On Thursday, we’re headed to Zimbabwe for a family getaway with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and her family. I’m beyond excited for a much-needed break before the frantic festive season kicks off, but just the thought of packing all mine and Bean’s necessities is stressing me out big time!
In an effort to calm my anxiety, I’ve started making lists and lists of what we need to take along, and I started doing our laundry and packing over the weekend, so that I don’t hit full-on panic mode just before we leave. One of the areas I’m most stressed out about is my toiletry bag. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I want to make sure that I’m fully prepared for everything – while still packing light. We’re going to be away for two weeks, so I want to make sure that I’ve got all the necessary skincare products for any concern that may crop up (sunburn? Check. Dry, thirsty skin? Check!).
FOR MY BODY
- Body wash – I much prefer using a body wash or shower gel to regular soap, as I find that it helps keep my skin beautifully soft and hydrated, as well as doing a good job of cleansing. I prefer using natural body washes these days and I’m currently using (and loving!) Healing Earth’s super luxe Pinotage Bath & Shower Gel, which is made using real Pinotage grapes (so you can only imagine the antioxidant powers this bath gel possesses!) I like that it’s in a (recyclable) plastic pump bottle, which makes it great for travelling.
- Light body moisturiser – since we’re headed to Zim and I’m expecting high temperatures, I’ve opted for a lightweight, easily-absorbed moisturiser to ensure that my skin stays well hydrated, especially after long, sun-drenched days! I’m taking Healing Earth Anti-Oxidant Pinotage Body Velvet with me – it’s deeply nourishing, simply melts into your skin without leaving an oily residue, and it smells absolutely divine.
- Sunscreen – Since The Husband is going fishing and I expect we’ll all be spending plenty of time outdoors, I’ve packed a selection of sunscreens. I’m taking my trusty old Eucerin Sun Lotion Extra Light SPF50, which provides high coverage in an easy-to-apply, lightweight formula that doesn’t leave a great (or white) residue. I’m a big fan of Babor’s skincare products, so I’m excited to try Babor Anti-Aging Sun Care SPF15. This one has a low SPF compared to others, so requires frequent reapplication. I like that it offers both sun protection and skincare benefits in one, and it feels so luxurious when applying. I’ve tried several of Lipidol’s skincare products, but I’ve yet to try the Lipidol Sunscreen Oil so I’m looking forward to giving it a go. It provides broad spectrum sun protection (SPF20) and is said to replace your skin’s natural oily layer after being stripped away by the sun, wind and water.
FOR MY TEETH
- Toothbrush and toothpaste – one of my biggest annoyances when it comes to travelling is finding a hygienic way to transport my toothbrush. Thankfully, my nifty little SlimSonic toothbrush has a vented cap to ensure that my toothbrush head is kept clean and germ-free. I like that this stylish little device is lightweight and compact, and it also vibrates at 22 000 strokes per minute! It’s perfect for travelling, but I often take mine along in my handbag for those times when you want to clean your teeth after lunch or before a big meeting.
FOR MY FACE
I’m taking along so many skincare products – it’s ridiculous! I’ve tried to whittle it down and keep it minimal, but I’m always worried that I’m going to have a major breakout or something and that I won’t have the necessary products with me, so I’d rather err on the side of caution!
- Face wipes – I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without Johnson’s Daily Essentials Facial Cleansing Wipes. I always have a packet in my handbag and find that they’re great for removing stubborn eye makeup or for a quick refresh on a hot day. They’re also handy for mopping up spills or wiping grubby toddler hands!
- Micellar water – since we’re going to be spending plenty of time outdoors, I plan on double cleansing to ensure that all traces of makeup, dirt and grime are thoroughly removed. I usually use an oil or balm cleanser as my first step when double cleansing, but I’ve decided to pack my convenient, travel-sized Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water this time. Micellar water is made up of tiny particles (called ‘micelles’) that act like little magnets, drawing dirt and impurities to them for a thorough cleanse. You don’t need rinse after using a micellar water – simply saturate a cotton pad, wipe across your face, and voila! This makes micellar water ideal for camping trips and the like, or even for those nights when you simply can’t face the thought of cleansing your face!
- Cleanser – I usually give my skin a full-on pamper (think facial scrub, mask, oils and more) at least once a week, but since packing space is limited, I’ve opted for a 3-in-1 product to help me tackle three different tasks with just one product. Nivea Perfect & Radiant Mattifying Cleanser is designed with normal to oily skins in mind, and is great for use during summer as it offers a deep cleanse and helps to get rid of every last trace of dirt and grime. It’s mattifying formula helps prevent midday shine, and it can be used as a cleanser, scrub and a mask (simply leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing).
