Ultimate Skin Care Tips for Traveling

I am going to share my ultimate skin care tips for traveling. It’s very exciting, yes.  I’ll show you my favorite products for skin care, hair, and makeup and how you can take it all with you anywhere.

What makes me qualified to give advice? Hell, I would wonder the same thing!

I am a Nurse Practitioner and frequent traveler who happens to be skin care obsessed. I worked at a medical spa for several years where I performed various skin care procedures and treatments, had access to multiple medical grade products and learned a great deal about skin care with an emphasis on anti-aging strategies.

Traveling completely stresses my skin and I seriously felt like I was on a terrifying slide into “old-hag-hood” after every trip. At some point, I decided that I had to find a way to bring my amazing home routine on the road.

1. Clean Yo Face

This is one aspect of skin care where you do not need a fancy expensive product, just something that suits your skin. Cetaphil is gentle and suitable for almost everybody. This is one of the few cleansers that clients can use after abrasive laser treatments. It also comes in sensitive skin version. This is the teeny travel sized one, available in the travel size section of most convenience stores or on Amazon.

2. Cleansing wipes

If you are traveling and don’t think you’ll have running water, cleansing wipes are great and can be used on more parts than your face! I think some of Burt’s Bees products are great and they offer a nice variety, everything from exfoliating to sensitive skin, and the scents are yummy!  Bonus is that it is cruelty-free!

3.  Vitamin C Serum

This is something all women should be using starting in their mid to late 20’s. One of the best anti-aging strategies out there plus a great product to combat environmental stress and the effects on your skin. Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant and blocks free-radical damage from UV light. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production which fights wrinkle formation.

Skin Care Tips for Travel

One of the best products on the market is SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic. It has Vitamin C, enhanced with Vitamin E and stabilizing Ferulic Acid. It gives your skin an immediate glow and plumpness. The catch is that it is not cheap. Vitamin C should be the first ingredient on the label. Drug store brands are simply useless and is why this one is around $130 depending on where you get it.  Just make sure if you don’t get this exact one, start with a low percentage of vitamin C, 10%. This is the most expensive product I use, but probably the most important, other than sunscreen. The good news is that it lasts a very long time, almost 6 months if used every other day, which is all that is necessary due to the long half-life of Vitamin C. It is a small bottle but I transfer it to a smaller dropper bottle for travel. You only need to use a few drops at a time.
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic 1 Fluid Ounce

4.  RxGenesys

Here is another product set I love because it’s good to have options. This awesome set comes in travel size (I use the full size at home). These are medical grade products developed by a plastic surgeon in conjunction with Ivy League researchers and essentially help your skin rebuild from DNA (in layman’s terms this means less wrinkles)  This set of four small bottles replaces the cleanser and vitamin C serum and adds extra moisture to your regimen. The focus of these products are anti-aging and I think starting around 25 years old, we all want that, eh? I was thrilled to find these and be able to travel with them. Most doctor prescribed skin care regimens are not travel friendly. This line is incredibly affordable for this type of product. Believe me, I have tried them all and have spent ridiculous amounts of money on stuff that you hear about celebrities using and it’s simply not worth it. Also, these products have not been tested on animals.

5.  Sunscreen

My favorite brand, Elta MD,  isn’t the cheapest but I find it palatable considering the importance of sunscreen and the quality of this product.  It goes on clear and smooth, not greasy like many sunscreens. Also, the ingredient is impressive. The UV facial shown below has a whopping 7% zinc oxide which is perhaps the best ingredient to block UVA and UVB rays. Most drug store brands have 3% or less. Ladies, your skin is the most important thing. You can do all kinds of things to make your hair look better, work out for your body, wear cute clothes but nothing can reverse bad skin care choices over time.

This one can be found on Amazon.

There are different formulations. The Facial SPF 30 is a moisturizing sunscreen which my dry skin certainly needs. I prefer a less moisturizing version when I think I’ll be sweating a lot. This is another great one that is thicker and I use on whole body.

I know what you’re thinking…does this crazy chic really travel with three sunblocks? The answer is YES and that is the minimum! My friends call me the sunblock nazi.

For a great sunscreen list and breakdown of different products, check out the one from the Environmental Working Group

5.  Argan (Moroccan) Oil

I was lucky enough to travel to Morocco last year and pick up a lifetime supply of Argan Oil which is only produced there (I talk about this in my Morocco blog…it’s actually really interesting) and therefore was inexpensive…there. In the US, it’s hard to find pure argan oil and it’s much more expensive. Jose Maran Argan Oil is available on Amazon.

If you can and are willing to pay for it, travel with it. It is good for EVERYTHING! It has amazing healing properties, anti-wrinkle and of course moisturizing. I use it as a nighttime facial mask in dry climates, cuticle oil, hair serum, and as a deep- conditioning treatment for my hair. I’ve even used it on a facial irritation/rash overnight and it worked.

An alternative to this is to travel with a small amount of Coconut Oil which you can use for all these same purposes. Both are such versatile oils. Coconut oil is cheaper and easier to find!

6. Eye makeup remover

Cetaphil cleanser does a really good job of getting most eye makeup off and is gentle enough to use around the eye but I have a pet peeve about smeared mascara or eyeliner that leaves a little dark shadow under the eye.

Unless you are going for that “hooker found dead in the alley look”, please take that sexy smoky eye off properly!

