Skincare Tips for Travel

The concept that underpins my travel skincare has a clever and original name. It’s called a Giant Ziploc Bag. It looks as glamorous as a giant Ziploc bag can look. I gaze with envy at the cute travel cases real mavens sport (one of whom is my mom), but I remain loyal to my method, because for all of the advances of the beauty industry it hasn’t created a travel case that satisfies all of my needs while not taking up half of suitcase. A Ziploc bag may lose out on charm, but it can’t be rivaled on practicality.

For me the goal of packing for a trip is to ensure that away from home I can find the same comforts. The insouciant advice of beauty magazines to pack the essentials and buy the rest at your destination is fine if you stay at luxury hotels in NYC. I’d love for one of those editors to end up in the Ukrainian countryside, or worse, Paris on a Sunday evening, and try to find a store where a toothbrush can be procured, to say nothing of more involved toiletries. When I speak of comforts, though, I don’t even need a soft bed and functioning plumbing. Those I can do without. What I can’t do without is my sunscreen and a rosewater spray. For all of my idiosyncratic ways, I’m an easy traveler. I just love taking care of my skin. Suffice it to say, if you’re a minimalist and happy just with soap and water, then this post is not for you.

A Giant Ziploc Bag

First of all, please meet my Giant Ziploc Bag. It’s a heavy-duty 4 gallon bag that can be sealed. As I said, it’s not a thing of beauty. In go the smaller ziplock bags filled with different items–cleansers, sunscreens, moisturizers, treatments, hair care, a toothbrush and toothpaste, etc. I keep my makeup in a separate little case that has a compartment for brushes.

The aforementioned makes me seem like an honors student of Marie Kondo, but in reality by the time my Giant Ziploc Bag is filled with smaller ones, I can no longer remember where I put what and what guidelines I’ve used to separate items into piles. My travels usually start with me searching for toothpaste. It tends to end up in a “miscellaneous” group, since everyone knows that the true necessity on any trip is the Vitamin C serum with encapsulated Hyaluronic Acid. The main advantage of the Giant Ziploc Bag + smaller ziploc bags method is that it’s transparent and eventually everything I’ve put in there comes to light. Also, in case something spills, it gets contained. The two shirts that I pack to cover the skin that’s not on my face stay clean and safe.

The Essentials

If you’ve made it this far, you know that my essentials won’t be a 3 step program. But then again, one wouldn’t need a blog post about it. My essentials are pretty much my standard routine, with a few extra products to cover other needs. Travel can be hard on skin and I would rather pack fewer clothes but have enough skincare in my suitcase. Japanese wisdom says that beautiful skin covers seven sins. I hope that in my case it makes up for a limited travel wardrobe.

Double Cleansing

Even if you don’t do a double cleanse at home on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to do it on your travels, especially in the summer. It’s the best method to remove sunscreen and dust that accumulate on skin after a day of exploring a new place or enjoying the beach. I pack a travel sized La Roche Posay Toleriane for my gel cleanser and either Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser, Clarins Lait Démaquillant Velours or Bioderma Sensibio H2O for my first cleanse. Unless you use waterproof makeup, Bioderma also doubles as a makeup remover. (Some complain that Bioderma removes nothing. The way to use it is to saturate two cotton pads and leave them on the eyes for a minute or so, pressing gently along the lash line. The makeup comes off without needing to rub.)

Tatcha has a fab travel sized Rice Cleansing Oil, and while I don’t love it as much as DHC Oil Cleanser, for travels it’s perfect. Kose and other Asian brands have cleansing oils in individual packs, which are the best invention since the cleansing oil.

Double Cleansing Without Running Water

In Ukraine I often do overnight bus trips, and a hot shower is out of the question on such occasions. You’d think that it would wreak havoc with my routine, but no, I adjust without even skipping my double cleanse.I start by using Bioderma to remove any makeup and sunscreen, and then I follow with a cleansing oil. I remove it with wet napkins as the bus driver speeds into the darkness to the beat of the ever popular Radio Chanson.

Toning and Face Mists

This part I streamline when I travel. I only carry a bottle of rosewater, which also doubles as a flavoring for tea and water. Clever, no?

Serums and Treatments

I said “streamline” in the previous paragraph, but no worries, I will make up for it here. As I mentioned, traveling can be stressful on skin, and serums are an easy way to address any skin concerns. For short trips (2-3 days), I might pack The Ordinary Buffet and be done, but such elegant minimalism is not going to fly, no pun intended, for any trips lasting over a week. I like to have a few serums on hand and vary them according to the condition of my skin. For instance, a good brightening serum is essential, so I have a Vitamin C product somewhere in my Giant Ziploc Bag. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which makes it a must whenever you know that you’ll be in the sun for a prolonged period of time. I’ve mentioned some of my favorite Vitamin C serums in My Guide to Vitamin C.

