And why you should never leave home without one.
Before you embark on a trip, can you be found decanting bottles of face wash and shampoo into smaller bottles over the sink like some tragic sommelier? Do you then attempt to play the most futile game of Tetris—stacking random size vessels into a quart size zip-top bag? If the 3-1-1 rule is harshing your vacation vibes, a solid face cleanser stick is one tiny step to overall toiletry-packing enlightenment.
While they look more akin to an anti-perspirant, face cleansing sticks take all the properties of a well-balanced liquid face wash and transform them into a solid, thusly eliminating one more thing to trip up your TSA rule-abiding. But they don’t just make air travel easier. These sticks are one less thing to leak all over your clothes in a suitcase on a road trip and effortless to throw in your tote or gym bag when you might need a refresh away from your own bathroom.
Here are our five favorite face cleansing sticks, all guaranteed to leave your skin looking and feeling a heck of a lot better than that sad box of hotel room soap.
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We have raved about this Korean brand’s exfoliating gauze pads that can act like sandpaper for any of your skin woes. Their green tea-infused cleanser, renown for its ability to not only keep skin calm and hydrated but also eradicate any trace of waterproof mascara, also comes in this portable push-up format. Just a little bit provides a large lather, which makes it just as cost effective as its liquid-to-foam counterpart.
Cleansing sticks aren’t exclusive to boutique brands any longer. This version from drugstore staple St. Ives is formulated with a base of coconut oil, which will keeps skin feeling moisturized and soft instead of dry and tight after washing.
A brand known for putting typically liquid formulas from serums to primers into solid form, MILK’s Matcha Cleanser is a chubby, aesthetically-pleasing stick that both looks great sitting on your vanity and takes up minimal space in an overnight bag. One of our editors swears it reduces oiliness too.
If you’re a fan of Boscia’s now-famous luminizing black charcoal mask, their solid cleanser of the same-line also does its part to draw out impurities via charcoal. The added glycolic acid also helps brighten skin by dissolving dead cells and other buildup.
Don’t sleep on this pharmacy-brand favorite. Yes to Coconuts’ cleanser stick also acts as a physical exfoliator with coffee grounds, said to make skin look more tight and less puffy thanks to the caffeine (which likely does the same for your mind).