Dry heat, humidity, sweat, salt, sand, chlorine … the list of harmful elements summer brings to your skin, hair, and body goes on and on.
I’ve tested dozens of skincare essentials and found some of the best summer beauty products you can get in a travel-size. Add a few to your toiletry kit for summer trips; your skin and hair will thank you.
The Best Summer Beauty Products for Women, Men, & Kids
Summer Skincare Essentials: Makeup
Look for lightweight and no-fuss makeup for your summer skincare essentials. A few of my favorite summertime makeup products are Face Atelier Ultra Skin Foundation, which is oil-free and helps with hydration; Lancer Studio Light Flawless Eye Concealer, which is super moisturizing; 100% Pure Pink Grapefruit Glow Lip & Cheek Tint, which adds great color and has coca butters for moisture; Ofra Cosmetics Highlighter – Bali; and The BrowGal’s Clear Eyebrow Gel, which is sweat- and water-resistant.
Summer Skincare Essentials: Hair Care
Your hair is probably the most neglected part of your beauty routine come summertime, thanks to the frustration humidity brings when styling. However, it’s crucial to protect your hair from the heat and keep it moisturized.
R+Co’s Atlantis Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner now come in travel sizes, and are great to take on summer trips. It’s also important to maintain your hair’s natural healthy oils: Don’t over-wash your hair, and replace washing with a dry shampoo, like this one from R+Co, from time-to-time. You can also get hydration from a hair spritz like Moroccan Elixir, which protects your hair from damaging elements and adds non-greasy oils to your hair. A surprising bonus: it’s also a remedy for bug bites and sunburn on your skin.
For curly-hair styling assistance, check out the Click n Curl Travel Set—the packable kit makes drying and styling your hair easier in the heat. A sea salt spray (like this one from Herbivore Botanicals) will also help enhance natural curls in high humidity.
Summer Skincare Essentials: Facial Products
Keeping your face clean, hydrated, and moisturized are the three keys for maintaining healthy summer skin, and these products can help.
For cleansing, the Bioderma Sensibo H20 is the OG of the micellar water movement. This hypoallergenic cleansing water removes all makeup and keeps skin feeling soft and refreshed, plus it comes in a travel size. Other cleansing facial products worth adding to your summer skincare regimen include CVS Health Oil Absorbing Sheets and Comodynes Make-Up Remover Towelettes (Travel Edition).
My favorite travel-sized hydrating skincare products are Beekman 1802 Goat Milk Facial Mist, which hydrates and tones; Thesis Beauty’s restorative Rosehip Oil; and Farmaesthetics Cooling Aloe Mist (available in a travel-size in this kit), which is perfect for healing sun burns on the face.
Summer Skincare Essentials: Body Products
There are two types of body skincare essentials you need in summer: Exfoliators and after-sun remedies.
For an exfoliator, Kaike (pronounced like “cake”) makes an awesome sugar scrub in a mini container that’s perfect for travel. Or, pair your favorite shower gel (or the hotel’s) with the mesh LUV Scrub Exfoliator for a cleanse like no other. Just make sure to moisturizer after—Kaike also has an awesome-smelling “frosting” (i.e. moisturizer) that does wonders for dry skin.
You’re going to want after-sun remedies that contain aloe vera—Tri Derma MD makes a fast-acting Aloe Cleansing Gel that’s gentle and soothing to the skin. Or, really spoil yourself with Ola Tropical Apothecary After-Sun Healing Bath, made with coconut milk, aloe vera, and other soothing ingredients—just add two scoops of the travel-sized mix to a warm bath and relax.
Fighting ingrown hairs around the bikini line? European Wax Center sells convenient ingrown hair wipes at all locations.
Summer Skincare Essentials: Sunscreen
The most important summer skincare essential is a facial sunscreen that’s right for you. There are two main types of facial sunscreens—makeup primers and moisturizers with SPF. For makeup primers with SPF, Lancer Sheer Fluid Sunscreen with SPF 30 is a great lightweight daily option, as is Goddess Garden Face the Day Sunscreen & Firming Primer, also with SPF 30. If you’re looking for a higher SPF in a makeup primer, BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz Solar Defense Sheer SPF 50 Sunscreen has you covered.
For sun-protecting moisturizers, Robin McGraw Revelation 50 Fierce – Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Moisturizer & Sunscreen is a great high-SPF option. Or, if you’re looking for a daily-use sunscreen with anti-aging benefits, MDSolarSciences Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer with SPF 30 is for you.
And if you’re just looking to keep things simple, you can’t go wrong with Goddess Garden Natural Facial Sunscreen or Block Island Organics sunscreen (available in both body and face travel-sized options with SPF 30). Both brands are award-winning, and made from natural and organic ingredients.
Summer Skincare Essentials: For Men
Men shouldn’t let the summer elements ruin their skin, either. The MENAJI Gregory Travel Kit is here to rescue you from chapped lips, razor burn, and puffy eyes. The travel-sized kit includes lip balm, hypoallergenic eye cream, and a three-in-one shaving cream.
Summer Skincare Essentials: For Kids
Don’t forget the kiddos! DermalYouth skincare line was developed specifically for children aged six months to 18 years, and has a few skincare essentials worth bringing on your next family vacation: The Day & Night Skincare System is a lotion and moisturizer kit with sunscreen. Also bring along the SPF 60 Hydro Pure Travel Size and SPF 30 Vanishing Face Serum.
Another kid-friendly and natural ingredient skincare line is All Good. Check out their Kid’s Sunscreen, which is water resistant for 80 minutes. This version also comes in their popular butter stick option.
Summer Skincare Essentials: Lip Care
Last, but not least, the lips; make sure you keep it simple and pack a lip balm with SPF, like CVS Medicated Lip Care Stick with SPF 30, or Goddess Gardens Natural Mineral Lip Balm, also with SPF 30. If you do get sunburnt on your lips, use a lip conditioner like Fernberry’s Mochi Lips. ChapStick makes a Total Hydration Lip Scrub for exfoliation and softening if you need some extra care.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 10 Tiny Hair Products You Need to Pack
- 10 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Toiletries Kit
- 10 Wrinkle-Resistant Summer Travel Dresses Perfect for Packing
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We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.