12 Tried-and-Tested Beauty Essentials for Summer Travel

From a sheer mineral SPF that won't make your eyes sting to a hair mask that undoes sun and saltwater damage.

by W Staff
Originally Published: 

a collage of various beauty products and tools against a blurred background of a beach on a sunny da...
Collage by Ashley Peña
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So you’re about to hop on a plane/ferry/train/bus/bicycle for some summer fun. What are you bringing along to look and feel your best? We polled W editors for their summer travel beauty essentials—the products that keep faces, bodies and hair refreshed and hydrated after days spent hiking, swimming, basking in the sun, getting sweaty on the tennis court or on transatlantic flights—bonus points if they come in TSA-approved packaging. From luxe mineral SPF to the magnetic cases that make all of your favorite creams and gels into perfect travel-sized minis, these are the holy grail items we have in our bags this season.

“This is my travel savior. I pop one in my bag for the plane, and I spray it on my face whenever I need a refresh along the journey. It’s also the perfect companion for summer getaways because it offers instant, all-natural relief after a day in the sun. My favorite party trick is keeping a Cool Aloe Mist in the fridge and spraying everyone’s face when we return from the beach.” — Che Baez, Associate Visuals Editor

“We tend to focus on skin for the summer months, but hair is just as important! As much as I love sun, sea salt, and sand, they can have damaging effects on hair. This mask helps moisturize and soften dried out locks.” — Kevin Tekinel, Creative Director at Large

“This kit has totally changed the travel game for me. Every product is TSA-approved and much needed while on the go. Every time I travel, someone compliments my skin.” —Jenna Wojciechowski, Senior Fashion Market Editor and Menswear Director

“When I find a product I like, I want to take it on vacation with me, even if it’s over the 3.4 oz limit. I fill these little magnetic capsules up with cleanser, hair products—whatever I’m going to need for my trip. That way, I don’t have to spend more money on travel-sized versions. Plus, I use them even when I’m at home, as a pill case or a place to put my jewelry when I take it off for a workout class or a swim.” — Carolyn Twersky, Staff Writer

“I love epi.logic because not only is it a Black woman-led label with stunning packaging, but the products really work, too. This summer I’ve been gravitating towards the Master Plan serum and Total Package peptide cream after long flights. They are both TSA-approved (you will never catch me checking a bag!) and serve to rehydrate and replenish my tired (and often very stressed out) post-flight skin.” — Faith Brown, Social Media Editor

“The best way to revive yourself from the puffy, bloated, lethargy brought on by a transatlantic flight is a full body dry brush session and a few minutes of facial gua sha before getting into a bracingly cold shower. Trust me, you will look and feel like a completely different person.” — Andrea Whittle, Features Director

“This mineral sunscreen has been my go-to on all my summer trips so far. It has a lightweight, non-greasy feel and a very minimal white cast, plus it smells lovely. Best of all: it doesn’t make my eyes sting when I sweat, so it’s great for days spent hiking or playing tennis in the sun.” —AW

“This concealer has forever earned a space in my purse of the day, clutch for the evening and carry-all tote on long trips. It offers smooth coverage, practically blends itself and is my go to product for any kind of touch up.” — Julia McClatchy, Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief

“There’s nothing like a bit of extra glow in the summer. The lipstick-like applicator makes this serum great for travel. I use it primarily under my eyes or on my cheeks for some added sheen—it almost acts like a really lightweight highlighter and is great over makeup or for touch ups. I also love that this is packed with nourishing ingredients like squalane and lemon balm that hydrate and calm the skin.” — Matthew Velasco, News Writer

“Knowing I’ll be showing more skin in summer makes me hyper aware of its texture and tone, so before I lather myself in sunscreen, I prep and smooth using this set. I generally don't love bar soap in the shower, but this is the best exfoliating bar I’ve ever tried. It buffs the keratosis pilaris on the back of my arms completely and helps avoid ingrown hairs after shaving. I follow up with the very soothing Carea cream, and am ready to step out—or apply a layer of self tanner that ends up streak free and even. — Oona Wally, Associate Visuals director.

“Great hair is a priority when traveling. I cannot live without my Bioprogramming Hairbeauron flat iron for a timeless sleek hair look. It’s also quite convenient for international travel because you don’t need a converter and can use an adapter and get even temperature. This tool is unique because thanks to the thorough scientific technology, it delivers smooth hair without damaging your locks.” — Maryam Lieberman, Contributing Beauty Editor

“As soon as I get to my hotel, I always cleanse with the original Tatcha Rice Polish Powder cleanser to remove impurities and debris accumulated from the plane, followed by the Albion Cleansing Milk, which helps with inflammation and irritation. Then, I apply the 111Skin Black Diamond Lifting and Firming Face Mask. Yes, it firms and tightens like a dream, but it’s filled with so many wonderful actives that I don’t even need a moisturizer on top.” — ML

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