Another product that comes especially handy on travels for those who have oily-combination skin is a Niacinamide serum. Niacinamide balances the production of sebum and although its results are long-term, even within a couple of days of using it, I notice that my skin looks more even and soothed. I’m a fan of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum.

I like products that combine several different active ingredients such as SKII Brightening Serum, Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age, or Hylamide Booster C25. Their hyaluronic acid bases also offer extra moisture.

While I avoid too much exfoliation during travels in the summer, a clarifying lotion is good to keep on hand. Paula’s Choice 8% AHA gel, Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, REN Clarifying Toning Lotion, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Lotion, or The Ordinary 5% Lactic Acid. They’re mild, but they’re enough to keep skin radiant and to unclog pores.

Travel can also be a chance to do things I don’t have time for at home–masks in the evening as I watch TV from the hotel bed, massages, and other small rituals of pampering. I pack a few Korean sheet masks that are easy to use and make my skin look refreshed. My favorites are by Tony Moly, Skinfood, or for a luxury version, SKII and Shiseido. In a slightly different way of pampering, my mom always travels with a votive candle scented with rose or orange blossom, since her favorite scents make even the dreariest hotel room seem cosier.


My moisturising is basic, a milky lotion based on hyaluronic acid, a type of product that in Asian skincare is called an emulsion. I prefer to add extra moisture with a serum (see above), but a good moisturizer is easily one of the most rewarding skincare products on a trip. Hylamide Booster Low-Molecular HA is what I use these days. Another option is Clinique’s Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. It’s a thick gel that absorbs easily and has an instant plumping effect.

In the winter, I pack a face oil like Odacité’s Rose Pomegranate Essence or cold-pressed argan oil.


I travel with two small bottles of Sunplay Super Block SPF50+ PA++++, one in my suitcase, one in my carry-on. The way I use it, each bottle is enough for three weeks. It’s an alcohol-free physical and chemical blend sunscreen. For longer trips, I also bring a separate body sunscreen such as Avène Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ and another face sunscreen, for instance, a moisturizing Isehan Sunkiller Perfect Strong Moisture SPF50+ PA++++.

Breakout Control

My skin can be finicky when I travel, and I never know when I might wake up with a spot decorating my chin. One of the best ingredients for such occasions is benzoyl peroxide. It calms down redness and irritation and prevents a small blemish from developing into something worse. I dab a small amount as soon I feel a breakout forming and repeat twice a day until it’s gone. Sunscreen is a must if you use benzoyl peroxide.

Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength Skin Clearing with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide is by far the best from all that I’ve tried. In Europe, you can get a 5% benzoyl peroxide gel from a pharmacy. Another product that I keep in my travel kit is Paula’s Choice’s 19% Beta Hydroxy Acid Serum, which makes even the most stubborn of blemishes vanish. It also comes in a small tube, which makes it ideal for traveling.

On Skincare Samples

I don’t understand the advice to save skincare samples for trips. Yes, I understand that they are small and portable, but why would one want to experiment with new skincare and risk irritation, break outs or worse on vacation or on a business trip? Also, samples become rancid much quicker than the full-sized products, and I don’t see anything positive about using old skincare on my vacation.

Beauty stores offer sterile jars for skincare, which is especially useful for cleansers. But if my favorites don’t come in travel sizes, I pack my regular bottles and don’t worry much about it.

The Carry-On

Thanks to airline regulations on carrying liquids on board, my Ziploc Bag system spawned one extra Ziploc bag for my carry-on. It includes a face wash, a small bottle of Bioderma H2O, contact solution, a small spray bottle of rosewater, a mini toothpaste, eye drops, sunscreen, Paula’s Choice’s 19% Beta Hydroxy Acid Serum, and thanks to the smart people at The Ordinary, their Buffet, a multi-purpose serum. If I travel with my husband, I fill an extra bag and he has the pleasure of presenting a baggie with Vit C serum, eye cream, lip gloss, perfume decants and cream blush to a security screening officer.

During long flights, a spray of rosewater is a boon on tired eyes and the rest are useful in case you arrive before the luggage does. I hear that people use long haul flights to do masks and treatments, but I haven’t evolved to that level. Yet.

