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20 travel-sized beauty products experts say you'll need for your next getaway — from $10

From luggage spills to TSA restrictions, packing the right beauty items for travel can be a challenge. Here's where to start.
Woman packing suitcase for summer trip, including face masks and travel-sized antibacterial hand gels
martin-dm/ Getty Images

When it comes to traveling, it’s no easy feat to figure out the best travel-sized beauty products to pack. They have to fit into your designated luggage space and keep your bag under the airline-approved weight. What's more, if you’re packing a carry-on, the products must remain within the size approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and not spill everywhere while you’re in transit.

But as a travel writer with a pretty expansive beauty routine, I’m the first to admit this is quite a challenge. You see, travel can wreak havoc on your skin, causing dryness, redness or even breakouts, which is why it’s important to narrow down the right travel-sized beauty items while maximizing your luggage space.

From TSA-friendly skin care products to portable hair care essentials, there are some travel must-haves that should never be left behind. Keep scrolling or use the category links below to see the essential travel-sized beauty products you shouldn’t go on your next trip without.

How we chose | What to look for | Best skin care products | Best hair products | Best body products | Best makeup | Best hair tools | Best SPF products | FAQs | Meet our experts

How we chose the best travel-sized beauty products

To figure out precisely what travel-sized products are worth bringing along, Shop TODAY spoke to two travel experts: Michelle Gonzalez, a Los Angeles-based travel creator and founder of LAX to Luxury, an aspirational luxury travel social media account and blog; and Jules Nguyen, a Los Angeles-based travel creator and founder of travel guide website Finding Jules. We also used our own personal travel experience and sifted through tons of bestseller lists and verified shopper reviews and ratings.

What to look for in travel-sized beauty essentials

  • Travel restrictions: To comply with TSA regulations, it’s imperative that you keep your liquids to under 3.4 ounces (100 mL). “It’s also worth noting that if you have small aerosols — for example, a face mist or even a flammable travel-size hairspray — these are generally exempt from the ‘no aerosols’ rule you acknowledge when checking in for a flight given their relatively small size and status as a toiletry item,” says Gonzalez.
  • Skin care concerns: In general, travel can be super tough on the skin, so it’s best to keep a few products handy for any dryness or breakouts that you may encounter. Skin care products that are aimed at these specific concerns are great travel companions.
  • Packaging: It’s best to go for lightweight, durable packaging that will take up as minimal space as possible. “Squeeze tubes over glass bottles are a great example of a conscious choice that I would make,” explains Gonzalez. In addition, products that are multifunctional are a great way to maximize space. “It’s also best to opt for twist caps instead of pumps when purchasing travel sizes to avoid accidental spills,” adds Nguyen.

Best travel-sized skin care products

Laneige Besties Set

If you’re looking for a TSA-approved travel-sized skin care set, this pick from Laneige is your best bet.

The five products within the set — the cult-favorite lip sleeping mask, cleansing foam, hyaluronic serum, cream moisturizer and water sleeping mask — cover all the bases when it comes to travel skin care. Each also contains ultra-hydrating ingredients (like shea butter, hydro ionized mineral water and glycerin) to help keep dryness from long travel days at bay.

Simply pack your favorite sunscreen alongside this and you’re good to go.

RELATED REVIEW: Is Laneige's hyped lip sleeping mask worth the splurge? Two editors chime in.

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

“If there is any one product I’d recommend carrying in your bag while traveling, it’s this one," Nguyen says. For starters, the Jet Lag mask is packaged in a perfectly sized carry on-approved tube.

Nguyen adds: “This mask doubles as a hand cream, face cream and moisturizer, and it’s compact, portable and has a twist-off cap."

With over 4,000 five-star reviews, it’s a Sephora fan favorite, too.

RELATED REVIEW: In addition to Summer Fridays, see beauty expert Bobbie Thomas' other favorite sustainable beauty products.

CeraVe Travel Size Toiletries Skin Care Set

While you’re traveling, the last thing you want to do is leave your favorite skin care products at home. With this CeraVe travel-sized set, you can bring along your dermatologist-approved (and TikTok-loved) skin care routine with you.

Each product in this kit is one of the brand’s bestselling picks, and reviewers rave that it’s a skin-saver in dry hotel rooms and airplanes.

Note: Because the travel kit is low in stock on Amazon, we also included two links to some of the single items in the set.

RELATED REVIEW: Read about why one writer loves CeraVe's daytime lotion, which doesn't leave her greasy despite the formula containing SPF 30 ingredients.

Mighty Patch Original from Hero Cosmetics

Hear us out: No matter what, regardless of how far we fly, somehow we always manage to procure a large red zit on our face after a flight.

No more. These pimple patches are game changing, and over 100,000 Amazon reviewers agree. Simply stick it on, catch some zzzs, let it work its magic and watch the size of your zit shrink overnight.

FULL REVIEW: One editor talks about how effective the Mighty Patch is at tackling "those pesky whiteheads."

Best travel-sized hair products

ReRoute Natural Balance Normal Hair Shampoo

ReRoute Natural Balance Normal Hair Conditioner

With each bottle containing precisely 100 mL of product, this newly launched shampoo and conditioner will help keep your strands silky soft during your travels abroad.

