After traveling and living out of a backpack for the great part of a year, you start to get certain things down to a science. How to create a barcade out of towels in a hostels, check. How to pack in ten minutes because you overslept and housekeeping is knocking on your door, check. How to pick travel friendly beauty products, check.
Now, when I say travel friendly I don’t mean tiny or sample sized products. For me, travel friendly means products that I love and can trust to never fail me no matter what the weather is. These are products that have endured rainy season in Bali, record high heat waves in Japan and freezing cold winds in New Zealand. These products are my holy grail items that also meet my travel needs. When traveling I try to keep my beauty products to the minimum but these are the products that I don’t want to be caught without.
My Favorite Travel Beauty Products
Moisturizer- I don’t care if your aunt Wendy says otherwise, you need to moisturize your face. Even in Asia, where you will inevitably sweat it off the minute you step outside, you need to moisturize. I have combination to oily skin, which tends to go more towards oily in the heat, but no matter what I always moisturize. I love Mario Badescu Vitamin C Moisturizer because it’s both lightweight on the skin and in my makeup bag. It is a squeeze type bottle which means no dipping my possibly dirty hands into a pot and contaminating it. Best of all, the top ensures it will never leak in my bag mid air. If traveling somewhere cold or in the winter when my skin is dry, I never leave without my Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré. This french staple is what makeup artist have been using for decades and saves my skin in cold, dry and windy climates. For an added boost of moisturizer or for when I want a gentle toner that won’t dry out my face, I love the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Rose Water.
Eye Cream- For the longest time I couldn’t find an eye cream that I loved. This was partly due to the fact that, well I am young and didn’t see the point of an eye cream to begin with. While perusing the duty free selection one day, I decided to give the uber popular Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado a go. I can honestly say I love this eye cream and it has remained my number one. Its creamy and doesn’t ever sting my eyes like most other formulas. I do notice a difference in my dark circles, my concealer seems to on glide better and as my late twenties approaches I am still crows feet free.
Sunscreen- I’m gonna be honest I love tanning. I love sitting at the beach baking in the sun and then running home to see how much color I soaked up. That being said while I do sometimes forgo the body sunscreen, I never forget my face. I wear sunscreen on my face everyday without fail, even in the winter. For everyday, my favorite is the EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 for Sensitive or Acne-Prone Skin. This sunscreen is great under makeup and has a beautiful finish on the skin. For the beach, the best sunscreen hands down is Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 50+ Wetforce. This stuff while thicker than the EltaMD, still has a nice creamy texture, stays put for hours, and doesn’t break me out. I made the mistake of using cheaper sunscreen in Australia and my forehead punished me with tiny pimples that lasted long after my holiday.
Lip Balm- Normally this would seem like a silly one. Doesn’t everyone use lip balm and is it really that important? Yes, it is. Not all lip balm are equal. Being in constant air conditioning and airplanes, will dry out your lips. My holy grail lip balm is the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm. This balm will moisture the driest lips, plus stays on for hours. I use this right before bed and it is also the last step in my morning routine. If you are going to be in the sun you will need a lip balm with sunscreen. I love Sun Bum’s Lip Balm because they are SPF 30. They also don’t have that horrendous sunscreen taste, should you accidentally lick your lips. I’ve made the mistake of not wearing sunscreen on my lips and gotten sunburnt. Not pleasant.
Face Wash- When it comes to face wash I never truly have a holy grail except for travel. When traveling I try and keep my liquids down to a minimum. One great way to lighten your bag is ditching your liquid or cream cleanser for a bar. I love the Biore Charcoal Soap Bar. It is travel friendly, cleans lovely and lasts forever. While other companies do the whole charcoal soap bar, Biore does it best.