You can complement this post with My Skincare Routine  :: A Guide to Skincare Layering :: A Guide to Vitamin C :: Summer Skincare.

Please share your tips for travel, packing and skincare.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin



  • Sandra: I do save skin care travel samples for when I travel, but don’t judge me. When I travel, I also have to share my suitcase with my 2 children.
    This post comes very timely because I am just putting things together for an upcoming trip.

    In my “zip lock bag” is travel sized moisturizer of Bioderma Sensibo Light cream, and I don’t think this will irritate my skin. As well as the eye cream. I will finish both of these during my trip.
    For cleansing I am brining Bioderma Sensibio Micelle Solution and Vichy Purete Thermale foaming wash.
    Face Mists are a travel Avene water and I have a small mini of Annick Goutal rose water facial mist. Hopefully the AG will be gentle.

    The rest of the products are full size Ordinary Buffet and Vitamin C. Paulas choice calming exfoliant and Vichy sunblock Ideal Capital ultra light, Aloe Vera, a giant tube (for me and the little ones) and their bath routine bubbles and lotions.

    For makeup I bring a mini of my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, Guerlain Terracotta for face and cheeks, concealer, CG mascara and liquid eyeliner and a nude Chanel lipstick. One nude eyeshadow Studio 78 Paris in sleep in, its super compact with a little mirror in the inside.

    Perfume is a decant of Songes. July 13, 2017 at 7:41am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, I would never judge! I hope that you see that my tone is facetious above all. If I’m limited on space, I just pack my cleansers, rosewater, Buffet, moisturizer, sunscreen, a tiny tube of some sort of spot treatment, and it covers all of the bases.

      Your “ziploc bag” seems perfect to me. There is everything in it that you might need, and I love your makeup selection. July 13, 2017 at 7:57am Reply

  • maja: Wow, I definitely need to read this a couple of times. 🙂 I only pack a reasonable amount of La Roche Posay Eau Micellaire, rose water, put some of moisturizing cream in a sterile little container. I do bring nasal saline spray everywhere with me as well as blush, mascara, couple of eyeshadows and lipglosses. Sunscreen, and a light foundation are a must too.
    I really need to improve my serum, AHA and other products knowledge. I am so worried I might start using something that will worsen my pigmentation in a bright sun we have most of the year. July 13, 2017 at 8:36am Reply

    • Victoria: The only thing I would advise against in a daytime serum is anything acid–BHA, AHA, lactic acid, and retinols/retinoids.

      Which foundation do you like? July 13, 2017 at 9:26am Reply

      • maja: I like none and that is my problem, I still need to find the perfect one. I’d love it to be light but covering, not drying but hydrating and both matt and glowy at the same time. I use Bourjois Healthy Mix during the day and EL Double Wear if I am going out in the evening. I have experimented with La Roche Posay too but wasn’t very happy with it. I’d love to find a foundation that has the similar feel of Healthy Mix with more coverage. July 13, 2017 at 4:16pm Reply

        • Tamara: I am not sure if that is the La Roche Posay you tried, but I like Effaclar BB Blur – I find it blends quite well and in the hot months doesn’t dry or irritate my skin (or slide off like many others, as I tend to get oilier through the day!). I don’t like other LRP foundations, but this one hit a sweet spot for me. For glow I swipe on a bit of Guerlain Meteorites powder (compact) on top. July 14, 2017 at 5:36am Reply

        • Pearl: Hi Maja! I have similar needs for my foundation so I thought I’d chime in 🙂 My current favorites are: It Cosmetics CC cream (very good coverage and with a matte-ish but radiant finish), By Terry cover expert foundation (smells like roses and has a lovely medium coverage, semi matte finish), Nars sheer glow foundation (not sheer despite the name) and Too Faced’s Born this way foundation (very lightweight but with a very high coverage). July 15, 2017 at 11:34pm Reply

          • maja: @Tamara – I am not sure that my pharmacy carries the Effaclar foundation/BB cream, I have only seen Toleriane range. But I will go to another store to try it out. Thanks! 🙂

            @Pearl – Hi Pearl! It Cosmetics and By Terry are not distributed regularly in Italy at least not on my island so I’ll be able to test only Nars and Too Faced once I go to Sephora. Thank you so much for chiming in! 🙂 July 16, 2017 at 5:16pm Reply

            • Pearl: Have fun!ps. other foundations worth looking at at Sephora are the Becca and Urban Decay ones 🙂 July 16, 2017 at 11:20pm Reply

  • Hayley: Thank you for this post. I love reading about what knowledgeable, tasteful people use in their beauty routine. (Any chance you would do a makeup post?)

