This year I’ve travelled a lot. And, in fact, for the past three years I’ve lived mostly in transit. And so my “beauty regime” in general is a simple and mobile affair.

My travel case
My travel case. This is everything I use, daily. All of it. Even when not travelling.

A big bunch of you ask me via the socials to share what such a regime looks like and today I’m obliging.

Previously when I’ve done beauty posts The Folk Who Make The Products That I Use have reached out to offer a discount to you guys. I figured I’d do this again, in time for Christmas. Please be aware, however, that the recommendations are genuine – I purchased all products myself and sought discounts for you later. Cool?

PS catch up on my advertising and sponsorship policy.

How I pack my travel beauty kit

I travel very light and this has informed how I “do” beauty in general (since I live light anyway).

  • As a general rule, I work with beauty products with the least number of ingredients, preferably just the one.
  • I don’t fall for “organic” or “natural” labelling. “Organic” can mean only a few of the ingredients were grown and produced organically, not all. You can learn more about this here.
  • You can also learn about what to look out for in beauty products. And how to chose a toxin-free sunscreen.
  • I work with concentrated products – extra strong formulas only requiring small amounts, thus requiring small packaging.
  • I work with stuff that’s multi-purposeful – jojoba oil for cleansing, moisturising, facial scrub and hair control, for instance.
  • I transfer bulk stuff (eg shampoo) into travel bottles that I reuse (I avoid buying travel-size bottles as such…because it’s not a great use of packaging).
  • Everything in my kit can go carry-on (ie is under 100ml), as this is how I often travel.
  • I don’t carry body moisturiser…If things get dry, I use some olive or coconut oil from Air BnB kitchens, etc. At home, I do the same (with my own).
  • As an aside, I use a travel alarm clock. This one above is my second in 21 years. They last a looooong time. I NEVER sleep with my mobile near me.

What I pack

Forthwith, the beauty kit as it exists today.

Mukti Botanique shampoo and conditioner 

This stuff is handcrafted and Australian, perfumed with organic herbal extracts. Truly toxin-free hair products that actually cleanse and moisturise your hair are hard to find. You can read my tips for switching to silicon-free options here. Mukti manages to blend eco with a little luxe – each product contains native Australian extracts, such as lemon eucalyptus and pine, that address a particular skin type or condition.

I use the travel pack size and refill them from my “home bottles”. I also really rather love their face wash, as an FYI.

Here’s Mukti’s Botanique shampoo and conditioner. And here’s where you can buy their face wash.

Magnesium travel spray

A spray containing magnesium chloride and premium distilled MSM (a naturally occurring compound that enhances the absorption of magnesium into your cells), is something I now have with me at all times. I get restless legs. Magnesium spray helps with this. I have trouble sleeping. Magnesium spray helps with this. I can tend toward constipation. Magnesium spray helps with this. I get inflamed. Magnesium spray helps with this.

Dr Bronners Pure-Castile Soap

I always travel with this stuff. A friend gave me some years ago. I use it for cleansing – body and face – and washing my clothes. They’re made with simple ingredients including organic olive and hemp, and are three times more concentrated than mainstream liquid soaps. Plus, they’re also environmentally friendly. I generally pour into a small 100ml bottle when traveling (I don’t work to the large bottle in the pic above). This will last me a good month or two.

You can find Dr Bronners here.

Well-scent Just For Grins tooth oil 

This stuff is a revelation and perfect for travelling. It’s a toothpaste replacement where you use a drop or three at a time on your brush (thus, requiring tiny packaging). The product is a mix of anti-bacterial and cleansing oils – melaleuca, cinnamon, myrrh, clove, rose and cardamom (all my favourites). They also have an extreme (hot) option with lots of peppermint oil in the mix. You can also add it to some coconut oil for ‘oil pulling’ and to some salt water to use as a mouthwash. A small bottle will last a few months.

These guys are offering a 20 per cent discount to you guys until the end of December… simply enter  sw2016 at checkout. While you’re on their site their Sparkle powder (which I use at home – an activated charcoal powder for whitening your teeth) is worth checking out, too.

You can grab Well-scent Just For Grins tooth oil here.

Charcoal toothbrush

I try to use a non-plastic toothbrush where possible. This bamboo and charcoal one has served me well. The bristles are infused with activated charcoal, known for its natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties as well as it’s traditional teeth whitening power. It also helps to deodorise the mouth by reducing bacteria that can cause bad breath and absorbs chemicals such as chlorine from the tap water.

You can grab a charcoal toothbrush here. Tip: Opt for medium bristles, rather than super soft.

