The great American road trip—it’s a venture that encourages you to get down and dirty in nature. But rugged adventures notwithstanding, that doesn’t mean you should ditch your everyday grooming routine. You don’t need to uphold your entire regimen. You just need to invest in some road trip grooming essentials.
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After all, you aren’t cleaning up for business meetings or trying to look as fresh as you would on a first date. But there are certain comforts you’ll seek when you spend all those hours in the car, not to mention a few baseline hygienic and self-care standards you’ve got to maintain.
So before you pack, consider things you’re likely to experience: body odor, sweaty nether regions, drowsiness, sunburn, and greasy hair. Here are 10 road trip grooming products that’ll combat the worst of your travel woes. You’ll pass each mile feeling as fresh as the first.
Svens Mineral Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 33
You’ll probably spend much of the trip exploring at each pitstop, so you’ll need to shield your skin from the sun. Get an absorbent mineral sunscreen that won’t cake your skin in grease or a ghostly white cast. Svens’ broad-spectrum sunscreen is safe for the body and face, and provides SPF 33 cover, which should shield some 97% of harmful, skin-aging, cancer-causing rays.
Origins Caffeinated Face Mist
A face mist may seem frivolous, but a caffeinated one can serve two key purposes: First, it can invigorate the skin and senses, stimulating blood flow and helping you feel refreshed and alert—especially if you’re driving. (Though it shouldn’t be substituted for caffeine or rest, especially if you’re nodding off.) Secondly, it’s a serum in disguise. Origins’ mist uses ginseng and pomegranate to energize skin and make it look youthful. You’ll look and feel fresh in a matter of seconds.
Hanz de Fuko Quicksand Gritty Dry Shampoo Styler
If your road trip is also an excuse to abandon a steady hair regimen for the week, so be it. We understand that some things must meet compromise. However, don’t let it be a week of hats and greasy hair. Instead, get a hybrid styler like Hanz de Fuko’s gritty Quicksand, which acts like a dry shampoo to absorb excess grease while also texturizing and volumizing hair. Even with the windows up, you’ll get some nice wind-swept texture.
Philips Norelco Vacuum Beard Trimmer
You’re not Magellan here. Modern technology allows you to stay trimmed and groomed while on the go. And a vacuum trimmer makes it all the easier by sucking up some 90 percent of the trimmings. I’d even posit that you could trim in the car while your buddy drives, without worry of making a mess. (Though you’d better worry about him hitting a speed bump.) Philips Norelco’s latest vacuum trimmer holds a 75-minute charge, so you probably only need to juice it up once before you go—not that the charging cable takes up that much space either. It allows 18 different length settings too, from 1 to 18 mm.
Anthony Tapioca-based Shield for Sweat and Chafe
Sitting down for hours on end can procure a rank case of swamp crotch—as can being outdoors in particularly hot, humid climates. After rubbing Anthony’s talc-free anti-chafe cream on your groin and thighs, it turns to a chalky powder layer. It stays put and absorbs any sweat and moisture throughout the day. This thin shield also ensures your thighs don’t chafe from rubbing together. This is a miracle cream.
Dove Men+Care Antiperspirant Deodorant Spray
A road trip is an optimal time to pack antiperspirant, since your co-pilot doesn’t deserve the torture of smelling your BO. Even if you’re solo, it’s not like you want to soak your pits in moisture or odor all day. Get an antiperspirant spray and zap each pit in the morning—or every 48 hours, as Dove promises this spray will fight odors and moisture for as long. It also upholds Dove’s “one-quarter” moisturizing principles, in that a fourth of its formula is made with nourishing, skin-soothing ingredients.
Dude Wipes Flushable Wipes
You should be in the habit of bringing wipes with you everywhere—especially if they’re individually wrapped and can fit inside a bag or backpack. Many can be used all over your body, while others are specially made for your face. Most wipes come with nourishing, refreshing ingredients, allowing you to cleanse and freshen whichever patch of skin you’re targeting. In the case of Dude Wipes’ minty flushable pack, they’ll suffice as arm, hand, and neck coolers just as much as they’ll save you in the bathroom. Plus, you don’t have to worry about them clogging the pipes if you send them down the loo.
[$17 for three packs; dudeproducts.com]
Harry’s Bar Soap
This is a rare moment: You have our permission to not pack a cleanser—but only if your bar soap is nourishing enough to also keep your face hydrated and soft. Harry’s is one such bar, as its soap uses palm and coconut oils to clean and nourish, as well as shea butter to soften skin. You can revert back to your cleanser upon returning home, but this little bar soap is all you need in the great outdoors.
West Skincare Moisturizer
A road trip is no time to abandon your solid morning-and-night moisturizer application. But a vacation is the perfect time to bring a new moisturizer into the rotation. So let it be West Skincare’s matte, no-residue hydrator, which is packed with squalane, sodium hyaluronate, and provitamin B5. Together, they preserve the skin’s moisture all day and night, while also shielding you from environmental damage. Apply to cleansed skin, but before applying SPF.
Rahua Hydrating Conditioner
Even if you’re leaving the shampoo at home, we beg you to pack a conditioner. You can “co-wash” for the week, which is to say, use a conditioner to help rinse away hair product and grease, while also nourishing and fortifying each strand. Rahua’s protein-rich conditioner is an excellent travel companion, ensuring your hair stays soft and buoyant all week, thanks to the aid of natural Amazonian oils. (The dry-shampoo hybrid styler above will help keep hair from getting too greasy, but will also benefit from a thorough conditioning.)
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