Beauty Travel Essentials: 12 Products that Got me Through Africa

Let me tell you, when you spend 20 days traveling through dust and sand, while being unable to drink much less brush your teeth with tap water, it takes some solid beauty products to keep everything in check. And considering I was basically on the line of the equator for most of my trip efficatious SPF products were a must. While I didn’t pack any hair products that knocked my socks off (now that I’m home I need to bathe in leave-in conditioners), I made some outstanding face, body, mouth choices — and here are the products that stood out: 

Supergoop!, Crest 3d, Reach, Nivea

1. Crest 3D White ($3.47/5.8oz) – like I said, I was brushing with bottled water for 3 weeks, battling 90 degree weather and waking up with the driest, grossest mouth on the planet. Having packed a few travel toothpastes, it wasn’t until this tube that my mouth (and breathe) went back to normal. I needed an extreme whitening and whole mouth  protector, and this toothpaste delivered.

2. Reach Access Daily Flosser ($2.99) – When you’re doing any type of camping or surrounded in dust the last thing you want is your hands anywhere near your mouth. This flosser made the whole process more effortless and made for a clean sweep in between gums to busting bacteria & plaque from hard to reach places.

3. Supergoop! SPF 30 Mint Fusion Lip Balm with Shea Butter – If you’ve ever seen anyone with a heat blister on their mouth, you know that an SPF lip balm is essential if you’re going to be out in the sun — especially if you’re playing near the equator. This was my must-have day balm, thick and hydrating with lasting protection and free of oxybenzone, parabens, and fragrances.

4. Nivea A Kiss of Smoothness Lip Care ($2.99) – I prefer not to use SPF products in the evening so Supergoop! by day, Nivea by evening. Whether you’re inhabited in extreme heat or a polar vortex this is a must-own product to transform dry, chapped lips back to a smooth, hydrated foundation.

Best SPF Products

5. Susan Ciminelli SPF 30 ($60/2.5 fl oz) -It’s probably the best SPF I’ve ever used for my face. Goes on clean, it’s not too heavy but still hydrates nicely and isn’t remotely greasy. And considering I have no tan on my face I’d say it does it’s job perfectly.

6. Murad Essential-C Sun Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 35 ($25/0.33oz) – This product is so convenient and easy to apply, I actually got my boyfriend to use it with no argument! In face he wants another for his camping bag. Do not misunderstand this product, It could be used as an all over sunblock but you will find it greasy. It’s purpose is to go on burned skin, which between my large group, everyone someone was burned on their back or some part of their body. This goes safety on top of over-exposed skin and helps calm it down and protect from further damage. I also used it across my cheeks like a football player to reflect UV rays.

7. Aveeno Hydrosport Wt Skin Spray Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($9.99/5 oz) – I live off of this spray. It’s easy to apply — just do not do so in the wind or you’ll waste a lot of product. Sprays on easy with lasting protection that’s sweat and water resistant for 80 minutes, which was so necessary considering I was regularly snorkeling in Africa.

8. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid  ($28.49/1.7 fl.oz) – My sister turned me onto this product and I was resistant at first since I’m not a huge mineral sunscreen fan. Usually they leave a chalky white finish, but this one doesn’t. It goes on matte and  is super light weight, water resistant and great for sensitive skin. It’s also paraben and fragrance free.

great travel beauty products

9. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater ($7/4oz) – this product is a staple in my beauty arsenal. I find it incredibly affordable and a great product when your skin needs an extra hydrating boost.  And when traveling in warm climates it’s so refreshing to spritz.

10. Vivite Exfoliating Facial Cleanser ($39/6.76oz) – I’ve had a travel sample of this product forever and on a whim brought it with me. Best decision made! After a day out in the dust washing my face with this was heaven. The scrubbers exfoliated my skin effectively without being harsh and then the cleanser in it took offer for a smooth hydrating finish. My skin felt so amazing after using it. The product contains a 15% glycolic compound, 1% Salicylic Acid helps to decongest the skin as well as exfoliating microbeads to thoroughly help dissolve accumulated dead skin cells.

11. Olay Fresh Effects {Everything Off} Deluxe Makeu-Up Removal Wt Cloths ($4.99/pack of 25) – Olay wasn’t kidding when they said this product lifts away dirt, oil, and stubborn make-up. There were days when I wasn’t even wearing makeup but Kampala is so incredibly dusty that there was just a layer of brown on it when I would use it on my face. I like how moist and refreshing the towelettes are and their ability to clean my face, especially considering they had to replace my face wash on more than a few sink-less occasions.

13. Neutrogena Nowegian Formula Hand Cream ($4.49/2.oz, on sale for $2.51) – After a day at the beach, let alone a week, my skin was so dry and chapped — especially my hands and feet. I used this on both. While I generally prefer a creamy, luxurious feeling hand cream, I needed something stronger. This fragrance free formula feels more like an ointment and delivers on both hands and feet making them feel normal under the most extreme weather conditions.

 {Disclaimer: I had a sample of most of these products}