How Do I Pack My Skincare For Travel?

How Do I Pack My Skincare For Travel?

Traveling seems more and more special these days since COVID-19 restricted it. Some people love packing for travel, while others find it challenging and like something that just has to be done for the fun to begin.

Packing clothes is straightforward since you likely know how to pack for the weather, but packing beauty and skincare can be a whole different ball game. There is often a perfect line of having exactly what you need versus having too much or too little.

So, how do you pack your skincare for travel so that you can feel efficient and fresh? Keep reading to get some ideas on what to pack and how to pack it.

Make a Plan

Any great trip starts with a plan. Before you can decide exactly how and what you will pack, you might want to consider a couple of aspects.

One thing you should think about is where you are going. If you are going to a cold or dry location, you may need to bring some additional moisturizing products or even a face mask. Whereas in a wet or warm location, you may need some oil control products.

Another thing you may want to consider is how much room you have to pack. Are you checking a bag? Or only bringing a carry-on? This can make a significant difference in how much product you may be able to bring.

So, before you begin making your list and checking it twice, it is always a good idea to think of the logistics of your traveling so you can be as efficient as possible and have more time to think about the things that really matter.

What Qualities Should You Look for in Your Products?

Not all products are made equally when it comes to traveling. Simplicity is key for traveling, so the two main things you should be focusing on are multifunctionality and ease of going through security at the airport. Less is more for travel.

The fewer items you have to worry about keeping track of and fumbling through in your bag, the more time you can spend enjoying the people around you and what you are doing.

When you choose a product that can be used in more ways than one it simplifies your routine and can even help to save you money. A great example of this is a cleanser and moisturizer in one or even the classic 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner.

When it comes to making it through TSA with ease, you will need to be familiar with the 3-1-1 liquids rule. This rule means that you can have 3.4 ounces of liquid or less stored in each container, they must all fit in 1 quart-sized clear plastic bag.

You can only have one bag per person, including liquids such as personal care items, skincare, and makeup. This is much easier said than done and may require you to purchase travel-sized items or containers to which you can transfer your current items.

These methods can get expensive quickly, and they are unpredictable when it comes to whether or not the pressure will explode the product, resulting in a sticky mess that leaves you with no products to use when you arrive.

To get around this, you can use small products every day or use cream or oil-based products that are not considered a liquid and can be transferred through the security line.

Which Skincare Products Should You Bring?

Making a list is usually a good idea for any packing, whether it is for clothes or toiletries. For skincare and travel, it can be nice to use as many multifunctional products as possible, but of course, some things just cannot be combined.

For a trip with less packing space, you will likely want to stick to the basics like a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and lip care. If you have a little extra space or are wanting to pamper yourself, things like beauty tools and special treatments may be able to make it onto your packing list.

Your packing list will likely look different than your friend’s, but the key is making it personal to what you know works well for you.


Anyone who has traveled before knows that it feels like you are extra grimy at the end of the day. There is something about being in a car, plane, train, bus, or ship that seems like it welcomes the dirt and oil onto your face.

Masks these days don’t make the problem any easier. Because of this, a good cleanser is a must-have for your traveling days. The Clean Slate all-in-one cleansing stick is a great option that is compact and practical.

The cleansing stick offers a no-fuss option to wash your face without needing to worry if your tube of face wash is going to explode in your bag on the way.

Not to mention, its oil-based formula makes it TSA friendly and takes away the stress of wondering if you will make it through TSA with your favorite products. The cleanser is as easy as a swipe, rub, and rinse. It takes simplicity to an all-new level.

In addition to washing your face, it does much more. It can also help remove your makeup, even waterproof makeup, and help to moisturize the skin. If you need to keep the packing list minimal, this would probably be your go-to product.

[product handle="clean-slate"]



Toning is usually the next step in the average skincare routine. Toning helps to keep the oils balanced in your skin. Sometimes the dirt and oil can be stuck in your pores even after you cleanse, leading to acne and changes in skin texture. Toner usually comes in a big bottle of liquid which makes it very difficult for traveling.

Luckily, you don’t have to leave your toner at home and can opt for a stick toner like the Cool It green tea toner stick.

With this, you are saving more product, time, and money by not having to use cotton rounds or another applicator because you can simply swipe it around your face. It is great for all skin types and will not leave you feeling as dry as the desert. It leaves a nice cooling sensation to leave you refreshed and ready for the next day of adventure.

[product handle="cool-it"]

Lip Care

Lip care is often overlooked in skin care, even when people are at home and not traveling. The lips are one of the first things people notice when you talk with them, so having moisturized lips is important from an aesthetics perspective.

But more importantly, having chapped, dry, and cracking lips can be incredibly uncomfortable. This almost always happens during travel, especially when traveling in an airplane or heading to a cold location.

You may not be staying hydrated enough while you are busy thinking of other things during your travels, or the air may be dryer, leaving your lips being lackluster. To combat this, you should always pack a lip care item with you while traveling.

A simple lip balm or lip lotion is perfect for tossing in your bag or pocket to have at the ready to prevent your lips from getting dry or helping them recover if you forgot about taking care of your lips early in your trip.

