How I Culled My Travel Beauty Products To Fit In A Backpack

Do you want to know how I know I’m getting too old to keep backpacking?

Over the Christmas break, while I was on a slow boat in Thailand, I headed to the bathroom to use the squat toilet. I’ve used many squat toilets in my life as a backpacker, so I didn’t really think anything of it. That is, until I squatted down and heard my right knee and left ankle both let out a cracking sound. I limped in pain, with my 10kg backpack on my back, for the rest of the day.

Another reason I know I’m getting older? My newfound obsession with daily sunscreen use and my complicated cosmeceutical skincare routine, which you can read more about here.

This was my first trip where my love of backpacking and my love of skincare came into conflict. I was never going to fit all my serums into my tiny backpack, so it was time to make some serious skincare sacrifices.

Travel Beauty Tip #1: SPF Is Your BFF

Sun damage is the leading cause of premature ageing, so you should be packing SPF 50+ no matter how small your backpack is. I also purchased a wide-brimmed hat as soon as I arrived and it did not leave my head for the entire trip. I would slather myself in sunscreen before leaving my bungalow and just take La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light SPF50+ Spray in my beach bag:

  • It’s a lightweight, non-greasy and fast-absorbing formula suitable for face and body 

  • Make sure you apply liberally to your entire face and body (don't forget your ears!) 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours 

  • It’s designed for sensitive skins, so if you have a love-hate relationships with sunscreen, I would highly suggest giving the Anthelios range a try

  • Did I mention the spray applicator? For all the single ladies out there, you can actually reach your back without awkwardly asking strangers on the beach

la roche posay anthelios beach imagela roche posay anthelios beach image

Travel Beauty Tip #2: Hoard Your Minis

If you’re a loyal Adore Beauty customer, you’ll no doubt have received one of our goodie bags or deluxe samples. I hoard these minis so that I always have travel-sized toiletries on hand, including shampoo, conditioner, leave in treatment, cleanser, mascara, primer, eye cream and even fragrance… You name it, I have a mini for it.

Travel Beauty Tip #3: Fake It, Don’t Bake It 

If you love a summer glow, but don’t like premature ageing and pigmentation, then I highly suggest you slather yourself in SPF and invest in a great fake tan for your next holiday. I’ve done my fair share of research on fake tan, so have a few faves I can recommend to help my fellow faux tan junkies 

Travel Beauty Tip #4: Ditch The Foundation

I pretty much completely ditched makeup on this trip. Which was easy, because my new year's resolution in 2019 was to put my skin first and I really saw the results as I was ringing in 2020.

Instead of a foundation, I used La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra BB Cream SPF 50+ which is a lightly tinted, hydrating SPF-slash-BB cream that evens out skin and has a major glow factor.

If you’re going from day-to-night, I suggest Benefit’s minis to save space in your luggage. 

la roche posay bb cream 50+la roche posay bb cream 50+

Travel Beauty Tip #5: Become A Skincare Minimalist

When I first started packing for my trip, this is what my skincare toiletries bag initially looked like:

travel skincaretravel skincare

This wasn’t going to work. I quickly remembered a podcast episode we recorded with Biologi founder, Ross. Ross explained on this episode that you don’t need to use any other products with your Biologi serums, aside from SPF. Not. Even. Moisturiser. Which feels strange and scary when you’re a skincare maximalist like me.

For the duration of my trip, I pretty much only used the Biologi Bqk Radiance Duo, which are lightweight and treat most of my skin concerns, including pigmentation, fine lines and dullness. And as the product title suggests, my skin really did look radiant. 

A cute guy even came up to me on the beach to ask if I’d had a massage because I was “glowing”, which was either a really strange pick-up line or evidence that my Biologi serums were working. We’ll be dissecting this comment in more detail on an upcoming episode of the podcast, so make sure you’re subscribed to keep up-to-date with my travel stories.