Holiday Packing: The Skin Care Edit


Over the past few months, I’ve managed to get my skincare routine to a place where I’m really happy with it. By this I mean that the products work for me and breakouts have been few and far between. However, when it comes to packing to go away on holiday, everything seems to go out the window and minimalism is the agenda. The wipes come out, I have one moisturiser for both day and night, and I skimp on the likes of serums and eye creams all together. It’s not because I’m lazy, far from it. It’s all about the lack of space and the weight restrictions when it comes to packing your bags. Now when I come to think about it, being away especially when you’re in a hot climate (or in a cold climate for that matter), is when your skin care should play an even more important role in your daily routine what with being exposed to the harsh sunlight, salty sea water and chlorine used in swimming pools.

So without further ado, here’s what I packed on my recent trip abroad and the best part is, everything fits into a compact wash bag.

The Makeup Remover

When it comes to removing makeup, mine is a two step system only because I like to use something oil based like the  Garnier Essentials 2 in 1 Makeup Remover to remove my persistent waterproof mascara (I only ever use waterproof) which I decanted into a Muji flip top bottle.Then I use a gentle makeup remover like the Bioderma SensibioH20 Micelle Solution which comes in three sizes including a cute 100ml bottle which is the one I took away with me so no need to decant.


Normally I use two different products to cleanse my skin; the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser is part of my morning skin care routine and the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift& Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm is part of my evening skin care routine. Being away, it make sense to have just the one cleanser and one that can be easily decanted into a smaller travel bottle if need be. Scooping product out of a pot/jar isn’t practical or hygienic either. So whilst on the hunt for a new cleanser, I came across The Body Shop’s Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil. This is a gorgeous product and is so easy to use. Just add a couple of pumps into the palm of your hand and go straight onto your face (with makeup on) whilst adding some warm water to emulsify. It removes pretty much every trace of makeup even waterproof mascara (although it takes a tiny bit more work and I like to go in with a cotton pad and makeup remover afterward to get rid of any left over residue) and the great thing about it is that it is 1) super cheap at £10 for a whopping 200ml bottle (although I picked up two bottles during their 40% off promo for £6 each!) and 2) it’s super gentle so no stinging sensation in or around the eyes or stripping feeling on the skin afterwards. I like to use this as a second step once I’ve already taken my makeup off to give my face a thorough clean but you can easily skip the makeup remover and just use this.


For SPF, I usually use the same product for face and body but I do find it a bit too greasy ( only for days when you plan on wearing no makeup at all) so I was on the hunt for a sun cream specifically for the face (where you have the option to wear makeup over it if you wanted). I was drawn to the La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 30 Matte Fluid because it was a range that Lisa Eldridge  had raved about but also because it was a matte fluid. Since I suffer from a hyperactive T zone (which get progressively worse as the temperature rises), the idea of a matifying product appealed to me. Now its a great product in that it does the job. Not once did I burn when I was away but the only thing I didn’t like about it was the white cast it left behind. You really have to rub the product into the skin quite a fair bit just so it’s not so obvious which isn’t ideal. I’ve just picked up another one from Nuxe which is a spray on one so I’ll keep you posted on how I get on with that one.


I like to use two different toners in my everyday routine; an exfoliating one followed by a hydrating one. For exfoliation, I decanted the Pixi Glow Tonic into a Muji Clear Spray Bottle which is great because  I think I actually prefer spraying the product onto a cotton pad as opposed to pouring it out of the bottle. This is a great gentle exfoliating toner and affordable too so but if you’re on the lookout for an inexpensive exfoliating toner then this is the one to try. One bottle has lasted me absolutely ages. To compliment the exfoliating toner and give my skin a hydrating boost, I use the Caudalie Beauty Elixir straight after. I have the 30ml one so no need to decant but it is a glass bottle so for practicality it’s probably best to decant it into a lightweight plastic spray bottle.


Again, like with my cleansing routine, I use two products post toner; one for the daytime and one for the evening. The one that I use in the daytime is already a staple in my routine and is the the Ren Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil. The one that is new to me and which I was very excited to play with was the Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate. I used this in the evening after cleansing and toning and right before I go in with my night time moisturiser.

Eye Cream & Moisturiser

The following products are all samples that I was kindly sent by Ren (as with the Concentrate above).  I used the Ren Keep Young and Beautiful Firm and Lift Eye Cream which is great for those who suffer from dryness under the eyes. To moisturise, I took two products with me (are you sensing a theme here?); a lighter one for the daytime and a heavier duty one for the evenings. In the daytime, I used the Ren Clarimatte T-Zone Balancing Gel Cream which is a great one for those that have oily skin, and in the evenings I used the Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream which is more of a luxurious texture, not too light nor too heavy.  The sample sizes are a great way to try out new products without having to commit to the purchase and also great for travelling as they are small and compact. I’ve been very impressed with the Ren Bio Reitinoid range and will most definitely be purchasing the full size of the moisturiser, eye cream and concentrate. A review on REN products will follow in the near future where these products will also be included.

Extras e.g. Masks etc

I thought it be nice to throw in a mask as I knew I’d have plenty of time on my hands to do a mask or two whilst relaxing on holiday. As with the moisturisers, I also had a small sample of the Ren Clarimatte Invisible Pores Detox Mask ( which I’ve actually now bought the full size as I was really impressed after just one use). This is just a nice, little extra to have particularly if you like to lounge around in the sun as much as I do. It’s a great way of ridding the skin of the top layer of dead skin leaving you will a nice, smooth surface to get that glowing, even tan. What I did forget was to bring a spot control treatment like the Aesop Control Gel ( I was so excited when I walked pass one of their stores in my area, how did I not know it was there?) . I got lucky because what looked like a spot in the making, actually disappeared after 24 hours. I made a mental note to include it for the next time I travel.

All the products (bar the SPF and The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil although they can easily be decanted into smaller bottles) fit neatly into a transparent wash bag. I cannot stress how great the travel flip top bottles/spray bottles are and you can get them from Boots if you don’t have a Muji store near you. I ‘ve been eyeing up their pump bottles which will definitely come in handy. Just need to get around to booking my next holiday!

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