    I second the ziplock approach. Until the zipper broke a few months ago, I loved a soft plastic pouch with a zipper that came with a Sephora Favorites travel set for the longest time. It was like a thicker, nicer looking quart size ziplock bag. I haven’t found a good alternative yet, so back to ziplocks it is for now!

    I actually hoard samples – especially foils – for travels. They are samples of products I already know and like though. Just bringing a handful of foils and a couple tiny bottles/tubes for a weekend trip is so convenient! I also amp up masking when I travel. I like to do lots of mud masks because I feel like it deep cleanses all the grime / sunscreen. A hotel bed is the perfect place for masking 🙂 July 13, 2017 at 9:40am Reply

    • Victoria: I’ll be happy to do a makeup post. Will need a leave a reminder for myself.

      A hotel bed is definitely perfect for masking. At home I try to make time, but at a hotel it just comes naturally. July 17, 2017 at 1:23pm Reply

  • Angela: Could you please suggest a name for the rosewater spray? I would love to have some but the variety is overwhelming. Thank you. Love your blog.xAngela July 13, 2017 at 10:43am Reply

    • Kate: Hi Angela, I’ve been using a brand called Mymoune for the last few years, which is excellent. They also do a great Fig jam with walnuts which is absolutely delicious 😀 July 14, 2017 at 8:51am Reply

      • Gabriela: Oh that fig jam, sounds delicious. Do you know if it’s available in Europe? July 14, 2017 at 8:55am Reply

        • Kate: I buy mine from Souschef, which does ship to Europe, but you might find it directly online? There are lots of very tempting things on their website though; the good thing is that most of them are around the £5-10 price point, rather than £75-120 like most perfumes! July 15, 2017 at 6:08pm Reply

        • Victoria: Harrods carries the line, but yes, Sous Chef website is the way to go. Plus, they offer free shipping over a certain amount, which isn’t at all difficult to reach. July 17, 2017 at 2:06pm Reply

    • SilverMoon: Hello Angela, one of the loveliest rosewater face mists is Jurlique Rose Balancing Mist. I find it hugely refreshing (not to say beautiful smelling), when one sprays some onto ones face during the day. Especially in summer. It’s really soothing for the skin too. July 15, 2017 at 1:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m using any food grade rosewater. A while ago I wrote this post with lots of recommendations:

      Mymoune’s is my favorite for cooking, while any good quality Lebanese or India is great for skincare. July 17, 2017 at 1:25pm Reply

  • Kharina: Ziplocs rulez! Frankly, if I had a big and fancy wash bag, I would end up bringing everything but the kitchen sink!

    I’m also a stickler of same products at home, never samples a to avoid irritation. I decant into smaller bottles or jars from Muji or M&S. I use Son & Park Beauty Water as an all in one cleanser and toner. Otherwise it’s a small bottle of oil cleanser, a gel cleanser, toner, eye serum, vit C serum, hyaluronic acid serum, facial oil and sunscreen. All of these are decanted in tiny 15ml bottles except for serums, as they already are in tiny bottles. I’ll also bring a few sheet masks, and have eye steam masks on the plane. They are a game changer, I tell you. Yes, it looks like you’ve attached a Carefree panty liner across your face, but it’s so relaxing!
    For hair I decant HIF which is a low shampoo by Deciem; one bottle does the job!

    Makeup is the bare minimum – concealer pallette, eyeliner, mascara, and a few multisticks for lips and cheek. I also bring different coloured eye pencils or nights out, it makes it interesting and fun. Oh, and highlighter, love Becca Shimmering Perfector and it makes skin GLOW! And perfume of course. Otherwise what’s point? 😁 July 13, 2017 at 11:29am Reply

    • Victoria: Muji jars are fantastic for travel, aren’t they? Your travel bag seems to contain all of the essentials, and I loved learning what makeup you’ve packed. July 17, 2017 at 1:54pm Reply

  • Debby: I used to do the sample thing, but finding something gives you a rash, or smells so awful you can’t bear to use it is no fun!
    I’m not long back from a trip for which I was only using cabin luggage so it was a military precision operation trying to get all my skincare and a selection of perfumes into that one litre Ziploc bag! Benefit’s fabulous selection of minis was a terrific help for makeup, and Urban Decay have a great sample pack of their eyeshadow primer.
    I was a bit alarmed at the airport when my Ordinary hyaluronic acid had to be tested!
    Off topic, thanks for all the knowledge you’ve imparted about The Ordinary, I’ve been using a selection of things for a few months now, and even my husband who is no yes man has said how good my skin is! The Vitamin C is definitely the hero product for me. July 13, 2017 at 11:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Yay! I’m very glad that you’ve had such great results, Debby. It’s been the most effective product I’ve tried. July 17, 2017 at 1:55pm Reply

