4 Beauty Essentials for Cold Weather Travel

Visiting Copenhagen and driving around Iceland was an amazing experience. We had a really great time but it was definitely a bit rough on my skin. The transition from autumn to winter is always the hardest because the cold outdoors, the aggressive heating indoors, and the blistery wind takes a toll on my face and hands. In the past few years, I've gotten more disciplined when it comes to taking care of my skin. Afterall, I'm thirty now and wrinkles are pounding at my door.

Because I enjoy traveling light, I wanted to really pare down my skincare routine; and this was especially important for my Iceland trip because we were staying at a different place every night and I didn't want to fiddle with too many containers of stuff.

Typically before bed, I wash my face with my Clarisonic and then use a mask. After the mask is rinsed off, I'll slap on softener, top it with serum, pat on my eye cream, massage in some face oil, put on a little night cream, and then top it with a lavender mist. In the mornings, I use a creamy face wash, swipe on some toner and face oil, pat on a little honey and gold-infused serum, smear on a little depuffing eye cream, and top it with an SPF moisturizer. But you know, I wasn't really keen on packing 10+ items in my toiletries bag, on top of the other necessities like toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc.
So, I figured out what I really needed and loved and narrowed it down to just four products.

Moisture Mask
Air travel is really drying, cold weather is really drying, hot radiators are really drying, so it's important to inject as much moisture back into the skin as possible. The moisture mask is the base step to keeping your skin soft and supple in harsh conditions.

(I've mentioned this product countless times already but it's worth mentioning because it's so good.) I have a Korres nectarine mask that I absolutely love, not only because it smells like candy, but because it actually works. It's creamy and goes on like a really thick moisturizer and though it starts off looking rather milky on the skin, it eventually dries clear so it's totally appropriate for slathering on during a flight; you won't scare your fellow passengers the way you would with a creepy Hannibal Lecter-esque sheet mask.
Face Oil
Face oils are perfect for travel. They can be used more carefully in the mornings in lieu of moisturizer and more generously in the evenings as a night cream. They can also be smeared onto lips as a substitute for balm, to keep eyebrows looking groomed, and massaged into the ends of your hair to repair split ends and tame flyaways.

I've been using various beauty oils for a while now, but I've recently fallen head-over-heels in love with rosehip oil. Rosehip oil is a dreamy product that I've been using for a little over a year now and my skin is the best it's been since I was an infant (minus the giant pores, which I really can't do anything about).

The best thing about rosehip oil is that it's super moisturizing but at the same time, it's really light. It soaks in really quickly and deeply, which means that it leaves my skin feeling moisturized all day. It also leaves my skin looking sweet and glowy, so I love it for no makeup days. (And by no makeup days, I mean literally no makeup. Not like, hey, I put on a little makeup but it's supposed to look like I haven't got any on.) Plus, it's got anti-aging properties and it's great for reducing scarring and UV damage.
There are loads of brands, but I like any that boast being natural, cold-pressed, and the ingredient list is pure rosehip oil. I get mine at Whole Foods where they have a few different brands at a few different price ranges (between $10 and $50 for the same size bottle). Currently, I'm using Acure, which I really like. It has nice, portable packaging and the oil itself is lovely.

Eye Cream
There is no substitute for eye cream; I've tried applying oils, but they don't perform the same. And when the conditions are harsh the way they are in winter, the sensitive, delicate, thin skin under the eyes is likely to suffer the most. And no matter the brand, eye cream always comes in a small tub that's perfectly suited for traveling.

I have been loyal to my Shiseido Benefiance eye cream for years now. And considering how pricey it is, my loyalty is pretty meaningful. It's really rich and creamy, but it's absorbed by my skin easily which means that it's perfect for day and night. I just pack a little extra on in the evenings because it feels so lovely.
Sun Cream
Sunscreen seems to be a product that is aggressively associated with summer but the sun is a year-round presence. I use sun cream daily because I burn easily but also because sun damage scares me. I don't want to have premature wrinkles and pesky sun spots and leathery skin. Luckily in cold weather, your body is bundled up and a down jacket offers plenty of protection against UV rays so you've just got to slap a little sunscreen on your face, which means it'll be just one small container in your toiletries bag.

I really love Hawaiian Tropic because it smells incredible, the application is really smooth and dreamy, it's moisturizing and makes my skin feel nice, and it's just barely tinted and has light reflecting particles which helps to make my skin look glowy and nice. I'm not all that big on wearing makeup on holidays so I love this product because it helps me to not look like a complete ogre.
That's it; those are my essentials. Beyond that, I really don't do much else for my face. During this past trip, I did tote along some brow gel and a few lipsticks to make myself a bit more presentable and semi-cute for photos, which in all honesty, is much more than I usually do on holiday. But hey, I was capturing some 30th birthday memories here so I wanted to put in a little more effort.