By the time you’re reading this post, I’ll be in sunny Madrid, and I can already tell you that my skincare packing was a success! I was honestly shocked to have managed to fit all of my necessary items into a clear bag smaller than the airline requirements. I know, unbelievable, right?! Since most of my readers probably have similar issues packing up their skincare stash to go travelling, I thought I would share a few tips that helped me to cut the crap and pack like a pro.
GO SOLID OR GO HOMEWhen you’re flying with only hand luggage, liquids are your worst enemy, so wherever you can, swap them out with something else. In the little Lush tub you can see pictured above are my soap (Lush’s Baked Alaska) and a solid deodorant (also from Lush, but I can’t remember which one). Also, fragrances – ditch the liquid perfumes! Don’t waste your valuable liquid space just for the sake of your signature scent; if you have a solid perfume, just take that instead.
COMMIT THE CARDINAL SIN OF MAKEUP WIPESI know everyone hates makeup wipes and says that they’re not good for your skin, but when you have a limited amount of space and liquids you can carry, you don’t want to be screwing around bringing makeup remover or cleansing oils or micellar waters. I usually use B.’s micellar water to remove my makeup, but I’ve swapped this out in favour of some Yes to Cucumbers travel sized wipes I nabbed on sale in my last LoveLula order. They’re lighter weight, easy to pack, don’t have to be stored with your liquids and no, using makeup wipes for a couple of nights on a city break isn’t going to ruin your skin. We all have to make sacrifices.
SAVE YOUR SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER MINISI don’t know about you, but when I dye my hair I go through several packs of product and always end up with spare sachets of shampoo or mini bottles of conditioner leftover. If I don’t feel like these are necessary for my hair’s recovery post-dye, then I save them for travel. This little Directions sachet is perfect for going in my hand luggage for a long weekend away (I only ever need to wash my hair once every few days so will only need do this once, if at all, on this trip) and the conditioner is a non-cruelty free brand I had stashed away from years ago.
PACK VERSATILE PRODUCTSIf you use a day cream and a night cream or a day toner and an evening toner or a moisturiser in the morning and a hydration serum at night, ditch the excess! Find the products you have that work for you in multiple scenarios rather than just specific ones. Usually I use a different moisturiser in morning and evening, but my Ooh! Cacay Oil makes a great morning or night moisturiser, so I’m taking that instead of two products and saving space. I’m also only bringing the eye drops I can use with my contact lenses, when I usually have multiple drops on the go, only some of which can be used with contacts.
DITCH WHATEVER YOU CAN LIVE WITHOUTIf you’re only going for a short amount of time, it’s not the end of the world to cut a few products out of your life for a few days. I’m not bothering to bring a toner, for example, because I know I can survive without it and it just takes up too much valuable space even when transferred to a smaller bottle.
CONTACT LENS CASES AREN’T JUST FOR CONTACT LENS WEARERSCases for reusable contact lenses make excellent tiny little pots to store your products for a few days! In mine I’ve packed a few days’ worth of my brightening serum, a face balm, a face mask and my face wash (which I’ll use with a muslin cloth to save packing an exfoliator). Don’t bother spending lots of money on cute little mini pots or bottles from Superdrug or Boots, just buy a pack of these off eBay – you can get about ten for as cheap as £2 and if you’re smart about how much product you’ll need, they can save you a hell of a lot of space.
TRANSFER YOUR SUNSCREEN INTO A 100ML BOTTLEDon’t waste your money on expensive travel-sized bottles of sun block, just squeeze your usual favourite into a smaller bottle. If you’re going hand luggage only, chances are you aren’t going to be there for long, so a little bottle of SPF50 should be enough to last you, especially if you’re going to a city where you’ll spend a lot of your time at indoor attractions like museums. On a semi-related note, pack a small bottle or a contact lens case of sunscreen for your face too, since I don’t know about you but I can’t stand having to use normal sun lotion on my face and it totally screws up my skin when I do.
DON’T FORGET THE PRODUCTS THAT BALANCE YOUR SKINWhen travelling with hand luggage only, you want to go minimal, but travel and flying can be really hard on your skin so for me, it’s also important not to forget the products that can save it when it’s in a real bind. Flying really dries out your skin, so pack a little bit of a product that you know will immediately rehydrate and rescue it after your flight. (If you know you’re going to be drinking booze a lot on your trip, this product can also act as a bonus anti-hangover dry, puffy skin saviour…) Different climates and different water while travelling can also create havoc with your skin, so if you can fit a teeny tiny bit of a face mask that you know helps to calm and balance your skin when it’s being troublesome, it can save you a lot of grief later. You don’t need a lot of product to make a big difference in how your skin reacts to your trip.
I hope these tips were at all helpful for you! Let me know what you’re favourite packing hacks are for travelling with only your hand luggage.