By Katie Ford
How annoying is it to plan a big backpacking trip, pack up all of your necessary items into a carry-on backpack, and then realize that all of your toiletry items don’t fit into that tiny clear plastic bag? Well, my friends, I’ve discovered the Holy Grail of travel-friendly toiletry items! I spent some time visiting my local LUSH store in Nanuet, NY learning all about the amazing products they have available that are super travel-friendly. All of these products are for use by men or women, and are all-natural as well as cruelty-free- I don’t think it gets much better!
Here are my favorites for my next backpacking adventure:
My first travel essential is always shampoo and conditioner. I see no reason to let my hair hygiene habits go by the way-side when I’m out on the road. LUSH has the perfect alternative to carrying around tiny travel-sized bottles of shampoo: the Shampoo Bar.
Each of these little round bars is shampoo that can be used for 60-100 washes! That’s as much as a large bottle of shampoo that you’d buy at the grocery store, and it doesn’t count towards your liquid limit. There are several different ones, and each adds something to your hair, so if you’re looking for something specific (e.g. to help with fine hair, curly hair, colored hair, etc.) then pop into a LUSH store to speak with an associate who can point you in the right direction. Otherwise, this product is available on their website.
And what is a solid shampoo without a conditioning friend, right? There are two choices for solid conditioner at LUSH, but I’ve tried (and love) the “Jungle” one.
This one feels much more like a “normal” conditioner in your hair, so it won’t be too different from your usual routine. With both the solid shampoos and conditioner, you just need to rub the bar between wet hands while you’re in the shower to get some of the lather out of it, and then use as you usually would with shampoo/conditioner! For additional travel-friendliness, you can stick these in a case (sold to fit the sizes in store) so that they can just be dropped in your bag. I’ve also put them in their own plastic baggies, but if you do this while they’re wet, they stay soggy until you’re able to remove them and dry them out.
One of my least-favorite things while traveling is how dry my skin seems to get. Carrying around decent lotion is not only a pain, but it’s kind of expensive! LUSH has two solid options that can replace daily body moisturizers- Massage Bars and Body Butters.
Massage Bars are typically used right when you get out of the shower (so your body is still warm!)
You simply rub one of these bars in between your hands to get it warmed up, and then rub it all over. It leaves your body moisturized and smelling wonderfully (and again, does not count towards your liquid limit in carry-on baggage). There are also tins sold for these, although you can try sticking these in a plastic bag as well, just be careful not to put too many heavy things on top or it’ll break.
Body Butters are used while you’re still in the shower to give you a pre-moisturized body before you even dry off!
There are two options for these, “Buffy” (pictured above) or “King of Skin”. I have tried “Buffy”, and I absolutely love it because it’s also an exfoliator (it contains ground almonds and rice), so it left my skin feeling incredibly soft. ”King of Skin” has bananas as its main ingredient, and is only a moisturizer, although it too leaves skin feeling incredibly soft.
Both the Massage Bars and Body Butters are great for traveling, as they’re solids and are relatively small. You really don’t need to use both to have moisturized skin, either, so choose your favorite to save space while you’re out and about!
The last product I found to be a travel break-through are the Toothy Tabs. These little solid toothpaste tabs are a great alternative to carrying around liquid toothpaste bottles.
All you need to do is bite one of the little tabs between your front teeth, and then crush it up until it foams. Once it’s foamy you can just brush as usual with a wet toothbrush- I’m also told that you can just chew it and swish it around if you’re in a pinch and don’t have a toothbrush available. I’ve tried this one (“Dirty”), and I must say that it will take some getting used to, but to avoid another liquid in my bag it’s a good alternative! The great thing is that these boxes are tiny, and can fit easily into a purse, makeup bag, or side pocket of a backpack, so they’ll take up almost no space.
The last couple of products that I use while I’m traveling aren’t LUSH, but they’re still great! I hate the idea of bringing shaving cream around with me, so I always bring a Schick Intuition razor.
I love these because the razors last for quite a while, and I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve cut myself shaving over the last several years that I’ve used this product. There aren’t any “liquid” components to it, the soap bar around the razor serves as the shaving cream (and as a post-shave moisturizer all-in-one). You’ll just need to bring the razor base and a couple of the razor refills if you’ll be away for a while, and you’ll be all set! These can typically be purchased at any grocery or drug store in the razor section. They’re also sold in certain countries abroad (like the UK), so you can refill on the road if you need to.
My last go-to favorite product is the Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes by Neutrogena. Even when I’m traveling, I still try to take care of my face and skin, and removing my makeup at night is key for me to control breakouts.
These towelettes are super effective at removing all of my makeup (including waterproof mascara), and they’re liquid-free! They’re sold in both soft packages and hard cases, so you can choose whichever is best for you (soft is typically better for backpacking, as they can be squished into a makeup bag without any damage). These can typically be purchased in any drug store, Target, or Walmart in the make-up section.
After packing all of these liquid-free products, the only items that I would need to put into my clear plastic bag are face wash and hair mousse! Of course, the products that you need/use will determine how many additional liquids you’ll have, but it’s sure to be fewer once you take shampoo/conditioner, moisturizers, and toothpaste out of the equation. If you’re able to get by without any liquids, think of how much easier airport security will be!
*A special thanks to Barry and Nikole at LUSH Nanuet for their help!*