His and Hers Travel Essentials: Skincare and Fragrance

July 6, 2015
I’ve been working on a three-part series focusing on travel and packing. I’ll be sharing what I packed for a three week trip through Europe – all of which I fit into a travel backpack and a medium-sized nylon tote. I would say about 1/4 to 1/3 of my luggage contents consisted of beauty products (primarily skincare and sunscreen). Part one is going to cover skincare, bodycare and fragrance. Part two will focus on makeup. Part three will cover a full list of all the items I fit inside my bags and thoughts on surviving three weeks in Europe with a carry-on.
Up first is skincare, body care and fragrance in a his and hers overview. For me packing skincare is a challenge with the liquid restrictions for carry-on bags. I almost always do a carry-on because I find it easier and less stressful compared to lugging large suitcases or waiting for items at the baggage claim. Most US airlines allow for slightly larger carry-on suitcases compared to the airlines in Europe. I tried to keep my list of beauty products as edited as possible. Thankfully my husband didn’t have a lot he had to pack in terms of liquids so I borrowed some of his space.
First some quick thoughts and options on how to pack your liquids. I’ve done several travel features in the past. Most of my trips have been around 1 week long so I usually just pack liquids in a traditional ziploc bag. You can see how I fit everything in this post here and also this one here. Ziplocs vary in durability depending on what kind you have. I’ve had several break on me so I usually try to bring a backup although some airports have disposable ones at the security gate. This round I knew that a ziploc wouldn’t last 3 weeks so I looked for some more durable options that are flight approved. I found a good option on Amazon from Flight001 and also a few from Muji.
Muji has two flight-approved options called the TPU Clear Case which measures W11 x D18.5 x H4 cm. Another options is a flat zip pouch called the TPU Clear Case S which measures 19.5 x 16 cm. For other items like passports, cards, currency etc. we really liked the EVA Zip Pouches from Muji. They have ones that are a bit frosted but clear and then others that are completely clear. The one at the Top/Middle is the EVA Zip Case B4 which my husband and I really liked for currency and passports. We used some of the others for tour or bus tickets. Having things separated in a few pouches for day trips makes it easy to find things quickly.

I also ordered a bunch of the travel-sized containers from Muji – there are a lot of different options and sizes. I filled mine with moisturizer, foundation and other creams (I threw a few away on the trip as the products were used up).

The bottom right case is the Flight001 Clear Carry-On Quart Bag which says “carry-on approved.” It does seem to fit a lot more than a flat ziploc because of the depth (it measures 2 x 5 x 7.1 inches; 2.1 ounces). It’s very sturdy and durable. For flying within the US you should be completely ok using this. In Europe your mileage may vary depending on security. I had one upset agent at the airport security when flying from Paris to Rome. One agent didn’t want to let it through. There was a mini discussion between three agents about the liquids, two of them inspected the labels on all the bottles to make sure they were under the 100ml limit and let me through although the first one was still visibly upset about it. 

Different bags side by side for size comparison. We used the Muji case in the middle and Flight001 at the bottom for our liquids. The others were used for non-liquid travel items. Ziploc included below for size reference only.
Note, the bottom left zip Muji pouch is sold empty, the above featured pouch was filled with cotton and q-tips from my own collection for size reference

Onto the travel products we brought with us. I brought three sheet masks with me including one Tatcha Deep Hydration Mask and two SK-II Facial Treatment Masks. I used all three. Since it was very hot and warm in Paris, Rome and all through Greece, I could have skipped these as my skin did not need any additional moisture. They were still nice to have but for summer I would say they aren’t must-haves. For body/fragrance, I brought along the Lavanila Pure Vanilla Deoderant which lasts all day long and doesn’t leave any white or sticky residue. (There is a mini travel-size option available too in one scent.)

For body sunscreen, I fell in love with the Korres Suncreen Spray with SPF 50 that we found in a pharmacy in Athens. It is easy to apply and helped tremendously – we didn’t get any sunburns when we used this although we did still get quite a bit darker (some areas it was impossible to avoid the sun). I wish Korres would bring back their full line to the US – I always loved their body lotions and shower gels which were really good for my super sensitive skin. You can find the SPF 30 version at Asos, otherwise it seems pretty impossible to find in the US.

Another sunscreen I tried on our trip was the Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50 in the mini size from Sephora. I am extremely sensitive to body sunscreens – I get an allergic reaction to most and end up with red bumps all over my arms and legs with most. This one from Supergoop! proved to be gentle enough for me for the body (I can’t say how it works on the face). It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin. You don’t feel greasy or oily after applying it. The scent is very light unlike other sunscreens. I like that they have a small travel size option – even though it worked for me, I recommend you patch test first before applying all over.

