It is now officially summer! Like most of us, you will probably be travelling and escaping your daily routine within the next couple weeks. If this sounds like you, you might want to read on to discover what makes the perfect minimalist travel kit. Most importantly, travelling calls for selecting only products that are actual essentials. But minimalism must not mean making concessions on the quality of the products. A simple but adequate kit consists of products with multiple uses. Ideally, the products should be small or solid (e.g. shampoo bars), and even more so if you can only carry hand luggage. You can choose to buy natural products, or you can make some of them yourself before leaving (check-out our DIY recipes below).
Whether you’re going on an adventure holiday or planning to sleep on the beach in the coming weeks, when travelling, you will most likely sweat. It is therefore crucial to use a product that cleanses well, but without dehydrating the skin. In addition to intense hydration, this gentle soap made with Shea butter can also be used to cleanse the face. No more need for a huge bottle of face cleansing gel! Using just one product will free up some space in your minimalist travel kit.
2. Shampoo bar
Shampoo bars are great for travellers as you can easily carry them around. Forget about the struggle of finding a travel size shampoo bottle… You can choose a gentle shampoo bar that keeps your hair hydrated and healthy, or you can create your own solid shampoo. Here is the ELEPHAS team’s favourite recipe:
Gentle & nourishing DIY Shea butter and coconut shampoo bar:
- 60g SCI (Sodium Cocoyl Isethoniate) surfactant
- 12g mineral water
- 6g shea butter
- 6g coconut oil
- 2g plant wax
- 40 drops of coconut fragrance oil (or of your choice)
- 3g vegetal glycerine
Process: Pour the SCI surfactant and a bowl and add water, Shea butter, coconut oil and wax. Place the bowl on a double boiler, in a pan with simmering water. Heat up the mixture. Stir until you obtain a homogenous mix. Remove from heat and add vegetal glycerine and fragrance. Put the mix in a silicone mould, gently tapping it with your finger until it looks smooth. Refrigerate for an hour and let dry for 48 hours before using.
One shampoo bar can replace approximately two shampoo bottles!
3. Shea butter
Shea butter is the perfect natural product for moisturizing and it can be used for all parts of the body. It softens, hydrates and repairs the skin, soothes and calms irritations, fights stretch marks, acts as light sunscreen (with an SPF of 6) and repairs hair after a day at the beach. No more need for twenty different products in your travel kit, one jar of Shea butter will have you covered.
4. Bamboo toothbrush
For oral hygiene, we have chosen the bamboo toothbrush for its eco-friendly and plastic free features. One of our favourites is from Boutique Zero Déchet as it is completely biodegradable. Plus, it looks so much nicer than those outdated plastic toothbrushes.
5. DIY toothpaste
Using an eco-friendly toothbrush is good, but pairing it up with an eco-friendly toothpaste is even better. The best way to ensure that your toothpaste contains only natural ingredients is to make your own, using only a few ingredients.
- 15g coconut butter
- 30g baking soda or calcium carbonate
- 20g of SCI surfactant
- 20 drops of mint or lemon essential oil
+ charcoal powder for a whitening effect if desired
Process: Pour the SCI, coconut oil and baking soda in a bowl. Place the bowl in a double boiler, in a pan with simmering water. Heat it up and then let it melt for a couple minutes. Stir the mix until homogenous. Remove from heat, add the essential oils and stir again. Put the mixture in a silicone container and tap lightly with you finger until the top of the mix looks smooth. You can add a small wooden stick in the centre. Refrigerate for an hour and let it dry for 48 hours before use.
6. Cleansing oil
Vegetable oils are the perfect natural makeup remover. Many oils can be used for this purpose, but try to find one that fits your skin type. Our personal preference is jojoba oil, as it is non-comedogenic (it doesn’t clog the skin – perfect for those of us with acne!). In contrast with some other oils, jojoba oil does not leave the skin greasy and it has a neutral smell. It even removes waterproof mascara!
7. Reusable makeup remover wipe
Instead of bringing a full pack of face wipes or cotton pads, you could try a reusable wipe made of organic cotton that you can wash and reuse. This will reduce both the amount of waste you produce and the number of products in your minimalist travel kit.
Depending on where you’re travelling to, you might also want to bring ocean-friendly sunscreen. Yearly, 25 000 tons of sunscreen end up in the oceans, resulting in dramatic coral reef degradation. To help prevent this, remember to use biodegradable sunscreen (our personal favourite)
Also, remember to leave your soap, shampoo and toothpaste out to dry after using it.