I’ll admit, as I’ve gotten older I’ve become somewhat of a bag lady. I have my work bag, gym bag, and duffel bag for short trips. And I pack bags inside of those bags, including my purse, makeup bag, and toiletries bag. Last week I did a post on what I’ve been taking lately in my travel makeup kit (which you can check out here), and today I’ll be going over what I bring in my toiletries kit.
Not only do I take this kit on trips, but I also use this for the gym, including my early morning tri practices that have me leaving my house at 4 in the morning (sooooo earlyyy). During the warmer months, I also like to keep this in my car so I have it on hand for any impromptu beach trips or sleepovers. My toiletries kit is probably one of the most used bags I own, and because of this I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping it prepared and stocked (but not overstocked) with products I’m going to need. Right now my kit is stocked specifically for the gym. While things do get switched out depending on the event or time of year, I think this can help be a guideline when building a basic toiletries kit for yourself! As always, I’ve tried to go in some sort of order, generally trying to list things in the order I use them.
Cleansing Cloths – Even though facial wipes aren’t my favorite, they are so handy to keep in my bag and take up almost no space. If I don’t have time for a full shower, I can use a couple of these to freshen up my face and body. If I’m hitting g the gym later in the day, I can wipe of my face so the dirt and gunk of the day doesn’t sink in my pores any further once I get to sweating. Currently I’m using Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths, but any type will do. These aren’t my favorite for removing makeup, but since I don’t typically have makeup on, these work just fine for the time being.
Facial Cleanser – Having a mini facial cleanser really helps keep my face in tip top form. If I was wearing makeup, I can remove it with a wipe then really wash with the cleanser. After a long, sweaty workout, I want to make sure to cleanse my face properly so I don’t get and extra pimples. As you can see, I have transferred a bit of the cleanser I was using into a travel bottle, I think this is some Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash if you’re curious. I like having both the cloths and liquid cleanser, but if you’d prefer to only pack one, pick the one that works best with your lifestyle and plans. I really recommend packing facial cleanser over a facial cloth, as I just think they do a better job, but if finding water is an issue then cloths may be your best bet.
Body Wash – Even if you’re not using this for the gym, keeping yourself fresh and clean is pretty important! If I can, I prefer to shower after working out so the sweat doesn’t stay on my skin and cause irritation. I have acne prone skin so even the twenty minutes from the gym to my house is a no-no. Granted, I have my cleansing cloths for the days when I just don’t have time to shower, but if at all possible I like to get a real life rinse off. Again, I just put some of whatever bodywash I was using at the time in a travel bottle (this is Jason Organics Purifying Tea Tree Body Wash). Question – When in the shower do you wash your body once or twice? When I mentioned I washed my body thoroughly once, sometimes hitting certain spots twice if I felt I needed to, but someone I know was a little grossed out and said they had always been taught to wash their entire body twice! Ever since I’ve been super paranoid about it. Now I wash twice, but I still think it’s a little unnecessary and I’m wasting product. Let me know!
Exfoliating Pads – To be honest, these are almost primarily part of my nighttime routine, but I like to have a couple stashed for the times I have an evening workout. Chances are if I’m working out at 7pm, I’ll be washing up at around 830pm, which means I probably not going to rewash my face once I’m home before I go to bed. While I don’t bring my night creams (unless I’m packing for a trip), I do pack these since I use them immediately after washing my face. These are my go-to Nip + Fab Glycolic Facial Cleansing Pads. While you may or may not need this exact product, I included this to illustrate the importance of thinking beyond your immediate needs to pack a more useful bag. While in all reality as long as you have soap, a toothbrush, and a towel you’ll probably be fine, if you’re using your toiletry bag wit any kind of regularity you’ll want it to be optimized to work with your life, flowing right along with your normal routine, as opposed to a separate entity entirely.
Facial Lotion – Ok, you definitely don’t need to bring two like I have, but while most days the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is what I use, occasionally I need to mix equal parts of that with its lotion sibling to combat extra dry air or frigid temps. So it makes sense! I swear! But pick your favorite facial lotion and add it to your kit. Hydration is key!
Eye Cream – This is also something I primarily use in the evening, but if my eyes area gets irritated in the pool or from the wind, this can help soothe the delicate skin. The Hyaluronic Eye Cream from Mario Badescu is what I’m currently using, but it’s not my favorite. It takes too long to sink it for me and is just a little greasy, leaving my eyes kind of sticky. I never attempt eye makeup after using this. I do like its smell, which is very faint and reminds me of oats. Eye cream seems to last me quite a while, though, so I probably won’t be changing any time soon.
Oral Hygiene Essentials – Including a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss is hopefully common sense. I usually have something small to eat both before and after the gym, as well as tea in the mornings, and I don’t want to walk into work with my breath smelling rank. This mini toothbrush folds up to not only reduce the amount of space it takes up, but the cover also prevents any bits of fuzz from getting in the bristles while it roams around in your bag. I love the 3D White line from Crest, and these Oral-B Glide 3D White Floss Picks make flossing SO much easier than having to wrestle with floss on the go. Mirror space can be limited and regular floss takes two hands, but I can floss at my locker with one hand holding my phone up to use it for a mirror and one hand with a little floss pick.
Cotton Swabs – I swim and am prone to ear infections, so these are very important to me. I still use them even if I’m not swimming and have just taken a shower after a workout. I feel like this is something small that people always wish they remembered to bring, but don’t. So remember! I bought this little Q-Tip brand travel pack with case and have continued to refill it with whatever brand of QTip I have on hand when it runs out. They’re all the same size so why not?
