Packing for the Camino de Santiago is one of the hardest and most important parts of preparation before you set off. You have probably heard that you need to pack light, but you might be wondering exactly what this means, and what you should or shouldn’t take. Having walked three Camino routes now, I wanted to share my perspective on whether you should pack beauty products and cosmetics on the Camino de Santiago. And, which ones to pack!
You can find more information about preparing for and training for the Camino in our articles here and here. You can also find a full packing list for the Camino for women here.
If you are a female intending to walk the Camino de Santiago and you’d like more information, we also have a guide book written just for women. Find it on Amazon here.
- Should you pack beauty products and cosmetics for the Camino de Santiago?
- Best beauty products for Camino de Santiago
Should you pack beauty products and cosmetics for the Camino de Santiago?
When you are walking the Camino de Santiago, you will want to ensure that your bag weighs as little as possible. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to leave all your creature comforts behind. As a woman, even when walking the Camino, I still prioritise packing some beauty products and cosmetics.
That said, I believe that the answer to whether or not you should pack cosmetics for the Camino de Santiago is entirely personal. You may be somebody who does not use beauty products at home, in which case it would be unnecessary for you to take them on the Camino. Or, perhaps you’re someone who prioritises beauty products at home and travelling anywhere without them would be alien to you.
Ultimately, you will have to carry whatever you choose to take! This is part of the challenge of the Camino and part of the fun. So choose wisely!
To offer a personal perspective, I like to take some beauty products with me when I walk a long distance trail. This will include some make up and cosmetics to keep my hair and skin healthy. However, I prioritise products that are multi-purpose and lightweight.
Best beauty products for Camino de Santiago
When packing for the Camino, or any long-distance trail, I try to find lightweight products that have several functions. Here are my best beauty products for the Camino de Santiago.
Leave in conditioner
Diamond Dust by label M is the best leave in conditioner I have found. In my experience it helps to restore sun damaged hair on the road. The reason that I love it for walking the Camino, is that you can simply spray and go. It means spending less time in the shower, plus you can use it instead of a serum and to refresh hair between washes which makes it multi-purpose. Decant into a travel size spray bottle.
Anyone who has ever backpacked has no doubt used Dry Shampoo. This is a great option on the Camino if you want to avoid washing your hair too much whilst walking. I use this in-between washes to freshen up. It comes in a very small handy travel size option too and is lightweight.
All in one soap
A shampoo soap bar is a great packing hack for the Camino. What’s more, the shampoo bars are getting better and better, with some even offering conditioner too. I buy a shampoo bar that I can also use to shower and wash clothing – more on laundry on the Camino here. A bar will last you for a whole month if you use it carefully.
Lip and cheek tint
Lip and cheek tint is excellent to add a little colour to your face in the evening, without the need for much make up. This benefit lip and cheek tint is the best I’ve tried for a long-lasting colour. But, I also use the Dr Paw Paw tint which is a cheaper option and still good.
Realistically, you will get through a lot of sunscreen when walking the Camino de Santiago. I recommend buying a large bottle when you arrive. But, you may want to consider a separate facial SPF.
I always travel with this Le Roche Posay sun stick. It’s lightweight, feels really nice on my face and covers well. Plus, as it’s a stick rather than a liquid, it is easy to carry onto the airplane in hand luggage. Elta MD is another great option in a similar stick.
It is hard to find a cleanser to fit well in a backpack, especially if you want something that is kind to your skin. When I’m hiking, I swear by Simple facial wipes. These are suitable for sensitive skin, exfoliating and lightweight to pack. Although I wouldn’t want to use them all the time, they are great for a hike like the Camino and come in handy packs of 25 wipes.
For a lightweight moisturiser that can be used for face and body, I really like Simple moisturiser. This product is also very inexpensive. Although it comes in a large bottle, I tend to decant it into a smaller plastic bottle and carry 100ml which will last for the whole trip if used sparingly.
Vaseline is an alternative option if you prefer your moisturiser to be thicker. It’s also better for moisturising sore feet too.
Travel size bottles
Travel size cosmetic bottles are great for cosmetics on the Camino de Santiago. These mean that you can decant any of your favourite products into handy sized bottles. I can’t think of any products that you would need more than 100ml of for the Camino.
John and Emma’s hiking gear. These are items we love to use when we go hiking, find them here on Amazon.
Osprey 40L, Multi, O/S
HOKA ONE ONE Mens Speedgoat 4 Textile Synthetic Trainers
HOKA ONE ONE Women’s Clifton 8
CWVLC Unisex Cushioned Compression Athletic Ankle Socks Multipack
Compeed Callouses 6 Medium Plasters
Montem Ultra Strong Trekking, Walking, and Hiking Poles – One Pair (2 Poles)
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