For many people, the holiday season is synonymous with travel time. No matter where you're flying, your winter vacation can be the time off work that you've been needing — but it doesn't mean you should take time off your skincare routine.
As the weather gets colder, it's natural for your skin to get dry and itchy without proper care. In addition, stress from travel and sightseeing until you can't stay awake can lead to more frequent breakouts and a loss of your natural glow. Taking your skincare regimen with you to your next destination is the best way to keep your skin healthy and happy, even as you acclimate to a new environment and try out all the street food on your block.
Of course, packing skincare products isn't as simple as tossing bottles in your bag. To fly with your products, you need to follow strict Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations and take precautions to avoid messy leaks. Here's what you need to know about how to pack your skincare for traveling.
Understanding TSA Rules
Flying with liquids, gels, and creams — which make up the majority of most skincare routines — can be tricky in the United States. When packing these products in carry-on bags, the TSA requires travelers to follow the 3-1-1 rule and pack liquids in:
3.4-ounce or smaller containers
1 quart-size bag
1 bag per person
While packing all your skincare items in a quart-size bag may sound fairly easy, keep in mind that you have to share this limited space with other liquid toiletries like toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner.
Skincare products in checked bags don't have to follow the same regulations. However, if you're traveling light with no checked bags — or making full use of all your suitcases for a long trip — you'll still want to pack smart.
Cut and Consolidate Before You Pack
Totally eliminating your skincare routine is never a good idea when you're traveling, but you can still find ways to reduce the number of products you're bringing on the road. To start, consider what liquid products will be provided at your accommodations. Shampoos, conditioners, and soaps are commonly provided by hotels and Airbnbs, so you can cross them off your packing list. This way, you can save space for your skincare products in your TSA-approved liquids bag.
Then, consider what skincare products can do double duty during your trip. For example, you can temporarily use moisturizer in place of eye cream.
Another way to reduce the amount you need to carry in your quart-size bags is by considering non-liquid alternatives to your current skincare products. For instance, you can bring sealed sheet masks, which can be placed anywhere in your carry-on, instead of a bottled hydrating treatment. You can also use makeup wipes in place of cleanser for short trips — just make sure to give your face a thorough rinse each night, since wipes aren't fully effective at cleaning your pores.
Downsize With Travel-Sized Containers
Once you're confident that your skincare routine includes only what you need on your trip, you need to fit your products in your bag.
You can purchase travel-sized products to quickly do so. Or, if you want a more sustainable option, consider purchasing reusable, leak-proof bottles and containers that are 3.4 ounces or less. Fill up smaller containers with products you don't need a lot of, like spot treatments or lip masks.
Then, place your downsized products inside a securely zipped quart-size bag.
Pack Securely Even If You're Checking Bags
While your quart-sized bag may be secure enough to prevent spills from leaking onto your clothes, it's ideal to avoid wasted product altogether. To do so, don't overpack. This is especially important for checked bags, which are frequently stacked on top of each other. Too much pressure on your skincare products can cause them to leak, ooze, or even explode out of their packaging.
With all the complexities that packing skincare products can bring, you may be tempted to get the necessities delivered to you instead of flying with them en route to your destination. However, there are several reasons why this may be a bad idea.
First, shipping around the holiday season is frequently delayed, which can make delivery more of a headache than a convenience.
Plus, delivery is a wildly unsustainable option. Gas consumption and packaging waste (like peanuts and bubble wrap) are just two major consequences of deliveries. After your trip, you may need to toss leftover product before it's used up — if you couldn't fit it in your travel bag before, it might not fit on the way back.
Pack Your Skincare Products Wisely
Knowing how to pack your skincare for traveling can help you avoid messy accidents and get your products through security with ease. Consolidating your skincare routine (and other toiletries) is a great way to meet TSA standards. Leak-proof containers and smart packing can help you minimize the possibility of leaking products altogether. Use our tips to make your trip enjoyable for you and your skin.