Essential toiletries for your carry on: 11 products you shouldn't fly without

Finish a long flight looking, smelling and feeling like a boss

Essential toiletries for your carry on: 11 items you shouldn't fly without

Whether you enjoy the occasional long weekend away or you’re a frequent jetsetter who flies Business Class, you need to take care of your skin on a flight, or risk a patchy or irritated complexion when you arrive at your destination, which doesn’t look great in holiday photos. 

To help you out, we’ve rounded up the best travel toiletries under 100mls that won’t only keep your skin happy in drying conditions of the aircraft cabin, but add a bit of luxury to your trip too… even if you are flying cattle class. 

So fasten your seatbelts and prepare to become a skincare high flyer. 

1. Aesop hand balm

Cream smells as good as the packaging looks

Reasons to buy
+Natural ingredients and delicious scent+Stylish and practical packaging for travelling

Gone are the days when men were embarrassed to use hand cream. Now, it’s accepted it’s important to keep digits moisturised to delay signs of ageing and keep you comfortable – a good idea on a long flight. 

Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatique hand balm is a cult favourite among the style conscious. It’s pleasingly minimal and gender neutral packaging is packed with a natural and thick hand cream bursting with plant-based ingredients, including coconut oil and shea butter. 

It’s super nourishing but not greasy and smells delicious, with notes of mandarin, rosemary leaf and cedar wood. Handily, its 75ml (so airplane friendly) and its practical metal and screw top packaging mean it won’t leak in your luggage.

2. Tom Ford hydrating lip balm

Super buttery balm to lock in moisture

Reasons to buy
+Contains natural oils and vitamins+From an ultra-covetable brand
Reasons to avoid

The Tom Ford brand is the epitome of luxury and his lip balm is no different. Encased in a sleek and practical metallic grey tube, the ultra-emollient balm contains a soothing and conditioning blend of natural oils, vitamins and butters to combat dry lips and improve their smoothness and texture. 

While this will no doubt help chapped lips on planes and in colder climates, the downside is that there’s no SPF to protect them further, which you might expect from a lip balm that costs £21. But if it’s a little bit of luxury you’re after, this lip balm will do the trick.

3. MALIN + GOETZ Moisturizer/SPF

Light moisturizer with SPF

Reasons to buy
+Offers broad spectrum SPF 30+Suitable for all skin types

Whether you’re travelling somewhere hotter or colder than Blighty you’ll want a good moisturiser to soothe your skin and MALIN + GOETZ’s face moisturiser is a good choice. 

The light moisturiser offers soothing hydration plus broad spectrum SPF30, which is great in any weather for keeping skin protected from the damaging effects of the sun. Enriched with green tea antioxidants, it's safe for all skin types and the small bottle is easy to take with you so you can reapply when needed. 

At 50ml it falls easily within the rules of what you can carry onto a plane and packaged in stylish plastic squeezy tube, it’s travel friendly. It’s recommended users apply the moisturiser generously and evenly 15 minutes before any sun exposure and reapply it every two hours.

4. Clinique Super Energy eye gel

A cooling gel to de-puff and awaken eyes

Reasons to buy
+Formula promises to hydrate, refresh and brighten+Metal roller ball helps sooth tired eyes

Your eyes are perhaps the biggest giveaway if you’re tired, followed by a dull and sallow complexion. Clinique For Men Super Energy Eye Gel claims to hydrate, refresh and brighten, which is just what you need if you’re jetlagged. 

The cooling gel can be applied at any time and the clever tube is small and discrete, and has a metal roller that feels immediately soothing on the skin. It’s great for travelling as there’s no mess. 

It contains hyaluronic acid to bind moisture to the skin and caffeine to make skin looks more energised.

5. Kiehls Ultimate Man Facial Fuel

A rich moisturiser for a flight

Reasons to buy
+Non-oily but rich formulation+Vitamins and sot awaken tired-looking skin
Reasons to avoid
-The bigger size is better value

If you’re enduring a long haul flight (or heading somewhere chilly) you’ll want to slather your face with rich moisturiser to keep it comfortable. 

Kiehls’ Ultimate Man Facial Fuel is a vitamin-enriched and energising non-oily moisturiser that’s designed to awaken dull, fatigued skin – so it will make you feel a lot better if you’ve been on a plane for hours or are jetlagged. 

The formula contains Vitamin C and E as well as chestnut extract and soy, which the company says will make you look more awake and improve your skin’s texture and overall appearance, which sounds like it’s worth space in your suitcase.