I love these wipes because they are biodegradable and individually packaged so they don’t dry out as quickly. 

A fabulous alternative or back up if you run out is baby oil! Nothing breaks up waterproof mascara like oil. Baby oil is gentle, effective, moisturizing and doubles as a great body moisturizer for when you first get out of the shower. Who doesn’t love that familiar smell? It comes in adorable travel size as well.

7. Undereye stuff

Oh those pesky undereyes with their thin fragile skin, red or dark circles, and puffiness…they really suck!

I have two to three products I travel with. Luckily they are nice and small. Mario Badescu makes a hyaluronic eye cream. Hyaluronic Acid is what makes up collagen in our skin. Collagen is the substance that keeps us youthful. Wrinkles form when collagen breaks down. Just a couple dabs of this and the undereye area will look glowy and moisturized with all the teeny lines less visible. Plus, it lasts hours! If undereye wrinkles and dryness are not your problem, I have other suggestions. I tend to get puffy when I travel, especially after a plane ride, drinking, being at high altitude, eating a whole jar of pickles, etc. Mario Badescu is cruelty-free.

Garnier Clearly Brighter Eye Depuffer is the bomb! This stuff depuffs and feels cool and refreshing. It has a cool touch roller ball applicator and this serves to roll out the puff and simultaneously stimulate blood flow to the under eyes which aids in making you look less sleepy and jet-lagged.  I bring this on the plane with me and use it immediately upon landing to look less zombie-like.



8.  Hair

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave in Product is the best stuff ever. This product is great for everyone. It has 10 functions including detangling, frizz control, color protection, heat protection and adds shine and silkiness. Who doesn’t want all that? I use every time I wash my hair.  You can get the sample size for free in various ways (google “free sample it’s a 10” and when you run out, fill your travel sized sample from the larger bottle. I usually buy mine at  Amazon.

This is Aveda Light Elements Serum. This adds shine, controls frizz, heat protects and basically just makes hair look better no matter what, curly or straight. It can be used on wet hair before blow drying or air drying and on dry hair to smooth frizz and add shine.  I don’t go anywhere without it. The regular sized bottle is carry-on ready.

Aveda is all natural and cruelty-free.

skin care tips for travel


9.  Samples

Samples are ideal for travel because they are tiny! Duh!  Kiehls is my go-to place for samples. Buy something and they will give you several samples of whatever you want…skin care, hair care, etc. Their undereye cream samples have lasted me an entire two weeks. The key is to poke it with a pin to get the teeniest amount out and not have it leak everywhere. https://www.kiehls.com

Another place to try samples is via the Perfectly Posh Website. These products are all natural andcruelty-freee and I love them. Olivia who is a fab consultant will send you samples customized to your type of skin and interests. https://www.perfectlyposh.com/olivia

10.  Makeup

I try to keep this to a minimum just because I like to travel as simply as possible.

makeup tips for travel

Lipstick. I bring one “everyday” color (Dior Addict #756 My Love) and gloss (Naked Ultra Nourishing Gloss in Beso)

Blush.  Trish McEvoy liquid face color seriously looks good on everyone. Just a little color and glow. Cruelty free.

Mascara. One waterproof (Lashblast fusion) is really all you need but my new favorite brand…not picture above is from IT. This mascara does it all.

Eyebrow pencil (IT brand…has pencil on one end and brush). IT is cruelty free.

Smashbox Photofinish color corrector is a redness reducer and minimizes pores

Under eye concealer YSL Touche Eclat is liquidy enough and doesn’t cake, lasts all day)

This eyeshadow palette has it all…stuff for day, for night, for all occasions.  It’s a little big, but fits in my make-up bag. Urban Decay brand is also cruelty-free.

skin care tips for travel


How does it all fit and not have to be checked?  

skin care tips for traveling

I cheat a bit with the liquid thing. My little sunblock moisturizer and under-eye stuff all go in makeup bag and I never have a problem.

This is the Truffle TSA sized Clarity Pouch. I love this and their other clarity bags which can be used for all kinds of travel needs. This bag fits quite a bit and is sturdy and leak proof. I can get my travel size shampoo and conditioner, body wash plus the items mentioned above in here no problem. 20160402_131048-1

Those of you interested in cruelty-free products, I try to point these out to whenever possible. I am constantly learning and transitioning to a more cruelty-free lifestyle but it’s challenging and I don’t pretend to be perfect. This is great resource for beauty products. http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/list-of-cruelty-free-brands/

As always, I am available to answer questions. Skin care is one of my favorite topics, other than traveling. If I don’t know the answer, I know someone who does. I am lucky to have many colleagues in plastic surgery and dermatology who know much more than I do 🙂

Happy traveling and take care of your skin!!

Disclaimer: I use affiliate programs and may receive a small commission  at no additional cost to you if you buy something from a link I provided. As always, I truly love the products I share and assume there are many ladies out there like myself, who don’t have time to go to all these stores and prefer to click, buy and receive. 


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Skin Care Tips for Travelling



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  1. Claudia | 26th Feb 18

    Great post! Where is the tiny dropper from that you transferred your serum into?

    • csaradar | 26th Feb 18

      It was a sample from Kiehls I believe, but SkinCeuticals brand has sample sizes also. Or you could check on Amazon for small dropper bottles:)

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    Great post and very unique and important! Thanks for sharing!

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