27 Best Travel Skincare Products You Need In Your Carry-On
As difficult as it is to whittle down your wardrobe to a few key outfits for holiday travel, most beauty enthusiasts would agree it’s even harder to settle on a travel-friendly skincare routine. Besides the whole 3.4-ounce size limit thing, there’s also the issue of space. I mean, you could theoretically pack your usual line up of cleansers, serums, and moisturizers into a separate checked suitcase, but if your vanity looks anything like mine, even that would be a struggle (not to mention a hassle). Enter the latest TSA-approved travel skincare products, which are just as easy to pack as they are effective.
To determine your ideal travel routine, experts say you should consider where you’ll be going and how long you’ll be gone. “For cooler climates in general, I would recommend seeking out treatments with peptides,” Dr. Jennifer Vickers, a dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology, tells The Zoe Report; since cold, dry air can strip moisture from your skin. Stash a few of Peach & Lily’s ceramide-spiked Original Glow Sheet Masks in your bag to rehydrate on-the-go. “I like products with hyaluronic acid to really maximize hydration,” she adds, like Peter Thomas Roth’s mini Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream. Destined for a humid or tropical getaway? “A gel cream may be more favorable,” Dr. Vickers tells us — the travel-size Squalane and Probiotic Gel Cream in Biossance’s trial set is ideal. No matter where you’re going — snowy or sunny — Dr. Vickers maintains that daily SPF is a must.
Just because it’s in a tiny bottle doesn’t mean it deserves a coveted spot in your carry on, though — an efficient travel routine requires downsizing in terms of both fluid ounces and skincare steps. If you’ll only be out of town for a few days, ask yourself if you truly need to pack your favorite exfoliating scrub or once-a-week mask (no shame if the answer is yes). You may also want to invest in multitasking products that fill more than one role. Peach & Lily’s Lazy Day All-in-One Moisture Pads act as a toner, essence, and moisturizer all in one; and Kopari Coconut Melt Mini can be used as an oil cleanser, lip balm, overnight cream, and even a hair mask.
Don’t forget to slip a few hydrating essentials into your purse for the plane. The recycled cabin air you’re exposed to in flight has about half the humidity level that your skin is used to, Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, a clinical instructor in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told Allure. In other words, skin can become dehydrated pretty quickly, leading to dry patches, dullness, and breakouts. To counteract this effect, why not skip the makeup and apply a hydrating face mask while en route? In-flight masking doesn’t have to be messy or awkward as it sounds — just slather on a thick layer of Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, which moisturizes skin with natural oils and ceramides, and doesn’t need to be rinsed off.
When deciding what to pack, you might as well mix practicality with pleasure. It can’t be ignored that “travel size” is interchangeable with “trial size” these days — so travel is the perfect excuse to experiment with the pricier products you’ve been considering. Cult-favorite Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum costs upwards of $200 for a full bottle, but the travel size sample is a mere $65 — who could resist?
Ahead, 27 travel skincare products that are proven to work and perfectly sized for packing.
Makeup Removers and Cleansers
Even when you're exhausted from a day of travel, you should never sleep in your makeup. Neutrogena's mini wipes are easy to throw in your bag (or on the hotel bedside table).
At just .5 fluid ounces, Sonya Dakar's recently released cleansing oil is the ultimate on-the-go makeup remover to tackle stubborn eyeliner and waterproof mascara.
If you pack one skincare essential, make it this. Kopari's Coconut Melt does everything from cleansing to moisturizing to stepping in for your shaving cream.
Grab a go-sized bottle of Cerave's gentle, derm-approved cleanser to keep normal to dry skin hydrated while traveling.
Say goodbye to plane-induced pimples with Mario Badescu's Acne Facial Cleanser, which features salicylic acid to banish breakouts and chamomile to calm reactive skin.
Toners and Mists
Toss this in your carry-on so you can spritz mid-flight. With natural oils, a dose of algae, and a hit of hyaluronic acid, it'll keep your skin dewy and fresh despite the dry cabin air.
This multitasking spray hydrates bare skin with coconut water *and* primes it for makeup application; and at under $10, it's super affordable, too.
There's no need to miss out on daily acid exfoliation — Dr. Dennis Gross' individually-packaged peel pads are made to grab and go.
Combine this travel-sized powdered peel with water to activate its exfoliating fruit enzymes and brighten dull skin.
Made with 22 natural oils, herbs, and spices, Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum is the Holy Grail skincare product of beauty editors everywhere — and this 5 mL bottle makes it more accessible than ever, so you can test the effects for yourself.
Milk Makeup's watermelon-infused serum is packaged in a convenient solid stick form — so you don't have to worry about suitcase spillage.
The name says it all: This little jar of hyaluronic acid cream quenches thirsty skin like nothing else.
A favorite of dermatologists, Cerave's moisturizer is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin to handle.
More the low maintenance type? Reach for these multitasking pads from Peach & Lily to tone, hydrate, and moisturize in a single swipe.
Sunscreen is a must no matter where you're going, and this Supergoop! mini utilizes spray functionality to make it easier than ever to apply an even coat of SPF.
Test drive Drunk Elephant's famous Marula Oil with this $40 mini. Its pure marula formula sinks into skin instantly, and doubles as an anti-frizz hair oil.
Herbivore has every little face oil you could possibly need while traveling, from soothing Lapis to rehydrating Phoenix and glow-getting Orchid.
Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask was *made* for in-flight moisturization. You don't even have to rinse it off — just apply, let it sink in, and bask in the knowledge that you've successfully avoided "plane face." Bonus: The travel size comes in a set with a OUAI hair mask and a handy headband.
Stash a handful of these individually-packaged sheet masks in your purse, carry on, and checked baggage to keep dull, dry skin in check all vacation long.
Here's *another* kind of mask for the plane. Lunya's sleep mask is made with the brand's Restore fabric, a mix of Pima cotton and Celliant minerals that's regulated by the FDA and proven to increase oxygenation and help skin cells regenerate — in other words, no puffy eyes post-flight.
One pack includes five sets of BLAQ's Activated Charcoal Eye Masks, ideal for de-puffing when you deplane.
Pull out this set from Patchology after the plane takes off. It comes complete with two face masks, a set of under eye gels, and a hydrating lip mask to counteract the effects of in-flight travel, so you can step off the tarmac looking fresh.
Biossance's five-piece set includes all the clean skincare essentials you need to keep your skin glowing strong, thanks to plant-derived squalane (essential for hydration) and barrier-repairing probiotics.
Featuring TSA-approved sizes of Pestle & Mortar's Pure Hyaluronic Serum, Balance Facial Spritz, and Hydrate Lightweight Moisturiser, this kit is the perfect introduction to the simple, no-fuss skincare line.
Need an excuse to indulge in Marie Veronique's famed skincare faves? Grab the brand's Age Smart Kit and experience the hydrating, anti-aging power of its Pre + Probiotic Daily Mist, Replenishing Oil Cleanser, and more while you're on the go.
All your travel skincare needs — from cleansing to exfoliating to hydrating — are met in this travel-friendly, six-piece kit from Sunday Riley.