Health & beauty: What I’ve learnt about hair and skincare while traveling

This one is for my travel girls!

I shove my hair into a messy bun, shove some bobby pins in, splash my face with cold water and off I go…

As I walked the streets of Busan, South Korea I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful glowing skin, healthy sleek looking hair and perfectly done make-up of almost every Korean woman I saw. I began to feel envious. They look so immaculate and here I am walking around with a poodle on my head and huge bags under my eyes not giving a rats behind (probably looking like one too).

hair day.jpg
Literally me.

Back home I absolutely loved having “me time” to pamper myself with home done facials, hair masks and taking the time to do my make-up on the weekend. Today I realized, since traveling, I had become really lazy with my regular skincare and beauty regime. While you travel this kind of takes a back seat as you become so busy with exploring new cities, researching your next destination and in transit to the next spot.

Don’t get me wrong. Looks are SO not everything. That’s not what I’m trying to say at all. It’s about the way you feel and your self confidence. By not really taking care of my skin and hair I had started to feel a lack in my self-confidence ad this started to impact my daily mood. Today I took some “me time” to pamper myself. I feel 110% better. So…I’ve decided to write about some skincare tips and everything health and beauty related that I’ve learned along the way whilst traveling! Also I will tell you what you should pack in your beauty bag for your next trip!

Face and skin care

Let’s start with daily skincare! I have found that during this trip my skin was oily/combination skin (oily t-zone, normal to dryish cheeks and chin) has now turned into a dried up desert. The change in climates can be the blame here. I’ve found that no matter how much moisturizer I use nothing worked! The problem was my face wash. I was using an exfoliating facial foam and not very often I admit. This was drying out my skin and making it extremely flaky! I changed to a softer more sensitive face wash that is non-comodogenic (this means it won’t clog your pores! Always check on the back of a wash before you buy it, this is however very hard in other countries for language reasons so try at home first!). I moisturize after I wash my face every time and make sure I use sunscreen everyday to stop my skin from drying out further. A light exfoliation with your travel towel after washing  every now again won’t hurt either!


  • face wash (specialized to my skin type, I’ve come to learn how important this is!)
  • facial moisturizer
  • sunscreen
  • hair ties and head band (to keep your hair off you while you wash)



Travel make-up essentials

There is no way I could have ever taken all of my make-up from back home with me in my carry-on backpack! Now that I am traveling though I am glad that I’m free of all those products. Minimalism feels very freeing. On a day to day basis I don’t really wear make-up at all. Just a bit of sunscreen to protect my skin and if I know I might be in photos that we take that day I fill my eyebrows in with my eyebrow powder.

When I am going out for a nice dinner with Sam or going out for some drinks with hostel mates I will put a bit more effort in! So I’ll use everything that’s in my make-up zip part of my toiletries bag. HOT TIP make the most of “all in one” products as this saves room but make sure they’re of a good quality too.


  • All in one concealer, foundation, powder by Australis
  • Thin Lizzy 6 in 1 (Use as blusher, contour, powder, eye-shadow, lip colour and body bronzer. I mostly use it as an eyeshadow, countour and blusher)
  • Eyebrow powder
  • x3 Make-up brushes powder brush, eyeshadow brush and eyebrow brush
  • Mascara (for that extra special occasion!)

Extra beauty needs

I carry all of my shampoo, conditioner and body wash in 100ml refillable bottles (carry on only allows 100ml but I find that gets me by). I’ve been refilling these at whenever I need at the occasional hostel/guesthouse! Backpacker life. Please no judgement. I’ve found that around Asia in countries such as Japan and South Korea they always have shower products for you! It’s harder to come by in places like Thailand and Laos though.

I’ve found that shavers in hostels, that sometimes come with the above mentioned shampoo and conditioners; are often blunter than spoon. But these razors are sometimes dangerous. I gave myself awful razor burn with one in Japan! I’ve found that the best razors are the ones you buy yourself. I myself don’t buy the stereotypical pink ladies razors but I instead go for the men’s facial razors. I find them to be more sensitive and pliable than ones made for women!

Don’t forget tweezers!! My tweezers are my best friend!


  • Body moisturizer (different to facial moisturizer as this is heavier)
  • Razors (men’s for me!)
  • Hair comb
  • Small hair clip
  • Bobby pins
  • Cotton buds
  • Tissues
  • My all time favourite lip balm Chapstick brand Strawberry flavour
  • Eye-mask from MiniSo (it has a cold pack inside so you can soothe puffy eyes whilst taking a nap. Best!)

Things I wish I had in my bag

There are some things I haven’t yet bought or can’t take with me that I think you possibly could do with. I will mention them here.

  • Dry shampoo

You can’t take aerosol dry shampoo with you via carry-on which is my mode of travel at the moment. I’m yet to find one that isn’t aerosol! You can definitely use this though as I’ve found. If you don’t want to use a communal shower like in some hostels your hair gets oily very quickly!

  • Hairspray

As above!

  • A make-up palette

This is something I would love to have. I’m dying to have more eye-shadow options!

  • Some perfume

I do use deodorant trust me! But I would love to freshen up with some beautiful smelling perfume. Something I wore on a daily basis back home. I miss it so!

Hair care

I bottled my most trusted shampoo and conditioner before I left home. That has long run out by now so, lucky me, found the best shampoo and conditioner while staying at a capsule hotel in Japan. It leaves my hair so soft but have no idea what brand it is. I do take my beloved GHD hair straightener everywhere with me. Yes I’ve taken it traveling. I smply can’t live without it. My hair is so frizzy and curly naturally it was be up in a messy un 24/7 and I would just get to sick of it!

My beloved. It’s slowly dying though all the travel is killing her.

In this section I wish I could include what products I have. All I have currently is shampoo and conditioner. My hair is drying out and could do with a trim that’s for sure.

If you have any wonderful hair care products you take traveling do let me know!

That’s it for my beauty tip blog post. I hope you’ve found it helpful and informative. Please comment or email me with anything I may have missed or if you have any tips for me in return! I’m all ears.

Kirsten xx


One thought on “Health & beauty: What I’ve learnt about hair and skincare while traveling

  1. Haha I loved this and feel like next time we are together you need to give me some tips as I have no idea what skin type I am. You have way more make up then me, I am jealous now. Let’s have a night out in Jeju and make ourselves look lady like again (I mean this with no insult, you always look great to me) Gemma x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s