Sense and Sensitivity: Top 10 travel sized beauty kits for sensitive skin

1 August 2014
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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Miniature beauty products for sensitive skin

I envy those who are able to 'pack light'. In fact, forget envy - it's more like awe. How do they do it? Particularly, of course, when it comes to beauty; my summer holiday packing list is 80 per cent product, 15 per cent clothes, five per cent whatever else I grab in a panic before I'm dragged off to the airport. 

I without a doubt use more products in the hot weather. With more skin on show, I not only slather on more body lotion  than usual but there's also the exfoliating, the moisturiser , the sun cream , the after sun cream , the tinted SPF foundation , the prickly heat soothers … followed of course by my makeup bag which is always that much more full and exciting at the promise of more social events than there are days in the week for. 

It's all rather endless, which doesn't bode well for my suitcase come holiday time, as I can't simply buy the generic miniatures like everyone else (try and find a sensitive skin-friendly miniature in Boots or Superdrug - it's not possible). I have been known to tip the scales when it comes to the dreaded check-in weigh in (I fear this more than weighing myself), and though, naturally, I blame the style of my suitcase to all within hearing distance, secretly I know it's probably because I added a few face creams too many before sitting on top of it to close the damn thing.  

Thankfully, though, the sensitive skin brands I've come to know and love are on the case (sorry). With awkward skincare choices making travelling somewhat of a nightmare, they're now coming to my rescue with luggage-friendly sizes and handy travel kits so I can look after my skin no matter where I am, nor how small my bag. Here are my first class favourites - who knows, with these I might even become a member of the 'packing light' club…

Click through the gallery above for my top ten

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Pai Skincare Anywhere Essentials

£20, buy online

My favourite organic brand has just launched four carefully curated kits for travel to suit different skin types, each containing three hero products and a muslin cloth in a convenient case. Those who love Pai will know their packaging is usually glass, which was not particularly practical for travel, leaving me with separation anxiety whenever I went away as I had to go for lighter options. Happily, that’s all solved; my kit of choice is of course the Instant Calm, for sensitive or redness-prone skin. It contains the three products I already use on a daily basis in adorable miniature sizes, which would also be my go-to if I were to react to anything while away. 


Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser (25ml)
Lotus & Orange Blossom BioAffinity Skin Tonic (12ml)
Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream (10ml)
Organic Muslin Cloth

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Balance Me Radiant Skin Collection

£18, buy online 

I will rave to anyone who’ll listen about the Balance Me Radiance Face Oil which is part of this lovely little skincare kit, alongside four other essentials for good, healthy looking skin. If you’ve got your body products covered, this is the ideal facial kit to get your glow on and defy the effects of jet lag; full of skin-strengthening natural ingredients the five-step system will give you the kind of skin that won’t require an Instagram filter when it comes to the holiday snaps. 


Cleanse and Smooth Balm (15ml)
Radiance Face Oil (5ml)
Moisture Rich Face Cream (10ml)
Wonder Eye Cream (7ml)
Stellar Beauty Balm (7ml)

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Skyn ICELAND Quench Kit

£34, buy online 

Designed for dry, sensitive, stressed out skin (er, tick, tick and tick), this four-piece kit harnesses the power of soothing ingredients such as shea butter, colloidal oatmeal and mineral-rich waters to calm your skin down and rehydrate. The Eye Pen is absolute bliss if flying has left you puffy and dry around the eye area while the cleanser and moisturisers offer top class skincare benefits to improve texture.


Pure Cloud Cleanser 30 mlArctic Hydrating Balm with Cryo-Protective Complex 15 ml 
Oxygen Infusion Night Cream 14 gIcelandic Relief Eye Pen 3.97 g

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Elemis Summer Set Glow Beach Bag Collection

£49.50, buy online

I’m reluctant to recommend products that contain fragrance - it’s my biggest bugbear with brands who claim to be suitable for sensitive skin (plus there’s really no need for my face to smell good enough to eat, thanks) but this Elemis kit is truly lovely - and fine for those who don’t react to perfume. In fact, even though I try to avoid ‘parfum’ as much as possible, I got along perfectly well with the contents. A luxurious travel kit full of essentials to keep you looking glowing and glamorous, it even comes with a beach bag as well as the clear cosmetic case - top marks for convenience. Elemis are generally conscientious in their ingredients - most of the range is free from chemical nasties - and yet it really does have that spa-like quality to it. My favourite from the travel pack is the toner; beautifully refreshing in the hot weather. 


Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm 50ml
Tan Accelerator 125ml
Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser 30ml
Total Glow Gradual Tan Face 20ml
Soothing Apricot Toner 50ml

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Weleda Mini Almond Cleansing Lotion and Soothing Facial Oil

From £1.95, buy online 

These miniatures really are mini - at just 10ml a pop you might struggle to get more than two days’ worth out of a tube of cream but they’re ideal for dropping in your handbag for overnight stays and weekends. Weleda has a great range but my favourite is the almond collection, which is fragrance free and super gentle. The Almond Soothing Facial Oil is my pick of the bunch - put a few drops on dry, dehydrated skin for a glowing complexion when you land.

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MV Organics Travel Essentials Kit

£79,   buy online

It feels oh so slightly wrong to suggest purchasing a kit costing nigh on £80 for a holiday, but hear me out. This set has a luxurious mix of potent organic products - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Maggie Gyllenhaal are said to be fans - and will not only allow you to enjoy quality skincare out of your suitcase but would make a great gift too.

If you’re a fan of rose-based formulas, you’ll be in your element with these; a cream cleanser, a gorgeously gentle hydrating mist and a super soft moisturiser are included in the canvas bag. All are based on essential oils, so by all means beware if your skin has had reactions to such ingredients in the past, but I found them to be incredibly soothing. The mist is divine and will be a permanent addition to my skincare, holiday or no holiday. 


Gentle Cream Cleanser 70ml
Rose Hydrating Mist 70ml
Rose Soothing and Protective Moisturiser 15ml
Muslin Cleansing Cloth

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Green People Travel Products

From  £4.50, buy online 

Though it’s probably a more expensive way to do it, Green People’s miniatures are ideal for the fact that you can pick and mix your favourites. Mine would be the organic sun cream  (though I’d need a bigger tube for longer breaks), the Neutral Scent Free Shower Gel  and Neutral Scent Free Shampoo . They also have plenty of ‘Try Me’ sizes so you can test out products before you buy full size.

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Malin and Goetz Essentials Kit

£20, buy online 

If all you want is your daily essentials - that is, everything you need for a fresh face, body and good hair - this is the one for you. Co-founder of the brand Matthew Malin is a fellow sensitive skin sufferer so you know you’re in good hands with these must-haves. No-nonsense packaging, natural scents and a unisex approach to skincare mean you could even pop this in your other half’s hand luggage (clear bag, airport approved) and save space for some of your duty free beauty buys… 


Grapefruit Face Cleanser
Vitamin E Face Moisturizer
Bergamot Body Cleanser
Vitamin b5 Body Moisturizer
Peppermint Shampoo
Cilantro Conditioner 
All 29ml.

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Ruby Red Body and Bath Set

£28, buy online 

I’m new to this quaint beauty brand but with just one try of the moisturiser I was sold. Not only is the packaging on the outside sweet and girly (again, a good gift for someone who loves their naturals), but the apothecary-like bottles are deceptively light (made of luggage-friendly plastic). With soothing oils of jasmine, cardamon and ylang ylang, the brand’s ethos ensures there are no detergents, SLS, petrochemicals, parabens, synthetic perfumes or dyes. Good clean food for your skin. 

• 100ml Soothing and Gentle Body Cleanser
• 100ml Soothe and Nourish Body Moisturiser

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MUJI Travel Bottles

From 95p, buy online

Of course, if you'd rather be economical and just decant your own normal-sized products into reusable bottles, MUJI is the place to go for variety and low-cost options - and none of those flimsy ones that cause a Ross Geller-style shampoo explosion in your hand luggage. Pots, tubes, flip-tops, sprays - everything is catered for. Just make sure you label them; I’ve confused my shower gel for shampoo on more occasions than I’d like to admit.