8 Feb 2014

Six Beauty Must-Haves For Female Travellers

We're now three months into our epic round the world adventure and I can say from experience that I've figured out my ‘Ultimate Traveller Beauty Kit'. Below are the six beauty must-haves I rely on to keep my skin and hair as healthy as possible whilst I switch between dry, humid, wet and freezing climates. Yup, it's a *cough* hard life as a traveller but that's no excuse to return looking like Magda!

magda something about Mary

1. A Lightweight Face Sunscreen 

Kiehls Activated Sun Protector for Face SPF 50(£28) is amazing. It's oil free and super lightweight, use a tiny amount on top of your usual moisturiser and it will last ALL day so you don't need to worry about burning your face and getting sun damage, even when you sweat it stays put. There is no need to reapply even after walking all day around a city or on a humid Malaysian beach so your skin won't get overloaded with grease but it will stay hydrated. SPF 50 sounds extreme but you can still tan, its basically allowing you to stay in the sun 50 times longer than you can with no SPF and not burn. After three months daily use I'm not even halfway through the bottle. Love it!

2. A Hydrating Face Moisturiser

Unfortunately a couple of months in I ran out of my favourite moisturiser Dermalogica Active Moist, again its oil free but it still has lots of anti-ageing ingredients, absorbs very easily and keeps my skin hydrated all day. So far I've been unable to find Dermalogica in Asia so I reverted to an old favourite of mine by one of Asia's leading beauty brands Shiseido, I really like the Day Moisture Protection SPF 15(£46) moisturiser, my skin feels soft and hydrated, with the SPF 15 it means the above Kiehls SPF is not required on a not so sunny day but when the sun is shining its lightweight enough to layer underneath.

3. An Anti-Ageing Eye Cream 

My all-time favourite is Dermalogica Total Eyecare SPF 15(£37) but I ran out after a couple of months. I've really taken to Clarins Multi-Active Eye Revive,it hydrates, absorbs easily and is keeping my fine lines very fine! My only criticism is that it doesn't contain any SPF but as I'm usually wearing sunglasses I suppose I can get away with it.

4. A Luxury Hair Oil 

I'm not a fan of leave in conditioners with SPF, my hair is so curly and coarse that I can use a whole bottle in about 3 applications. Instead I much prefer to apply a palm full of a luxury hair oil such as Montibell.o Gold Oil Essence The Amber And Argan Oil (£22.50) to the lower half of my hair after each wash or just to my ends when they are feeling dry. It's really nourishing for my hair leaving it silky soft, minimises frizz and acts as a detangler.

5. A Couple Of Cleansers

I like to alternate between two cleansers dependent on my skin that morning or evening. If my skin feels dry/tight or I need to remove make up then I'll use RMK Cleansing Balm(£29) which is my absolute favourite, it lasts forever as you just massage a tiny amount over your face and eyes then wipe off with a damp muslin cloth - after three months I’m only halfway through my pot. My skin feels super soft afterwards. I also love the deeper cleanse you get from a face scrub, I usually use them daily so I need something quite gentle and in Asia I've discovered lots of local natural brands, I'm currently using a turmeric scrub I bought on Koh Lipe in Thailand. When you're in dusty or smoggy environments it's important to get that dirt off and out of your pores! I started this trip with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant(£40) my go to option home in the UK.

6. An Intensive Face Masque or Serum

At least every couple of weeks its nice to give your face a treat with an intensive vitamin and moisture packed masque or serum to plump up your skin. I packed a few samples in my backpack mainly from Dermalogica such as Multivitamin Thermafolient and Skin Hydrating Masque. Once your samples run out though its time to make a choice, my recommendation is Keihls Midnight Recovery Concentrate(£36), I don't use it every night just when my skin needs a boost and it's a great thirsty skin quencher on flights. The morning after my skin is glowing even when I'm lacking sleep.

As you can see this isn't a budget beauty list, when it comes to skincare I believe its worth spending a little bit more to get the right product for you. If you're lucky enough to be travelling for longer than two months don't panic when your favourite cleanser or moisturiser runs out as there are so many amazing local and natural brands for you try.

My skin type is normal/dry and I tend to get dehydrated on my cheeks and around my eyes. I'm also thirty so a little bit obsessed with anti-ageing measures and paranoid about the ageing effects of sun damage. I hope you find this list useful and I'm intrigued to hear about your travelling or backpacking beauty must-haves too. Have I missed any of your favourite products?



  1. Great list - I have thick, coarse hair as well so will def try out hair oil. I always take a decent lip balm with spf as well. Palmers cocoa butter lip balm is spf 30 (I think!) and only costs a couple of pounds.

  2. Hi Emma. Glad you like the list and great tip for lip balm with SPF. I'm on the lookout at the moment as have burnt my lips a couple of times since being away!