Holiday Wash Bag Essentials

First of, lets just put it out there – I know that this isn’t the straightest flatlay in the world. YES, do I wish I could go back in time and make the gel cleanser bottle actually align with the rest of the products – yes. It is all I can see, and yes, it is keeping me up at night. BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO. We just have to move forward. I am only human and my products are wonky sometimes ok?

Right – so lets actually begin. I would like to share with you my absolute essentials for my washbag whenever I go on holiday / whenever I go anywhere / what I use when I am at home and so on and so forth. It is a mixture of skincare, suncare and other random bits of essentialness.

I have left out the obvious – toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, blah blah blah. But I have also missed out things that I would highly recommend taking with out on holiday such as mini scissors and nail clippers for emergencies. But yes – I have included my essentials that I take everywhere so lets get started!

*Also – as I wrote this post – I got a bit carried away with detail – if you want just a quick packing list – scroll to the bottom…*

1. Suncare

I use two different types of suncream on holiday, one for face and one for body.

A) For face, I am currently using and TOTALLY LOVING the Avène Clearance factor 50 suncream. It has changed my relationship with putting suncream on my face. My biggest peeve with wearing face suncream when I am on holiday is that without fail, it will slowly drip down into my eyes and make them sting SO SO SO SO SO much. Plus – I don’t even want to go into the breakouts that suncream’s insert into my skin. But the worst is definitely the pain of getting suncream slipping into your eyes. It is one of my worst pains ever. However, this is the only facial suncream that doesn’t move, that I have tried. I can slather it all over my face (whereas before I was avoiding going anywhere NEAR my eyes to avoid the dreaded suncream-eye-sting) and it doesn’t move at all. It also has an anti acne serum in it – which is IDEAL as your skin doesn’t break out, in fact it prevents it, and it is completely non greasy. TOTAL WINNER from me.

And it is a small product but lasted me about 3 different holidays (first one was a week and both my boyfriend and I wore it everyday).

B) The other suncream I am currently swearing with is the uber expensive, but totally worth it, P20 Once A Day Sun Protection. So I have been wearing this every single day that I have been in the sun because it is the only suncream that I have found that really stops that ‘first day in the sun’ burn. It is such a dream – it is waterproof and you only need to reapply a few times a day. I absolutely love it because it stays on if you are getting in and out the sea. HOWEVER – it does make anything white go that horrible suncreamy yellow. So don’t use your best white towels or wear a white bikini if you don’t want some greasy stain.

But the grease does mean that is doesn’t rub off when sweat etc etc so it is good for protecting your skin – I always feel with some suncreams – you apply them and 5 mins later your bikini strap has completely rubbed them off, so you get horrible burn marks around your straps. I trust this suncream with my life. I wore factor 30 on my legs, arms and stomach etc and wore the face 50 on my chest, neck and shoulders 🙂

c) Aftersun – Now – I have always been a Banana Boat Aloe Vera kinda girl. But I was kindly sent a Clarins Aftersun so I thought I would give it a whirl. I have been using the Clarins Aftersun Ultra Hydrating Moisturiser and OH MY GOD THE SMELL IS AMAZING. It reminds me of the original Clarins scent and I absolutely love it. It is also amazing with cooling burns and prolonging tan. I absolutely love this stuff. Also now, whenever I apply it, it reminds me of holidays!

Now onto the next part:

2. Skincare

I hate recommending skincare – as everyones skin is so different. I am still trying to figure out my skincare routine and also trying to understand what my skin wants and needs. It is one of my worst relationships – I can think I am treating my skin right and giving it everything it needs, and then suddenly it will be like ‘bitch no, have some spots and a paint splattering of blackheads and some random dry patches. Oh and some oil”.

But recently I have been using Avène skincare and I am absolutely obsessed with it. Avène as a brand are amazing. Please do have a ready about their literally ‘magic’ water that they use in their products – bottled in Avene in France.  I was only introduced to the brand really recently – likeeeee March maybe? and I am now only using Avène products pretty much and my skin is the best and most well behaved it has ever been.

So lets quickly discuss my travel skincare routine (which is pretty much my everyday normal routine when I am home too). I am currently using their micellar water, their gel cleanser and then one of their moisturisers – followed by my Kiehls Midnight Recovery oil.

