Travel Size Skincare Products Everyone Should Have
Skincare Products Small Enough for a Carry-On
Some of the best skincare products are difficult to find in travel sizes. While transferring facewash and moisturizer into travel containers is an option, it’s definitely a hassle.
Below are the most popular travel size skincare products, most of which I’ve personally tried and love!
With these recommendations, It’ll be easy to avoid the stress of deciding which personal skincare products you should bring on a trip.
Everything I recommend below is 3.4 fluid ounces (100ml) or less. No need to worry if you can pack them with flight carry-on luggage. You can easily bring them anywhere!
Exfoliants & Travel Size Scrubs
Especially after a day of traveling, it’s always a good idea to exfoliate your skin. Clear out the grime and pave the way for fresh, radiant skin cells.
My go-to recommendation is the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub. I love this product in particular because it’s pretty heavy duty and includes menthol for a cooling effect. The granules are relatively coarse, which I also like using on my back and shoulders.
For something gentler, try the Lumin Exfoliating Rub with activated charcoal. It works a bit different than other exfoliants; as you rub the gel onto your face, it balls up as it dries, gently exfoliating. I’d recommend it for those who want a light-duty exfoliant.
Clinique’s travel-size Face Scrub for Men is among the most popular exfoliants out there. It’s great for before shaving, too.
Chemical Peel Exfoliants
A chemical peel might be an even more compact travel size exfoliant option. I use The Ordinary AHA Peeling Solution once a week. It’s an acid that helps to remove dead skin cells on your face’s surface. Don’t be afraid of the red color, it doesn’t stain!
Salicylic acid masks are another common way to chemically exfoliate your skin. I prefer to use The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque (I actually switch each week between this mask and the AHA peel mentioned earlier).
This mask works especially well for oily and acne-prone skin. A 10-minute treatment once a week will keep your skin even and free of clogged pores.
Travel Size Facewash
A quality cleanser makes all the difference, but finding those cleansers in a carry-on size is sometimes cumbersome. For dry skin, some cleansers can be a little too harsh. For those with oily skin, a cleanser that’s not strong enough can leave behind impurities.
Facewash for All Skin Types
Good for all skin types and fragrance free, the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser is an easy choice. It’s a velvety liquid formula that won’t over-strip skin, yet thoroughly clears away impurities.
I highly recommend the travel size CeraVe cleanser, a 3oz version of their popular foaming facial cleanser. This cleanser is recommended for normal to oily skin, but in my opinion it’s completely fine for any skin type. I love the refreshing feeling of using a foaming facewash.
Prefer a cleanser with spa-like eucalyptus scent? I recommend the Disco Face Cleanser Stick. It’s all-natural, free of parabens and lasts a long time. You’re guaranteed not to have any spills either, since the product is a solid rub-on gel.
Facewash for Oily Skin
The Lumin Charcoal Cleanser has recently soared in popularity and it’s fantastic as a travel size facewash. Oil and dirt don’t stand a chance to this stuff. A little goes a long way too, meaning it’s well worth the price. The black container is pretty chic, too.
I also recommend the travel size Clinique Oil Control Face Wash for men with oily skin. It’s incredibly inexpensive and trusted.
Gentle Facewash for Dry Skin
Gentle facial cleansers are better for dry skin, or if your face isn’t really that “dirty.” The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser is perfect for either instance. I like to use a squalane facewash if I don’t have much of an oil buildup on my face.
Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser Liquid is another fantastic facewash to use while traveling. You’ve probably seen these little bottles before in department or drug stores. It’s the most basic and affordable skin cleanser around.
Serums & Oils
Using specialized serums and oils can be one of the most daunting parts of a good skincare regimen. But utilizing a couple serum solutions can really make a difference in your appearance.
Most come in smaller sizes too, making them some of the best travel skincare products you can buy. I’ll make it easy for you with the recommendations below.
Serums for Overall Healthy Skin
A serum with copper peptides can improve your skin’s health. They help produce connective tissue, promoting smooth skin.
