Travel smart on your family holidays and breaks this year by packing as many multi-tasking products as possible. Great for all the family and perfect for more than one job, the little gems reviewed below allow you to travel light yet still be confident you have all the products you need for everyone and for any eventuality.
All prices were correct at the time of going to press.
Ultrabalm by Lush (£7.50, lush.co.uk) is a petroleum-free, ultra-light moisturising balm in a handy tin, made with jojoba oil, candelilla wax and rose oil so that it easily absorbs into the skin. Gentle enough for the whole family, it can be used to soothe irritations, as a lip balm or to ease minor scuffs and scrapes.
The generously sized, and very pretty, tub of Antipodes Skin Saviour Balm (£28.99, nutriproducts.com) will not only last ages but also solve a multitude of problems. Australian tea tree and New Zealand totara give the formula antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial healing properties, while echinacea and grape seeds help skin repair itself. From dry and cracked patches to grazes and bruises, from relieving sore muscles to helping with nappy rash, this is a great cure-all.
Perfect for flying, Essential Care’s Calendula Balm (£12, essential-care.co.uk) is is a concentrated blend of healing calendula, camomile, organic oils and raw shea butter. An all-round wonder product, it can be used on chapped hands, elbows and cracked heels. It helps repair torn cuticles, conditions nails and tames flyaway split ends, as well as soothing skin complaints such as psoriasis. Calendula is also the main ingredient in Kiwiherb’s organic Calendula Ointment (£7.09, lifeplan.co.uk). A great first-aider in a pot, this has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, making it ideal for use on eczema and dermatitis flare-ups, skin rashes, blisters and minor burns.
Organic Argan Oil by Moroccan Natural, available in a mini bottle (£12, nutribeautyproducts.com), has been dubbed ‘liquid gold’. A beauty secret of Morocco’s Berber women for the past 700 years, argan oil deeply nourishes and moisturises the skin as well as softening to prevent lines and wrinkles. The gentle, natural oil can also be used on skin prone to eczema and acne but is not suitable for anyone with a nut allergy.
Payot’s Elixir (£25, payot.com) also gets its inspiration and ingredients from exotic places. A beautifying spray oil containing myrrh and amaryllis extracts, it can be spritzed over the body to moisturise and give a limbs a sheen, on the hair to condition and add shine, and on the face to nourish and give a glow.
Ole Henriksen’s All Purpose Aloe Vera Gel (£36, Harveynichols.com) is a must for all the family in warmer climes. The vibrant green gel is wonderfully light and cooling after a day in the sun and works wonders on irritations, sunburns and rashes. It calms skin after shaving and waxing and can even be used as a simple all-over body moisturiser.
The Ultra Repair Cream by FAB (First Aid Beauty; £8, boots.com) works to relieve dry, parched or itchy areas. With its oatmeal to help protect, eucalyptus to heal and soothe and shea butter to hydrate, it is gentle enough to use head to toe, for all ages.
Loved by beauty editors everywhere, Liz Earle’s Superbalm (£16.25, uk.lizearle.com) was one of the first ‘emergency fix’ beauty products on the market. Containing rose hip oil, neroli oil and vitamin E, the salve not only smells heavenly but can fix a multitude of problems, from calming chapped skin to saving dry hair.
Why take a multitude of adult and kiddie products when one-for-all will do? Gentle for adults and children, Bliss’s Soapy Suds (£15.40, blissworld.co.uk) trebles up as a shower gel, hand wash and bubble bath, while Living Nature’s Refreshing Body Wash (£15, livingnature.com) contains active manuka honey and New Zealand’s kumerahou, which naturally cleans and softens skin. Ideal for all, even those with sensitive skins, the wash gently foams in the bath for younger members of the family.
Don’t take a 2-in-1 when there’s an 18-in-1 to be packed. Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap (£4.99, asos.com) is one of the USA’s top sellers, beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow and Natalie Portman. This liquid soap in its apothecary-style bottle can be used as a body wash, and to clean your mouth and teeth, clothes, household and even fruit and vegetables. Meanwhile, Willow Organic's genius 2-in-1 Soap-e Loofah (£10, willowbeautyproducts) saves you on taking a liquid body wash, releasing its jasmine and geranium soap after it becomes wet and also gently exfoliating.
It may have fallen out of fashion, but talc seems to be making a come back because of its multitude of uses. Yardley’s classic English Rose Talc (£7.25, yardleylondon.co.uk) dries damp skin and keeps you gently fragrant all day. It prevents sweating and chaffing and can be dusted into hair to refresh and mattify between washes. Other practical uses include sprinkling it inside swimming caps to aid removal (particularly useful with little ones) and inside wellies and shoes to get rid of odours.
Packed with minerals, Ahava’s Dead Sea Mud sachets (£12.60, ahava.co.uk) are brilliant for deep cleansing skin and replenishing lost moisture. Perfectly portable, they can be heated in a microwave or a hot bath and then liberally applied to help relieve stress, pain and aching muscles.
Every girl’s new best friend, Dr Renaud’s Grapefruit Slimming Concentrate Cream Gel (£42, doctor-renaud.co.uk), wonderfully silky in texture, can be slathered on as an all-over body moisturiser but, best of all, while it hydrates, it targets water retention and cellulite to refine and firm the figure.
