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Best of Dermstore Holiday Edit Review – December 2020

Dermstore is an online retailer specializing in everything beauty. They recently released the Best of Dermstore Holiday Edit, which seems to be an annual tradition.

FYI – this limited edition kit is still available for purchase!

My Subscription Addiction paid for this kit. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

About this Limited Edition Kit from Dermstore

The Box: Best of Dermstore Holiday Edit

The Cost: $20

The Products: A curated collection of some of your favorite beauty brands packed in one exclusive set.

Ships to: The U.S.

Best of Dermstore Holiday Edit December 2020 Review

The back of the box came with details on the products included.

Everything came packaged in this well-made clear bag.


We also received a coupon and a PCA Skin sample.


First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser, 2 oz – Retail Value $11

I’m a big First Aid Beauty fan. Their products are usually great for those with sensitive skin or with skin issues like eczema, and they’re pretty affordable for a brand that’s sold at Dermstore. This cleanser is fragrance-free and is chock full of good-for-your-skin ingredients like aloe, allantoin, glycerin, green tea, and licorice root. The end result is an incredibly gentle and creamy cleanse that leaves your skin clean without stripping. If you’re wearing makeup, I recommend using a cleansing balm or cleansing oil before going in with this, because I don’t think it has the power to remove a full face of makeup. 


Naturopathica Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel, 0.33 oz – Retail Value $14

I’ve only experienced this brand through Dermstore sets, but every product I’ve tried I have liked – give me more! Normally I am hesitant with trying enzyme masks like these (this one is designed for oily and acne-prone skin), however, I forged ahead and was pleasantly surprised. This definitely smells like cherry (a glance at the ingredients list shows no added fragrance so that most likely comes from the star ingredients, sweet cherry seed oil and wild cherry bark extract) and it had a thin gel texture that glided across my face. I stayed away from my cheeks, where I tend to be most sensitive, and focused on applying this to my forehead and jawline (where I get most of my acne), and I was able to leave it on for the full five minutes without any tingling or burning – impressive for a product that is made with lactic acid, salicylic acid, tartaric acid, mandelic acid, and malic acid. All of those chemical exfoliants left my skin softer, and I didn’t experience any issues with my sensitive skin. Call me impressed!


Avène Soothing Radiance Mask, 5 ml – Estimated Value $2.60 (buy the 50 ml version for $26)

I followed up the Naturopathic enzyme mask with this mask. I love a double mask session, and I wanted to be sure my skin was nourished after the chemical exfoliants. I haven’t tried this mask in particular (that I can remember), but I am a big Avène fan and my skin usually responds really well to their formulas. This mask had the texture of a rich moisturizer that was creamy on my skin as I applied it. Key ingredients include Thermal Spring Water, safflower seed oil, and antioxidant-rich red fruit complex (think currants and raspberries). This lived up to its soothing claims, and I really enjoyed wearing it while taking a warm bath to keep my skin moisturized and happy. 


Bioderma Sensibio H2O, 100 ml – Retail Value $4.99

This is a classic cleansing water, most people who receive subscription boxes probably have tried this at some point, but it performs well so I’m not unhappy to have more. It is no fuss, no muss, but can remove light makeup and sunscreen with a few swipes of a cotton pad all while being gentle on my skin. 


SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator, 0.13 oz – Estimated Value $15.60 (buy the 1-ounce version for $120)

This is a really luxe product with a high price tag, so I was expecting more. For $120 for one ounce, I don’t understand why this hydrating serum has such an unpleasant smell. The scent doesn’t make the product unusable (it does fade), but the hyaluronic acid, peptide complex, and vitamin E could definitely be in a better formula for the price. 


Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum, 5 ml – Estimated Value $14.17 (buy the 30 ml version for $85)

A lot of people love this Vitamin C serum, but I’m not one of them – my skin is really sensitive to vitamin C products, so while the THD ascorbate in this formula is incredibly potent, it’s too powerful for me. Your mileage may vary, I don’t think this is a bad product, I just know my skin prefers vitamin C products that have less powerful actives. Also, if you’ve thought that no vitamin C will ever work for you I encourage you to keep looking, it works great in the morning under sunscreen to fight free radical damage that causes aging. 


boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer, 15 ml – Estimated Value $11.98 (buy the 47.59 ml version for $38)

I’ve tried a lot of Boscia products, but this moisturizer isn’t one of them. I’ve been wanting to try out the light green gelatinous texture for myself, so I dove right into this moisturizer. Made with cactus water, aloe Vera, and a peptide complex, this moisturizer is great for dry and thirsty skin. I enjoyed applying the gel texture but did feel like there was a slightly sticky finish to this. I solved that by applying a few drops of facial oil on top. While I would prefer it if there wasn’t a (slight) sticky finish, that isn’t a deal-breaker for me considering how my skin soaked up all of the moisture.


COOLA Organic Sunless Tan Firming Lotion, 2 oz – Estimated Value $15.33 (buy the 6 oz version for $46)

This is the only product that felt like a miss in terms of curation. While COOLA is a great brand, I’m pretty much covered from head to toe in warm clothes this time of year. That being said, COOLA is a brand I really like and I’ve actually tried this sunless tanner before. It gives me a light glow without being streaky, and it didn’t concentrate on my ankles and knees. I’ll be saving this for warmer weather because I’m definitely not wearing shorts any time soon. 

Verdict: Dermstore always features great curated sets and this one is no exception. For only $20, I got to try out some new-to-me products while also getting a few tried and true favorites. I didn’t love the Skinmedica item, but I always appreciate trying a pricy product in an affordable box. Value-wise, everything in this box adds up to $89.67. That’s below the promised value of $107, but I’m still really happy with it. 