[product handle="double-team"]


A high-quality moisturizer is a must-have for any skincare routine, but especially while you are traveling. While you may be extremely oily during long days of traveling, it is also common to go to the opposite extreme of feeling very dry.

Having a good moisturizer on hand for a quick-dry skin spot treatment is always nice. Your moisturizer is also key to keep your moisture balance intact and protect the skin barrier.

Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, a moisturizer at the end of your skincare routine is vital to locking in moisture and creating a protective barrier for your skin. If you have oily or combination skin, you may be able to get away with using a multi-use product like the clean slate stick to wash and moisturize your skin.

If you have dry skin, you may want to consider using a designated moisturizer as well. So you don’t end up with ten plus products, finding a moisturizer that can double as a body moisturizer, face moisturizer, and even sunscreen can be an excellent way to pair down your packing list.


Imagine it: you have traveled 12 hours across the country, and you finally make it to your hotel. You can’t wait to wash your day away and climb into your big comfy bed only to find the world’s roughest washcloths and towels. Using a piece of sandpaper to wash your face is never pleasant and usually just makes you miss the comforts of home. To avoid a situation like this, you may want to consider bringing skincare accessories.

The About Face double-sided cleansing mitts offer variety, sustainability, and easy packability, making them perfect for travel. You can use one side to gently cleanse the face, while the other side offers a little more texture for you to gently exfoliate any dead skin, dirt, or grime from your face.

They are also washable, so you do not have to feel bad about constantly tossing makeup wipes in the trash. A washing mitt can be a perfect addition to your everyday and travel routine.

[product handle="about-face"]

Specialty Treatments

Specialty skincare treatments are things like face masks, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. These are not products that you necessarily need on a travel expedition, but they can be a nice treat when you are on vacation or a work trip when you need “me time.” You may want to focus on choosing ones that are lightweight and not liquid products.

A great example is a sheet mask, gel eye patches, or clay or cream-based stick face mask. These products can add a little something special to your trip while also keeping it affordable and paired down.

While some people may think that this is an unnecessary item to bring with you, just keep in mind that minimalism is all about what brings you joy, and if that is an extra facemask for yourself, then don’t hesitate to do it.

Should You Bring New Products?

There is often a debate on whether a vacation is the right time to experiment with new products. The answer is not cut and dry, and the decision should be made carefully by you. Travel can be fun to experiment with new products since it is time to enjoy life and have new experiences.

On the other hand, it can also be risky if the product doesn’t mesh with your skin well by causing a break-out or change in skin tone or texture. The safe bet if you want to try new products during travel is to ensure compatibility before you go based on how your skin reacts for a short period of time, then investigate further with your products on vacation if you desire.

How Should You Store Your Products

After you assemble all of your products together, the next big step is to pack them in your bag. But that poses the question: how should you store your skincare products while you travel?

The first thing you need to abide by is the 3-1-1 rule if traveling via aircraft. You can do this by storing all of your appropriately sized items in a clear, quart-sized Ziploc bag. You can store the remaining items as you please.

When packing the rest of your skincare, the main thing to keep in mind is to keep it together and in clear material if possible.


This may seem self-explanatory, but keeping all of your skincare together can be a saving grace when you are unsettled and running around during your travels. It is much easier to pull out one bag of skincare items and quickly do your skincare routine than it is to fumble through your bags searching for your toner so that you can feel complete.

It can be tempting to keep your moisturizer handy in the small zipper pocket of your backpack, but a simple choice like this is how things can spiral out of control and how things can get lost.

By implementing small systems throughout your life, such as keeping all of your skincare and makeup together, and all of your undergarments, you can streamline your life and keep moving.

Clear Material

When choosing your bag to keep your skincare in, a clear material like biodegradable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a great option. Clear cosmetic bags have many advantages, including being easy to clean, compact, and time-saving. Clear material cosmetic bags are good for any time, especially during travel when you have places to be and people to see.

Instead of digging through your makeup bag to find what you want, you can see everything from the outside to remove what you are searching for. This is especially helpful if you have small items in the bag like hair ties or bobby pins.

Between locations and uses, it is easy to wipe clean with an antibacterial wipe to prevent bringing the germs of the airport bathroom with you into your purse.


Overall, when it comes to packing for your travels, the key is to pack smarter, not harder. Bring only the things you know you will really need. The chances are that the face brush that you have not used for two years will also not be used on this trip, so you should probably just leave it at home.

Another rule of thumb is to try to combine as many products as possible by choosing products that can be used in multiple ways, such as a cleanser and toner or a lip and cheek tint.

Finally, when you are traveling, try to stay as streamlined as possible with your packing style. This means choosing easy-to-use bags to organize your items and keep them well separated so that you can reach in to get exactly what you are looking for in a matter of seconds.

All in all, let your items work for you and not the other way around. Take the time you need to enjoy your travels because you deserve it.

Travel Checklist | TSA
Skin care tips dermatologists use | AAD
Face washing 101 | AAD

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