Fitting quality men’s grooming products in a frequent traveller, gym enthusiast or sportsman’s luggage can require too much space. Subsequently, many skin care essentials are left at home on your bathroom shelf. Our focus is of course to keep you looking more Gentleman than Ape, so thought it prudent that we share our Top 10 male grooming products for your Wash Bag (UK) or Dopp Kit (US).
It was 1919, when German immigrant and leather craftsmen Charles Doppelt unleashed his creation onto the world; a travel friendly toiletry case for men. It wasn’t instantly popular, but World War II changed Mr Doppelt’s fortunes, when U.S. GIs where administered with a Dopp Kit – a bag with travel-sized grooming products. Today, the basic contents of the kit remains much the same and the Dopp Kit has become a generic byword for grooming essentials of the travelling man. Additionally, they’re often gifted to young men turning 18, as a sign of their transition from boyhood to adolescence.
Key product attributes required are travel and space friendly sizes – many of your favourite men’s grooming brands manufacture smaller, flight friendly versions of their best-sellers. Convenience is also key, so where possible try and combine products – a good example is a hair and body wash in one. Below you will find official personal care item travel rules and our Top 10 Dopp Kit/ Wash Bag Essentials.
Rules and Regulations
- TSA (Transport Security Administration) Carry-on Rules: liquids, aerosols and gels, in limited quantities, are safe to bring aboard an aircraft. Remember 3-1-1: 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger.
- British Hand Luggage Restrictions: 1 transparent and sealable plastic bag per traveller (no more than 20x20cm and 1L in size), with containers capable of holding no more than 100ml.
Something for the face, hair and body is the ideal solution here. Save space, weight and messing around in the shower with 3 different bottles. Go for quality here – cheaper products suitable for the body and hair will most likely be too aggressive for the face.
Jack Black All-Over Wash £9.50/ 85ml – Jack Black is relatively unknown in the UK but has some great products, with generous ingredients. The All-Over Wash is suitable for the face, hair and body – delivering a through clean but with a mild pH balanced botanical formula.
Choose a stick or roll-on deodorant, they’re often smaller than spray-on antiperspirant deodorant so require less luggage space, and crucially they can be carried on a flight legally.
Molton Brown Re-charge Black Pepper Anti-perspirant Stick £16/ 75g – smells superb, reduces underarm sweat by blocking pores and reduces body odour by inhibiting the bacterial breakdown of sweat. The gentle formula doesn’t irritate nor does it leave stains on your favourite shirt!
While electric toothbrushes are great, and suitable for long haul travel – a regular manual toothbrush will save space and do a great job for short haul trips.
Colgate 360 Original £1.99 – the Original version of the regular Colgate toothbrush is more than suitable; designed to clean teeth, tongue, cheeks and gums with ease. It’s easy to grip, and the medium strength bristles are firm but fair.
Travel-sized toothpastes are common, and an easy space saving win. You’ll more than likely be able to find a travel friendly version of the toothpaste you use at home.
Marvis Travel Whitening Mint Toothpaste £3.75/ 25ml – Marvis Mint is my favourite toothpaste brand, not only does it deliver all the benefits of a regular fluoride toothpaste but it tastes like no other. There are other crazy flavours available such as Jasmine Mint or Liquorice but I prefer something with added whitening.
Electric shavers are convenient but also take up a lot of space, plus there’s always the danger of the battery running out. I prefer and always travel with a wet razor.
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor £11.99 – Gillette have been making razors since 1903, and invented the things – so as you’d expect, they know a thing or two about how to shave. Their latest incarnation, the ProGlide looks the part and has thinner, finer blades than ever before – reducing tug and pull, and subsequently shaving irritation.
Although my preference is for shaving cream, lathered with a brush – for travel purpose a gel is easier and less time consuming. Scrap the canned foam, the pressurised container will be tough to get past some customs and border control.
Elemis Travel Elemis Skin Soothe Shave Gel £8.70/ 30ml – the best shave gel I’ve tried, it includes micro-capsules which release skin-soothing marine extracts as well as aloe vera and witch hazel. It’s superb for sensitive skin.
Moisturiser/ After Shave Balm
Geo F Trumper Fragrance Free Moisturising Lotion £15/ 100ml – this is a great dual purpose moisturiser and aftershave balm in one. It’s light and quickly absorbed, and designed to nourish, soothe and hydrate the skin.
A long flight or early morning gym session can leave eyes with dark circles, puffiness and a generally tired look. The solution is an eye roll-on, with a cooling metal roller-ball to instantly revive tired eyes.
Polaar Icy Magic £16/ 5ml – this super eye roll-on has an almost instant cooling effect, to reduce puffy eyes and dark circles. It includes a whole host of ingredients to help you look more human, including Siberian Ginseng.
Jumping out of the shower or worse, spending 8 hours propped up against an airplane window can leave you with untidy hair and courtesy of the latter, bed head. The simplest solution is a comb to tame your locks (and beard or eyebrows) back into shape.
Kent Brushes Slim Jim Pocket Comb £3 – Kent have been producing the finest combs and brushes wince 1777, and to this day they remain the best. Handmade and saw cut from tortoise shell – the Slim Jim is built to last. Small enough to fit in your suit jacket pocket – you can style your hair wherever and whenever.
There are so many hair styling product available for men today, it’s tough to pick between them all. Something middle of the road is the best bet, nothing too wet looking or too dry. And nothing too fragranced.
Bumble and bumble Bb. texture hair(un)dressing creme £9.50/ 50ml – Ideally used in damp hair, but you can use it in dry too, this creme is a hybrid; thicker than gel but not a paste – some where in between. A creme isn’t quite accurate – it’s thicker. None the less, it’s a great universal product for achieving any style.
Plasters (Band Aids), Paracetemol (Tylenol), Tweezers, Mints, Sewing Kit and Lip Balm. Not forgetting your Wash Bag/ Dopp Kit to house all of the above. My current recommendation is the Dopp Kit from Izola (pictured below).