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you order today? Yes, as of publication, this limited edition box is still available for purchase! Also, this same kit is available from Target as well.

Value Breakdown: This box cost $20 and I calculated a total value of $89.67, meaning you are paying approximately the following per item:

  • First Aid Beauty: $2.45
  • Naturopathica: $3.12
  • Avene: $0.58
  • Bioderma: $1.11
  • SkinMedica: $3.48
  • Sunday Riley: $3.16
  • Boscia: $2.67
  • COOLA: $3.42

Check out all of our other favorite beauty box subscriptions!

Are you going to grab the Best of Dermstore Holiday Edit?

Written by Jessica Hapak

Jessica Hapak

I am a staunch believer that pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza and when I’m not working as a family law attorney I enjoy hiking the Louisiana trails (alligator sightings are a favorite!) or relaxing with Duchess, my cat. I’m a sucker for anything labeled a mystery box and I’ve never met a bath bomb I didn’t like.

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Limited Edition Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: dermstore | 27 comments

Comments (27)

  1. I’d get this kit in a sec if I wasn’t so overloaded with product.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Luna! I have been thinking about this and I’ll definitely pick it up for the discount!

  3. Thanks!!!

  4. Hi! Love this—thanks for reviewing! I just wanted to point out that the reusable clear bag (currently unavailable, but normally retails for $19.99) is also included in the Holiday Edit value.

  5. This is currently on sale for $14.99 at Target 🙂

    • Luna! ANYONE! Why isn’t anyone on here talking about December Beauty Heroes??!!!

      • I just opened mine, and my first thought after I recovered from fainting was “is that even legal”??

      • I went ahead and tried it right away (which I never do) and I am happy – it may just be the thought of having $450 cream on my face though! ! I hope I don’t like it too much for that price tag!

      • I know, it’s bad enough to fall in love with a $125 cream — this one costs as much as two car payments!

      • I searched and couldn’t find the Dec BH anywhere, not even their site. Do they release spoilers at some point in the month?

      • Hi Lydea! I actually posted spoilers for the box in MSA’s November review post this morning (with a disclaimer heading), but MSA removed my post 🙁 I wanted to share what was in the box so people could get their hands on it today, because I’m sure once spoilers are posted tomorrow the box will sell out super fast. I typically don’t use my products right away, but I definitely plan to use the cream in the very near future. 🙂 I still remember when I saw the cream first launch I thought there was no way it’d ever be in a box. Needless to say, I was FLOORED when I opened my box today! 😀

      • I really hope I fall in love with the cream, lol. Even if it becomes an HG, I’ll never feel any pressure or desire to purchase it at that price, but I will just hope SUPER hard it’s featured in a box again… even in a sample size 😀

      • That is why I didn’t post the “info”! I am guessing this is special and they asked for no spoilers. Jeannie runs a tight ship and I admire her for it! I bought a few things from the shop for small business Saturday. Super way to end a crazy year. And I am still giddy maybe there really is something to the “magic” in the jar. (And I did pick up another jar). I had two subs to BH for years, but eventually it was more than I could use.

      • Adding… I wouldn’t be surprised if people get multiple subscriptions too!

      • OMG now I need to have this mysterious box!! Do you ladies have a regular subscription? That’s nice that you get the box before the month starts!

      • Liz- spoilers for BH are rare until the first of the month, or the boxes are delivered. This one seems to be even more secret. That is another reason I love BH it really is like Christmas. In all the years I have subscribed there has only been one time when I didn’t receive my box in the first week of the month. That was this year with shipping issues due to Covid. All I can say is if you are on the fence about subscribing you should do it TODAY! Before spoilers post.

      • I just found it!!!
        Now I know I need to wake up early tomorrow to jump on this. This looks and sounds amazing. I have a drawer full of unopened items that I was gonna tackle before buying anything else but certainly I’ll need to make an exception for this!

      • Ok….u guys made me do it….I subscribed! Excited to rub $455 in my face!

      • It is available for purchase now Liz!

      • YES Bindis! Merry Christmas to you!!

      • Lydea, that makes sense as I know that influencers can’t reveal any spoilers until the 1st, but I figured since I’m not an influencer… 😉 Now I know us BH ladies can just speak in code ifvwe get our boxes early next time 😉

      • I just did it! This is my first ever BH and I feel like I came in on a really good one!! I want another one already 😂, this would make a great holiday gift for my sister. I also have my second CBB coming next month so I’m extra excited now!! Thank you ladies for generating this excitement!!!

      • Liz, I echo what Lydea said; BH shipping is like clockwork! I live all the way across the country from them and still tend to get my boxes before spoilers post, except for one or two months at the start of the pandemic.

      • Finally found the post for the BH surprise!!! BTW they have the spoiler in their page! I bought my mother a 3 month sub a Christmas gift! Hopefully I still got one of the December boxes for her.

        BTW Lydea, I finally took the plunge and bought the bathing culture gel with the 20% black friday sale from their shop, I also got other interesting stuff as well.

      • Liz I hope you LOVE it. I have been with BH since they were Spa Heroes, and there has been only a very few times where I wasn’t in love with the contents. This month may even beat the December with Vintner’s Daughter! I got my shipping notice last night within a few hours of placing my second order- so it should be an early Christmas for you!

      • YAY Gloria you will love Bathing Culture! And what a fantastic gift for your mom, I can only hope my daughter is so generous some day!

    • Thanks Luna, definitely picking this up!

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