How do you feel about travel-sized skincare?

I think it works well for sets to try a few products from a single brand’s line, but I find that I’d rather have a travel set of empty containers if necessary to bring my staples with me.

— Christine


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Mariella Avatar

I love it though I prefer it as a GWP rather than a purchase (since the smaller sizes rarely represent better value than full sized versions and if it’s something I love, I buy full sized). I love it even better if the containers are refillable so I can refill them from my full sized products. I keep a good supply of empty travel sized jars and bottles just for this purpose (I’ll relabel them with a sticker to let me know what’s inside if it’s not the original product). We haven’t travelled anywhere substantial since before the pandemic but even with our shorter, more local trips (Ottawa, a friend’s cottage, etc.) I still take small bottles and jars of everything – skincare, hair care, body products etc.

Ana Maria Avatar

I have many opinions .. as always…

First, I love travel sizes for… travel. I like to pack light, so having all my skincare and makeup in small containers is a plus. And yes, I could transfer products in special travel sizes containers, but it further contaminate the product and I try to avoid it.

Another great thing is that I can sample before trying a product without wasting money and a full sized product if it doesn’t work for me.

And I love travel sizes of products I don’t use that often or actives that start deteriorating fast. I use hair styling products in small quantities, sometimes even a mini dry shampoo or hair protecting cream can last me half a year to a year; I simply don’t want to keep open a full sized product for 1-2 years. And actives like vitamin C start deteriorating fast; why keep a full sized item for a year which most likely will lose potency, when I can use a fresh travel size every 3 months?

There are bad things about travel sizes as well. Sometimes the travel size packaging is not very well made, the product is difficult to dispense and use.
And let’s be honest, even if properly cleaned and disposed, makeup and skincare packaging is not most likely recycled (recyclable doesn’t mean in gets recycled even with the best packages). Most recycling companies will skip even 100-150ml bottles. Those minis and travel sizes will most likely end up in landfill anyway, putting them in recycling just wastes time.

Z Avatar

If it’s skincare I already know and love I’m super in to it. A normal deluxe sample can usually carry me through a few days on a trip and I’d be willing to purchase deluxe sample sets from brands if they didn’t get carried away at the upcharge.

Maggie Avatar

I feel the same way as Christine: travel-sized products are great ways to try out new products but I’d rather decant my regular skincare into empty containers when I’m actually traveling. My sensitive skin can react negatively in response to new products and I’d rather not deal with that risk while traveling. Traveling is already stressful on my skin, so using tried-and-true products is a nice way of bringing the familiar in unfamiliar surroundings–some reassuring pieces of home to bring with you wherever you are.

Jen Avatar

They’re good for trying some products, but I don’t generally think about using them when traveling. I already have my preferred products, so I’ll just decant those into smaller containers if they’re too large to take with me. The only exception would be if I wanted to keep something in my purse or work bag, I might reach for a travel size.

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