Flawless Skin Anywhere: 7 Skincare Essentials for Your Travel Kit

Prepare for your next adventure and make your skin travel-ready by packing these must-have skincare items in your suitcase.

June 27, 2023 5 minutes read
Woman packing her skincare for travel

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While enjoying your travels, keep in mind that the dry airplane air, as well as the changes in climate and water, can be incredibly hard on your skin. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure you have the right skincare essentials with you to keep your skin healthy and looking its best.

So, whether going on a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, this article will guide you through the must-have skincare items to pack for your next trip, from a gentle cleanser to keep your skin clean to a moisturizer to keep it hydrated.

Essential #1: Sunscreen


Sunscreen is a must on your travels. The sun's UV rays can be extremely damaging to the skin, causing sunburn, age spots, premature skin aging, and even skin cancer.

UV rays (especially UVA rays) can penetrate through clouds and even glass, meaning that you can still get sun damage even on a cloudy day or when you're inside a car or building. So by packing sunscreen and applying it regularly, you'll protect your skin from many skin woes that might occur down the road. As they say, prevention is always better than cure.

But, to get the best protection possible, you need to apply your sunscreen properly:

Essential #2: Cleanser

woman packing a travel-sized cleanser

Besides sunscreen, another must-have on your travels is certainly a face cleanser. Since one of the biggest skin woes that can ruin your trip is acne, having a cleanser on hand can save the day. It removes dirt, impurities, and makeup that accumulate on your skin during the day and unclogs your pores, reducing the risk of breakouts.

It's also a good idea to bring a pack of facial wipes or makeup remover wipes, as these can be convenient for quick cleanups on the go. So, always pack a travel-friendly size, or a small amount of gentle cleanser in a dedicated bottle, to save space in your luggage.

Essential #3: Moisturizer

woman packing a moisturizer for travel

Face moisturizer and body lotion are the ones your should never skip to keep your skin from dryness and flaking. Traveling, especially air travel, can strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry, tight, and itchy. A good moisturizer, with a combination of both hydrating and moisturizing ingredients, will replenish your skin, perevn water loss, and keep it smooth and protected.

Additionally, climate change is something to keep in mind when traveling. Depending on your destination, the climate may differ from what your skin is used to. But no worries, a moisturizer will keep your skin comfortable even in these conditions. If you have oily skin, look for a lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer that absorbs quickly into your skin.

Essential #4: Lip Balm

a stack of travel-sized lip balm containers

Lip balm is another essential item for travelers, as the skin on our lips is the most delicate and needs extra protection from the elements. Dry weather, winds, and scorching sun can all make your lips dry and chapped, which can be pretty uncomfortable, especially when you're trying to enjoy your vacation.

So, look for nourishing, thick lip balms that will provide a barrier and protect your lips from the cold air, heat, wind, and snow. Also, regardless of your destination, be it the seaside, city, or mountain, always make sure your lip balm contains SPF to provide extra sun protection.

Essential #5: Facial Serum

woman packin a facial serum for travel

A facial serum is a great addition to your travel skincare routine as it can provide extra hydration and nourishment to your skin. Plus, these products are usually lightweight and absorb easily into the skin – so they won't overwhelm your skin or clog pores.

Having a facial serum rich in antioxidants with you is an excellent idea, as they protect the skin from environmental stressors and prevent damage from pollution and UV rays, which can be especially beneficial during long trips. Some of the ingredients to look for in serums are vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10, niacinamide, lycopene, and others.

Essential #6: Treatments

woman packing her skin treatments for travel

If you're in the middle of an acne treatment, for example, you shouldn't discontinue it because of your trip. This is because treatments often require consistency to be effective, especially if you're using retinoids. Plus, climate change and stress can often be acne triggers.

So, pack your skincare treatments, acne or otherwise, on your travels, as these products won't always be available in every place you go to, especially in some rural or remote areas.

Essentail #7: Portable, Foldable Skincare Bag

woman holding a foldable skincare bag for travel

And finally, don't forget to pack a portable skincare bag that's also foldable, if possible, so that it takes little space in your suitcase but can fit a lot of products. This allows you to organize your skincare and makeup easier once you reach your destination and have everything in one place, saving you time and stress.

It would be great if you could find a water-resistant hanging bag for your toiletries. That way, you can hang it in the bathroom in your hotel and have everything at hand while doing your skincare and makeup, mornings and evenings.

Other Travel Skincare Tips

woman with a suitcase

Besides packing your skincare essentials, here are some general self-care and skincare tips to keep in mind while traveling:

travel-friendly clear, zip-top bag for a carry-on


Taking care of your skin while traveling is just as important, if not more, as taking care of it at home. By bringing the essential skincare items with you, you can rest assured that your skin will stay healthy and fresh no matter where you go.

So, remember to pack sunscreen, moisturizer, cleanser, makeup remover, lip balm, facial serum, and any specific skincare items you use regularly. In addition, try to maintain a healthy diet and hydration level while traveling to keep your skin in its best shape.


What skincare to take when traveling?

The most essential skin care items to take on your travels would be a cleanser, serums, moisturizer, and sunscreen. You should also make some space in your skincare bag for any specific treatments you're currently using, like acne treatment, as discontinuing those for a few days can create skin issues.

How do you take care of your skin while traveling?

In essence, you should stick to your regular skincare routine as much as possible, as switching products and routines can stress your skin out even more. Always ensure your skin is nicely hydrated and moisturized, and use sunscreen daily.

What is the best skin care for air travel?

The most important thing when air traveling is protecting your skin against the harmful sun rays. While high up above the clouds, you're closer to the sun, and your skin is more vulnerable. Therefore, always wear your sunscreen when flying.

How do you take care of your skin when flying?

The best way to take care of your skin when flying is to prepare it well before the flight itself. Drink plenty of water, wear a lightweight but nourishing moisturizer, and sunscreen on top. This way, you're making sure dry airplane air doesn't dehydrate your skin, and you're protecting the skin from harmful UV radiation.

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