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I feel like this summer we're gonna be holidaying like it's 2019! As someone who was always away doing things, seeing friends and so on pre-pandemic, I have to admit I've fallen a bit out of my well-practiced packing habits. So, today I thought it would be fun to sit down and share some of my favourite cleansers to pack when I'm away from home because they're quick and easy to use, come in travel-friendly packaging and a few of them can multi-task if you're packing light...
Let's start with the Trinny London Be Your Best Enzyme Balm Cleanser* | £32 | full review. This comes in packaging where you twist the base and the pump pops up so you know it's not going to go all over the place when it's in your suitcase. This is a cleansing balm with a bit of an exfoliating function so you have that dual use benefit. I don't know about you but when I'm on holiday: I get home at the end of the day (or night) and want to get my makeup off fast. This formula packs a highly-effective cleansing balm into a functional and fuss-free pump situation. It comes out effortlessly, it removes makeup and sunscreen with ease, it has a really nice emulsification effect with water and my skin is so soft after use (plus it smells lovely). You could even use this as a 5-minute flash exfoliating mask whilst you brush your teeth and get ready or unready.
A classic that's still a top travel pick for me is the Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser* | £5.50 | full review. This is kind of like a creamy gel-to-balm formula, it emulsifies with water and doesn't leave behind an excess. It's super simple, formulated with squalane to moisturise the skin and support its natural barrier. It's not going to take off full drag but it's great for gently removing your sunscreen and everyday makeup, plus it doubles as a moisturising morning cleanse. If I was off backpacking somewhere and needed to keep things minimal: I think the supersized version of this would have to be my one cleanser of choice!
Next we have Jordan Samuel Skin's the Aftershow Treatment Cleanser | £20. This is such an interesting and unusual kind of cleanser; essentially it’s a cleansing balm (complete with a lovely citric scent, though there’s a fragrance-free version if you prefer) in a tube but it comes out like a gel. As you massage it onto dry skin it melts into an oil which effortlessly lifts makeup and sunscreen, then you can emulsify it with water and wipe it all away with a damp cloth. This leaves my skin soft but comes off completely without leaving behind an excess, meaning it can double as a gentle morning cleanse.
Next, we definitely needed a cleansing milk in the mix and I personally love the REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk* | £25. I love this type of formula for my dry skin when I’m trying to pack light. You can use this in the morning to create a soft canvas to add the rest of your skincare and makeup over, you can leave it on the skin for 10 minutes as a moisturising mask treatment (whilst you’re in the shower, for example) and this will remove everyday makeup and sunscreen if you use it alongside a damp cloth. This is a light creamy lotion formula that leaves my skin gently cleansed and never stripped with ingredients like sea buckthorn and blackberry seed oils.
I also wanted to shout out the simple, functional but very effective Curel Makeup Cleansing Gel* | £12.50 | full review. Think of it as a pared-back, more affordable take on the Jordan Samuel Skin cleanser. It comes out as a clear gel, melts down to something a little more oil-based which emulsifies with water so you can wash away your face or wipe it off with a damp cloth. There are no frills, no added ingredients, no fragrant components; it just works, even against waterproof makeup and makes the first cleanse so quick and easy when I'm away from home and don't have time for 'sensory experiences'!
Last but not least, I just had to include the Paula's Choice Omega+ Complex Cleansing Balm | £25 | because it's one I instinctively reach for when I'm heading away for the weekend. It comes out kind of like a lightweight creamy-balm but does melt really effortlessly so if you want to use it to remove everyday makeup it will work for that and gives you that emulsification. However it's also a gorgeous morning cleanse because of how it doesn't leave behind an excess but is packed full of ingredients your skin barrier will love that are rich in omega fatty acids. It never fails to leave my skin lovely and soft and not at all stripped!
Have you tried any of these products? What do you look for in a travel-friendly cleanser?