  • Giovanna: A girl after my own hearth! I do the Ziploc bag thing as well, but it started because I travel to and from England several times a year and it is the only way to go through security. After a while, I kept the Ziploc approach even for stuff that go into a checked bag (when I have one – rarely), just for practical purposes. July 13, 2017 at 11:58am Reply

    • Victoria: Nothing beats a Ziploc bag. 🙂 July 17, 2017 at 1:55pm Reply

  • Cath: LOL, I’ve been doing the same thing for several years now: put everything in Giant Ziplock bags. I have rosacea skin with blemishes now and then, and can’t use just anything on my face, so I take almost everything I use daily with me. The only things I make travel sizes of are shampoo, conditioner, skin tonic (lotion), biotherm Eau micellaire to remove traces of mascara, and my foaming face wash.
    Items that look like they may leak or have a cap that could pop open, go in tiny bags first. Then I pack everything in 3-4 giant bags. One for the shower and hair care items, one with the make up items, and one with the skincare, sometimes I divide that into morning skincare and evening skincare separate bags. It makes things so much easier and simpler when traveling. I had so many cute makeup bags with compartments here and there, I threw them all out. Nothing beats the Giant Ziplock bag and I’m glad to know I’m not alone using this not glamorous system 😀 July 13, 2017 at 12:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: Ha ha! I see that we are a whole Giant Ziploc Bag army out there. 🙂 July 17, 2017 at 1:56pm Reply

  • Aurora: Oh I laughed so much thinking of your husband dutifully handing over the ziploc bag containing blush and lip gloss, thank you for such a light hearted and practical post. I’ll have to prepare one of these mid-august when I will be travelling to Provence. It is so useful to read you as it reminds me to pack a tube of MAP. In Nyons I will replenish my stock of essential oils especially lavender which is still distilled on site and available next door at the marvellous Bleu Provence boutique. Would you say exfoliating is safe once or twice a week in the evening on holidays? (I have been using the Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% HA 2% with good results so far). July 13, 2017 at 3:22pm Reply

    • Danaki: Me too, laughed with recognition. My DH makes sure he packs his lipstick, mascara and lip balm in his plastic ziplock 😉 July 14, 2017 at 1:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: MAP is what I’ve been using these days, since I’m trying to finish my tube before I’m going to experiment with another of The Ordinary Vitamin Cs.

      Once or twice a week is fine. I only would be careful to use sunscreen (and a hat), if you’re in the sun a lot. Otherwise, it’s easy to get pigment spots. July 17, 2017 at 1:58pm Reply

  • Austenfan: Do you actually make your husband wear the cream blush and lip gloss to make it more convincing that he is carrying these items in his stuff? 😉
    It’s a fun post and the small details in it have given me a good giggle while trying to cope with the tedium of my working day.
    I almost never fly so I tend to travel with two bags for skin care, both made of those lovely Provençal cottons. A few months ago I got myself some plastic travel bottles and used those to decant my oil cleanser (Uriage huile lavante) into and some face wash. I love your zip lock bag idea as it is incredibly practical.
    Interestingly the PC 9% BHA you mention isn’t yet available in Europe, although the benzoyl peroxide is.

    Incidentally, I’ve grown quite fond of the Sun Killer Strong Moisture, more so than the Sun Play. Mind you I was ignorant enough not to get the Japanese version of the latter, so it might just be that. Really like Isdin and Uriage has a new sunscreen in a small bottle that I find very pleasant to use. Not as thick and chewing gum like as some of their other versions, that work fine for me in winter but far less so in summer.

    I really like a lot of the Ordinary products. Another serum that I enjoy using is their Matrixyl. Leaves a softer finish than Buffet. July 13, 2017 at 4:34pm Reply

    • kayliz: Interesting that you say that about Buffet, Austenfan — I’ve been finding it quite drying & tautening (not in a good way). I now mix it with a drop of squalane and much prefer it that way. July 14, 2017 at 4:47pm Reply

      • Austenfan: I don’t find Buffet drying I think, but it does leave my skin feeling rather sticky, whereas the Matrixyl does not. Buffet contains a greater diversity of active ingredients though.