For other body and fragrance items, I packed my By Terry Baume de Rose Crystal Gloss for my daily lip balm treatment. In Paris I picked up a cute Hand and Lip Duo from Nuxe (also available online, on sale in July). I had a mini Huile Prodigieuse from an online order that I brought with me although one of the hotels in Paris that we stayed at had these as toiletries. I brought the Tatcha Indigo Hand Cream mini with me as it’s one of my top picks for hand creams – it’s a must if you get dry skin from flights. For perfume I picked up a roll-on L’Artisan La Chasse Aux Papillons Rollerball in Paris although it looks like they just started carrying it in the US too. I brought one mini L’Artisan Mûre et Musc Extrême with me for the trip – so after the end of the first week, I had two perfumes to alternate.
For face skincare and other liquids, I probably could have skipped all the foundation. Most of the days it was very warm and too hot for any makeup. I think I wore makeup on only 1/2 of the trip. I did not bring any concealer with me and didn’t miss it at all. Left to right includes: Tatcha One-Step Cleansing Oil (travel size), Chanel UV Essential SPF 50, Chanel Sublimage SPF 50 (exclusive to Europe right now, I picked this up in Paris), Chanel CC Cream in 40 Beige (swatches here), NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Travel Size in St. Moritz, MAC Prep +  Prime Blemish Control Gel, Muji Containers filled with moisturizer and toner, minis of Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum and Makeup Remover, Tatcha Indigo Rice Enzyme Powder travel size, First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser mini size (from Sephora Beauty Insider points).

For my husband’s skincare and fragrance, he brought a few staples. He packed his L’Occitane Cade Plisson Razor and Shaving Cream Duo. The L’Occitane Shaving Cream is one of the few he can use. Most other creams won’t prevent razor burn. Chanel Bleu de Chanel is his go-to cologne, he loves the travel size versions because you can refill them. (Refills are available at, travel options also come in the Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme and Allure Homme Sport scents). We shared sunscreens throughout the trip to see which one was sweat proof and water proof. We found it too hot for anything to be truly sweat proof although he really liked the Korres Sunscreen because of the dry down. Most others felt oily to him.

Also in his packed bag included the L’Occitane Cedrat Stick Deodorant (c/o). He rarely tries new ones because they often make his skin peel, this one from L’Occitane is non-sticky and free of alcohol or aluminum salts and dried quickly. It lasted all day on him even in the hot summer heat. Other staples he brought in his bag included a tube of the small travel-sized Jack Black Turbo Wash, Dream Team Duo which has a small Face Moisturizer with SPF 20 and Deep Dive Glycolic Face Cleanser. At our local Target he picked up a travel tube of Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen (I can’t use this because it make my skin blow up, his skin is tougher though and it works just fine for him).
Last but not least, he brought his pot of the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Heavy Lifting Eye Repair eye cream. He’s almost finished with this one (it’s his second pot) and likes it enough to repurchase a third time. Although if you have any good eye cream recommendations for men, he says he would really appreciate any recs.

Items we skipped and bought and threw out along the way included shampoo, body soap, toothpaste, mouthwash and other things you can find in hotels. So how did it all last for us during our three week trip? I ran out of my face cleanser and makeup remover by Day 8 (when we were in Rome). Luckily I had a few extra minis from Paris that sales associates threw in from the Chanel counter so I could take off eye makeup. For face cleanser, after I ran out, I used my husband’s Jack Black Deep Dive. I found out that he somehow managed to pack two, one in the clear bag, one buried somewhere in his clothing. I could have limited myself to one foundation product – the CC cream offered good coverage with high SPF but it felt a bit thick in super hot weather. During the trip we were exposed to a lot of sun – there was no avoiding it. I wore long sleeved lightweight tees to protect my arms but most of the time it was too hot for anything but tank tops or short sleeved tees.
What I missed: I missed a lot of my face masks, especially the purifying ones. I had a few minis I thought about bringing with me but decided against it because of the limited packing space. I also missed my nail polishes. I did buy one polish on my trip (Dior Sundown) and had a manicure refresh half way through our trip. I also missed all of the shower gels I alternate between at home. I am more of a shower gel person versus bar soap, but most of the hotels had nice ones to try out. One last thing I missed included hair products. I skipped bringing all gels, creams and pomades. 
Do you have any packing tips for liquid skincare/bodycare and fragrance products? Any other tips or advice you want to share for carry-on travelers?
The L’Occitane Cedrat Deodorant was provided for review consideration. Post also includes mini gift with purchase items from various events or retail point programs including the Chanel minis, First Aid Beauty cleanser and Nuxe mini oil. All other items purchased by me.

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  • You are ridiculously organised. I love the idea of storing everything in separate bags, as opposed to chucking it all in one or two. I always forget to pack masks when I'm away, but I definitely need them after a long flight (even if we don't so much when we're actually at our destination).

    You definitely don't neglect your skin when you're away, that's for sure. It'd definitely inspiring me to do the same!