The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides 1% serum is one of the most important steps in my travel skincare routine every morning. It’s light and dries smooth.
Niacinamide is a fantastic nutrient that helps retain moisture, regulate oil in your sebaceous glands and minimize blotchiness. I mix a bit of niacinamide + zinc solution in with my buffet serum in the morning.
CeraVe makes a vitamin C & hyaluronic acid serum which is fantastic for skin brightening, general hydration and skin texture. If you’re not looking for anything too fancy or complicated, this serum is a good bet.
Something similar that also contains vitamin C is The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution. This is a brightening serum that has a stabilized vitamin C derivative.
Pigmentation & Puffiness
Inexpensive and effective, The Ordinary Caffeine Solution + EGCG works great for puffy under-eye skin. This one is a no-brainer travel size skincare product. I personally use it every morning. It tightens the skin and feels super light.
The Effaclar Pore-Refining Serum by La Roche-Posay is a popular pore control and anti-aging serum. It’s a little on the expensive side, but nonetheless highly-rated. This product goes on in combination with a moisturizer.
Nighttime Serums & Oils
Before bed is the perfect time to give your skin a boost to prepare for the day ahead. At night, I prefer using oils—the kinds that don’t clog pores (and I have oily skin). Night creams and serums are other lighter options.
The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane is one of the products I absolutely swear by. After washing your face at night, rub on some of this oil to help your skin cells turn over faster.
1% is on the stronger side, so if you’re sensitive, choose the 0.5% option. Otherwise, you can always choose regular plant-derived squalane for hydration.
Some nights I apply “B” Oil by The Ordinary, instead of a retinol oil. It’s quite a unique product, too. “B” Oil is a wholesome blend of purified micro-algae forms and various oils. If you’re interested to try, make note that this oil has quite an earthy smell!
The Glycolic B5 Serum by La Roche-Posay is an anti-aging concentrate that fights dark spots and discolorations. A few drops of this serum each night helps to slough off skin cells, driven by the glycolic acid.
Travel Size Moisturizers
The right type of moisturizer is crucial to your travel skincare routine. Even if you have oily skin, you’ll still need a light moisturizer. Otherwise you’ll might experience acne resulting from a cleanser that strips your skin of all moisture.
If I could only bring two products with me while traveling, one would undoubtedly be their Natural Moisturizing Factors + Hyaluronic Acid formula. This stuff keeps your skin hydrated without looking or feeling greasy for such a long time. I haven’t found anything better for such a good price.
Lumin’s Moisturizing Balm is another excellent travel size skincare product to keep your skin hydrated. I like it especially for nighttime and love the scent.
In my opinion, Lumin’s moisturizer just a tad bit heavy for daytime wear, but if you have dry skin, you might love it for all times.
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Anti-Aging & Eye Creams
Definitely a luxury product, the Shiseido Men Skin Empowering Cream is a hugely popular anti-aging moisturizer for all skin types.
It’s formulated with carnosine, which is a powerful peptide known to have a host of positive skin benefits. The 1.7oz container is sleek, too—easy to toss in your travel bag.
Shiseido’s Total Revitalizer Eye Cream for men is also quite popular. I love the sleek little container. At just over half an ounce, it’s small enough to fit right in your pocket!
The Lumin Dark Circle Defense eye cream treatment contains all the must-have ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide with a clean, citrus scent.
The product also includes argireline as an ingredient, which actually isn’t so common. Argireline produces effects similar to Botox and stimulates collagen production
Have shiny skin post-workout, even after showering? Try out the Clinique Fit Mattifying Moisturizer. It’s perfect for extra strong shine control as your body cools down from exercising.
Effaclar Mat is also a mattifying moisturizer, better for everyday use. Made by La Roche-Posay, this fragrance-free moisturizer is great for oily skin. While the price is higher than average, this product’s stellar reviews might just convince you to invest.
