This summer, I decided to take a leap and live abroad for a couple of months in Athens, Greece. So far, this experience has had many emotional ups and downs. I have missed ferries, been stranded without phone service, caught in a torrential downpour because the metro was out of service, and been in multiple communication stand-stills with the locals. In the end, nothing beats the humbling realization of how big this world is, how little I’ve seen of it, and how trifling the worries of home are. Your problems become smaller the farther out you go, and that has been an amazing consequence of this adventure.
The only reliable slice of these two months has been my skincare routine. I tailored one specifically for traveling (can fit in one bag, multi-functional, and up to the challenge of 90-degree heat waves). I wanted to share it with you and hope it gives you some packing ideas for traveling this year and onward!
All Clean Balm by Heimish: I’ve long given up on liquid, oily makeup removers, especially for traveling because you're almost guaranteed to open your suitcase to a huge leak stain all over your clothes. I don’t know if I’m just cursed, but no matter what I do, something always opens midair. This All Clean Balm by Heimish may be a little more on the bulky side, but it’s lightweight and will never cause a mess. It removes even the toughest of makeup like a charm and isn’t too greasy on the face. I love the herbal smell of it, too.
Cleansing Foam by Pyunkang Yul: This Pyungkang Yul Foam Cleanser is insane. I’ve never used one that foams as much as this one. I cannot stress this enough, but you only need an amount the size of a pen cap, maybe even less! The brand is super natural and you can tell by how few ingredients are in this cleanser. I use it in the morning and at night. It leaves your face feeling so fresh and hydrated!
Essence Toner by Pyunkang Yul: I wanted to bring this Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner along because it serves as both an essence and toner – again, two months is a long time, and I had to keep my bag under 50 pounds! (Spoiler – it was exactly 50 pounds). This has been a super refreshing and hydrating addition to my routine after I’ve cleansed. The texture is between a liquid and a gel – so it almost beads up on the cotton pad and doesn’t soak in instantly. It does the same on my skin – it really takes its time hydrating deep into my face, and I can feel the effects of it after it’s dried.
Aloe Soothing Propolis Gel by Benton: So, I don’t know if you’ve checked the weather in Europe lately, but the whole continent is on fire. When I turn the cold water on, it comes out hot first! I wanted to bring a lightweight moisturizer for the daytime. I don’t know if this is a “me” thing, but if I wear a thicker moisturizer on a hot day, it literally comes back out of my skin when I sweat and the effect is absolutely horrific. Benton’s Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel intrigued me because a.) it was a gel and b.) it had aloe in it which is a great addition with the blazing sun above me. You can’t avoid sweating obviously, but I didn’t feel as sticky or gross with this moisturizer. I also loved using it after the days I got a little too much sun – it looks and feels just like the aloe you put on to ease a sunburn.
Balancium Comfort Ceramide Cream by COSrx: Okay, I broke my rules a little and brought a second moisturizer, but as I said, I didn’t go over 50 pounds so please lay off me. I wanted a nighttime moisturizer that could offer my skin some sort of a deep, restorative soak after days of walking around in the heat & often polluted air. Ceramide is known for retaining moisture and strengthening the skin’s barrier. This COSrx Balancium Comfort Ceramide Cream also has three forms of centella asiatica, which promotes healing and soothes irritation. I woke up every day with that glow – you know what I’m talking about – the “from within,” bouncy, peachy glow.
Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF 50 by COSrx: I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’ve been dealing with a lot of sun over here. I’ve been wearing absolutely no makeup; so I couldn’t rely on a foundation’s SPF. This Aloe Soothing Sun Cream is a super cute & tiny facial sunscreen with a high SPF and also aloe to counteract the effects of the sun. It’s very moisturizing (which maybe is something I don’t particularly need during the day here) but it's lightweight. Definitely consider bringing this little guy along!
Cica Jeju Volcanic Color Clay Mask by Innisfree: This Cica Clay Mask by Innisfree is easily becoming a holy grail product for me. (I’m wearing it as I write this). Maybe it’s a little indulgent bringing a mask in your skincare bag when you’re trying to be smart on space, but I absolutely cannot do without this! I go through ingredient phases, and right now, I’m on the cica hype. Cica (or centella asiatica, as it’s formally known) is an amazing ingredient that helps repair irritated skin and cuts down on redness. I love applying this mask on days where my skin is particularly angry. It never fully dries either, which means you never have that tight feeling. I’ve gone hours before remembering I’m still wearing it.
One Step Original Clear Pads by Cosrx: These COSrx Original Clear Pads are a fun add-on product if you have the space. Again, the packaging is a little bulky, but I popped it in my purse so I could use them on the plane (just be prepared for TSA to swipe it for bomb residue lolol). There are quite a few versions of these to-go pads on the market, but I wanted to bring the gentlest one for summer time. This version is soaked in a gentle toner that’s main purpose is to swipe away excess oil and balance your skin. I would recommend these for summer traveling for whenever you’re overwhelmed with sweat and want a quick pick-me-up.
Happy traveling! :)