There's something about travelling that instantly tires the skin out. Exhaustion, pollution, drastic change in temperatures and the stress of catching flights... it's only a matter of time till problems begin to crop up. The traveller might have a dull complexion to reverse, an unexpected zit to calm down, or both.
To make matters worse, there's no place for our full-sized beauty items in the carry-on. So, we have to play the frustrating game of pick and choose before decanting skincare into empty bottles (according to Dubai Airports' baggage regulations, each liquid item cannot be more than 100ml nor should they exceed one litre in total).
Sweat not - there's a travel-sized version of your beauty staples out there, whether it's solid sunscreen, perfume or a rechargeable hair straightener. Not only are you saving space, but leaving items in their original packaging can prevent product waste.
And if you haven't had the time to shop for beauty offline, try Amazon Prime for free, fast delivery. You can avail yourself of up to 50 per cent discount, as well, on select beauty products. To get you started, we've selected the best-rated, traveller-approved hair and skin products below.
1. Best Sunscreen: Abib Quick Sunstick Protection Bar (SPF 50+)
It's always a smart idea to invest in a separate sunscreen for travel, since circumstances differ from home. You'll be out and about most of the day with no guarantee that you'll have clean hands for application. Consider a solid sunscreen for fast and germ-free coverage. This viral Korean sun stick bar by Abib has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50+ with ultraviolet A and B protection that's ranked PA++++. But, there's more - it soothes, hydrates and strengthens the skin using natural ingredients, from centella extract and acacia peptide to cucumber extract and aloe juice. Plus, it doesn't leave behind any residue that's white or overly greasy, but it may be more suitable for dry and normal skin types. Reviewers love the glow it adds and that it does the job without fragrance. Plus, travellers say it's perfectly sized for handbags and makes room for more liquids in the carry-on.
2. Best Dry Shampoo: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Spray, 50ml
The same on-the-go urgency applies to hair care. An oily, sweaty scalp is not uncommon after a few hours under the sun, especially if you've signed up for activities. A dry shampoo could be your best friend on holidays. Our pick is the travel-sized version of our expert-recommended Klorane Dry Shampoo, which is infused with organic oat milk. This 50ml bottle has corn and rice starch with silica to soak up oil, dirt and odour. Leave it on for two minutes before running a brush through the hair. According to reviews, it smells great and applies lightly, but does run out quickly depending on the hair length.
3. Best Skincare Kit: SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Travel Kit
If compiling standalone products sounds stressful, simply pick up a skincare travel kit. Skin1004 brings all Korean skincare into an essentials pack, starting from an oil cleanser and a cleansing foam for those who follow double cleansing. Rest assured, you also get a toner, serum and moisturiser for the complete routine. The range is centred around its soothing main ingredient, centella asiatica sourced from Madagascar. Every item is under 100ml, too. Five-star reviewers hail it as liquid gold for acne-prone and oily skin types, despite being so affordable. They say that red blemishes have diminished and texture has improved just after one use.
4. Best Hair Tool: Rebune Ceramic Hair Straightener
- Charges via USB
- Battery life of 45 minutes
- Curls and straightens
- Heats up quickly
- Needs three hours to charge
Leave your expensive hair curlers and straighteners at home - bring along a rechargeable tool that does the work of both. Rebune's ionic flat iron seals in moisture, protects cuticles and reduces frizz, all without a wired connection. It takes three to four hours to charge for a 45-minute session. The design has concave and convex plates that create all kinds of styles, from loose beach waves to tight ringlets. Since it charges via a USB cable, the traveller doesn't have to worry about international power outlets, either. Buyers fish it out from their handbags to touch up their hair on humid and rainy days. Others confirm that it heats up fast and gives you long-lasting results. Tackling frizzy hair? Check these products out.
Warranty: The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee.
5. Best Make-up Wipes: Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Towelette Singles, 20 Count
While your micellar water bottle or the cleansing balm is tempting to bring along, they're not so travel-friendly. Neutrogena's cleansing towelettes come in individually wrapped packets that you can pop into your bag, to use as needed. These moist face wipes dissolve all traces of dirt, make-up, oil, bacteria, pollution and sweat, and even break down the layer of sunscreen on your face. They're also completely plant-based and, therefore, biodegradable in 35 days. And, don't worry, the ingredients are free of irritating alcohols and soaps. Several five-star reviews from travellers attest to this miracle in a packet, with no chances of spills and no cotton pads needed. It removes waterproof mascara, too, they say.
6. Best Moisturiser: Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask
An import fee makes this essential pricier than the original value, but it's one worth spending on. Summer Fridays' Jet Lag Mask is all you need in the bag on your one-week trip. It can be used in many ways - the rich formula goes on as a nightly mask, daytime moisturiser or hand cream, or anything that feels scaly and dry. Mixed with niacinamide, glycerin, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, the cream soothes stressed in-flight skin. Impressed reviewers call it a skin wonder, most using it as their overnight moisturiser and go-to item on the plane. Check out moisturisers with SPF, as well.
7. Best Acne Treatment: Hero Cosmetics, Mighty Patch, Invisible+, 39 Patches
If you feel a painful cystic pimple or a budding whitehead coming on, don't wait till you can get home to treat it. Stick on a pimple patch. It hides the zit with a skin-blurring effect and extracts impurities - you'll see it when it turns white! Hero Cosmetics' Mighty Patch is made of a gentle fluid-absorbing gel called hydrocolloid, which reduces the bump in six hours. Reviewers say there's no smell or sticky residue, and camouflages the pimple well. It's great for speeding up the healing process.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.