Black Chicken Axilla deodorant paste 

Irene at Nourishing Life introduced me to this stuff after I put out a social media lament that I couldn’t find a toxin-free deodorant that ACTUALLY WORKED. She was right – it works perfectly, better than the chemically stuff. Since then I’ve introduced it to many others…and we discuss it in an almost cult-like way. Me, I’ve come to really like the fact you have to massage it into your under-arm…it’s wonderful for the lymph glands!

Find Black Chicken Axilla deodorant paste here.

 Well-scent Protect, Renew and Rejuvenate oils

I used Well-scent’s Protect oil on my last trip overseas, adding a few drops to water and using as a mouth gargle when I felt rundown, also as a water-flavouring agent. It contains a bunch of anti-bacterial and cold-fighting oils – thyme, clove and vetiver. You can add drops to your travel scarf (you have one don’t you) and also put under your nose when on the plane (veritable havens of flu).

Again, Well-scent are offering 20 per cent off. While on their site check out the Renew (thyme, clove and blood orange) and Rejuvenate (fennel, geranium) oils, great for supporting lymphs, digestion, liver and the endocrinal system.

I also always travel with lavender oil and use it for pimples, itchy bites and for ‘personalising’ my sleeping environment each night, which is to say I put it on my eye mask and pillow where I lay my hat. Well-scent offer a version.

Rosehip and jojoba oils

I use one or either (and both when I’m at home).

  • I use a few drops to cleanse…
  • …and to moisturise. I find, generally, Rosehip oil is best as a night time oil, and is best in winter.
  • I use a little rubbed into hair ends to give texture.
  • I de-clump my Ere Perez mascara by adding a drop or two into the tube, which sees it last an extra month or so.
  • I use it as a face scrub, as follows…

My DIY travel scrub: Mix a small amount of sugar with oil, apply to face, scrub, rinse.

The best brands IMO:

Tongue scraper

I use this silver one from Moksha Ayurveda. Tongue scraping is a part of the Ayurvedic routine and I find it makes my day start cleaner.

Ear plugs 

I don’t leave home without earplugs. I’ve researched the topic extensively… the best around are Macks Earplugs. The beige-coloured 32 dB ones are best…you can get online, at many chemists and Woolworths.

TOM Organic tampons

The only biodegradable, chemical-free tampons in the world owned by a woman (who happens to be Australian).
I appreciate that menstrual cups are a more eco way to go. I’ve just not gone there yet. Leave it with me…

That’s a wrap!

Most of these products can also be found at Nourished Life and Irene has kindly offered a reader discount of 10 per cent until the end of December. Simply enter SWILSON442 for the discount.

Feel free to add any products you find particularly useful for travelling, that are toxin-free and ethical…

Have your say, leave a comment.

  • Adrienne

    These look beautiful but there’s no way I can justify spending $50 on shampoo/conditioner!

    • You will prob find you don’t need to wash your hair as often…I did.

    • Maddy

      I always find it funny when people say that. You can’t invest i something that will last at least a month or two and is high quality?

      • Adrienne

        Not when you can find similar products that are substantially
        less. And I don’t consider a couple of months to be long term investments. Clothes and homewares, yes. Consumables, not so much.

    • Ani

      THere are plenty of non toxic shampoo and conditioners that cost less 😉 Your health is your wealth

  • Rachel

    My beauty regime has changed over the last year or so after reading and trying your recommendations and I look and feel much better for it – thank you! Regarding the tongue scraper, I normally use my toothbrush on my tongue – is there much of a difference. I’m half indian and I remember visiting my relos 30 years ago and there were always tongue scrapers in the bathroom – I used to think it was disgusting lol.

    • gwen

      I’m there with ya. I have almost done a 180* on my own “personal upkeep” regime, following the simple recommendations. I reckon the new way of life has cut out more than 90% of those unpronounceable toxins that used to come into contact with body. There is the added bonus of de-cluttering my bathroom cupboard too!
      Also, I’ve been doing the tongue scrape with a toothbrush for ages too – though I have a separate toothbrush for that.

    • I imagine a scraper is more efficient and effective – it scrapes the layer off cleanly. When I forget to pack mine, i use the edge of a spoon

  • Tanya D

    I went for the cup and had a lot of success at the beginning but then after a few months couldn’t get the position right anymore … the best part was sleeping with it! Total comfort and peace of mind. And day times were just ultra convenient. Will try again… as the amount of packaging from the alternatives only hit me when I stopped using them!!