        Your holiday sounds great. Holidays with dogs are the best! July 17, 2017 at 2:42pm Reply

        • kayliz: You’re so right!
          Hope all good with you. July 18, 2017 at 4:10am Reply

          • Austenfan: Yes and thanks for asking, hope you are doing well too. July 18, 2017 at 9:41am Reply

    • Victoria: He draws a line at just carrying them. 🙂

      I also like the Sun Killer Strong Moisture, and the upside of it, besides higher hydration, is that it leaves no white cast.

      I haven’t tried Matrixyl yet, but after I finish the Buffet I have, I will give it a go. Yes, the line is fabulous. July 17, 2017 at 2:00pm Reply

      • Austenfan: It would have made it even more hilarious if he would have.

        You hit the nail on the head about the Sun Killer. And does Radio Chanson play French Chansons? Or do they play a variety of songs? July 17, 2017 at 2:47pm Reply

        • Victoria: Chanson is a dreadful genre of the Russian pop music based on the themes of the criminal underworld. July 18, 2017 at 11:30am Reply

          • Austenfan: Oh, that sounds rather awful.

            On the other hand, I have 3 CD’s of Il Canto di Malavita. July 18, 2017 at 12:02pm Reply

  • AndreaR: I’m so proud to be a member of the Ziploc brigade. My bag includes Yonka skincare products: travel-size Lait Nettoyant, travel-size Lotion Yonka, full size Elastine Jour and full size Elastine Nuit, Phyto shampoo, Kiehl’s Crème de Corps and By Terry Baume de Rose. If we’re going to a hot, humid climate I toss in a tube of St. Ives Apricot Scrub. I use it in the shower to buff off sunblock. July 13, 2017 at 6:28pm Reply

    • Victoria: All of the essentials are there.

      Oh, please don’t use St. Ives Apricot Scrub to remove sunblock. It’s so harsh and abrasive, and if your skin has been in the sun and humidity, it gets even more sensitive. Sunblock only needs a simple creamy or oil cleanser to remove, which you can follow with your normal cleanser, if you want. July 17, 2017 at 2:02pm Reply

      • AndreaR: Thank you! Taking it out of my Ziplock bag. Fortunately, I’m rarely in hot and humid climates. July 17, 2017 at 2:11pm Reply

        • Victoria: It’s ok on elbows, knees and feet, but on the face it might leave microscopic lacerations that lead to irritation and infection. July 17, 2017 at 2:22pm Reply

          • AndreaR: I never use it on my face, but on legs and arms. Whew! July 17, 2017 at 2:24pm Reply

  • Gabriela: Thanks for the wonderful tips Victoria!

    I pack my Toleriane cleanser along with the chamomile one from The Body shop. Hada Labo’s moisturizer and Vit c of course. And my rose water from Heritage which has just arrived along with the face towels from The Rag Company.
    Will try to get some mask sheets from Tony Molly and some benzoyl peroxide from a pharmacy (had never heard of it before). July 14, 2017 at 2:18am Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds like a complete set for a traveler. 🙂 July 17, 2017 at 2:02pm Reply

  • Inma: Sooo funny apart from full of very interesting proposals!
    Still laughing imagining you in that bus listening to Radio Chanson…..
    Have a beautiful weekend! July 14, 2017 at 8:11am Reply

    • Victoria: Being a Ukrainian bus driver comes with a love for Radio Chanson. I suffer it. 🙂 July 17, 2017 at 2:04pm Reply

  • Patricia: I’m also a huge fan of Ziplock bags and the bag within a bag system to prevent spillage. My favorite Ziplock is the type that actually has a zipper rather than the press-together closure method, as I find them easier to close and more likely to stay closed during travel!

    The Ziplocks are also perfect for undergarments. I press all the air out of the bags before sealing, which besides saving a lot of space in your suitcase, also keeps your unmentionables visible without being directly touched by an inquisitive security agent! The baggies then pop directly into a hotel drawer at the destination.

    My husband also ferries my liquid cosmetics and perfume through TSA in his own 3-1-1 approved-size baggie. He’s a good sport and any eye rolls take place when I’m not looking. 🙂 July 14, 2017 at 11:02am Reply

    • Becky K.: Patricia – That is such a great idea – pressing air out of Ziploc bags for unmentionables. Thanks for the tip!

      Meanwhile, I bet that all of us would agree that Victoria would be an outstanding dermatologist, among her many talents! July 15, 2017 at 1:53pm Reply

      • Victoria: You’re too kind. 🙂 I share what I’ve learned, since working in the beauty industry, one picks up nifty tips and useful info here and there. July 17, 2017 at 2:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: A few years ago my suitcase got drenched and a few pieces of clothes were ruined. Ever since then I pack everything in large ziploc bags. Makes unpacking so much easier, too.

