What You Must Pack to Keep Traveling Skin Happy-and What You Can Leave at Home

+ Pamela Friedman

You look at your medicine cabinet, or makeup bag, and you sigh. You’re traveling for the holidays, and you just can’t fit it all in your suitcase or carry-on bag.

What do you do?

We have some suggestions for products you must have when traveling to keep your skin happy-and what you can leave at home.

5 Must-Have Products for Skin Care While Traveling

We have to downsize when traveling, but even though you have to leave some things behind, make sure these five products go with you.

1. Moisturizer

Here’s what you simply can’t afford to leave home if you want your skin to look good while you’re away. Fortunately most come in travel-size options. (Our CV Traveler includes everything you need in airplane-ready containers.) Do think about where you’re going-is the climate different? If you’re going from humid to dry, pack a cream or balm. If you’re going from dry to humid, a lotion or serum may be better.

Here’s a tip: If you have an anti-aging serum you adore, mix a little bit of it into your travel-sized moisturizer container, and voila, you have both in one. It will get you by for a few days.

2. Face mask.

Traveling is stressful for most of us, and your skin will show it if you don’t have a way to help it recover. If you have oily or combination skin, take a mask that will help clean out your pores. If you have dry skin, take a hydrating mask. Apply it the night you arrive, and you’ll wake up looking like your vibrant, happy self.

Tip: Our Calming Moisture can do double-duty as a moisturizer or an overnight mask. Slather on before bed and wake up to glowing, radiant, well-hydrated skin!

3. Cleanser.

You may think you can get by with any old soap while you’re away, but that’s a mistake. Hotel soaps and washes are drying and strip the skin of its natural oils. Your skin will likely react to that, and start causing your problems (like dryness and breakouts). So take the cleanser that you know works with your skin-just put it in a travel-friendly container.

4. Concealer.

Dark circles under your eyes. Redness around the nose. Unexpected acne. All of these are common while you’re traveling, simply because of the stress, lack of sleep, changing environments, etc. You need something to help cover up in a pinch, so be sure that you don’t leave your concealer at home. Sure, you could get another at your destination, but odds are it won’t be the right color or consistency to work well with your skin. Better to go with your favorite. Choose a stick or a small cream pot to take up less space.

5. Lip balm.

Dry, chapped lips make you look tired and disheveled faster than almost anything. Yet it’s not easy to maintain soft, plump lips while your traveling. That’s why lip balm is critical. We recommend our Restorative Skin Balm, as it’s full of natural, moisturizing ingredients like beeswax, almond oil, and vitamin E that not only soften, but help repair, too. It’s small enough to put in your purse or pocket, so this is a no-brainer when it comes to traveling.

5 Products You Can Leave Home

The hardest part of packing is trying to figure out what you can leave at home. Here’s what we suggest.

1. Most makeup products.

If you’re going on vacation, use the time to embrace the natural look. Pare down your makeup by leaving behind blushes, eye shadows, liners, highlighters, contours, and the like. Take along your favorite mascara and foundation (though you may do just fine with your concealer and moisturizer), and add a bit of lip color to get that put-together look without a lot of extra containers.

Some tips: You can use your brow pencil as an eyeliner, your lipstick as blush, and your bronzer as an eye shadow.

2. Toner.

Most of the time, you can get by for a few days without a toner. If your skin gets dry quickly after cleansing, take along a small misting spray (our travel-sized Rescue + Relief Spray doubles as a toner) or a little vial of witch hazel or rosemary oil.

3. Eye cream.

You can use your regular moisturizer as an eye cream for a few days-just tap it lightly under the eyes with your ring finger. You can also use cold tea bags or a bit of coconut oil to perk up the under-eye area. Ice packs work to help reduce puffiness.

4. Powders.

You probably already know-powders can break and spill when you travel. That means if you have any powders you love, such as a powder foundation, blush, bronzer, etc., it’s best if you leave it at home. Choose cream options instead, or simply go without.

5. Anti-aging masks and peels.

Anything you regularly use to restore your skin can be left behind for a week or so. Hydroxy acids, exfoliating treatments, peels, and the like are usually a bad idea while traveling anyway, as your skin is already stressed out and may react negatively to them. If you need a pick-me-up while you’re gone, mix some fruit in with some yogurt, milk, or honey, and make your own mask instead. (We have some great ideas for you here.)

How do you pack your skin care and makeup for traveling?

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