There are the perfect products to take away with you – as its a very simple, quick skincare routine – and apart from the gel cleanser being big and heavy – the others are small and easy to pack 🙂

So a bit of detail for these products

a) Avène Micellar water – Hands down the best micellar water I have ever ever ever ever used. I absolutely LOVE this product. I used to get SO frustrated about taking off make up. I would always get such ridiculously bad panda eyes when using other micellar waters. I would think I had removed all my mascara, wash my face, look up from the sink and be like… WHAT, WHY SO MUCH BLACK SMUDGED EVERYWHERE. HOW IS THERE STILL SO MUCH MASCARA ON MY LASHES STILL.

It was so so frustrating. I would literally be like – what is the point in even bothering to double cleanse. I may as well just keep my mascara on 24/7 as nothing gets it off.

However, *drum roll please* I FOUND THE ONE. THE dream remover. I genuinely love this product so much (apart from the fact that I didn’t shut it properly in my hand luggage on the way home on the plane and it broke my Kindle but totally my fault.

I use this to get my mascara and eye make up off, very successfully, – then will do a quick sweep over my face and try to remove most of my foundation. Then I move onto the gel cleanser…( Avène Clearance cleansing gel) to give myself a full squeaky clean face – and BAM NO MAKE UP LEFT. I can even dry my face on my nice white towel because there is no make up left on my skin – whereas before there would always be SOME orange tint and black smudging left all over the towels.

(When I am feeling the most lazy – I just use the micellar water and then rinse my face and thats it.)

Plus these products feel so good and gentle on my skin. The gel cleanser isn’t drying at all, which is amazing as most gels are really drying. I am just so in love with these two. A babe of a combo.

I then follow it with the Avène Skin Recovery Cream which is so SO delicious. I use this morning and night. However, some evenings I will swap it out for the Kiehls Midnight Recovery oil when I want a proper deep pampering oil. Plus this smells of calm to me- so I use this when I am super stressed to relax me.

So now the big bits are out the way – onto my essentials for a holiday washbag. (seemed to get a little distracted on skincare above – apologies if you were looking for a quick helpful packing list.

3. Everything else 

a) NAILS. Please, if you are going on holiday with painted nails, and your nails normally chip – then listen to me. They don’t just not chip because you are on holiday. They will still be annoying and chip when you want them looking cute all vacay. BRING YOUR NAIL VARNISH COLOUR WITH YOU. So you can DIY a little nail top up and keep them fresh and perfect.

I also bring with me a travel back of nail varnish remover pads – I always take the pads from Boots rather than a bottle of nail varnish because 1) space and 2) if nail varnish remover spills in your bag then you are pretty much buggered.

The nail varnish I am currently wearing on holiday is from Nailberry. I am obsessed with this product as it is specially designed to be BREATHABLE. So the sun will still get to your nails and give them some much needed vitamin D, even when they are two coats deep in varnish.


b) Perfume. Holiday scents are the best scents because with one little squirt it can take you straight back to that specific hotel room, or submerge you in a summer nights memory.

I am currently obsessed with the Vikor & Rolf Bon Bon Spring Summer eau de toilette. It smells of what summer night should smell like. And it is a good thing that I love it because this ALSO slightly spilt in my hand luggage on the WAY to my holiday… (clearly not having a good holiday for spillages / need to take better care of my possessions)… the lid came off in my bag and it squirted around everywhere and made my whole hand bag smell DIVINE.

c) And last but not least – my FAVOURITE and MOST essential holiday wash bag item – nipple stickers. If you, like me, do not have humongous bosoms, and like wearing floaty backless dresses, or off the shoulder tops and don’t want to sweat into a strapless bra all evening – then these daisy nipple stickers are LIFE. They basically stop any awkward ‘nippy’ comments and make me feel comfortable wearing tops and dresses without a bra, but also without feeling naked. I am just not brave enough to pull of the whole Rachel from Friends nipple out vibe.

So there you have it guys – my holiday washbag essentials.

In summary we have:

Face suncream

Body suncream


Micellar water

Cleanser Gel


Facial oil

Nail varnish

Nail Varnish Remover

Nipple stickers


What more could you possible want in life?

What other essentials do you pack in your wash bag?