Solid Recommendations for Travel Beauty Products

February 12, 2008

in Airports, Luggage, Packing, Shopping, Travel, Web Tips

If you’re like me (and I’m not even *that* high maintenance), you have trouble fitting all the bath products you use into your 1-liter resealable ziploc for carrying on your flight. Perhaps you’ve even trimmed down your travel beauty routine or taken to purchasing and tossing at your final destination, since there’s no way 100 ml (3 oz) is enough to get you through the week. Fellow travelers, take notice!  I have three solid recommendations after the jump that will free up precious space in your carry-on baggie for the products you need the most.

The carry-on restriction is for liquids and gels — which means that shampoos, lotions, deodorants and cremes are all competing for 1-liter real estate with lip balms, lipsticks, mascara and perfume. The solution is — go solid! Any solid beauty product 1) need not waste space in the baggie and 2) can be any size you prefer. Switching just three “must-have” bodycare items to the solid camp makes closing the ziploc that much easier. Which three?

+ Bar soap vs. shower gel: I have apparently bought the marketing and since college prefer washing with any variety of liquid bodywashes over an old-fashioned bar of soap. That said, I’ve converted back to bars when I’m on the road to save space for more precious liquids. If you don’t have 20 of these lying around at home from recent stays in hotels, make your own “travel-sized” bar of soap by slicing up a larger bar into smaller pieces. If you’d rather not carry an over-sized travel soap holder, use a small resealable container, a film canister, or the less attractive but ever practical snack-sized ziploc. Bonus: numerous small bars packaged this way can help keep your suitcase smelling fresh! Space saved: 100 ml/3 oz

+ Solid vs. liquid shampoo: Bar shampoo? Lush sells a variety of solid shampoos (and a perfect-sized tin, but again you can use something else) ideal for the regular traveler. They don’t come cheap, but they are purported to last FOREVER. Don’t travel often? You’ll probably only ever have to buy the one (though at present, you get the tin free with the purchase of two solid shampoos)! If you’re trying to save, go for the coconut-scented bar shampoo, which is less per oz than the others. Space saved: 100 ml/3 oz

+ Body lotion bar vs. bottle: Solid body lotion? I admit, both of these last two products were new to me. I had pretty much given up on carrying lotion at all, because I use a lot of it in the cold, dry winter months and would run out before I returned home. But I am a true convert to Lush’s Soft Touch lotion bar — I’ve got a small tin in my travel kit and, since it never has to come out, one in my purse too. You can carry as much of it as you want, because it’s solid! It easily melts for use on all dry areas and smells terrific. They did just raise the price $2/bar, but if you don’t travel often, one should last you a nice long while. Space saved: 100 ml/3 oz

Total space saved: 300 ml/9 oz, or nearly 1/3 of the bag’s total capacity.

Do you have any tricks or product recommendations for your fellow travelers? Leave your ideas in the comments.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kidsilkhaze 02.12.08 at 6:29 pm

Mmmmm… solid shampoo… I use it all the time and they do last a super long time. Of course, my favorite is one of the few that don’t fit in the tin. Ah well.

Also, I’ve gone back to bar soap almost exclusively. Washclothes take stubborn dirt or magic marker off better than those spongey things. Also, you get much more bang for your buck as bar soap lasts longer than gel.

Solid lotion always leaves me too greasy feeling, though…

2 poetloverrebelspy 02.12.08 at 6:53 pm

Thanks for your comment, kidsilkhaze. Here I was just pondering whether “washclothes” was a product when I realized you were comparing washcloths and those plastic mesh soap-saver bath puff things. I’m also a washcloth fan (tho these days, I have a bath brush!). Germans have these washcloth bath mitts (essentially a washcloth sewn in half to make a pocket for your hand) that are quite popular.

I meant to comment, however, that reading the comments for that lotion bar on the Lush site, you’ll find a lot of people feel the same way you do. I’ve found that using less, rubbing a lot after application and applying directly (rather than letting your hands apply it) goes a long way towards avoiding that greasy feeling.

3 Marcy (Chi hair lady) 02.13.08 at 3:53 pm

Thanks for this post. I never knew you could get lotion in a bar. I have relatively dry skin on my forehead and I like to lotion up at least daily. So when traveling I often run out.

If you used the Soft Touch Bar daily, how long would one last (approx)?

4 poetloverrebelspy 02.13.08 at 4:16 pm

Marcy, I’ve only had mine for about a month and used it on two separate trips (total: 10 days). I cut mine into quarters to fit into smaller containers for travel. While I’m nowhere near the end of either of the quarters I’ve been using, it’s hard for me to say how long one would last with regular use. The user comments don’t give much of a guide, either. Why don’t you try calling Lush?

Need help fast? Please call Customer Care at:
Monday-Friday: 7am to 5pm(PST)
Saturday: 9am to 4pm(PST)
Sundays: CLOSED

Let us know what you find out!

5 poetloverrebelspy 02.19.08 at 1:19 am

This post featured in BlogHer’s weekly travel roundup — check out “WTF and Other Travel Odds and Ends.” Thanks Pam!

6 poetloverrebelspy 02.27.08 at 9:08 pm

Today I stumbled onto two other posts on this topic at Wisebread: Extreme Green: Save Travel Stress and the Planet with Solid Shampoo! and Extreme Green: Part Two of My Quest for Solid Hair Care Products.

For the crafty, Beth at Fake Plastic Fish offers up a recipe to make your own solid lotion.

7 Myscha 02.27.08 at 10:33 pm

Hi there!

Saw your comment on my Wise Bread blog regarding solid shampoos. I agree. They rock. I am so into them now. Cool travel blog. I also have one here: if anyone is interested in sharing budget tips. Thanks for the links to my Wise Bread articles. OK, I’m off to check out the rest of your blog!

8 Beth, aka Fake Plastic Fish 02.28.08 at 7:47 am

Hi Myscha and poetloverrebelspy. We meet up in all kinds of places. Thanks for the lotion mention. I just wanted to add that toothpaste is also a gel that is not allowed on planes except in the ziplock bag. I use baking soda to brush my teeth instead. I mix up a combination of baking soda, wintergreen essential oil (for taste) and a smidge of stevia powder (also for taste.) Some people add salt, but I find it too abrasive that way.

Anyway, just more thoughts about ways to be green and also get through security easily.


9 poetloverrebelspy 03.06.08 at 12:23 pm

Find this and other beauty tips in the Bits of Beauty Carnival, hosted by Tonic Gifts.

10 Pauline H 04.14.08 at 5:52 am

Poet I have trouble with those restrictions on liquids too and a small deodorant, lipstick, hand wash and evian spray win out every time in my ziplock bag.

I never carry all my other beauty products though in my carryon. I pack them in my suitcase so I can take what I need.

I do though restrict what I take and my shampoos etc are in disposable small containers and I think about what makeup I will need and only take that.

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