“It holds the exact amount of liquid allowed in carry-ons in super flexible pouches that can pack flatter than your typical round shampoo and conditioner bottles, making it a super convenient form factor for travel,” explains Gonzalez. “The form factor alone makes the product a win for me, but my fine hair also appreciates the quality of the formula.”

Amika Mini Soulfood Nourishing Mask

If your hair always needs a little TLC when you travel, you’ll want to incorporate this mini-sized nourishing hair mask into your toiletry bag. Use it daily if your hair feels extra dry or whenever you need a little boost of moisture while you’re on vacation.

With every application, it’ll deeply condition and repair damaged hair, and keep your strands looking (and feeling) ultra-soft. Its formula is also clean and free of parabens, phthalates and sulfates.

RELATED REVIEW: See what conditioners master colorists recommend for color-treated hair, which include Amika's Soulfood mask.

Slip Silk Pillowcase + Small Slipsilk Scrunchies

In our opinion, you should never go anywhere without a silk pillowcase — and honestly, we think it’s one of the best travel beauty essentials you could bring with you.

This set comes with both silk scrunchies and a pillowcase, so you can prevent breakage, reduce frizz and help improve hydration in both your skin and hair with every use. Did we also mention that it can help reduce any wrinkles that may default from tossing and turning in a bed that isn’t your own? Because it can do that too.

RELATED REVIEW: Learn why Slip Silk's pure silk pillowcase is one of hairstylist Bobby Eliot's favorites for hair — and see his other top picks.

Best travel-sized body products

Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Jet Set

Arriving in an adorable travel-friendly sized pouch, these minis are the quintessential grab-n-go for any trip. Created with ultra-hydrating formulas, each product will help keep your dry skin in tip-top shape when you’re away on business or vacation.

Each set contains a body cream, a shower gel and a fragrance mist and can be worn alone or layered together for an extra oomph of the reviewer-loved salted caramel and pistachio scent.

RELATED REVIEW: Travel writer Katie Jackson also happens to love Sol de Janeiro's dry shampoo — read her full review.

Gillette Venus Mini Extra Smooth Razors

FYI: Sometimes airports have strict regulations about bringing a full-sized razor on board, so it’s best to stick to this oh-so-cute travel-sized one. Not only will it help you expertly shave your legs, underarms or anything in between, but it’ll also protect against any potential cuts due to its built-in ribbon of moisture.

And we’d be remiss to mention that this travel-sized beauty product is also refillable.

Valentino Mini Born In Roma Perfume Set

Carry-on packers rejoice! Your go-to scents are available in travel sizes, like this set of these two delicious-smelling TSA-approved Valentino perfumes.

Throw them in your purse for use on board or keep one with you for a quick spritz before an important meeting. Either way, be prepared to field compliments about how good you smell.

Bath and Body Works Watermelon Mojito Travel Size Shower Gel

There’s no reason why you have to bring an entire bottle of body wash for just a few days on vacation. Avoid skimping out on your favorite skin care product by grabbing this adorable travel-sized shower gel. It’s not only space-saving, but it's also available in a whole slew of different scent options, allowing you the luxury of bringing your own "fancy" toiletries for use during your stay.

Dove Advanced Care Travel Sized Antiperspirant Deodorant Stick

You’ll never have to worry about sweat stains with this travel-sized deodorant stick. It's said to keep you dry and free of unwanted smells for up to 48 hours all without irritating your armpits, thanks to its alcohol-free formulation that contains natural oils.

Throw it in your purse to freshen up on long flights or when you need a little pick-me-up during your day spent in the sun. Either way, your pits will be free of stains (and any unwanted smells) during your trip.

Note: If you don't want a 36-pack, we also included links to single sticks from Target and Rite Aid.

Best travel-sized makeup basics

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit

Gonzalez dubs this palette the absolute GOAT for a travel-friendly full face.

“It’s incredibly compact and includes vegan blurring finishing powders, bronzer, blushes and a highlighter, and I often use the bronzer and blushes as eyeshadow too.

Because the shades are so versatile, they'll provide endless makeup looks. Plus, because the palette is in a compact formula, it won’t spill everywhere like other liquid-based makeup alternatives.

Charlotte Tilbury Mini Pillow Talk Lipstick & Liner Set

Beauty lovers everywhere are obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury’s versatile Pillow Talk shade, and this one is the perfect travel companion.

This mini lip set can easily be thrown into any bag, regardless of how big or small it is, and it will give your lips just the right amount of color for every occasion. Each application is also said to help visibly soften, protect, and hydrate lips, thanks to an infusion of orchid extract in its formula.

Urban Decay Mini All-Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

Regardless of what activities you plan to do on your trip, you won't regret bringing this bestselling setting spray along.

With just one spray, it keeps makeup free of transfers and smudges for up to 16 hours. The vegan, cruelty-free formula is also waterproof, allowing you to use it for days on the beach, snorkeling and everything in between. Plus, it comes in a TSA-approved size so you can make sure you have it with you at all times.

