10 Must Have Beauty Products for Travel
On the internet I don’t talk about it too much so you might not know but I am a total beauty product addict. I’m a member of Sephora’s VIB Rouge program which embarrassingly means I spend >$1,000 a year on product there and if you saw the amount of face lotions I have at my apartment you would probably fall over dead. While traveling I try to pack as lightly as possible, but there are 10 beauty products that I bring with me on every single trip without fail — ones that I consider absolute must haves.
Do note that these are items I specifically recommend for travel and are not necessarily part of my typical everyday routine at home (love you, SkinCeuticals!). That is due to one or more of the following: their lower price point, smaller size, more travel friendly container (plastic instead of glass, TSA-approved size, in a flat bag instead of a jar), etc.
A TRAVEL HAIR STRAIGHTENER
A travel hair straightener is a good thing to have if you want to be able to do your hair but don’t want to commit to lugging around a full size (and much more pricey) straightener. I like the Babyliss Nano Titanium Mini Straightening Iron because it comes in a 1” version which is wider than most travel straighteners. Having the wider surface area cuts the amount of time it takes to straighten in half. And of course if you are really skilled a straightener can double as a curling iron so it’s kind of a 2-in-1.
AN EXTREMELY HYDRATING SHEET MASK
Since I have dry skin I am a huge fan of masks in general and especially of sheet masks for travel since they are perfect for throwing in your bag. I like the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask and the Too Cool For School Egg Cream Microfiber Sheet Mask but I have found that nothing really compares to the Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Second Skin Mask. Each mask delivers a half bottle of their best selling Genifique serum in a single application and the gel texture sticks so perfectly to your face that you’ll barely realize you’re wearing it. It is a bit on the pricey side, but I would argue that it’s well worth it for how instantly hydrated and radiant it instantly makes your skin.
Side note: If you are looking for a good non-sheet mask, GlamGlow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment and Gravitymud Firming Treatment are two my favorites. You can buy them in travel size or in full size. GLAMGLOW also sells a treatment set full of all their best selling masks in travel size if you want to try all six!
TRAVEL-FRIENDLY SPF FACE LOTION
La Roche-Posay is a France-based brand and comes recommended by 25,000 dermatologists worldwide! I too am a huge fan and you’ll almost never find me without the La Roche-Posay Hydraphase UV Intense SPF 20 lotion, especially while on the road. It’s extremely moisturizing, contains SPF, is small enough for a TSA-approved carry-on, and is in a plastic bottle which for me is a travel must. I have recommended it to many people over the years and the raves are unanimous!
I'm also a fan of the La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum which is an SPF face serum and the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lipid-Replenishing Body Milk which is the most calming, hydrating body lotion of all time.
MESS-FREE SELF TANNER
I don’t know about you but I feel better with a little color, and while on the go there is no easier way to accomplish this than with a TanTowel. You simply glide the towel all over your body and within 4 hours you have a natural looking glow - with no mess!
MULTI-PURPOSE HEALING OINTMENT
While Aquaphor is certainly not the most glamorous of products, there really is nothing else comparable when it comes to keeping your lips moisturized (while traveling and otherwise). Other products will temporarily moisturize, sure, but this is the only thing I’ve found that truly moisturizes deep down. You can also use it on cuts, scrapes and burns, as well as to moisturize extremely dry skin, hands and feet, and more. I carry this with me everywhere.
A DE-PUFFING, ANTI-AGING EYE GEL
It’s a well-known fact that traveling can make you a bit tired, and being tired often leads to under-eye bags. The OLEHENRIKSEN Uplifting Transformation Eye Gel was recommended to my sister after giving birth (since, you know, newborns make you kind of tired too) and she swears by it. I gave it a try and sure enough — it’s the best. You simply put it on before bed and wake up looking as fresh as can be! Do note that it's a gel not a lotion and can feel a bit sticky. This is fine because you only wear it while you sleep and not with makeup :)
AN INTENSIVE EXFOLIATING TREATMENT
Exfoliant is important always but especially while traveling because you often become dehydrated and with that comes dry, flakey, dead skin. I swear by this Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® exfoliating treatment which they call “the Hollywood 2 minute facial” because it delivers smoother, brighter, healthier looking skin in just 2 minutes. It has even won awards! Since you don’t need to use it often (~1 or 2 times/week) I’ll put some in one of these to take with me on trips.
If you are looking for a body exfoliant (also important!), I found out about these Korean exfoliant bath mittens years ago via Cupcakes and Cashmere and love them. All you do is put the mitten on your hand and gently scrub away the dead skin cells. They are especially great for travel since they take up no space and are not liquid-ish like a scrub! I keep one in my travel toiletry bag so that I always have one handy.
DRY SHAMPOO FOR SHAMPOO-FREE DAYS
When I travel I try to get ready as quickly as possible in order to get the most out of my day, so I am forever grateful to whoever invented dry shampoo. With the help of this fabulous invention I am able to go days without washing my hair which means less drying and therefore tons of saved time! My all time favorite is the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo but it is a bit pricey so I was pleasantly surprised when a friend introduced me to Batiste Dry Shampoo. You can find it for as little as $5 and since it works great despite being so cheap it’s my new go-to when traveling. My favorite is the blush one which has a floral scent.
MAKE-UP REMOVING WIPES
I, like most people, aim to wash my face every night before bed but sometimes while traveling you have to make sacrifices (like when you’re living on a boat for a week!) so I never go anywhere without these Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes. They are super gentle and remove everything, even waterproof mascara and are by far my favorite of all the different kinds I have tried.
A SUNSCREEN POWDER BRUSH FOR ON-THE-GO SPF TOUCH UPS
In addition to religiously applying SPF each morning, I am never without a Colorescience Sunforgettable Loose Mineral Sunscreen Brush for touch-ups later in the day when I feel as though my lotion might have worn off. It’s an SPF mineral powder that comes in a self-dispensing brush, making it perfect to keep in your purse or makeup bag. It’s also jam-packed with minerals, vitamins, red seaweed extract, and other amazing things to keep your skin flawless. You can get it with a tint or without and in a variety of different SPF levels. I kid you not when I say my grandma, my mom, myself, my best friend, my best friend’s mom, and even my dermatologist use and love this!
SHOP THEM ALL