Traveling is all fun and games until you start to wonder, How in the world am I going to keep up with my skin-care routine? Whether you have a 10-step regimen or stick with the basics, consistency is key when it comes to maintaining your glow. That’s exactly why your skin will thank you for becoming familiar with the best travel skin-care kits.
Complexion upkeep starts as soon as you take off, so don't wait until you land to start digging into your travel-sized goodies. "Cabin air is often less than 20 percent humidity, whereas at home, humidity is 30 percent or more," says Gretchen Frieling, MD, a board-certified dermatopathologist. "That means that skin will lack moisture and dry out faster."
With that in mind, you'll want to double down on hydrating ingredients while you're in the air... and keep it going after you've touched down. Anna Guanche, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and owner of Bella Skin Institute in Calabasas, CA, recommends using “a light hydrating hyaluronic acid serum that is fragrance-free" and applying "a hydrating mask about an hour before landing.” If you’re not quite comfortable looking like Jason from Friday the 13th around your airplane companions, you might also consider using eye masks, says Dr. Guanche. For a little extra hydration, Dr. Frieling's a fan of keeping a facial spray on hand to spritz as needed.
Of course, what you put into your body is as important as what you put on your skin. “First of all, I tell people who are traveling that they should hydrate and drink plenty of water, since the airplane dehydrates them,” says Dr. Guanche. According to Dr. Guanche, you also want to be mindful of how much caffeine and alcohol you drink on travel days because they can “exacerbate the dry, sallow look [people] can sometimes have after traveling.”
To maintain these solid skin-care practices once you've reached your final destination, invest in one of these travel skin-care kits that will keep your complexion in tip-top shape when you're traveling for the holidays—or, really, whenever.
The best travel skin-care kits to pack in your carry-on to keep your skin glowing
Even though “at home” is in the name, this is absolutely one of the best skin-care travel kits. It’s got three of Murad’s fan-favorite retinol products (a serum, a moisturizer, and an eye cream)—all of which are designed to be gentle enough for use on all skin types—plus a cleanser. Since a lot of the products contain hyaluronic acid, it’s safe to say Dr. Guanche would recommend this kit to keep skin hydrated while on the go.
The Tatcha Mini Treasure Set is a great way to sample some of the Tatcha Greats. You get the one-step Camellia Cleansing Oil (which will remove makeup and clean your face in one fell swoop) as well as The Deep Cleanse, The Essence, The Water Cream, and The Dewy Skin Cream. All are formulated to infuse maximum hydration that truly does show (W+G editors can vouch for this). What more could one ask for from a travel skin-care kit?
The products in this kit include barrier-repairing goat milk and probiotics, which help fight free radicals that can cause premature aging. The set features a moisturizer, an exfoliating jelly cleanser, an eye serum, and a ceramide serum. If all that wasn’t enough to convince you, the kit also comes with a travel bag for easy storage and an adorable gingham hair clip.
A travel skin-care routine doesn’t have to feature 10 steps in order for it to be effective. This travel-friendly skin care kit by Clinique makes skin care simple by narrowing it down to a three-step routine and focusing on the basics (and when you’re traveling, sometimes basic is best). Formulated for dry skin, this kit comes with a gentle cleanser, a clarifying lotion, and a moisturizing lotion.
Florence by Mills (created by Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown) has a travel skin-care set, and it’s pretty excellent—and pretty affordable. It has five stars on Target, and comes with a facial cleanser, a moisturizer, a facial mask treatment, and some beauty products—like a lip gloss, mascara, and blush. What we really love about this set is the Dreamy Dew Moisturizer and Mind Glowing Peel Off Mask—both are rich in hydrating ingredients that’ll make your skin happy.
With this TSA-approved skin care kit, you’ll be able to exfoliate, tone, and hydrate your skin. It also comes with a night cream so that you can take care of your skin as you catch some Zzzs. Since this kit is made specifically for jet-setters, it also comes with a bag to store all your goodies in.
The five products in this skin care travel kit include a cleanser, mask, treatment lotion, serum, and a moisturizer. Some of the key ingredients in this kit are mint, which can reinvigorate your skin’s appearance; niacinamide, which reduces the appearance of pores; and caffeine from coffee, which is a natural way to recharge your skin.
This is one of those skin-care travel kits that lets you treat yourself from head to toe. The Osea cleanser removes surface impurities while the hyaluronic sea serum keeps your skin hydrated by using hyaluronic acid. You also get protection cream, body oil, and a vegan leather bag.
If you’re looking for a travel skin-care kit that treats and prevents breakouts, look no further than this Tula set. It comes with four products: a foaming cleanser, an acne-fighting moisturizer, and a treatment mask. To boot, it comes with a matching travel bag that I kind of want to use as a clutch.
Rihanna is the queen of so many things, skin care included. Featuring a travel-size mini makeup remover and cleanser, a toner-serum, and a sunscreen-moisturizer, this definitely counts as one of the travel skin-care kits that checks all the boxes (and, bonus, that will cut a few steps from your routine). Plus, it now includes a sample of Fenty’s popular Butta Drop Whipped Oil Body Cream (you’ll be thanking yourself you bought it if your hotel room doesn’t supply you with complementary body lotion).
Drunk Elephant re-launched its famous “Littles” a few months ago—just in time for holiday travel. The kit has all of the “big 5” products derms consider non-negotiables for a well-rounded routine (a cleanser, a vitamin C serum, an exfoliating serum, a moisturizer, and a sunscreen—plus a facial oil as an added bonus), so you can literally throw it in your bag and be out the door without a second thought.
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