6. Jo Malone fragrances

Luxury scents in mini bottles

Reasons to buy
+Tiny bottles are great for travelling+Quality scents last for ages
Reasons to avoid
-Larger bottles are better value

A fragrance is a great idea if you want to freshen up (or at least smell better) after a long haul flight. As chunky glass bottles aren’t a great for travelling, why not invest in a selection of miniatures and try out some new scents while you’re at it? You might find a new favourite, or associate a certain smell with a particular holiday so when you wear it later, it will bring back happy memories. 

Jo Malone’s ‘Cologne Intense’ set is one of the best and features five of the company’s most popular colognes, each packaged in an iconic-shaped bottle holding 9mls of fragrance. 

7. Kiehl's Grooming Solutions Texturising Hair Clay

Makes hair look and smell sexy

Reasons to buy
+Provides definition, shape and hold+Also contains aromatic essential oils

If you’ve been chilling on a travel pillow or stuck on a plane for hours on end, the chances are your hair won’t be looking its best. But Kiehl’s Grooming Solutions Texturising Hair Clay could improve your hairstyle immeasurably. 

Made with the Moroccan Lava Clay, the hair product can be used to define, shape and texturise hair with flexible long-lasting hold, making it equally good on holiday or to tide you over through particularly long and arduous business meetings. 

Best of all, it will make your hair smell as good as it looks, because the clay is infused with a blend of cedarwood, sandalwood and eucalyptus essential oils. 

8. Tom Ford Private Blend Neroli Portofino deodorant

Ultra-luxurious deodorant

Reasons to buy
+Keeps you smelling sweet and some+Packaging is to die for

Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino cologne is a favourite of style-conscious men and now the chic scent is available in a limited edition deodorant stick. Tom Ford designed the scent saying it captures the cool breezes, sparkling clear water and lush foliage of the Italian Riviera. 

The deodorant features crisp citrus oils, surprising floral notes and amber undertones to leave a ‘splashy yet substantive impression’. The 75ml size is a great way to freshen up after a long car journey or stuffy flight. Plus, did we mention the packaging is as stylish as it gets? You’ll want to leave it out in your bathroom long after you get back from your holiday or business trip.

9. Harry’s shaving kit

Kit designed to reduce irritation

Reasons to buy
+Contains natural ingredients+Designed to provide post-shaving relief
Reasons to avoid
-You’ll have to decant the shave cream

If you’re not going on a gap year and planning on growing a beard, you’ll want some products to go with your shaver or razor. Harry’s shaving kit includes shaving cream and post shave balm made from a bunch of natural ingredients to stop irritation. 

The cream is a blend of 12 natural oils and extracts including Marula Oil and Eucalyptus, designed to enable your razor to glide comfortably over the skin for a closer shave, while the post shave balm contains soothing ale to calm the skin and reduce redness. 

The only drawback is you’ll have to decant some of the shaving cream into a smaller pot if you want to take it in your hand luggage as its 200ml – double the volume of what you’re allowed to pack in your carry on.

10. Clinque for Men Starter Kit

A wallet-friendly trio of travel-friendly products

Reasons to buy
+Kits contain three products to tackle skin complaints+They measure between 15 and 60mls – great for a carry on
Reasons to avoid
-Your favourite product might not be included

Clinique For Men's starter kits are a great way of trying out new products tailored to your skin, and bagging some handy travel-sized toiletries for not much cash. They come in sets providing either daily intense hydration, daily oil control, daily age repair or an 'Intense Hydrator Skincare Kit' to rescue parched complexions, and each contains three products. 

The Daily Intense Hydration kit contains a 30ml face wash, 60ml cream shave and 15ml hydration gel concentrate to keep even the driest skin feeling smooth and comfortable, according to the company. 

Like all Clinque’s products they are fragrance free and allergy tested so you won’t get any nasty surprises while you’re away.

11. Rituals shampoo and shower gel

A space-saving 2-in-1 option

Reasons to buy
+All your cleaning needs served in a 70ml bottle+Gift set includes other travel-size products
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best if you have needy hair

If space is at a premium and you’ve packed everything in your carry-on, a bottle of 2-in-1 shower gel/shampoo is a space-saving godsend. Ritual’s ‘Samurai’ option smells delicious and is a lot more luxurious than most of the basic options available for gym goers on the high street. 

It’s available in a handy 70ml bottle as part of a gift set, containing other useful travel treats. You also get a 50ml cool deodorant spray, dedicated 50ml Yuzu shower and 70ml Magic shaving cream.

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Sarah Griffiths
Sarah Griffiths

A journalist with 10 years experience, Sarah specialises in Science and Technology, writing for the BBC, national papers and consumer magazines, including T3, of course.