Calling all beauty lovers! Welcome to First Class Beauty, an extensive guide to the best travel beauty products to carry on (or check) for your next adventure, tested and beloved by ELLE.com editors.
With summer on the back burner, my feelings for the fall and winter seasons are yo-yo-ing from love to loathe. The highs? The crisp tinge of an autumnal breeze, the crunch of sunset-tinted leaves scattered on the ground, and the sound of suitcases rolling in the airport as we escape to warmer climates. Then comes the dip: pumpkin spice lattes (sorry, not sorry) and flaky, dull skin thrown off by the quick temperature switch. Ashy, cracked lips at a time like this? Way scarier than a TSA pat down.
Transitioning from the vibrant warmth of summer to the cooler, drier months of fall and winter necessitates a complete beauty overhaul. Like the summer essentials you bought to streamline your vacation glow, the colder months are when you owe yourself extra care and nourishment from head to toe. Your skin, body, and hair are often exposed to harsh elements and stripped of their natural moisture, leaving them dry and prone to irritation or damage. Factor in the stress of delayed flights, recycled cabin air, and excessive eye-rolling due to the restless baby wailing behind you, and haggard skin is the consequence. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Updating your beauty arsenal with hydrating serums, gentle exfoliants, strand strengtheners, and richer moisturizers can provide a much-needed shield against the biting chill.
Ahead of your next OOO adventure, bookmark this page of the best beauty travel essentials of 2023. Curated and tested by ELLE.com’s beauty team and self-professed travel connoisseurs, this guide highlights the best troubleshooters for your winter beauty woes, guaranteed to withstand any arid conditions you may encounter. And because not everyone wants to check a bag, nestled in the expansive list are TSA-approved sizes and our beloved holy grails. (And if you need inspiration for your next escape, may we suggest anywhere on this list.)
MEET THE EDITORS
Danielle James, ELLE.com Beauty Director
“As the seasons change and we exchange our sundresses for sweaters, I do the same for my skin care routine. My lightweight gel moisturizer gets switched for a thicker cream and almost everything I use has hyaluronic acid—the holy grail for hydration. As a frequent flyer, I find that a change in climate and the recycled air from the plane can severely dehydrate my skin. That’s why it’s important for me to arm myself with these beauty essentials to ensure that my skin barrier, like my seat, is always in first class.”
Nerisha Penrose, ELLE.com Beauty Commerce Editor
“The cold weather already makes me miserable, especially when the flaky, dry skin it brings starts ruining my full beat. Winter is the best season to correct your skin, and it’s my favorite time to tap into all the exfoliating toners, corrective masks, and AHA, BHA, PHA everything I had tucked away during the summer. Seeing all my dead skin fall off my skin over time is as spooky as it gets for me this season. No jump scares necessary.”
Smoothers and Soothers
A Touch of Spice
Slough the Day Away
Practice Safe Sun
Skip Fine Lines
Hair Force One
Pop and Lock It
Beauty Commerce Editor
Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.