Sensitive Skin Moisturizers
For highly sensitive skin that needs a hefty infusion of moisture, try the Toleriane Ultra Night Cream by La Roche-Posay. There are a ton of nourishing ingredients inside, including squalane, niacinamide, and neurosensine, which helps with skin irritation and discomfort.
La Roche-Posay actually published a clinical study proving that this nighttime moisturizer formula helped improve rosacea-prone skin!
The travel size Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion is a second suitable choice for those with sensitive skin. Hyaluronic acid in this moisturizer will keep skin hydrated all day long.
Moisturizers with Sunscreen
Using a moisturizer that includes sunscreen is one of the easiest ways to prevent skin aging, especially in summer when the sun’s rays are strong.
One of the most widely used travel size moisturizers with sunscreen is the CeraVe AM Moisturizer with SPF 30. It’s oil free, contains ceramides for your skin’s lipid barrier, and is super affordable.
The larger but still travel size 3oz bottle is perfect for longer trips.
The Clinique for Men SPF 21 Moisturizer is one of the few moisturizers with sunscreen made specifically for men. It’s good for all skin types and provides decent sun protection.
Packable Body Creams
For dry or irritated skin on any part of the body, consider La Roche-Posay’s Cicaplast Baume B5 Balm. It’s oil-free, won’t clog pores and comes in a convenient 1.35oz tube. You can use this cream anywhere, from your face to your feet!
Other Travel Size Skincare Favorites
My favorite acne spot-treatment product is the Kiehl’s Breakout Control formula. I take this tube with me no matter where I’m traveling. The main ingredient is sulfur, which has natural antibacterial properties. A little bit goes a long way, so the tube lasts quite a while.
Do you suffer from razor bumps and ingrown hairs after a shave? Grab a travel size bottle of Tend Skin, which has an active ingredient of Acetylsalicylic Acid (essentially Aspirin) to reduce inflammation.
Super compact at only 1oz, I frequently take my Fresh Umbrian Clay Mask on the road. You can also use this product as a cleanser, which is pretty neat.
If you’ve got an event where you need to look your absolute best, invest in a pack of Shiseido Pure Retinol Eye Smoothing Sheets. After just one session, puffiness disappears and your under-eye skin looks flawless. This is one of the best under-eye mask products you can buy.
Toner seems to be one of the most difficult skincare products to find in a travel size! One of the few widely available toners is from Dermologica. Everyone loves their anti-aging Antioxidant Hydramist Toner for daily use.
Body Wash & Travel Size Soaps
If you don’t like depending on the soap in hotels, consider picking up a bar of “Ultimate Man” Body Scrub Soap. It’s ideal for backpackers or anyone that needs a long-lasting and dependable soap they can bring on a trip.
Also, travel size body wash can be hard to come by—but I recently found a two-bottle set of 3.4oz Method Men Body Wash. The scent of one bottle is cedar + cypress and the second is sea + salt.
Travel Skincare Kits
Does choosing individual skincare products feel overwhelming? Travel skincare kits are easy for those who want a one-stop shop.
Here are a couple of travel skincare kits you might like, some of which are bundles of product I’ve mentioned in sections above.
The Ordinary Skincare Kits
My top travel size skincare kit recommendation is made by The Ordinary. It’s called The Balance Set and contains four items that are great people with any skin type.
You get the gentle squalane cleanser, a salicylic acid face peel masque, a niacinamide serum for oil control, and my all-time favorite Moisturizing Factors product. All of this comes at a reasonable price, too.
The Ordinary sells a couple skincare set variations, too. Most are around the same price. The Daily Set is similar to the Balance Set mentioned above, but includes a hyaluronic acid / vitamin B5 serum instead of the niacinamide serum and face masque.
Lumin Skincare Kits
The Classic Maintenance Collection for Men by Lumin is another great option, probably the best travel skincare kit for men. One great advantage is that these screw-cap containers pretty much guarantee no spills!
The kit includes the highly popular charcoal cleanser, the gentle exfoliating rub and a container of moisturizing balm. If you don’t want the cleanser (or already have it), go for the Correction Trio set, which includes the dark circle defense cream instead.