Making sure you’re armed with the right travel beauty products might not seem like a trip-planning priority, but living out of a suitcase shouldn’t mean neglecting your skin and hair.
Travel Beauty Tips Experts Swear By
You don’t have to pack your entire medicine cabinet to maintain a beauty regimen on the road. Here are the travel beauty tips experts told me they swear by for all types of skin and hair.
1. Travel Beauty Tip: Go Rinse-Free with Micellar Water
One of the most versatile and inexpensive travel beauty products gaining steam these days is micellar water—or oil molecules suspended in soft water. It doubles as a makeup remover and cleansing toner, and requires no rinsing so it’s perfect for on-the-go use.
Cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Sonam Yadav swears by the same micellar water as SmarterTravel’s Ashley Rossi: Bioderma Sensibio H20. “I am obsessed with Bioderma’s Sensibo H20 in travel-size,” Rossi says. “Two dabs on a cotton ball will leave your skin feeling refreshed and clean, and you can actually see the dirt and makeup removed.”
Price and Where to Buy: Bioderma Sensibio H20 from $7 on Amazon
2. Travel Beauty Tip: Use the Right SPF and Moisturizer
How often have you skipped the sunscreen because it’s too oily or heavy for everyday use? Stop foregoing SPF on sunny days by choosing an oil-free option you can apply under makeup or mix with your favorite tinted moisturizer.
Dr. Yadav pairs SPF 30 with noreva Exfoliac Tinted Anti-Imperfection treatment for a skin-benefiting concealer, and recommends Neutrogena’s Dry Touch sunscreen for a matte-finish SPF. If oily skin is more of a problem for you, Yadav suggests Avene’s Cleanance Expert cream, which exfoliates and reduces oil production.
3. Travel Beauty Tip: Oils Are Your Friend
For those with dryness issues, winter travel can be harsh on hair and skin. Don’t be afraid of oils, which do wonders and pack small. Skip clunky moisturizer and hair treatment bottles in favor of a travel-sized dry oil. A dry oil is a non-greasy oil that hair and skin can easily soak up without leaving residue behind—oils that are classified as dry include argan, jojoba, and rosehip seed.
I always pack a small bottle of rosehip oil, which has brightening and rejuvenating benefits for skin and goes a long way in dry hair. Rub in a few drops where you need it, and apply to the face and neck before bed every night for anti-aging benefits. It’s effective at removing makeup if you use a little bit extra and wipe the excess away with a tissue, and it’s also great for men as a beard oil.
Price and Where to Buy: InstaNatural Organic Rosehip Oil from $20 on Amazon
4. Travel Beauty Tip: BYO Conditioner
Relying on free hotel amenities for your travel beauty routine can save you a lot of packing space, but be sure to bring necessities hotels might skimp out on. “I’ve been noticing more hotels only provide shampoo or a terrible shampoo/conditioner hybrid these days,” SmarterTravel’s Caroline Morse says. “I hate being caught without it, so I refill one of these travel bottles with my favorite conditioner just in case.”
Price and Where to Buy: Eagle Creek Pack-It bottle set from $10 on Amazon.
5. Travel Beauty Tip: Make Time for a Mask
Bring a packable or single-use mask to restore what your skin loses on a dry flight or to calm irritated skin after days of traveling. SmarterTravel’s Ashley Rossi recommends these 20, including packable no-rinse versions like 100% PURE Bright Eyes Mask.
Price and Where to Buy: 100% Pure Bright Eyes Mask from $7 online.
6. Travel Beauty Tip: Bring Jet-Lag Relief
Travel beauty experts sing the praises of spring-water mist as soothing jet-lag relief. And it’s an oil-free option for travelers with sensitive or greasy skin. Travel and lifestyle writer Jeanette Zinno says, “Travel-size facial mists are perfect for refreshing after a long dry plane ride or to freshen up after a day of exploring a new country.” She recommends La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Face Mist. Hydration and cleansing relief will help you leave the plane feeling fresh-faced.
Price and Where to Buy: La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Face Mist from $10 online.
7. Travel Beauty Tip: Pack Smart
Packing right is just as important as which travel beauty products you’re packing. SmarterTravel’s Christine Sarkis recommends using multi-use containers to stash all your necessities. “I use contact-lens cases to hold smaller amounts of face moisturizer and sunscreen for shorter trips,” Sarkis says. “It helps me maximize my 3-1-1 toiletries bag since it takes up only a small amount of room.”
More from SmarterTravel:
- 7 Must-Have Travel Toiletries for Dry Winter Weather
- 10 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Toiletries Kit
- How to Travel without Liquids or Gels
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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.