Treatments- For those of you over the age of 25, chances are you use a face serum and if not- you should. For me serums are the best way to target problems in my skin and make sure my skin stays looking young. I love this Vitamin C by Mario Badescu Serum not only does it keep my skin glowing but it also smells heavenly. I am on my third bottle and love that it is gentle, effective and does not cost a fortune. I always travel with a face mask depending on where I am going it may be moisturizing or pore refining. For colder weather where I know my skin will be dry I always carry the Origins Drink Up Intense Hydrating Mask. For those of you who get dry skin, whether it be seasonally or year round, can appreciate what ten minutes of this mask will do. In the driest of places this dramatically transforms dry, cracked and flaky skin into supple and soft skin. I also love their Clear Improvements Charcoal Mask for beach vacations. This stuff does a great job of making sure my pores are clear of dirt, oil and sunscreen residue. Origins masks in general are a favorite of mine and they know make a ton of them in smaller 1OZ bottles perfect for travel.
Deodorant-My regular holy grail deodorant is no surprise my favorite travel deodorant. I went the natural route with deodorants five years ago and never looked back. While it took me going through some horrible ones (I’m looking at you Tom’s) I found the best one two years ago. Native Deodorant is natural, vegan, gluten free, cruelty free, plus aluminum, paraben and sulfate free. While other deodorants don’t work well this kept me smelling pretty in the dead heat of Summer. It lasts all day, doesn’t irritate me and smells heavenly. My go to scent is the coconut and vanilla.
Shampoo & Conditioner- I am not normally that picky when it comes to shampoo and conditioner. I will usually stock up on whatever is the cheapest when abroad. However, if I knew I would be in the pool often, I would stock up on purple conditioner and clarifying shampoo. I have blonde hair and it sometimes turns green due to chlorine. My favorite purple conditioner is Pravana The Perfect Blonde Purple Toning Masque. I don’t (and you shouldn’t) wash my hair everyday but when I do I use this conditioner to get rid of brass and green tints. This stuff saved my hair in Australia when I was in pool or sea water everyday.
Hair Treatments- As mentioned I am blonde. My hair is damaged from being processed and in the sun. Using some sort of oil or leave in conditioner is a must for me. My holy grail is the PHYTO Huile Soyeuse Botanical Lightweight Hydrating Oil. However, it is glass, bulky and thus not travel friendly. For travel I love the Ogx Coconut Milk Serum Anti-Breakage oil. This is my second all time favorite leave in treatment. If I was traveling somewhere I knew I would dress up or go out, I would carry some dry shampoo. My favorites are Batiste Dry Shampoo (the brown colored one) and ORIBE Gold Lust Dry Shampoo.
Soap-I am the least maintenance when it comes to body soap. As long as it gets the job done, I’m easy to please. I do think swapping out a liquid soap for a bar makes things lighter, less messy and lasts much longer. Native does a soap bar in the same coconut & vanilla scent that I love and it makes my skin so soft. Plus its better for the environment as the package is paper instead of plastic.
Body Lotion- No holy grail to report here, I usually purchased whatever was cheapest. Better yet if they had coconut oil that was my go to. It’s natural, good for your skin and a little goes a long way. If I am feeling like a splurge for a beach holiday I love NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil. It smells amazing and leaves your skin with the most beautiful glow I swear you could be mistaken for a Victoria’s Secret angel.
Body Sunscreen- When it comes to body sunblock I have two polar opposite philosophies. Either I wear nothing at all or I am wearing something insanely high like Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 100+. I generally do not burn, in fact I can count the sunburns I have gotten on one hand. However, if I know I am going to be at the beach all day, on a boat or in Australia, I will lather up. Furthermore, I would rather apply a high SPF sunscreen once and forget about it than use SPF15 and have to re-apply multiple times. The Neutrogena sunblock is seriously water and sweat resistant.
Perfume- Pretty much the whole time I traveled I used my Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel Eau De Parfum Intense. It is my everyday scent and while it may seem silly to be wearing perfume in a third world country, it’s something that reminded me of home and made me feel good. I also always carry Essentials Rose’s Brighten Mood Mist. This lavender and citrus scented mist, is a must for anytime I travel. To make pillows, bedding and a room smell better I mist this generously. If I am feeling anxious before a plane ride (as is often due to my flight anxiety) I spritz this right before I go on the aircraft. If my face is dry or I need to set my makeup I can spritz it on my face as well. It’s the perfect lavender scent that isn’t overpowering and is always in my carry on bag with me.