- Toner – I’ve opted for TheraVine’s luxurious HydraVine Toner, as it also doubles up as a refreshing facial mist on hot days. It’s a big bottle, but leaves my skin feeling so soft, while providing an added dose of moisture at the same time.
- Sunscreen – Nimue Sun-C Sunscreen & Antioxidants SPF40 offers broad spectrum protection while helping to repair existing damage at the same time. I love the readily-absorbed formulation – it melts into your skin without leaving your skin feeling greasy or oily. There’s also no tell-tale white residue when using this little beauty, and it’s an excellent makeup base.
- SOS – It happens to the best of us: there are those times when you get so caught up in what you’re doing, that you forget to reapply your sunscreen and before you know it, you’ve managed to burn your skin to a crisp. It’s during these times that I pull out Bioderma Cicabio SPF50 Soothing Repairing Care. This divine lotions soothes sunburnt skin in a flash and helps to repair damaged skin that’s been exposed to far too much sun, while providing very high UV protection at the same time. I love using this product on my face, as it acts as the perfect primer before applying my usual foundation, and it’s also safe to use on babies and children. It’s a summer essential, that’s for sure!
- Night Cream – Hands up if you don’t get enough sleep? Yep, thought so! I don’t think there’s a woman out there who’s actually getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep on a daily basis, but fortunately Vichy have recognised this problem and come up with a skincare solution for frazzled, stressed out women like us! Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep is a luxurious balm-in-gel texture that’s an absolute treat to use – it softens and soothes stressed skin, and the calming scent helps to quiet your mind after a busy day. I’ve been using this divine ‘sleep in a jar’ for about a week now, and I’ve noticed that my skin is already looking more refreshed. I can’t wait to see the results after two more weeks of use, plus a holiday on top of it all!
- Overnight mask – I refuse to leave home without Sisley’s Black Rose Cream Mask; it’s an absolute skin saviour for when my skin is feeling dry and dehydrated. I religiously apply this all over my face after cleansing and applying my serum at least once a week, then sleep with it on for gorgeously plumped up and hydrated skin the next morning.
- Eyecream – I’ve been using Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Eye Gel for a good couple of months now, and I absolutely love it. It’s easily absorbed, but doesn’t sting my eyes or leave them looking puffy the following morning. The gel texture is also great – especially in summer. I like to keep mine in the fridge for a refreshing, soothing sensation upon application. I’m also taking new Skinceuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF50 along for use during the day to protect my delicate eye area. Since your first lines and wrinkles usually appear around the eye area, it makes complete sense that you’d need to protect this delicate area from exposure to the sun – I don’t know why more brands haven’t thought to include an SPF in their eye care products!
FOR MY HAIR
- Shampoo and conditioner – I’m trying new Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner, which contain new Oxyfusion Technology to deliver moisturising ingredients that won’t weigh your hair down. I absolutely love the gel-like texture of the shampoo, and the scent of both products is to die for! They leave my hair feeling clean and soft, and once dry, my hair is left with beautiful bounce (though I’ll admit that I didn’t really see much of an improvement in terms of volume, but the sleek look and lightweight feel is more than enough for me!) My hair duo of the moment, that’s for sure!
- Protection – Philip Kingsley Swimcap is a summer staple. I’ve been using this product for years and years, and wouldn’t dream of going on holiday without it. It protects your hair from the sun, chlorine, salt water and the wind, and guards against discolouration and colour fade.
- Styling – My handy little Veaudry iStyler (read my full review, here) was the first thing I put in my bag when I first started packing. At only 23cm long, it’s super compact, but it’s so much more effective than other travel-friendly flatirons I’ve tried in the past.
- Thermal protection – ghd Heat Protect Spray is my go-to thermal protection product. It creates an invisible barrier against hot styling tools, and is great for layering with other products.
- Treatment – And after all that sun and heat styling, I’m pretty sure that my hair is going to be in need of some intense hydration. I’m taking along Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, which is my holy-grail haircare product. I apply this to wet hair (before shampooing) about once a week, then leave it on for a good couple of hours while I do a bit of blogging or catch up on my favourite series. (You don’t have to leave it in for quite that long, but I like to do that as I heat style my hair daily and colour it every six weeks, so I know my hair needs all the TLC it can get!) I then wash and style as usual, with one major difference: my hair is instantly softer and more manageable. If you’re a long-time reader, you’ll know that my hair has undergone quite the change over the years, yet it’s still in great condition. I attribute this to two things: a great stylist (thanks to Shelene at Tanaz) and Philip Kingsley Elasticizer. Worth every cent, trust me!