    • yeah i’ll give it a go soon, too

      • Sam

        Took me a while to go there too, but am now total convert. They are so good, Especially for traveling and multi-day hikes!

      • KT

        I love the cup so much I can’t recommend it enough after converting 8 yrs ago !

      • Sare D

        Cup will change your life!

  • Sarah

    I use Ethique. An NZ brand. They are completely biodegradable / recyclable, fair trade, cruelty free, climate neutral, vegan and really good products. I love my Bliss Bar and St Clements shampoo (my hair did take a month or so to get used to it). Plus they’re all solid bars so you can take the full size products on the plane. 🙂

  • Tali

    I love this..its so Byron Bay haha. I use coconut oil in my arm pit if I’m not going anywhere, and give my arm pit a little massage while I’m at it. I often take a small amount of fenugreek powder in the mornings…it seems to stop any body odour but you do smell faintly of fenugreek instead – it’s quite sweet smelling though and is said to be good for breast health (the fenugreek) being an expectorant and all. When exercising I use a spitz of the Weleda Wild Rose deodorant – it smells so lovely and healing and uplifting in a very feminine way and you can exercise through anything without fear of smelling unhygienic – it’s heavy duty and lasts ages – glass too.

  • Angela

    It’s so tricky to find a non toxic deodorant that actually works! I was originally using Black Chicken which was super effective, but I found the scent a bit masculine. I found a brand called Primal Pit Paste (really similar ingredients and consistency to Black Chicken, and completely equal efficacy) which has a variety of scents (not perfume, just essential oils), and also a completely unscented one, which is fantastic. It also comes in a little glass jar which is the perfect size for
    decanting other travel beauty/toiletry products into. I’d recommend it!

  • Rachael

    for deodorant, I like sukin. ( sold at chemists and I use their shampoo too.) also use derma sukin their soap free sensitive body wash (like QV but natural)

  • Kelly

    I’d love to be able to do this also but it’s the initial expense I know the result in the end is trifold but when on a DSP it’s so hard to do things healthy as cheaper stuff is more attainable sad but true.

  • Alyce

    I love this sort of thing thanks for the share. I use intelligent nutrients from the US check it out, toxic free.

  • RubyRose

    I simplified my travel kit by always traveling carry on, even for 6 week trips to the U.K. I always travel with EVOHE 369 oil, Dr Bronner and No Pong deoderant paste.

  • Pamela McCabe

    I love my menstrual cup, you should try one Sarah!

  • Michelle

    Are there any Australian stockists for the Well-scent oil? I just googled and couldn’t find any… And shipping is $25 for 5ml! Ouchie.

  • Anne-Maree

    This post is fabulous, Sarah, thank you! May I ask if you have articles elaborating on how to use the Magnesium spray and its benefits? I haven’t tried it and am wondering if i should give it a go

  • Long tall Sally

    Unfortunately the Black Chicken paste leaves me with itchy armpits – like a lot of the natural deo’s I’ve tried. I find the best one for me is Real Purity (roll on deodorant) – works really well and lasts a long time. The shipping costs used to be exhorbitant, but now you can get it on iHerb – so makes it a whole heap cheaper.

  • Long tall Sally

    Hey Sarah,
    Where did you buy your travel clock? Would love to buy one that is good quality and will last, but I can only find cheap ‘disposable’ options that don’t work after a couple of months….thanks

  • Carcar

    i bought these Mukti shampoo and conditioner after reading this article as I trust your recommendations. Mukti got them out the next day and they smell beautiful and cleaned my long hair beautifully. i love that they have no nasties.

  • cassandra

    i rub a bit of bi carb soda under my armpits as deodorant. works extremely well. I can get very stinky pits and this works better than anything i’ve tried. and its dirt cheap.

  • I love how compact this all is. You’re so fabulous! I did see the tampon and think, why is she not using a cup, and then got to the end of the article and realised why. Keep it it. Life changing! x

  • Team Shipley

    What brand if magnesium and msm spray do you use, please? I did not see it in the photo. Thank you!

  • KTP

    One question: how do you travel with plain oils? I love using grapeseed oil as an all-purpose item but haven’t found a container yet that can truly keep it contained, and I hate ending up with oil residue all over my toiletries bag, other items, etc.

  • Stephanie

    I highly recommend Thinx underwear! I started using them about 5 months ago and haven’t used disposable menstrual products since.

  • Joana

    Thank you for sharing your beauty tips, Sarah! Do you use cotton buds, at all? If so, are there any you would recommend? And if not, can we know what method you use to clean your ears in the morning?