A few weeks ago I shared some photos on Instagram of the toiletries bag I took with me on a one-week trip to the mountains of Maine. I wanted to expound a bit on my tips and tricks for travel skin care here.
I opted to bring only carry-on luggage, so I was limited to a 3-1-1 bag, as per TSA standards. I found out that sheet masks don’t generally count towards your liquids/gels/aerosol limit, and can confirm that I brought them through security with no trouble. But I still had to fit a multi-step, Korean-inspired skin care routine, hair care for thick, mid-back-length hair, plus deodorant and bug spray into a quart-sized bag. While I managed, it was a tight fit and definitely used my Tetris skills.
You can see the difference between the compact bag and the laid out contents of just the plastic bag above! Here’s a list of products:
- Julep Love Your Bare Face cleansing oil, trial size
- Sulwhasoo Snowise EX cleansing foam, sample packets
- Skylake Herbal face mist, trial size
- Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence and Night Activator Ampoule, sample packets
- Assorted foil samples (Tatcha Rice Powder exfoliator, Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery moisturizer, Fresh Black Tea Age Delay cream)
- Trilogy Antioxidant oil, trial size
- Mamonde Rose Honey sleeping mask, decant
- Urban Decay Vice lipstick, two sample blister packs
- L’Oreal Nude Balm in Plush Plum
- Missha Signature Real Complete BB Cream in #23, sample packs
- Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste, trial size
- Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting unscented deodorant
- Sawyer Picaridin bug repellent, trial size
- Kiss My Face SPF 30 lip balm
- Homemade lip balm
- DHC Lash Tonic
- Skylake Silk Cocoon Conditioner, 2 trial size tubes
- Skylake Herbal Cool Shampoo, trial size
- Biore UV Perfect Milk
In addition to this, I brought three sheet masks: Skylake Trouble Care, Evercos Chameleon Leaf, and LoveMore Aloe and Loofah. As you can see, I’ve left a few things at home, like exfoliating acids, vitamin C, and most of my makeup. I chose to focus on skin care, and include just enough makeup to cover a breakout if I needed and enhance my lips naturally. I opted not to bring bright red lipstick to the mountains. Here are my tips for traveling with your complicated routine:
- Decide what is non-negotiable: For me, number one is sunscreen. I knew I was bringing a full-sized bottle of a water-resistant sunscreen that I knew wouldn’t break me out. I also knew I wanted my essence. In the future, I will refill my decant jar with my preferred gel moisturizer as well.
- See where you can edit: Like I said, I didn’t bring my whole makeup bag or even all the steps I use for skin care. The first thing I decided to leave at home was my vitamin C, as the antioxidant oil has some vitamin C in it, and I didn’t want to risk oxidizing my vitamin C serum by carting it around for who-knows-how-long during travel. Then I also chose to leave my exfoliating acids at home because travel notoriously upsets my skin and the last thing upset skin needs is actives. Finally, I drastically simplified my makeup because the conference I was attending involves a lot of outdoor activities and I knew I wouldn’t be wearing a red lip while hiking anyway. I also chose to buy sunscreen for my body at the conference site because you need enough to get proper coverage, that it’s not hard to use up a full-sized tube during a week of constant daily outdoor activity.
- Find trial and sample sizes: I found trial sizes of my shampoo, a good conditioner, cleansing oil, facial oil, and toner. I’ll probably refill some of the trial-size containers with products I use regularly, too. Then I got sample packets of essence, ampoule, cleanser, and BB cream. And I tested literally everything weeks before leaving on my trip. I also had some samples from Sephora and other orders that I’d tried before and knew I liked. Generally not a good idea to bring anything that’s utterly untested on travel.
- Decant where necessary: I didn’t have to decant my own products (the Mamonde decant was one I bought off a skincare exchange board), but I will next time. I can replace the cleansing oil with my everyday cleansing oil and the sleeping mask with my night moisturizer. I also have some small travel bottles to decant my other hydrating essence, if I want to in the future.
- Supplement with soothing and hydrating sheet masks: I looked around and decided that it was a pretty safe bet to bring sheet masks outside my 3-1-1 bag, so I threw a few sheet masks in my bag. I focused on masks that are good for breakouts and upset skin because I knew that 1.) travel makes me break out and 2.) I would be spending a lot of time outside. And it turned out great. I came home from one particularly long afternoon hike, took a long shower, and sat for a half an hour with an aloe mask on before evening sessions and my skin was very happy indeed.
So those are my thoughts about traveling with skin care. I will have another chance to put the tips into practice soon, but I think that’s a good place to start when trying to curate your routine for travel. Who still has fun vacation plans coming up?