The Battle of the Travel Toiletries

We breakdown our skincare & makeup travel essentials that are worth the coveted space in your teeny tiny clear ‘security’ bag.

We’ve all been there—the night before the trip you are trying to pick out what you really really need to take in your carry on bag (since you weren’t willing to splash out on the £40 Ryanair hold luggage). You are picking your skincare/makeup/hair products, and it feels like someone is asking you to ‘rank your best friends’. Airport security has no time for your pleas, “But that Vitamin C serum brings up my UV protection to 96%!”, and clearly do not know that some of our favourite brands charge an astonishing amount for their travel sized heroes. 

So, for those of you rule followers, that aren’t willing to risk ‘accidentally’ leaving extra liquids in your bag, we have done some digging and put together a guide on travel essentials for your skin and holiday mood.

The Ocean

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If you’re spending time on the beach and in the water, then you priorities are SPF, beach hair essentials, and waterproof/minimal make-up looks. Here are our top picks for you: 

  • SPF - Undeniably, the most important product you need to bring with you when beach-travelling is your sunscreen! SPF should be your #1 priority either in your carry on or hold luggage. Please remember that your sunscreen ingredients need to be chosen according to where you are travelling too ! In fact, certain ingredients such as oxybenzone & octinoxate might be harmful for the ocean’s ecosystem . Therefore, avoid using them in 

  • Antioxidants - Antioxidants help to boost your skin’s protection when being in the sun this is why it is essential to have something that will fight free radicals in your skincare bag ! Megan advises you to take your antioxidant serum with you and use it at night instead of the morning. In fact, using an antioxidant at night will make sure that your skin is fully protected for the upcoming day ! You want to avoid laying-up too much your skin when you know you are going to pass your time in the water or in the sun. For Ksenia, her go-to antioxidant product when travelling in the sun is a Vitamin C mask such as the Lixirskin. They need to be applied as a mask for 2 minutes in the morning before your sunscreen et voila! You’re fully protected for the day.

  • Hair- Just like your skin, you want to protect your hair . When your skin burns, you see the effect of the sun within 20 minutes but with hair, the damage is much longer ( up to 3 days) and once the hair is damaged, there is literally nothing you can do to save the ( true story). Make sure to bring with you a SPF mist that you can in your hair or a protective oil, Ksenia’s favourite is the Leonord Grey’s Oil. 

  • Others - Then of course, body lotion waterproof or minimal make-up looks anything that makes you & your skin happy !

The City Escaper

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If you’re escaping to a city this summer, then you want to look nice for your candid photos walking through quaint alleyways. Your hair/make-up will need to be looking (100 emoji). Here are our top picks for you: 

  • SPF (moisturiser + spray): First things first, don’t forget your SPF. We know, we can’t stop talking about sunscreen, but it’s the only product that really protects you from premature ageing. No need to go crazy when travelling to a city, the easiest product to carry is a moisturiser that contains SPF. We also recommend you have an SPF mist/top-up on hand - don’t forget that your morning SPF won’t last throughout the day. 

  • Antioxidant. Cities = pollution ! Imagine passing a whole day outside, sightseeing, visiting & eating on a terrace all of those activities although extremely nice, are not the best for skin as its facing pollution, chemicals and other harmful subtsances for a whole day. This is why it is important to double up your protection with an antioxidant serum.

  • Good Cleanser. At night, it is essential to remove all the impurities that our skin encountered throughout the day. Think about the pollution particles, the remaining SPF on your skin, sweat etc. You really want to double cleanse your skin to make sure that it’s perfectly clean. For oily skin, you also want to go a little bit deeper and use a BHA exfoliant to make sure that the oil excess is taken care off

  • Others - Shampoo, body lotion & make-up!

The No-Makeup Traveller


If the whole reason you are going away is to take a break from having to look cute every day, and you plan on doing a social media cleanse for your getaway (count us in)…then skincare will be your focus for your teeny tiny clear bag. Think weekend in the countryside, back home home, or a place to detox your mind and body. Here are our top picks for you: 

  • SPF - as usual! Especially in the countryside, as you will hopefully take advantage of spending more time outdoors. In order to make sure that your skin is taking in that country air, go for a lightweight SPF!

  • Exfoliant - When unwinding from the stress of work, you can focus more on your night routine to boost skin cell renewal and nourishment. Exfoliating your skin at night will help to enhance your natural ‘glow’ that comes with a relaxing weekend away from screens and pressure!

  • Serum- By exfoliating the skin, you are inadvertently preparing it for the next products you will apply, so the serums you choose are important. Something hydrating and repairing will offer a quick pick-me-up for skin.

  • Moisturiser- A good moisturiser will help to seal the benefits of the previous products applied, and ensure your skin receives all the necessary nutrients it needs to rest and recuperate overnight.

The “I did it for the instagram’er” 🤳🏻 

If you are going away to get some good social media content (it’s fine, we’ve done it too!), then you might need to borrow some space from your travel partners clear bag. 

  • Essentials ✨you need are SPF, Make-Up, and skincare that will look nice for the social content while delivering hydration/protection. 

  • SPF Primer/Setting Spray☀️- Avoid that extra step by incorporating your SPF in to your make-up routine.  We like the Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF30, which is a great multitasker!

  • Make-Up 💄 - Being photo ready means packing your make-up essentials.  We love the Erborian CC Cream, which gives you a natural glow and will adjust to your colour. So no need to pack two shades of foundation for when you catch the sun. It also has SPF 25 for added protection. 

  • Instagram worthy skincare 🍋- We all like a nice shelfie on holiday, and skincare like Summer Fridays Jet Lag mask not only looks good in the photo, but also gives your skin extra hydration post plane so makeup will go on smoothly and skin will be satisfied. 

  • Other needs👋🏼- Eye cream for travel day, travel friendly fragrance, and skincare staples like cleanser/moisturiser!

Top Tips

  1. Tubes and pump bottles are better for packing than your pots or odd shaped jars

  2. Only take the essentials! Cleanser, Moisturiser, SPF

  3. Try those sample products. Travelling is a great time to test a new product without committing to the full size, after all we don’t want to waste those sachets you have been given!

  4. Make sure your skincare regime matches the climate of your destination. Meaning if you are going to the beach, pack a lighter moisturiser and heavier cleanser to make sure you are able to get ALL of the SPF off at the end of the day.

  5. Brands that do really good travel size products are : Drunk Elephant, Paula’s Choice, Coola, Exuviance (only because their products are already small), Benefit, Herbivore, and Laura Mercier to name a few. 


find your travel products on these multibrand sites: