Holidays are glorious; packing for them, less so. How to distil your extensive skincare routine into a not comically large wash bag, or worse still into a hand-luggage friendly 20cm bag, without the faff of decanting?
These skincare sets from some of our absolute favourite brands contain standout products in mini sizes, and most are comprehensive sets so you won’t even have to think about what you need.
For those with more specific concerns, such as sun damage or dehydrating aeroplane cabins, there are smaller sets with targeted products, too.
Even if you’re not jetting off this year, we’d recommend many of these sets, such as Tata Harper’s or Drunk Elephant’s, as a more affordable way to get acquainted with a new brand.
All of these contain products that are already firm favourites of ours, and we’ve discovered a few new ones too.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
REN Clean Getaway: £29.75, John Lewis & Partners
Clean getaway is our go-to for a relaxing weekend in the country or a luxury hotel break: it’s the closest thing you’ll get to a spa experience in travel-size minis. The products are all focused on gentle, soothing results, with skincare (cleanser, moisturiser and mask) from REN’s Evercalm range, its & Now To Sleep pillow spray to encourage a good night’s kip, and the energising kelp and magnesium body wash and lotion for your shower come morning.
Drunk Elephant The Littles: £71, Cult Beauty
We’d recommend buying this one even if you’re not planning to leave the house this summer; it’s a brilliant way to discover the best of cult-favourite US brand Drunk Elephant, which has won us over with its no-nasties, effective products and colourful packaging. We’d be hard-pushed to choose our favourites, but B-Hydra intensive hydration serum and C-Firma day cream are both up there.
Patchology On The Fly: £18, Space NK
Patchology’s kit goes one step beyond travel-friendly minis of your usual products with its set of masks specifically designed to ward off parched post-flight skin. With two soothing, moisturising sheet masks (illuminate and hydrate) and two patch masks (eye and lip), there’s everything you need for some serious damage control.
Elemis The Luxury Travel Collection: £65, Elemis
There’s not even any packing required with this set from Elemis, which comes housed in a beautiful wash bag designed by fashion illustrator Megan Morrison. Inside you’ll find seven much-loved products plus a face cloth for proper cleansing. Our favourites are the pro-collagen marine cream and cleansing balm, and the frangipani monoi body cream, all of which we regularly use in full-size too.
Murad Travel Light Travel Bright: £25, Feel Unique
You couldn’t find a much better companion for a sunny break. Murad’s travel light kit contains minis of its Essential-C day moisture SPF 30 – which is hydrating, rich in antioxidants (to protect skin from environmental aggressors) and has all-important sun protection – and its age-spot correcting serum to help improve areas where the damage has already been done.
Omorovicza Mix and Match Travel: From £26, Omorovicza
For a personalised approach, Hungarian luxury skincare brand Omorovicza allows you to choose three travel-size products to suit you (the price varies depending on what you pick). Our dream selection features all our favourites: thermal cleansing balm, copper peel and illuminating moisturiser.
Balance Me Hydrated Skin Set: £15, Balance Me
This, from the natural beauty brand, is a no-fuss solution to both packing and skincare. Its pared-down combination of face wash, eye cream, moisturiser and a refreshing face mist is all you’ll need for a carefree holiday, no thinking required.
Tata Harper Daily Essentials: £65, Cult Beauty
Another great choice to discover the best of a cult US brand, the Daily Essentials set includes some of our Tata favourites, such as the rejuvenating serum and resurfacing mask, all in the same gorgeous, green frosted glass packaging you get with full-size. “Queen of Green”, Tata Harper’s 100 per cent natural and organic line, is much-loved by beauty editors.
Sunday Riley Flash Fix Kit: £28, Cult Beauty
A power pairing of cult products, this duo is all about exfoliating and brightening your skin. Ceramic slip cleanser uses three kinds of clay (of the kind often seen in purifying masks) to draw out excess oil and grime, and has a silky gel texture. Follow it up with exfoliating serum good genes, which uses glycolic acid to dissolve dead skin cells and revive dull skin.
Kate Somerville Face the Glow: £56, Space NK
This radiance-boosting trio would be just as good for someone needing a quick turnaround pre-party season as for getting a summer holiday glow. Containing three products from A-list facialist Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate range – the face wash, quick wash-off exfoliating treatment and AHA moisturiser – it gives soft, bright skin.
The verdict: Travel-sized skincare sets
REN’s Clean Getaway is our Best Buy as it contains all the essentials and a little bit of luxury too. For something that is a great introduction to a brand too, we’d pick Elemis’s Travel Collection or Drunk Elephant’s The Littles.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.