I know it’s nearly the END of Summer (did it ever really begin??), but since I’ve been living out of a suitcase these past few months, I had to share with you my favourite spa travel minis. These under 100ml airport friendly-size products have been tried and tested in places as far flung as the Maldives and Arizona, as well as closer to home in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and Cotswolds. I am so fond of my selection of minis, they stay in their clear travel bag awaiting the next spa mission. I know some luxury hotels offer sample size skincare essentials, but they’re not always right for ones skin-type - and our skin does need some extra spa tlc on our hols, be they wintery or hot, hot, hot. So if you are packing for later summer or autumn trip, here are my favourite spa travel companions which have kept my skin (and airport security) happy in all weathers.
If you buy three travel essentials from this British skincare range, you get a complimentary Katherine Daniels Airport Security Bag. I know you get free plastic bags in the airport, but this saves you the faff of having to transfer items. The bag is strong and attractive enough to just keep as your washbag. I’ve been using it all summer and just keep all my minis in there, waiting for the next trip. The three minis I went for are
Micellar Face and Eye Make Up Remover (£4.75 50ml), a Beauty Award Winner, and a bargain so if you’re going for longer than a week, buy two. You soak your cotton wool pads and let them rest on your eye make-up for a minute, then gently wipe away. No rubbing or scrubbing is good for dehydrated or sun-kissed eyes.
Nourishing Hydrating Balm (50ml £3.75). Rich in seaweed peptides, butters and oils, this is fab for faces dehydrated by airplanes, saltwater or sun.
Gentle Oil and Salt Exfoliator (50ml £3.75) Essential if you want your elbows and knees to look smooth and gorgeous poking out of your sundress. You only need to use once, so do it maybe at the beginning then midway for a skin refresh. Do it in the evening, not moments before exposing your new skin layers to the sun. I love the smell of it in the shower and my skin after always looks so silky.
2. Aromatherapy Associates
AA's lovely range of travel minis include a selection of powerfully effective essential oils to help you unwind. I always carry their Holiday Essentials (£10), which include the divine smelling Renewing Rose Body Cream (40ml), De Stress Muscle Gel (40ml) and two little 3ml phials of oil, one a destressing shower oil, the other a revitalising face oil. If like me you prefer bath and shower oils to gels – especially those that release a heady aroma of essential oils and leave your skin wonderfully silky – definitely get the Perfect Partners (15ml £19), two bottles of Revive Morning and Deep Relax bath and shower oils for evening.
If you buy Thalgo’s Age Defence Suncream SPF 50+ (30ml £23.75) you get their Sun Repair Cream Mask (30ml) for free. Even though it is a high factor, the cream is very light and I still got a golden tan with absolutely no burning, while my skin remained nourished. I also use it on my décolletage and shoulders for extra protection, as a little goes a long way. (I have failed to find a 100ml sun cream for the body among my favourite spa brands, but you can get these anywhere).
4. Temple Spa
This skin care range has some gorgeous mini sizes of their much sought after products (Duvet Firming Body Cream is just £10 for 50ml). My must haves are the Good Hair Day shampoo (50ml £3.75) and In Good Condition conditioner (50ml £3.95). If you’re not a shower oil type, get the Travel Therapies collection (£18 for four items), with shampoo, conditioner, La La Lagoon Bath and Shower Gel (50ml) and Peace Be Still calming face and body balm (50ml).
Ok, it’s not officially a travel mini, more a luxury essential, but the EspaOptimal Skin ProSerum (30ml £49) has been with me everywhere, home and abroad, as has the Optimal Skin Procleanser (100ml £31). The latter is a gentle cleanser, perfect for skin that’s been out in the sun, and the former is simply miraculous.
If, like me, you have trouble sleeping in strange beds (I mean abroad, dear reader, not as a habit!) then those genius blenders of natural essential oils Neom have a selection of portable essences to support all kinds of travel difficulties. Strange bed linen? Spray with Tranquillity Pillow Mist (£8 5ml). Travel exhaustion? Squirt some Energy Boosting On The Go Mist (£8 5ml). Lost your luggage? Roll the Intensive Stress Relief Treatment (£8 5ml) onto your pulse points (wrists, temples and behind the ears) and breathe deeply. You can buy the Scent to… kits for £20 for three, but I’d rather pay £4 extra and mix and match myself. Check out their holiday essentials here.
Oh, and don’t forget your travel mini toothpaste – sadly spa brands do not cater for teeth.