Organic Babies Mum and Baby Moisturiser (£9.45, greenpeople.co.uk) does what it says on the tube – the mild lavender formula is a wonderful baby skin moisturiser or massage cream yet is luxurious enough to use on Mum’s (and Dad’s) face, hands and body, too.
Korre’s Walnut and Coconut SPF20 Sunscreen (£20, harveynichols.com) works hard while it protects you from the sun. Perfect for men, women and children, the clear formula is suitable for active sorts who want to do watersports or run around on the beach. Coconut oil deeply nourishes the skin while carrot oil extract promotes a deep uniform tan for sun-lovers. And Korres’ After Sun Gel (£16, harveynichols.com), wonderfully cooling and gentle enough for face and body, moisturises, calms red skin, and desensitises any irritated or inflamed skin, meaning you can use this as part of your daily routine in the summer without the need for a body moisturiser.
For those who prefer to fake it, Model Co Body Meringue Bronze Glow (£15, boots.com) has to be the first three-in-one tan in a bottle. An instant bronzer, the weightless foam delivers an immediate bronze radiance that gradually develops to a sunkissed tan. Best of all, the new launch has skin-firming benefits that tighten and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
A great budget buy, Alberto Balsam’s recently launched Coconut Shampoo (£1.07, boots.com) is gentle enough for all the family, with coconut and lychee extracts to nourish and leave the hair silky smooth and wonderfully scented, without the need for a separate conditioner.
Essential Care’s Gentle Herb Shampoo (£10.50, essential-care.co.uk) is kind enough to use on babies and adults alike. The first shampoo to achieve Soil Association approval, it is packed with organic ingredients and suits all hair types. A two-in-one, it uses chamomile, nettle and aloe combine to gentle cleanse scalp and hair as well as condition.
Lush’s Godiva Shampoo and Conditioning Bar (£6, lush.co.uk) works like a bar of soap but with dual effect. Making hair-washing simple for the whole family, it's perfect for travelling – super-light, it's simply lathered over hair, washed and rinsed. And there’s no risk of leaking bottles or shampoo in the eyes of little ones.
With the huge array of styling products on the market, it’s hard to be satisfied with just one. We’ve found a few that work their magic by going solo. First up is Joico’s Moisture Recovery (£12.95, joicoeurope.com), a conditioning mist that can be sprayed on wet hair to hydrate, give a silky texture and to make styling easy, but that can also double up as a skin moisturiser – gently spritz on and rub in. Perfect for hot climates, it is also kind enough to spray on the face to refresh and cool as well as seal on make-up.
Dove’s brand-new Leave in Conditioning and Care Spray (£3.99, boots.com) does away with having to pack a separate conditioner and styling product when setting off for your holiday. It can be used on damp locks to condition and strengthen or on dry hair, in-between washes, for a boost of instant hydration and sheen.
A miracle in a little bottle, Macadamia’s Healing Oil Spray (£3, macadamiahair.co.uk) suits all hair types and is kind to sensitive scalps. Just a few drops work to condition, hydrate and de-frizz. Perfect for curly hair, it detangles and conditions, and be used on wet or dry hair to add shine throughout the day. It also protects against UV rays to keep tresses in tip-top condition.
Korres' practical, hard-working formulas include the 3-in-1 White Tea Cleansing Water (£14, houseoffraser.com), good for all skin types because of its gentle formula, cleansing, toning and removing eye make-up. Its milk proteins also moisturise the complexion so you're not left with a taut, dried-out feeling. Bliss’s Daily Detoxifying Facial Toner (£20.50, blissworld.co.uk), meanwhile, is ideal for men and women – ater sweeping away any impurities, it primes the face so your moisturiser works to maximum effect. Packed with anitoxidants, it purifies and protects the skin.
Emma Hardie’s cult Amazing Face Cleansing Moringa Balm (£34, emmahardie.com) can be used as a cleanser, seamlessly removing all traces of make-up, but leave it on the skin and it doubles up as a soothing and softening face mask. It also can be employed as a universal ‘rescue’ balm for dry and chapped skin and lips, sunburn and even cradle-cap on babies.
A great 3-in-1 particularly suited to teens, Simple’s Blackhead Eliminating Scrub (£4.99, boots.com) deeply cleanses, purifies and tones to remove dirt and unclog pores, leaving skin looking clear and healthy. Simple's new Eye Make-Up Corrector Pen (£4.99, boots.com) also has hidden uses. This innovative tool removes make-up mistakes while leaving the rest of your make-up untouched (why has no one thought of this before?), but while it does this, it releases Vitamin B5 to protect the skin around the delicate eye area.
Soap & Glory’s 6-in-1 For Daily Youth (£12, boots.com) moisturises, firms and tones, soothes stressed skin, encourages collagen production, re-energises tired skin cells, improves elasticity and employs Plantflower Peptides to fight lines and wrinkles. Skin is left dewy and velvety soft. A primer and anti-ageing serum, Cover FX Skin Prep’s (£43, harveynichols.com) USP hydrates, smoothes lines, reduces pores and fights inflammation, even for the most sensitive skins.
Lastly, Jemma Kidd’s moisturizing Skin Rescue Bio-Complex Veil SPF15 (£32, jemmakidd.com) may be the ultimate multi-purpose beauty must-have, prepping, priming, tinting, illuminating and protecting skin to give a flawless appearance.