RELATED REVIEW: Find out why two pro makeup artists swear by Urban Decay's setting spray, and see their other top picks.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer

Traveling with a heavy glass bottle of foundation will take up unnecessary space in your travel makeup kit; that's why one of the best travel-sized makeup products is an easy-to-use tinted moisturizer, like this one by bareMinerals.

“I’ve traveled with this lightweight tinted gel cream for years as it provides medium coverage in a super wearable, easy-to-blend formula, while being packaged in a lightweight, travel-friendly squeeze tube,” reaves Gonzalez.

RELATED REVIEW: Two makeup artists love bareMinerals' Complexion Rescue for its oil-controlling and hydrating ingredients. Find out what other tinted moisturizers they recommend.

Best travel-sized hair tools

Ghd Unplugged Styler - Cordless Flat Iron

Whether you’re looking to straighten or curl your hair, this cordless flat iron from GHD is a great investment.

With a compact, lightweight size, it can be used while you’re on board your flight, getting ready for the day, or when you need a quick touch-up ahead of a night out. Each use provides up to 20 minutes of styling, and it can be easily charged with the USB port in your computer, so you don’t have to worry about it blowing a fuse.

T3 Afar - Lightweight Travel Size Hair Dryer

Say hello to bouncy, blowouts or sleek strands while you’re on vacation with this T3 dryer. Created with advanced airflow technology, it can blow-dry your hair in a matter of minutes, helping you avoid being late for your meeting or a day spent exploring a new city.

With a compact size and folding handle, it can be stored super easily in your checked bag or carry-on. Plus, it has a dual-voltage that automatically adapts to wherever you are abroad.

Best travel-sized SPF products

Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick

Say goodbye to sunscreen spillage thanks to this Shiseido sunscreen stick.

“The ultra-portable form factor makes it easy to slip into your pocket and reapply in the air,” says Gonzalez.

It can also be easily applied over makeup when you’re on the go, which is just another reason why it’s worth keeping in your travel rotation.

Supergoop! Sunscreen

FYI: There’s actually a ton of UV light exposure from plane windows if you’re flying during the day, so this Supergoop! pick should be with you at all times, says Nguyen.

With a clear, blendable formula, it not only works great for all skin tones but also won’t leave any white cast whatsoever. Plus, it also doubles as a great makeup primer.

Questions about travel-sized beauty products, answered by experts

Which beauty products need to go in a clear bag when going through security?

According to Gonzalez, technically, any liquids should fit in a quart-sized clear bag when going through security.

“However, it's been probably well over 15 years since TSA in the U.S. has asked me to actually have my liquids in a clear bag; their priority seems to be ensuring liquids are under 100 ml or 3.4 ounces,” she says.

Flying out of other countries is a different story.

The UK is a perfect example: If your "liquids" (and what they may define as a liquid on any given day tends to be far stricter and less sensical) don't fit in the clear bag they provide at security, you'll have to pick what excess to toss in the trash or leave the line to check your bag,” she explains.

At the end of the day, its best to research the destination you’re traveling to and what restrictions they enforce to help make the experience as seamless as possible.

How do I pack beauty products for traveling?

There are many ways to pack your beauty products for traveling, depending on your needs.

Nguyen advises buying a clear Dopp kit so you can avoid worrying about clear bags or moving beauty products around while going through security. In general, it’s also best to keep all beauty products in a designated toiletry bag to contain any potential spills.

“Toiletry bags lined in plastic are great for containing spills,” says Gonzalez.

Can I bring a full-sized deodorant on the plane?

Since a stick deodorant is not considered a liquid, it should be perfectly fine to bring it on board.

“A liquid roller deodorant, on the other hand, would be subject to liquid guidelines, but if it’s under the 100-mL or 3.4-ounce [limit], you should be good to go,” says Gonzalez.

What counts as a “liquid” beauty product when traveling?

Anything that isn’t solid is considered a liquid, so creams, gels, lotions and pastes would all fall under the category, explains Nguyen. This can also be dependent on the country you’re flying in and out of.

Do I actually need travel-size beauty products, and are they worth it?

According to Gonzalez, "It's no fun to be weighed down on vacation with big, bulky products in your checked luggage so even if a product isn't marketed as being specifically for travel, I'd still abide by the travel-sized mentality when it comes to picking products to pack."

In addition, this will help you stay in check with the government size requirements if you end up going on a weekend trip and don’t want to sacrifice your favorite skin care products.

“If you have a particular product you can’t live without and it comes in a travel size, then absolutely, it’s worth investing in the travel-size version," Gonzales adds.

Meet our experts

  • Michelle Gonzalez is a travel creator based in Los Angeles. She founded LAX to Luxury, an aspirational luxury travel social media account and blog. Gonzales has traveled "well over a million miles and traveled to all inhabited continents and over 60 countries," she says on her travel blog.
  • Jules Nguyen is a Los Angeles-based travel blogger and creator. She founded the travel guide website Finding Jules. She also co-runs a wedding photography business called A Dream of Color, which specializes in capturing and sharing BIPOC love stories.