The Essential Grooming Products For Every Holiday

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The Essential Grooming Products For Every Holiday

Words by Ms Fedora Abu

24 July 2022

Packing. To some, it’s an exciting foretaste of the adventure ahead. To others, a chore left until the last minute. Wherever you sit, it is crucial to get it right – and that applies to your wash bag, too. A well-chosen, efficacious product can lift your spirits when you’re roughing it in the wilderness or boost your confidence on the beach. And nothing will put a damper on a holiday more quickly than sunburn, a stubborn spot or discovering your favourite fragrance has shattered inside your suitcase and you’re forced to spend the rest of the week walking around in a fug of bergamot.

MR PORTER has put together a handy guide to travel-ready grooming, whatever type of holiday you are planning this summer.

You’ve brushed up on the language. You’ve sought out recommendations for local-approved hotspots. You’ve ironed your stretchiest, most forgiving trousers ready for a weekend of sampling the city’s delights. Before you get there, however, you will have to brave the airport. There’s little advice we can offer about flight cancellations, but we have mastered the perfectly curated carry-on wash bag.

There is an abundance of easily portable, hand-luggage-friendly products that pack a punch, from Dr. Barbara Sturm’s supercharged 30ml serums to Dr. Dennis Gross’ AHA and retinol wipes. Most fragrances come in flacons that are 100ml or less, but if you need to save space and weight, Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s cult Baccarat Rouge scent comes in miniature 11ml vials. A hydrating sunscreen, such as Salt & Stone Premium Lotion, which allows you to skip on moisturiser, will take up less room. If your hair isn’t too high-maintenance, make do with hotel shampoo and pack a styling product, such as Aesop’s Violet Leaf Hair Balm, instead.

Ah, the blessing and the curse that is the overseas wedding. If you’re anything like us, there’s a high chance you started mood-boarding smart-yet-breathable suits as soon as the “save the date” card arrived (if not, refer to our Dress Code). But how to prep a wash bag of products that will ensure you look your best in the wedding photos?

You might have already booked a pre-departure facial, but don’t underestimate the havoc that humidity and 12 hours of celebrations can wreak. Le Labo Styling Concrete will keep wayward strands of hair strands in place, while an oil mist, such as Charlotte Mensah’s, will keep afros and braids looking lustrous. Feel an unwelcome visitor coming to a head a day or two before the celebrations? Packing an antibacterial treatment, such as 111SKIN Microbiome Blemish Mask, will be the best decision you’ve ever made. If the wedding is taking place somewhere hot, an oil-free moisturiser, such as TOM FORD Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer, will hydrate and plump skin without leaving it greasy. A touch of concealer will go a long away to hiding any dark circles that result from the excesses of the rehearsal dinner.

As for fragrance, if you’re keen to switch it up for the special occasion, Byredo Slow Dance, which has notes of patchouli and geranium, feels fitting.

Perhaps your summer plans include a five-star stay on a faraway tropical island. You deserve it. What you don’t deserve is sunburn, stubborn pigmentation and leathery skin as a lasting souvenir. You don’t need MR PORTER to tell you that SPF should be part of your daily routine, even when you’re not on holiday, but if your plans involve little more than stripping off to your smalls and lying on a lounger, be sure to take plenty of high-factor sunscreen that you can slather on from top to toe every couple of hours. Sisley Super Soin Solaire Silky Body Cream has SPF30, is non-greasy and contains moisturising shea butter.

If you (wisely) tend to steer clear of the sun, but feel more confident with a hint of colour, it’s worth doing all the self-tanning work just before you head off on holiday (or delegate to the professionals) and simply pack a body scrub and lightweight lotion to prolong the results. TOM FORD Bronzing Gel offers subtle, foolproof colour.

If you’re looking for warm-weather fragrance, 19-69 Cacti is infused with Italian bergamot, vetiver and green cactus and will evoke that magical holiday feeling whenever you wear it. If you’re going somewhere especially hot, a refreshing, hydrating mist, such as Grown Alchemist Hydra-Mist, is indispensable. You will wonder how you survived without it.

In the prolonged period during which international travel was impossible, many of us rediscovered the joys of the chilled-out countryside staycation – and would happily give it a go again. With no luggage restrictions and less need for a rotation of outfits, you can go to town in the grooming department.

Round out your day-to-day cleansers and moisturisers with indulgent serums, oils and masks, which you tend to skip when you’re in a rush at home. If your usual haircare routine consists of shampoo and not much more, now is the time to pull out all the stops (think hydrating hair masks, balms and scalp serums).

Make it a priority to luxuriate in the bath with a soothing oil from Susanne Kaufmann. Follow with a decadent body lotion such as Augustinus Bader The Body Cream, which you can slather on afterwards. You will return home with a radiant glow that only a weekend of rest, relaxation and the world’s finest lotions and potions can impart.

Be it a camping trip in the wilderness or a three-day electronic music festival in a muddy field, the priorities for any adventure holiday are staying cool, clean and comfortable. At the more upmarket campsites and the “VIP” sections of festivals, you might be lucky enough to stumble upon a shower stocked with products, but if your plan is to go into full Survivor mode (or you simply can’t face the queues), pack a selection of clever products so you can freshen up on the go.

Along with requisite wet wipes, we suggest packing a sebum-absorbing dry shampoo (we like Hanz de Fuko Dry Shampoo) and a fragrant sanitising hand gel by Aesop or Byredo. Le Labo Lip Balm is unscented and non-sticky, so will soothe chapped lips in an instant.

No one will scold you for skipping your 10-minute skincare routine here, but SPF is non-negotiable. Sisley Super Stick Solaire is easy to swipe on and can slip into your pocket. The virtues of streamlining quickly become evident when you have to lug everything around on your back, but we think it’s worth leaving a little room in your rucksack for one or two luxuries that will make trips to the “bathroom” more pleasant. Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Mist is top of our list.