Facial Spray – This may be an optional item for some, but facial spray has become a staple in any bag I carry. I love using it in these cold months when the air is so dry that it sucks the life out of me, but I also like to use it in the summer as a refresher on a hot day. I’m obsessed with mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater. It has a strong rose scent, but dries quickly and is so cheap! Whether it’s to pop on before/after my facial lotion for a bit extra hydration, or using a bit at the end of getting ready for a bit of a boost, or even on extremely lazy/rushed days when I only have time to quickly use a cleansing cloth and then give myself a couple spritzed of this before heading out, facial spray is such a big part of my life now. Wow, that wasn’t dramatic or anything…
Lipbalm – Do I really have to explain? I have lip balms in my toiletries kit, in my makeup bag, in my purse, in my coat, in my car, on my nightstand, and random other places. Always throw one in your toiletry kit, though, because trust me, it will be after the shower on a freezing cold day after a long hard workout when your lips are so dry you don’t want to breath when you discover the lipbalm in your pocket fell out who knows where. I keep this basic Neutrogena one in mine.
Lotion – Chlorine and sweating and hot showers can leave your skin feeling a little dry, and having a body lotion in your bag is a good way to keep it hydrated. While they aren’t intensely hydrating, I have been using these Pacifica Hand and Body Lotion Wipes in Tuscan Blood Orange as a quick, mess free way to nourish my skin. I’ve only just started using them, but I’m hoping they work well as time goes on because the concept is just so handy! I love this particular scent from them. The formula of these wipes is just like a facial cloth, and it sinks in without feeling greasy. For some of the areas that need a little e tea attention, I pack a travel size Body Butter from the Body Shop.
Detangler – You may have noticed I don’t have shampoo. My gym schedule and hair washing schedule have been synced up in such a way that the evenings I have to wash my hair are opposite of the evenings I hit the gym. When I get sample packets of shampoo and conditioner, I do throw them in just to have it on hand, but I since I rarely wash my hair at the gym, I don’t really have a need to add it in my case as a regular item. I do find myself in need of detangler most days, however. I have pretty long hair that inevitably ends up with damp ends somehow, whether from the pool or the shower, and if I have a ponytail it always ends up flying all around during my dry exercises, so detangler helps me restore a bit of order to things. I put a little bit of Johnson’s No More Tangles spray in a mini spray bottle and use just a touch on any snags I run into.
Perfume Sample – I usually have one of these rolling around the bottom of my toiletry kit. I don’t actually spray it in the locker room, though…it’s such a small space that spraying a fragrance seems a little rude. But I keep a sample vial in my bag to take out and use once I leave if I want it. This is probably an unnecessary item, but it’s in my bag and if I finish one I usually replace it. Just my habit.
Extra Hair Ties and a Hair Clip – Unless you have short hair, I highly recommend throwing some extra hair ties in the bottom of your bag. It can be miserable when your hair tie breaks and you don’t have an extra. Additionally, I have a hair clip so that I can clip my hair up before I take a shower to keep it dry.
Mini Meds – My two most commen ailments are stomach aches and headaches, so I like to fill this little case with a couple of Tums and a few Advil. Having a day or two supply of your vitamins could also be helpful, if you take them around your gym time. That way, if you forget to take them before walking out the door, you’re covered. This is definitely personal preference.
Pads, Tampons, and *gasp* Summer’s Eve – I am a woman. A woman who has a menstrual cycle. Therefore, keeping a few tampons and panty liners in my toiletry kit is definitely essential. Chances are if you are in need of a tampon someone in the locker room has one, but why not be the person that is prepared? I also like to keep a couple indivually packed Summer’s Eve cleansing cloths to clean up any, uhm, surprises. My gym opens at 5am and we’re expected to be in the water at 5:05am, so I don’t have time to deal with any mess that may come with starting my period at some point during my 45 minute commute. And remember how I said earlier that some days a shower isn’t available or I don’t have time to wait, and instead I use a cleansing cloth for my body? Well your lady parts need a quick freshen up too, and you don’t want to take a cloth meant for your face anywhere near your V. Plus, hey, if you need to use the restroom but the stalls are out of toilet paper, if you have one of these packed you’re all set!
Like I said, this bag is packed to be used at the gym. If you’re packing for a trip, you may want to include other things, like shampoo/conditioner, face masks, or spot treatments. For the record, I do use deodorant! I keep one at home, one in my gym dufflIe, and one in my car, so I don’t feel the need to take up space by adding yet another one to my toiletry bag. Figure out what works best for you! If you’re really bad at remembering to grab your contact case, buy a second one specifically for this bag. Need to bring an item that isn’t sold in travel size? There are all sorts of kits with mini bottles and jars. I got mine from TJ Maxx, in the travel section (approved airplane sizes = perfect gym sizes). It’s best to have a bag that is easy to wipe clean, and ideally water resistant. I bring this whole thing into the tiny shower stall with me. If it wasn’t water resistant I couldn’t do that, which means awkwardly trying to find things in my bag from the other side of the shower curtain, or putting a soggy bag in my gym duffle which in turn gets everything else damp. Not to mention that it will begin to smell and mold pretty fast. Gross.its also important to find a bag that fits all your items with just a bit of room to spare. You don’t want a case that is too big, or 1) items will have too much room to move around and may be damaged, or 2) you’ll feel the need to pack more, since you have the space, which means bringing things you probably won’t need and will only get in the way of finding the things you do need. A too small case will obviously be too small and a pain in the butt to repack. I got my bag from Target, I believe, in the travel section.
Hopefully this helped give you some idea of what items to take in your own toiletry kit. If there are any other items that might be good to include, or you see an item you can’t believe I deem important, leave a comment below! If you enjoyed this type of post and want to see others like it, give it a “like,” and don’t forget to Follow my blog if you’d like to know each time I put out a new post!