It's not an uncommon conundrum: You don't want to check your bag, but at the same time, you're going somewhere long enough (or need enough product) that the little 3-ounce bottle of whatever isn't enough.


I have long hair that needs a fair amount of shampoo and conditioner, and fairly dry skin, so I use a lot of moisturizer. My solution is to bring solid quantities of my favorite products, so I have plenty for my whole trip, and I still don't have to check my bag. A number of companies make solids of almost everything, but these below are also natural and eco-friendly versions (especially important if you are traveling to a country where the local sewage just runs into the rivers or ocean — these products are all mostly biodegradable). 

LUSH makes a huge selection of solid shampoos, in all sorts of scents and varieties, including vegan, volumizing, dandruff-fighting and more. And everything LUSH makes smells pretty amazing too. 

Shave gels and creams not only take a lot of wasteful packaging, but are always too big to carry on. Piccolo Paradiso's solid shave bar lathers up with coconut oil, and smells deliciously of bergamot and chamomile.  

Of course, bars of soap are easy to come by — just be sure to keep them dry or pack them in a plastic bag. I love Dr. Bronner's because you can cut them up to make smaller travel sizes (they come in a BIG bar) and they last almost forever. And Bronner's is always biodegradable, so you can use them in a stream safely, or to wash clothes. I love the peppermint for travel, as it's invigorating and fresh. 

Solid moisturizers abound, but the trail boss bar from Cowgirl Skincare not only plumps and softens skin with sunflower and almond oil, it soothes and protects, with arnica and comfrey, two herbs known for their skin-relaxing properties. If you want the moisturizing properties only, their hand "cream" is actually a solid bar as well.

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

TSA-approved toiletries
Choosing solid versions of liquids, gels and creams is an easy way to avoid getting your stuff confiscated from your carry-on.