My Skin Freaked Out Every Time I Traveled—Until I Tried This Product

It has a cult status for a reason.

olivia skin

Olivia Muenter


One of my proudest accomplishments when it comes to organization is my box full of travel skin care products. As a former beauty editor who used to receive her fair share of travel-sized, carry-on approved beauty products, I eventually started storing them all in one box so I could simply grab some and go whenever I had a trip coming up. This habit, while incredibly convenient, eventually led to me using totally different skin care products every time I went on a trip. For the most part, this was fine. Usually these trips were a week or less, meaning changing up my typical skin care routine didn't drastically affect my complexion. But, eventually I realized there was one travel-sized product I found myself reaching for again and again: My mini bottle of Pixi Glow Tonic.

Thanks to its cult status among beauty YouTubers and influencers, you may have heard of Pixi Glow Tonic before even if you haven’t given it a try yourself. The exfoliating and brightening toner’s rose gold and pistachio green label is easy to spot on a shelf, and here’s the kicker—it’s actually effective. But unlike many other similar toners, Glow Tonic is actually fairly affordable. A full size bottle is less than $30, and it lasts a while. If you’re not ready to commit to the whole bottle, though, here’s where the travel-size bottle comes in handy. These smaller bottles are only about $5 (or sometimes less) at places like Target and Urban Outfitters, and they also last a long, long time. I’ve had one travel-size bottle of Glow Tonic last for four or five trips.

pixi glow tonic
PIxi Glow Tonic $15

Always make sure you have one versatile product you know, love, and trust in your carry-on kit.

While I love the Glow Tonic as an everyday product, something about the formula gives my skin exactly what it needs when I’m traveling. Plane travel and long trips tend to bring out the worst in my skin. After a long flight or car ride, my complexion gets extra oily, but also prone to breakouts and occasional dry spots. Something about the alcohol-free Glow Tonic’s combination of glycolic acid, aloe vera, and ginseng gives my skin the exact balance of moisture, toning, and spot treatment it needs. Honestly, the namesake benefit of the product (that famous glow) is just an added value on top of everything else for me.

So while I still keep my box of travel-sized beauty products in my closet to go to whenever I have a trip coming up, my mini Glow Tonic stays in my travel toiletry bag constantly. I throw in a handful of cotton rounds (though I’ve used tissues or just applied it with my hands if I forget them), and I’m set. Even if a moisturizer or cleanser I grab out of my collection of tiny products doesn’t work for me, I always know I have my Glow Tonic to go back to. If you’ve dealt with skin issues in the past, sometimes travel can bring extra anxiety about new breakouts or inflammation. My suggestion? Always make sure you have one versatile product you know, love, and trust in your carry-on kit. The good news is that experimenting with travel-size products is much more affordable than with full-size products.

FYI: This drugstore shampoo is $11—and better than any luxury product I've ever tried.

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