      Your method is excellent! July 17, 2017 at 2:07pm Reply

  • Surbhi: I travel so much for different reasons that I actually have a travel ziplock for things to carry for 2-3 day trips. This list is so helpful for longer trips. I am always packing more for what if scenarios. And I don’t want to buy something new or experiment on a trip. This article almost works as checklist for packing.

    The beautiful kits have not worked for me. Ziplock to rescue. July 14, 2017 at 12:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s my mom’s rule–better to pack something extra, just to be on a safe side. I don’t always follow it with clothes, but with skincare, yes. July 17, 2017 at 2:08pm Reply

  • Jack Sullivan: Frequent flyer here! I’m used to packing the essentials by max. 100 ml containers in the TSA-approved 1 L Ziplock bag (and just like you, Victoria, I’m not talking about a couple of samples or just the toothbrush/toothpaste duo – I definitely don’t travel light in that department).
    What I’ve found makes a world of difference with respect to how tired or fresh I feel upon arrival (regardless of the amount of sleep I managed to get: I hardly sleep at all in planes, period; 2 short naps of 20-30 minutes apiece is the most I can hope over a 8 hours+ flight) is regular moisturizing of the face (about once every 2h). The heavy air conditioning of aircrafts’ cabines is murder to my dry/combination skin and constant moisturizing prevents me from feeling like a dried prune wrapped in cheese-scented clothes (well, some of the smelly part *is* there of course but then again I keep a heavy-duty deodorant and a travel spray of IUNX’s L’Ether on hand to counterbalance until I can rush to get a decent shower). And since the way you feel with your skin somehow influences the way you feel globally about yourself, I don’t feel so bad when I land, be it in Singapore or São Paulo. July 15, 2017 at 2:24am Reply

    • SilverMoon: Hi Jack, as another frequent flyer who has traveled to Singapore, São Paulo, etc., I agree that feeling refreshed is key to feeling ready to work when one gets to one’s destination.

      So, like many others, I have made Ziplock bags a virtue out of necessity (i.e. travel restrictions for liquids). For longhaul flights, one of the best carry on ziplock items is This Works In Transit Camera Ready face cream. In addition, I spray some soothing mist on my face every so often (Jurlique Rose, Body Shop Vitamin E facemist, Omorovicza Queen of Hungary mist are among my favourites). I also always take a small bottle of 4711 to dab on my wrist and sniff if I feel nauseous or claustrophobic. It always comforts me (my Dad always had some for when i got motion sick as a child). July 15, 2017 at 1:25pm Reply

      • Victoria: I just sprayed some Omorovicza Queen of Hungary mist to refresh myself after a workout, and yes, what a nice product it is. July 17, 2017 at 2:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: Great tips, thank you very much! I sometimes use rosewater as a light perfume, and it feels so good after a long flight. July 17, 2017 at 2:10pm Reply

  • kayliz: Zippy plastic bags, what a good idea!

    You can see every little thing so it forces you to make conscious choices… this is not one of my strong points and so I always carry far too much.

    I’m thinking of going all-natural this next holiday. There’s no air flight and no cities: am travelling by train to the Alps for a walking and dog-training holiday (I can hardly say that with a straight face. My dog has had me expertly trained for years. Let’s just say there will be trainer-led activities.)

    Strictly speaking, all-natural would mean just oil(s), rose water, mineral sunscreen and my trusty Lush fresh face masks (there’s a fridge on the corridor for fresh dog food — my kinda place :)). I’ve even found a mineral foundation that looks good.

    But what if my skin goes grey again? (Vitamin C products cured that.) Dry? Clogged up?? It’s an Alpine village. Surely I should take… at this point in my planning I revert to the old “just stick /everything/ in” mentality. July 15, 2017 at 7:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: Do take your Vitamin C! It’s essential in the summer. Above all, hope that you and your doggie enjoy your vacation together. July 17, 2017 at 2:14pm Reply

      • kayliz: Righty-ho, will do. Thank you for the kind wishes, am very much looking forward to it:) July 18, 2017 at 3:50am Reply

        • Kayliz: Update on the holiday (which was glorious, and we even won a trophy, inexplicably):

          I took
          – jojoba oil for cleansing (plus L’Occitane foam cleanser, which I used every 2-3 evenings after the oil cleanse);
          – rose water;
          – Whamisa Deep Rich toner;
          – oils: camellia seed, evening primrose, rosehip, plus cheaty squalane;
          – The Ordinary Vit C 23% for nighttime, plus the oil version for eyes (Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate);
          – Laboratoires Biarritz Alga Maris mineral suncreen in SPF30; and
          – Lush Oatifix mask.
          (I sent the case on via train.;)

          On the upside:
          After extracting the now usual crop of blackheads on day 4 or 5, my nose remained clear for the rest of the holiday. This is a huge plus. I hadn’t struggled with blackheads for thirty years until I started using more products / radically changed my skincare routine 6-7 months ago. Then they came back with a vengeance. This is the main reason I wanted to try an oil-based routine.

