Packing all the essentials for a trip can be a challenge enough on it’s own; packing all the essentials for a trip when you only have a carry-on bag is a whole new level of the packing game! Where the challenge (and the stress) really peaks is when it comes to packing the toiletries; everything must be under 100ml, fit in a clear zip-lock bag AND cater for your travel skincare needs which can be very different, especially if you have sensitive skin or are travelling to a different climate, to your daily skincare needs.
A lot of the time when I travel over and back to Ireland, I end up bringing only a carry-on bag, and so over time I have somewhat mastered the task of packing make-up and skincare that is airport security-check friendly; you only have to go through the devastation of having a bottle of perfume taken off you in the airport once to know it’s not something you want to do on a regular basis!
A few weeks ago I travelled to Ireland again for my sister’s graduation, and having to pack my skincare and beauty in my carry-on I thought it would be helpful to some to share what’s in my ‘carry-on skincare kit’.
1. Pack your liquids straight into small clear ziplock bags. This will make it easier when you get to security at the airport as you can just pull out your ziplock bags of liquids from your beauty bag.
2. Keep in mind that some airports only allow you to carry on one or two ziplock bags of liquids, so don’t over do it or you may have to leave some products at the airport. Check the security requirements of each airport before you fly.
3. Keep an eye out for free ziplock bags when you are going through security; some airports charge a small amount for the bags, others leave them out so you can help yourself. I always try grab a few extras to keep in my bag ready for my next trip.
4. Consider which of your products you need to pack, and which ones you could easily buy a replacement for when you get to your destination. For example toothpaste, mouthwash or hairspray are easy to find, but your La Mer night serum no so much.
5. Check that the millilitres are marked and visible on all the bottles or containers, sometimes the fact that it’s in a small bottle may not be enough.
6. Invest in some travel sized reusable bottles. These are great for shampoo, conditioner and skincare products. You can even get stackable pots which help save packing space.
7. Or, head to the travel toiletries section in Boots! Here you can find a travel friendly version of pretty much anything you could think of. There are usually offers on these products too such as 3 for 2 and if you buy brands you love, they won’t go unused even after you get home.
8. Worried about leakages? Wrap your bottles and tubs in clingfilm; it’s quick and easy to do and will insure everything is sealed up well but that the labels are still visible.
9. Approach duty-free shopping with cation! If you only have a carry-on make sure you don’t buy anything over 100ml when you shop in duty free or you won’t be able to get it back through security on your way home.
10. Alternatively use the shop and collect services at duty free, where buy you can shop now and then collect in the airport when you return from your trip.
Cleansing wipes. I wouldn’t recommend cleansing wipes on a day-to-day basis, but they are ideal for travel because it means you can take your make-up off anywhere, anytime and you don’t need water. Try look for ones that are kind to sensitive skin like these ones or have moisturising ingredients like these. Travel sized micellar water is also a great option, just be sure to pack some cotton pads.
A powder cleanser. Powder cleansers are perfect for travel because you don’t have to worry about leaks. Once you add water they create a foaming cleanser that will even remove make-up. My favourite so far has to be Clinique’s Fresh Pressed Powder Cleansers as they come in little packets, one per use, which makes packing them so easy. Alternatively, Waitrose do a really good, and cheap, powder cleanser (read more) that comes in a little shaker pot for only £5!
A highly hydrating moisturiser. Travelling will have a drying effect on even the most oily skin types, so packing a hydrating moisturiser is good preparation. I prefer a gel moisturiser for this as they soak in quickly and don’t sit around on your skin. You can’t go wrong with Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, it is the perfect travel moisturiser and can be used both as a day or night cream. A cheaper alternative would be Acqua Alle Rose Roberts Revitalizing Face Cream, the rose water is super hydrating, refreshing and smells great, again this works great as a day and night cream.
An SPF. Always wear a face cream with SPF during the day no matter the weather, time of year or location. Avene Hydrance Opitmal is perfect for travel because it is a light cream, highly absorbent and has an SPF 20 as well as other hydrating and nourishing ingredients for your skin.
Something for the eyes. Your eyes will give away your tiredness in a second, and coating the under-eye area with concealer is not the best option as it won’t look great after your flight and could actually dry out the area more. The Ordinary’s Caffiene Solution 5% is perfect for travel as it can be applied either under or over make-up and helps recharge the skin in the eye contour area. I also never travel without my Clinique All About The Eyes roll-on serum; the metal roller-ball is cooling and soothing on the under-eye area and helps reduce puffiness almost instantly.
For longer flights: a sheet mask. If I know I’m travelling on a longer flight I always pack a sheet mask in my carry-on to apply during the flight. Sometimes if I am on an early morning flight (as is often the case) I don’t wear make-up to the airport and instead apply a sheet mask as soon as I get on the plane, then later before landing, pop to the toilet and apply my make-up so I am fresh faced when I arrive. Garnier’s Moisture Bomb Sheet Masks are perfect for travel because they are so affordable and only need to be left on for 15 minutes, so perfect for even short flights!
A face mist. Face mists are great for travel because they can be used over make-up and are so refreshing. REN Skincare’s Flash Defence Anti-Pollutant Face Mist contains ingredients that help repair and protect your skin from everyday environmental pollutants and is my favourite for when I fly.
A little something extra. Your skin can behave differently when you travel, or look less vibrant because of tiredness or dehydration. Packing a skin treatment can help to replenish your skins condition and make sure you glow! I love Clinique’s Fresh Pressed Daily Booster, a powerful treatment that can be added to any moisturiser or face cream to give your skin an extra shot of vitamin C and leaving it glowing from the inside out! The Ordinary’s Advanced Retinoid 2% is another great option and really affordable at only €9.80/£8.50; apply this before bed to help renew your skin over night thanks to it’s active ingredients and vitamin A. If you want to splash out keep an eye out for some Kiehl’s when you go through duty free, their Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a blend of essential oils that will leave your skin replenished after just one night, I even mix a drop of this in with my foundation for a dewy finish and to keep my skin nourished through the day.