Today’s post is on some skin + hair products that I almost always have with me when traveling, and use regularly while at home! Some of these are very old favorites, but worth mentioning again given their nifty travel-friendly packaging options (shared some thoughts on the value of these sizes, too). FYI for anyone interested in this dress, be warned that it’s slightly sheer. I loved the detailing and kept it to wear at home and as a swim cover-up. One issue I realized after the fact is that the straps keep sliding off my shoulders – not sure if it’s because I have narrow, sloping shoulders or if it’s a design problem. As a temporary fix, I have a ribbon tying the two back straps together racerback-style.
1. Tula Day + Night cream – now also available at Nordstrom (mine pictured is a smaller 1 oz travel size) – After Nick nonchalantly used up all of my La Mer cream, I set out to try some alternatives. One that we both loved enough to purchase again is this Tula cream. It uses probiotic (I’m no scientist, but I’m thinking yogurt) technology and is supposed to be hydrating and anti-aging. I can’t really tell about the latter, but I do know it applies really light and smoothly on my face and neck, and keeps my skin feeling soft and moisturized. The texture has a whipped and airy feel to it. For those with sensitive skin, note this does have fragrance which I usually try to avoid. However it’s a fresh, light scent versus a perfume-y one, and doesn’t bother me nor irritate my skin. The full size container lasts me approximately 2-3 months (with morning use only – I use a thicker cream at night in the winter), so it can add up, but is still a fair value compared to many other face creams.
2. Biossance hydrating 100% squalene oil and rose with squalane oil (their squalane is sugarcane-derived) – One of my good friends, Wendy, first introduced me to Biossance a while back, and I rarely travel without at least one bottle. I love how pure and straightforward their products are. My bottle here is from last year, but their new packaging is gorgeous!
I use the regular squalane oil daily on my face, arms and legs (especially good for dry, ashy legs that are seeing daylight for the first time in months!), or occasionally treat my face to the version with rose oil. I’ve used this for over a year now and do feel like I’ve seen improvements to my skin tone and texture. It’s also guys-friendly and works well as an aftershave! If you’re unfamiliar with squalane, it can vary based on several factors (including where it’s derived from), but here’s an article about its general skincare benefits. I let it absorb for about 10 minutes before putting anything else on my face – you can use it either by itself, or under your morning or nighttime face cream. You only need a few drops each time, so one bottle lasts a long time and it comes out to be a good value.
3. First Aid Beauty ultimate repair cream – I have dry, oftentimes itchy and rash-prone skin, so I really like this thicker cream from FAB with colloidal oatmeal. I remember having rash breakouts as a kid and being treated to the occasional oatmeal bath : ) I bring this with me on longer flights (which are super drying) to use on my hands and face. It is a little pricey, though, considering how much of it I use each time.
4. Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder, travel sized with mini puff – This ever-popular translucent powder doesn’t need much explanation, but I wanted to point out the mini travel-sized option, which has lasted me for ages! Granted, I don’t use it liberally for makeup “baking”, but this little amount is plenty for setting my foundation daily and for keeping my face looking matte in humid conditions. It also comes with a mini puff for application (the regular-sized puff is usually $15 by itself).
5. Hair starch (DIY dry shampoo, which is never actually shampoo) – This is something I’ve been using since my teens and can’t live without. Basically like the loose setting powder for my hair. I try to avoid washing my hair too often, but sometimes it becomes too greasy even on day two. After trying a number of “dry shampoos,” I started just using grocery store starch (which is like $2) on my roots, and it works nicely to stretch the time between washes out by at least a day or two!
I’m using tapioca starch since it’s what is lying around my Asian household, but I imagine corn would be similar. I store it in an empty mineral powder container with the sifters, and use a fluffy brush to pat it on my roots (shake it out with your hands, then flip your hair upside down and repeat) before going to bed. Do this the night before you expect your hair to become greasy, and touch up in the morning as needed. Make sure you’re targeting the few inches of roots, and not patting starch into your scalp. Some of my friends mix starch with cocoa powder to make it darker, but I tried this and didn’t love the smell of cocoa on my head. I’ve been thinking of getting a Mason Pearson brush to help distribute my natural hair oils – since they cost a pretty penny, please let me know if you have one and would recommend it!
6. Moroccanoil Hair Treatment (also sold at Nordstrom) – This is another old favorite that I started using years ago. I know there’s been debate about the ingredients and how it contains synthetic silicone, but the product works for me and keeps my thicker, coarse hair feeling manageable, less frizzy, and soft(er than usual) despite the damage I do to it via regular highlighting aka bleaching. I might be reading this wrong, but it seems like the travel container is cheaper per ounce than the bigger size? Like the Biossance oil, this also lasts a long time since you only need to use a few drops each time.
7. Arcona cranberry toner pads – I may have mentioned these last year, but these are my go-to toner pads and are one of the only cleansing wipes that don’t give my face a burning sensation. Even the extra gentle, sensitive-skin, or baby wipes at the drugstore (I’ve tried more than I can count) cause some irritation on my face. Since these are small textured rounds wipes and not full sheets, I use them to tone my skin and clean off residual makeup (after washing my face). It works on my residual waterproof eye makeup, too. For those with very sensitive skin, note these do contain some alcohol and scent from the cranberry extract. These come in a 10 or 35 pack jar, or I wait until the Nordstrom Anniversary sale to get the 70 count value pack.
What are some of your must-have skin + haircare products while traveling?