          The skin under my eyes, on the orbital bone, became red raw. And my skin felt uncomfortably tight halfway through the day, just like it used to before I started layering.

          What was missing from the holiday routine:
          – Cream cleanser. I usually rotate Lush Ultrabland with oil cleanser.
          – NIOD Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate. I discovered this a couple of months ago and it’s made a big difference.
          – Hada Labo lotion.
          – Water-based serums. I regularly use The Ordinary serums: Buffet, Hyaluronic Acid & B5, and Niacinamide & Zinc.
          – Moisturising creams and lotions. Since I’ve always used the same brand (Lush), I’m not suspecting these of causing the blackheads — except that I may have been layering too many products.
          — Chemical / Chemical & mineral sunscreens. I normally rotate the Biarritz with Paula’s Choice, ISDIN and La Roche-Posay.

          I’ve been back a week now and reverted to my usual routine straight away. The eye area and general dryness was sorted very quickly — and the blackheads and enlarged pores are back in force. September 30, 2017 at 8:02am Reply

          • Kayliz: New update: I never thought about the retinoids. I’ve been using the 2% Granactive Retinoid (formerly Advanced Retinoid) for the last 8 months. This was another thing I didn‘t take to the Alps.
            Normally I‘d use it around 3 times a week. I put the bottle in the wrong place a couple of weeks ago and only found it tonight, so I used it in my evening routine for the first time in 2-3 weeks. That was a couple of hours ago. Now I‘ve finished my late-night work session, I go to the bathroom and am astonished by the look of my nose. There they are: large black pores. December 6, 2017 at 8:21pm Reply

  • Eric: I don’t travel often but I’m very keen on your double cleansing routine. I’ve noticed that I get so many clogged pores when I’m religious about sun screen, which makes me less likely to wear it every day. I’ve been trying more but I haven’t found a sunscreen I love yet.

    Have you gotten The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa yet? I’ve been thorougly enjoying it! It’s very digestible too, being written in such uniform chapters. July 16, 2017 at 2:30pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t yet, because it’s not available on Kindle and the EU stores that carry it charge something around 40-50 euros for a copy. I will wait till I spot it via a used book store. July 17, 2017 at 2:18pm Reply

  • Anka: Haha, Victoria, now I know why you are so wise – the first picture made me laugh so much, It’s brilliant!
    Thanks for the helpful advices, too! July 17, 2017 at 7:50am Reply

    • Victoria: My pleasure! Glad that you liked my tongue-in-cheek photo. 🙂 July 17, 2017 at 2:20pm Reply

  • Sarah: Thanks for sharing Victoria. Our styles of packing for travel are similar 🙂 July 18, 2017 at 7:42am Reply

  • Shelby: This article is a tongue-in-cheek take on every other “skincare tips for travel” post on every other beauty blog I’ve ever read and I love it. I’m a devotee of the Giant Ziploc Bag method of travel, myself. It’s so practical! July 21, 2017 at 7:52am Reply

    • Victoria: Glad to meet another bird of feather. 🙂 I mean, I like pretty as much as the next person, but for travels, especially the kind of travels I prefer, only the Giant Ziploc Bag will do. July 21, 2017 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Annabel Farrell: Just back from 16 days Beijing-Moscow on the trans-Siberian railway – thus a bit late commenting, but only to say that packing skincare etc for the train (six nights in total, three being the most at a time) and nine hotel nights probably exercised my packing mind more than ever before! Ziplocks and more ziplocks. Used almost everything I brought and did not forget anything – so all that time spent packing was worth it! July 22, 2017 at 9:31am Reply

    • Victoria: What a trip it must have been! Hope that you’ve enjoyed it. July 24, 2017 at 10:40am Reply

  • Sophia Alves: Awesome tips! I completely agree with you on Skincare Samples… Thanks for sharing 🙂 November 17, 2017 at 5:42am Reply

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