    • Thank you Kiara – so nice of you to say. I'm actually not organized, hence the need for a lot of extra help. The pouches really helped! In the past my skin has always been a total wreck from travel because of the lack of skincare products. These days I've tried to fix that 🙂

  • I travel a lot and I just save the foil packets from all my GWP, Sephora samples and everywhere else I can find them including magazines, my dermatologists office. Oribe makes a great travel set of foil packets for hair care. I have never had security even blink at the foil packets no matter where I've been and I've been in some fairly remote countries and airports. Then I fill in with whatever the hotels may have or buy locally if I'm in a pinch.

    • Anonymous

      I strongly second this! I collect all those worthy foil packets: samples chosen during checkout at various retailers (Sephora, Nordstrom etc), sometimes magazines, generous SAs throwing in extras. Then I stash them in my carry on with clothes. No one ever asked a single question.

    • You're so smart! I try to save up packets too but I did some house cleaning a month ago and gifted away a bunch of freebie sample packets to friends and family. I cleared out a lot and sent items to happy homes.

  • Those Flight 001 cases are the best!! I've never had any problems with mine while flying around the US/Canada, but haven't tried it in the UK yet. Good to know you almost had an issue.

    For masks, I typically save the foil-packet samples you get at Sephora. These are great for travel as they take up literally no room in your liquids bag (and sometimes you can get away with not even putting them in there at all)!

    Kris | Love. Loft. Life.

    • I can't believe I just discovered the Flight001 case. It's so good!

  • Jo

    Wow! are you ever detailed-oriented! The best eye cream/gel I have ever used is Environ C Quence eye cream. Great for men and women and actually reduces lines and puffiness.

    • Thanks for the recommendation Jo! I'll have to check it out.

  • These products are all so beautiful and organized! I love the Nars tinted moisturizer and have been wanting to try some products from Tatcha! Thank you for sharing!

    • The NARS Tinted Moisturizer is my favorite right now 🙂

  • What a great post! SK II masks are also my favorites. I explored those over New York Fashion Week and can't stop using those since then.

    StyleSprinter Blog

    • They're so good, but so pricey!! I try not to use them frequently but they are amazing.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Sabrina, you can find Korres products at HSN. I'm so obsessed with their shower gels and body butters. Thank you for your brilliant photos and the wealth of information. Best wishes,

  • Tequila Mockingbird

    > "Although if you have any good eye cream recommendations for men, he says he would really appreciate any recs."

    Not just for men, but so far my favorite anti-wrinkle cream is a custom mixed, non-drying tretinoin prescription from PocketDerm infused with a stable form of vitamin C, niacinamide, and sweet almond oil (I'm guessing neither you nor your husband are allergic since almond oil is a common ingredient in many L'Occitane products?). It's only about $50 for a 3 month supply and unlimited consultations with the doctor in San Diego, which is pretty cool especially for Californians.

    • Hi Tequila Mockingbird – thanks for the recommendation! I don't think either of us are allergic to almond oil.

  • Tequila Mockingbird

    I forgot to add what I did on my last trip to Hawaii!

    In order to reduce the number of products I need to moisturize, I took advantage of the tropical humidity in Hawaii and sprayed a sodium hyaluronate (smaller molecular size than hyaluronic acid, for better absorption) mist from Japanese skin care brand Hada Labo (lots of their stuff is on Amazon prime with many good ratings — no bootlegs/fakes since there's no incentive to dupe drugstore cult favorites from Japan) in order to absorb all the moisture in the air without becoming a greaseball. 😀

  • I have never heard of Muji containers until your travel post. I have always used Nagelene leakproof containers. They are quite wonderful if you have not heard of them I thought ZI should give them a mention. Planning a trip to Europe and have been reading your posts eagerly for tips!

    • That's awesome about your upcoming trip!! I hope some of the posts helped. If you have a MUJI store near you, I highly recommend looking at the items in person. I ordered mine online sight unseen and although there were dimensions listed, it was a bit difficult to visualize for sizing.

  • How I wish I also have that kind of talent in packing things. You are well organized and knows what really important when travelling. Kudos!

  • Anonymous

    These travel posts are so informative and the pictures are beautiful! Since you and your husband packed sparingly, was there a place where you did your laundry? I'm wondering whether to pack enough clothes for two weeks' worth or to pack for one week and do laundry while I'm in Italy. I imagine hotels have laundry service, but may be over-priced?

  • I love that you are being so organized and show your care for all your items. That's the best way to go! I'm wondering if you might consider doing a basic introduction to Tacha? I soo want to order some of the items, but also can't see/feel/smell them IRL it would be nice to hear about your favorites and why you like them! Thank you!

  • Sabrina you've got the most exquisite taste for your Fauré Lepage tote! Love it, it is perfect.