ounce container of aloe gel and an SPF 15 lip balm, all organized in a dye-sublimated drawstring bag. The sunscreen, lip balm and aloe are made in the USA.

SnugZ USA  /  PPAI 112982, S10  /  www.snugzusa.com

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Light up your brand with this 8-Ounce Round Soy Travel Tin Candle. It’s the best way to take the fragrance of home with you for a holiday weekend. This clean-burning natural soy candle burns for a minimum of 40 hours. Candles can be filled with wax to match any PMS color and are made in the USA. Get a high-contrast imprint on both the candle and lid, and a full-wrap screen print is also available.

Bath Promotions  /  PPAI 330505, S2  /  www.bathpromotions.com

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Score a par on the green with this golf ball lip balm. Made in the USA with natural beeswax, this vanilla-flavored lip balm is the perfect product for the end user who hits a few rounds in the name of self-care. Ideal for sporting events, clients can also choose a soccer-, tennis- or baseball-shaped container. Containers can also be filled with sugar-free mints. 

Webb Company  /  PPAI 143213, S8  /  www.webbcompany.com

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Make those pearly whites sparkle with this portable natural bamboo toothbrush with tube. Clients can provide this daily essential to the end users who care about sustainability and their dental health. The best part? It’s packable, so end users can take their handy toothbrush with them wherever they go, which means more exposure for brands.

Yorkn, Inc.  /  PPAI 599060, S1  /  www.yorkn.com

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Germs are a problem all year-round. Give your clients a hand in maintaining their health with this hand-shaped hand sanitizer. This clear, 2.7-ounce citrus-scented antibacterial hand sanitizer gel is TSA-friendly and a packing essential for vacations and road trips. 

Webb Company  /  PPAI 143213, S8   /  www.webbcompany.com

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Recognize April as Stress Awareness Month with a stress reliver. This computer-shaped stress reliever belongs in your client’s next employee incentive package. Handmade of squeezable polyurethane, no two stress relievers will look the same, adding an element of individuality to each product. 

Fields Manufacturing   /   PPAI 111951, S9  /   www.fieldsmfg.com

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This Promo Beads Plush Hot/Cold Eye Mask provides the ultimate relief for tired, puffy eyes. Reusable and non-toxic, this microwave- and freezer-safe therapeutic gel pack is a must-keep. Available in blue, black and pink with a one-color imprint.

Tempo Industries/Timenet  /  PPAI 110911, S4  /  www.tempoline.com

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While the kiddos are hunting for Easter egg candy, give those on the sidelines this Easter Egg-Shaped Emery Board. Available in 24 stock shapes including a dog bone, candy cane and gavel, as well as custom shapes, it’s perfect for those looking for a creative edge.  

Alexander Manufacturing Co.  /  PPAI 113670, S7  /  www.alexandermc.com

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Despite being the smallest segment of the beauty industry, nail polish has replaced lipstick as the most-purchased beauty item, according to The NDP Group. Nail polish is one of the least expensive beauty products available and the act of painting your nails is an easy way to practice self-care. Painting one’s nails requires time, patience and creativity, but the result is instant gratification. Nail polish has helped pave the way for the self-care revolution. According to The NDP Group’s 2013 Nail Care and Polish Consumer Report, more than half of women, age 18 and older, have purchased nail products for at-home use or professional nail services in the previous year. 

Today, nail polish colors are unlimited with color-matching technology that brings the full color spectrum right to end-users’ fingertips. More than 60 percent of nail product/service buyers report that as long as they get the color they want, they do not pay attention to the brand. Pink, mauve, clear and red are the top color choices. Pop culture also has increased the popularity of nail polish. In the 1994 film Pulp Fiction, Uma Thurman, who played mob wife Miss Mia Wallace, wore a blood red—almost black—nail polish accessorized with a white button-down shirt and an ever-lit cigarette. The nail polish was Chanel Rogue Noir, and it became the first polish to attain cult product status after it was launched in 1995—and immediately sold out. Recently, nail art has revolutionized into wild, ultra-long and bold nail designs that celebrities like Billie Eilish and Lizzo are debuting on red carpets. According to Harper’s Bazaar, shades of blue and gradient coloring techniques are among the 2020 nail trends. Nail polish is here to stay, and those small bottles of polish are still a great way for brands to connect with users across all demographics.

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Kristina Valdez is associate editor of PPB.

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Comments (1)
Dawn Castro
April 9, 2020
I enjoyed these suggestions and shared them on Social Media.
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