Downsizing skin care and other beauty products for travel

When I wrote about downsizing make-up  it turned out to be a longer text than I expected, so I decided to write a seperate text about all my creams, lotions etc. and how I get them ready for traveling.

First of all, I found a great supplier on ebay and ordered various empty containers from them. The lip balm containers are featured in my text about make-up.
You might have noticed that I prefer tubes to bottles - they are much more efficient for small quantities, especially when you want to squeeze out the leftovers. And tubes just take up less space!

I have been able to cut in half the space that I need in my toiletry bag and can now put more things into it which before required an extra bag.
Also, if you want to travel carry-on only you simply can't bring original sized toiletries due to the security regulations.

This is how much space I saved in the end - and probably more: The bag on the right now stays at home!

The main question here is: How much product do you REALLY need for you trip?
The answer is: Less than you think. If you aren't sure, just fill the travel containers and use them at home for the amount of time that you will be on the road. 
I found that after a two weeks vacation, none of my tubes were empty, some even still half full!

Here's an example: My daytime moisturizer. After using it for two weeks during my vacation and two more weeks at home afterwards the travel tube is still 1/3 full! I am seriously considering using one of the smaller tubes next time.
Deodorant: I have this rather expensive but very efficient deodorant that is both free of aluminum and alcohol. It lasts a long time and I only need a small quantity, even on longer trips. So I followed one of the many great tips on this blog - I didn't even have to melt it, I just cut off a piece and pressed it into the smaller container. This amount will most probably last for 10 weeks of traveling...

Sunscreen is the one thing I'd rather bring too much than too little. You should never feel like you can't apply enough sunscreen because there isn't much left. And usually traveling means that you will be outside a lot, so that's important.
But unless you are going to the beach where you have to cover your entire body with it (and re-apply after some time!) you will probably not need a family sized bottle. 
I have this great spray-on sunscreen that I can fill easily into a smaller bottle.
Since I like to have everything handy (as opposed to having to rummage through my bag) I made this foldable tube holder that I can pop up when it's needed. Here's a picture from an actual hotel bathroom in Istanbul:

I also make sure that my toiletries bag is always ready to go. I don't take out anything, even if it means that I have to buy an extra tooth brush, hair accessories and other things. This way I can be sure that I don't forget to pack anything. Most importantly I bought a hair brush that fits exactly in my bag.

Some other things that I pack, depending on where I go: 

Nail polish remover pads instead of remover in a bottle. I once had a leaking bottle and the polish remover ruined half of my beauty case! (Yeah, back in the days when we still all had our beauty cases...)
If I go to a destination where I can get a cheap manicure, I don't even bother bringing my own nail stuff. Manicures are part of my relaxing/pampering program on vacations and a great way to chill out between all the walking around.
Extra tip if you do bring nailpolish: keep it in a little plastic bag. Real life example of a bottle that broke and leaked:
I don't even want to think about the mess this would have caused in my luggage had it not been in that bag!

Shampoo / Shower gel: Can I get a cheap hair wash where I go? Or will I be staying at a hotel which offers shampoo and shower gel? Then I don't bring shampoo.
It really depends on where you will be staying. I once spent two weeks in a private home in India which was nice - but the shower didn't work properly and there was only cold water. So we washed ourselves with water out of a plastic bucket and I went to a salon to get my hair washed.
In Japan on the other hand every hotel will offer you industrial-sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner
and shower gel (plus toothbrushes, razors and other toiletries).


If I go on a short trip with my boyfriend, I simply use his shampoo and shower gel, he always brings some. (Oops, I just told you my secret... :-)

I am not alone in this quest - my boyfriend is downright obsessed with minimizing his travel toiletries! We even had our own little "tubes and bottles swap meet"!
He bought me this cute perfume bottle that matches with my red travel equipment. Considering how bulky and heavy perfume bottles are, this is a very good way to save both space and weight.