Packing a Hand Luggage Only Skincare Bag

Sunday, 25 September 2016

 This time several years ago, I would never have thought that I’d struggle to pack all of the skincare items I needed into my carry on luggage. The last backpacking trip I went on was to Thailand in 2012 and, well, let’s just say that my makeup and skincare regime was a little bit different and my beauty addiction hadn’t quite taken hold just yet. Given that I use about a million different products now and can use an ungodly amount of those in one day alone, I was pretty nervous about packing for my next couple of trips because – dun dun duuuun – I will be flying with only my hand luggage for both.

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 HOME
When 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 WIPES
I 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 MINIS
I 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 PRODUCTS
If 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 WITHOUT
If 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 WEARERS
Cases 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 BOTTLE
Don’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 SKIN
When 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.

15 comments

  1. Such helpful tips for hand luggage packing! I'm heading off to Greece next month for a few data with hand luggage only so will definitely put some of these in place. Fab post!
    http://www.dellalovesnutella.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you, I hope it makes your packing go a little bit easier and that you have an awesome time! :)

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  2. When I went to Amsterdam in June we only took hand luggage and the liquids were so annoying! We ended up just buying a few bits in duty-free because we couldn't cut it down enough. These are all really good tips though!

    The Velvet Black | UK Personal Style & Beauty Blog

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    1. I know, it's a nightmare! And it's kind of unclear what you can/can't take in with you too when it comes to makeup items. :/ Thank you!

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  3. I rarely go anywhere with only hand luggage, mostly because everything is far and expensive in Atlantic Canada, but I did fly to Saskatoon in May and took only hand luggage. I used a lot of minis I've gotten from Sephora orders or minis that I used to test stuff out and still had things left over. I had to declare my contact lens solutions as essential non-prescription liquids, though, since mine don't come in bottles small enough. But it did free up some space!

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    1. Minis are such a saviour for things like that! I've never had to worry about packing my contact lens solution for hand luggage thankfully, I've always used dailies for travel and because my eyes are super sensitive. 😂

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  4. This is such a useful post ! Thank you so much for this ! That contact lens case tip is the best !

    -Aby
    a-blog-for-thoughts.blogspot.com.mt

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    1. You're welcome, I hope it helps you out!

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  5. Honestly, I love my solid shampoo bars for travel, but I really struggle with drying them. Especially if you're in hostels or something, you can't exactly leave it on the shelf to dry properly, so they kinda just turn into goop in the box (and/or get stuck in there). :(

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    1. Ugh true, we usually stay in AirBnBs or cheap hotels so I didn't even think about hostels and needing to dry out your soaps. :( I guess if you had space you could bring a soap case with the little indentations on it to dry it on your bed while you're out? :/

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  6. Really great tips :) I am a 100% solid convert - not only do they save space but as you said you can take them through security! I love taking Lush solid shampoo bars :) Although I did once have a security guy think it was food :) xo

    www.hayleyloves.uk

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    1. Yes, I love the Lush shampoo bars! I would've loved to have seen the security guy taste one to find out for sure. :P

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  7. These are brilliant tips, personally I still struggle to pack my skincare for hand luggage and that's even with checked back she! The 100ml thing is so frustrating sometimes.

    www.thesundaymode.com

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    1. Thank you! It is, although you'd be surprised what you can bring outside of the 100ml bag! I was always so paranoid about having things confiscated but after loads of research and other travellers' stories I realised that unless you have proper liquid foundation you don't even really need to put any of your makeup (inc. liquid lipsticks etc.!) in with your 100ml liquids which was a HUGE help.

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  8. It may be difficult to rectify the problems if you are not careful. Some of the mistakes that you do can even cause irreversible damage to your skin Facial beauty tips

    ReplyDelete

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