Summer is almost here, and that means that a lot of us are already starting to plan much-needed vacations. After choosing our destination, the first question, obviously, is: what to bring? As tempting as taking all our beloved skincare products with us is, there are just so many restrictions and limitations on what you can bring in your luggage these days to make that impossible.
Even if you’re not travelling by plane, you may not want to bring too much. Skincare products can be heavy, and you don’t want to carry full-size ones around if you know you’ll only use tiny amounts of each one during your trip. So, you’ll have to pack smart. Here’s how:
1. Figure out what you need
Some of us use lots of products both in our day and night time skincare routines. But, especially on shorter trips, there’s no need to bring them all with you. Just pack the essentials. Mine are a cleanser, a moisturizing sunscreen, a lip balm, a night cream, and a body lotion. If you have dry skin, you’ll want to add a moisturizer to the list.
You should also bring any prescription products or specific treatments for any particular skincare needs you may have. For instance, if you have oily, acne-prone skin, you should carry your BHA exfoliant with you. But things like toners, masks, scrubs, and serums, can be left at home. Most hotels provide shampoos and body washes, so there’s no need to bring those too.
2. Choose the right products
Once you’ve figured out what products you need on the trip, make sure they are suitable both for your skin type and the climate of your destination. If you’re going somewhere hot and humid, choose a lighter moisturizer than that you normally use. If you have oily skin, you may not need one at all. On the other hand, if the climate is dry and cold, bring a heavier moisturizer. If you’re going on holiday to a tropical destination, instead, bring a sunscreen with a very high SPF.
3. Substitute liquids with solids
With all the airport restrictions on liquids, it’s best to opt for solid products or wipes whenever possible. Instead than your cleanser or makeup remover, for instance, consider bringing cleansing wipes. Although I dislike using bar soaps on the face, Dove makes a gentle one that’s a great substitute, when travelling, for gel or liquid cleansers. If you must take your shampoo or body wash with you, why not choose one in bar form? Visit a Lush store and you’ll find a lot of cute, and effective, solid bath and body care products that are airplane-friendly.
4. Opt for multitasking products
When possible, opt for multitasking products. Unless your skin is very dry, choose a moisturizing sunscreen so that you can leave your moisturizer at home (BB and CC Creams aren’t substitutes for sunscreen, doesn’t matter what the labels say). Need to shave your legs? Use your hair conditioner. If you really must bring your shampoo and body wash, and hate those in solid form, opt for a 2 in 1 product that can be used to wash your whole body, from head to foot.
5. Go mini
A lot of airlines have restrictions not just on what you can carry in your carry-on bag, but also on how much your suitcase can weight. To avoid problems at the airport, like having your expensive Chanel moisturizer confiscated because it is too big, or be forced to pay a fine because your bag exceeds weight limitations, leave your full-size products at home. First of all, check out what the rules are on what you’re allowed to bring with you. Every country has its own, so it’s wise to check them before packing. As a general rule, though, any product in your carry-on bag can’t exceed 100ml, and all of them together must fit into a quart-size zip lock bag.
So, figure out how much of each product you’ll need (for 3 days, 9ml of moisturizer would usually do, for instance) and pour the amount in a small jar or bottle (remember that sunscreen and anything with antioxidants must be packed in an air-tight, opaque container). You can buy empty jars at most beauty stores, but if you’re not a fan of decanting, you can ask for samples of your favourite skincare products to a SA or your dermatologist. Some brands also offer sample travel-kits of their most popular products. Or, you can bring those sample sachets you’ve found in your magazines with you. Just check the ingredients first to make sure they don’t contain anything that would irritate your skin or cause breakouts.
How do you pack your skincare products when you travel?