My 7 Best Travel Beauty Tips to That Hold Up No Matter What

I want to take a quick break from talking about babies and kids to talk about another passion of mine…beauty!

On my recent trip to Florida and our cruise out to the Bahamas (a country I’m praying for after that disastrous hurricane), there were times I’d catch myself in a mirror and be like, “Augh!”

Don’t tell me it’s never happened to you. Travel takes a toll on us. From car rides and bus rides to train rides and flights…even to cruising, you may start out looking wholly fabulous, and by the time you arrive, you like, well, like you’ve been traveling all day.


I had my secret stash of go-to travel beauty items that never fail me when I’m out and about. Whenever I go anywhere, I pack these things to take with me so I can quickly refresh when I’m feeling (and looking) less than fresh.

If you’re wondering how you can look good while traveling, or keep your face fresh, you’re in the right place. I’ll also be telling you my secret for keeping skin hydrated when traveling, so it always looks bouncy and lively, even when you’re in desperate need for a coffee.

I have to confess that when we lived in China, one of my husband’s friend’s wives was a flight attendant for Korean Air. We went shopping on quite a few occasions, and this is where I swiped some of her secrets for looking fabulous. She was ten years older than me, and you easily would have thought she was my age or younger. Thanks, Sumin!

Use Micellar Water

When I go anywhere – near or far – the one thing I will literally flip out about not having is micellar water. It’s scientific and amazing. It has these oil molecules suspended in soft water, so it works to remove makeup, cleanse, and tone and you don’t need to rinse. Get a travel size or use a travel-approved container for carry-on and this will be your new BFF on international flights.

It was also one of my best helpers while on the cruise. I felt grungy, sweaty, and sticky from the humidity and heat and when I’d pop back in our cabin to freshen up, I’d just swipe some micellar water on my face via cotton pads, and I was good to go.

Take your pick of micellar water. Garnier has them in wipes to make it even easier (great for gym bags too when you’re not jetting off somewhere).

Mask Things Up

Confession: I sometimes forget to do my weekly mask because I’m so busy. But when I travel, I never forget. I love to use a hydrating face mask when I’m packing us up for trips. It makes me even more excited for the trip too.

My biggest tip to you for masks, and pretty much everything is to find products with hyaluronic acid. It holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water and is impressive. Now you know my skin secret! I like La Roche Posay for this, which I got in a sampler gift basket from my mom last year and this stuff works wonders.

Layer the Hydration

When it’s time to hit the road, whether you’re wearing makeup or not, you need to layer your hydration. This is especially true if you’re flying which dries out your skin. Sumin was the one who taught me this, and she also told me that using cream-based makeup is the best when you’re flying so it won’t get all flaky and dried out.

She told me to use a serum, then a top-notch moisturizer, and then SPF (I’ll detail this one separately in a minute), followed by any cream makeup you want to wear. Cream makeup is genius because you can touch it up at your seat (or in the car, train, or bus) without a brush.

Don’t Ever Forget the SPF Step

In Asia, women are meticulous about keeping skin protected from the sun. They esteem a fair complexion as the most prized and healthy of all. While I disagree with that, I do agree that protecting your skin no matter the shade is essential. Women there don’t want the skin to deepen in color, but I love a good tan.

My days of sunning with baby oil are long over, and these days, I use a daily SPF lotion even when I’m not going to be spending my day outdoors. We incur sun damage every day driving in our cars, walking from the car to the store, and every other place we go. And that’s in all seasons.

Sunglass when traveling

While I can be guilty of forgetting to put it on my hands, I never forget SPF protection on my face. Sumin told me that between all those LED lights on the plane and the sun from the window, you could get skin damage.

Being that we went to the Bahamas, I had sunscreen on all the time. I mentioned in my post that I felt like I was being cooked even when I kept reapplying it religiously. In any event, please save your skin by starting your sun protection before you get in your mode of transport for your travels.

Hand Cream Saves

Travel really dries you out. I remember being on the ship and just wanting water. Lots of water. Maybe because it was so hot or more likely because all those modes of travel (plane to Florida, a car ride to the port, and the ship) really deplete your body, but if you accidentally pack everything in your checked luggage, your hand cream that you always have on you is a real savior.

Sumin said she would use hers on long-haul flights when her hair would get full of static or just need some taming. It can also be applied on your face if your skin is feeling extra dry until you can reunite with your usual skin cream.

Behold the Power of Face Mist

Another travel beauty tip I snagged from Sumin was using face mist. It’s something I’ve used ever since meeting her, even when I’m not traveling. I love to wash my face then brush my teeth. Your skin can dry out in that time if you don’t apply hydration, so I always mist it to tide it over until I get into my hydration layers routine.

Skin gets especially dehydrated on flights, so face mist is amazing for this. Plus, it’s refreshing. You can spray it over makeup to give yourself a fresh look. So if you have no time to touch up, it’s going to make everything look dewy and lovely again.

Kiss of Color

My last tip is for your lips. Whether traveling or at home, I’m seriously not a lipstick girl. I love it, but I always forget to apply it. But one thing I never forget is a hydrating lip balm. I have them strategically around my house and in my bag because I hate when my lips feel dry and chapped.

When I’m out and about though, I choose one with a little tint, so I look more pulled together. It revives the face when you’re traveling. I’m linking one I love from when Sumin and I would go shopping at this one Korean beauty import store made by Skin Food.

Now go forth and travel without worry because you know you’re going to look runway fresh even on the tarmac!

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