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What skincare to take on holiday

3 Travel Skincare Essentials

Yes, summer is well and truly here.  And while international travel may be a little hit and miss at the moment, plenty of us are taking the plunge into the world of staycations/long weekends/nearby getaways.

And while trying to pack every beauty product you own into *teeny* bottles to make it through airport security may not be such a priority this year, who actually wants to end up taking more than they need to? 

So I thought I’d come up with a quick checklist of the three products I *actually* need and use when I’m going away for a couple of days… As supposed to all those toners/second serums/masks that feel so vital when you’re hovering over your suitcase but eventually just give you an arm ache as you walk the approximately 2 kilometres from your hotel’s reception to your actual room (seriously, the weight of all those bottles eventually adds up…).


1. A Gentle Yet Versatile Cleanser

I have so many favourite cleansers I use in rotation at home but the one I always reach for when I travel- both for its sheer effectiveness and for the fact that it works whether my skin is oily, sensitive or dry- is Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser.  Soothing and refreshing (but only if you don’t hate the smell of cucumber because this definitely does), it washes off makeup/SPF/the day in seconds and never dries out or otherwise stresses my skin. Oh, and it’s also available in a convenient 100 ml travel size.

What skincare to take on holiday

2. Your Serums

To be perfectly honest, as someone pretty lazy I can quite happily skip the serums most days if it means shaving off so much as 20 seconds from the time it takes me to get ready.  But those who particularly rely on their serums- whether to control breakouts, tackle hyperpigmentation etc- this is one to keep in the travel checklist.  Plus serum bottles are always tiny anyway (no, I don’t know why either). Equally, when it comes to the more hydrating, moisturising toners, during the summer when skin is generally less dry these can often quite happily substitute your normal night cream or moisturiser (and as long as they’re not sensitising, can generally be used in place of eye cream too).


3. Moisturising SPF

Please note this isn’t for anyone going anywhere particularly exotic with the sole intention of sitting out in the sun for hours at a time.  But for anyone simply planning a gentle weekend of pottering about somewhere new, a moisturising SPF saves the hassle of packing two separate products while keeping your skin nicely protected from UV damage. Check out Thank You Farmer’s Sun Project Water Sun Cream SPF 50, a sunscreen/moisturiser hybrid with nearly 100 per cent 5 star reviews .

For those actively seeking out the sun, though, use something with high UV exposure specifically in mind (and ideally sweatproof/waterproof so it doesn’t melt off you within two minutes of hitting the beach), like Missha’s All-Around Safe Block Waterproof Sun SPF 50+.


The Takeaway

For short stays, there really isn’t that much more that my skin needs than a good cleanse, some hydration and an SPF.  For slightly longer trips though, or for a fuller routine, consider throwing in some cellulose masks like Maskologist’s Rose Glowing Potion Hydrogel Face Mask (while sheet masks are normally pretty terrible for the environment, this one is fully biodegradable and its packaging is recyclable).  Meanwhile, for really dry types a separate might cream or oil can make the difference between skin feeling so-so, and a full on mega watt beam.

Finally, if you’re cutting back on the skincare that means more room for makeup! So try to pack products that double up with skincare benefits, like Drunk Elephant’s D Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops, a part-antioxidant serum, part-bronzing liquid that can be mixed with skincare for skin that’s both protected and deliciously glowy.


This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you buy a product after clicking on it I may earn a (very) small commission in sales at no extra cost to you. All my opinions are entirely my own, however, and affiliate links never change how I write about or present a product. The money earned from them helps towards the running costs of this site, allowing me to continue writing and reviewing thoroughly and honestly.

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