The Best K-Beauty Cleansers for Travel

Olivarrier Emollient Cleansing Bar

You can’t get the most out of your skincare routine unless you start with clean skin, so if you want to keep up with your skincare while you’re travelling, you must pack cleanser. Luckily, there are a number of great travel cleansers on the market to help you maintain your complexion while on the road, without taking up extra space in your TSA-approved liquids bag. I touched on a couple of them in my list of travel skincare tips. Here are my picks, in greater detail.

What makes a great travel cleanser?

A cleanser has to cleanse, of course, but it’s not that simple. If it were, we’d all just stuff slivers of soap in our purses and consider it good. Facial cleansers should be at a neutral pH or lower, to prevent disruption of skin’s acid mantle, which can lead to the removal of skin’s natural moisture and radiance as well as creating lasting problems like sensitivity and breakouts. The travel-friendly cleansers in this list are pH 7 or below and tested by either me or bloggers I trust for gentleness and cleansing ability.

  1. Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash

My go-to travel cleanser comes in powder form for easy, mess-free transport. Bring the whole container for long trips, or, if space is at a premium, shake some out into any smaller container you have on-hand. When mixed with water, Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash foams up like a standard face wash and provides gentle bonus exfoliation via the papaya enzymes in the formula. It leaves my skin feeling buttery soft and clean. I’ve finished two bottles of this and am deep into my third.

As a final bonus, Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash is inexpensive – you should be able to find it for US$10 or less online. (Full review with ingredients) (Avoid if you are sensitive to SLS or alcohol)

  1. Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick

Need some luxury in your cleansing routine? What’s more luxurious than rubbing rose petals all over your face? The famous Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick is a solid cleanser in (surprise!) stick format. It comes in a twist-up tube and contains actual rose petals distributed throughout the product. Thick, rich foam and the scent of roses fancy up the normally mundane face-washing chore. K-beauty fans worldwide snapped the Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick up at gold rush prices when it first came to fame; rave reviews from The Wanderlust Project, Skin and Tonics, and The Beauty Wolf helped drive the craze. At around US$25 currently, this is a more expensive option, but devotees of the MRCS swear it’s worth it. (Avoid if you are sensitive to coconut oil)

  1. Olivarrier

A powdered foaming cleanser or a tube of roses may be too much for complexions that need less indulgence and more babying. For very dry, sensitive, or compromised skin, check out Olivarrier Soap-Free Emollient Cleansing Bar. The minimal ingredients of this unfragranced, sulfate- and paraben-free facial cleanser substantially reduce the risk of irritation, while the  moisturising foam leaves compromised skin feeling soft and comfortable. I turned to the mild, supremely non-irritating formula for relief when my skin was suffering the aftereffects of an extremely harsh cleanser that I regret testing. It’s suitable for sensitive wallets, too, at US$10 or less per bar. (Avoid if you are sensitive to olive-derived ingredients)

Your travels may take you all over the world, but there’s no reason a solid skincare routine can’t come along for the ride. In fact, if this is your first adventure with a modern low-pH cleanser, you may come home with your complexion in better shape than ever.

Jude Chao
written by: Jude Chao