It FINALLY seems to be summer in Ireland (sorry, I’ve possibly jinxed us all now), but you’ve probably already booked a few days somewhere that has a bit more reliable weather, because lets face it, the Irish summer is as unpredictable as they come.
I always like to travel hand luggage as it’s less hassle, I’m far less likely to be stranded somewhere with just the clothes on my back, and I feel a true sense of satisfaction denying Ryanair the extra few euro for the checked bag (anyone else?). The liquid restrictions can make it a bit tricky at the best of times, not to mind when you want to protect your skin somewhere sunny. So what are the essentials in summertime, and how do you fit them in that one litre bag?
Step one – identify what you can pick up in duty free. I buy body sunscreen, body moisturiser, aftersun and mosquito repellant here, as I usually go through the whole lot on holidays and won’t be bringing it back with me. Also, it’s easy to find ones that won’t drive my skin crazy (which is not the case when it comes to face wash, toner or any facial skincare).
- Sunscreen. I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again, sunscreen is the best anti-aging product out there, it is your best friend when it comes to protecting your skin, preventing fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and even helps protect the collagen that keeps your pores small. I like to use up sample sachets and travel size (high factor) samples for my face and neck.
- Salicylic acid toner. This is one for the oily skinned – sweating, swimming pools and loads of sunscreen = lots of congestion and possibly spots (combine that with ice cream by the truckload and probably more alcohol than normal, and you really have a recipe for disaster). My absolute go-to for this is Pore Therapy, from Obagi. It contains 2% salicylic acid and is a prescription strength formulation that is able to penetrate the skin actually do the job it claims to do. It forms part of their acne range, but it’s one I always have in my bathroom and recommend it to pretty much anyone that suffers from congestions and blackheads. Even on holidays, I might not use it every day, but the ability of salicylic acid to penetrate the pore and dissolve oil really is unparalleled, and I have noticed a big difference in pore congestion since I added it to my skincare routine.
- A hat. Whether it’s big fancy one, or it crumples up into your carry on, you need one if you are headed somewhere sunny. You can never rely on just sunscreen alone to protect your precious face – if it’s a beach holiday, a sightseeing one or a city break, just pack one.
- Supplements. I love holidays, but I hate the break in routine (so sad, I know, but I do!). I am a creature of habit and really hate not having my morning coffee, regular exercise etc, but it can be so hard to fit all of these in on holiday. Something that has definitely helped are travel sachets of the ones I rely on the most – MCT oil for my (bulletproof) coffee, and collagen sachets (which contain vitamin C, omegas, magnesium and some other skin-friendly ingredients). Both are easy to take, with no messy mixing powders etc and fit nicely into that clear liquids bag.
- Cleansing balm. My usual go-to when it comes to removing makeup, sweat or sunscreen is Dermalogica’s Precleanse. However, this is a nightmare for travelling. It tends to leak easily enough, and anywhere I can substitute a balm for a liquid, I do. This has lead me to the travel size of the iconic Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. There are other ones on the market, but I find this isn’t too thick (unlike Dermalogica’s Precleanse Balm, which I really dislike) and works to really remove makeup, thick sunscreen – which really is vital when you’re somewhere warm if you want to keep congestion and breakouts to a minimum.
- Bronzer. An absolute must if you are protecting your skin, but don’t want to look ridiculously pale. I always prefer a liquid form to a powder, to avoid looking like I’ve loaded make up onto my face with a shovel (it takes a lot of bronzer when you are vigilant with your SPF 50!). Similar to the cleansing balm above, a cream or solid bronzer is the best option if you want to cheat the liquid restrictions. My favourite to date is Soleil Tan de Chanel, which is called a bronzing make up base. It can be used on it’s own, under or over foundation and doesn’t leave you all cakey the way some powders can. I would recommend this Real Techniques brush for best application.
I have a reusable clear plastic bag that seems to fit all of the above and then some, so if you have a few holidays coming up, or you travel a lot with work, please consider switching to a more sustainable version.
The other items that always come with me are earplugs, a silk eye mask and my Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream for my lips and cuticles. Aside from that, I just need a comfy beach bed, an umbrella and some Rosé – but I would so love to know if there’s anything you can’t live without on holidays!