With Saudi Arabia opening its gates completely, quite literally, Umrah is a go this year for everyone. Alhamdulillah Allah has bestowed the blessing of giving me and my family the opportunity to perform Umrah, this year. Unlike your typical holiday, packing for Umrah is a different feat.
Editing your beauty stash for a holiday is never easy, and I for one tend to over pack. I mean you never know when you might need that extra eyeshadow palette, right? While it might be a different experience, I found packing my beauty essentials easier for my Umrah trip, because there were clear rules, defined by the purpose of my journey.
Good packing always starts with good packing material, so for my beauty essentials, I adore the Away The Large Toiletry Bag. A cleverly considered packing situation designed to store all your travel essentials, with multiple interior compartments for strategic organisation to fit everything you need, without the use of multiple bags.
Makeup was not a requirement for this trip, so that extra lipstick and blush were instantly in the no pile. It’s all about the multi-functional products.
SPF can be a struggle, from the ghastly white cast to the super thick consistency, but the good thing is SPFs have come a long way. I adore the La Roche Posay and new Ordinary SPF – the texture and consistency of the formula are extremely lightweight and feel like water that just sinks into your skin.
Don’t forget to pack an unscented lip balm, preferably one with SPF protection. Some great options include AĒSOP Protective lip Balm SPF30, Paula’s Choice Lip Screen with SPF50 and Hello Sunday The One For Your Lips Fragrance Free Lip Balm SPF50 – this one gets extra points for being fragrance free.
A vital requirement for Umrah is using fragrance-free products – the use of fragrant products will make your state of Ihram void, so avoid fragrance in all your products, from moisturisers to deodorant.
For skincare, again I went with the basics: cleanser, serum, moisturiser and SPF. For moisturiser, I took the Glossier After Baume – a fragrance free, super simple hydrating and nourishing cream. It’s slightly on the heavier side, so if you have oilier skin, I would go for something lighter or stick with just a serum, like The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum.
To rehydrate and keep my skin replenished, I love the MAC Hyper Real Serumizer, filled with ceramides and hyaluronic acid. It’s a powerhouse in adding moisture while strengthening the skin barrier to prevent water loss. For cleansers, my go-to, simple and effective cleanser is the E.L.F. Pure Skin cleanser, a tried and tested favourite, made from simple ingredients with no fragrance. Other great options include: Youth To The People SuperFood Cleanser, Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel and The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser.
The same rules applied to bodycare – simple and fragrance free. If like me your body tends to get quite dry, which won’t be helped by the heat or air con, choose something with a thicker consistency, but which doesn’t take forever to sink in. A great option is the Biossance Squalane and Caffeine Toning Body Cream – Unscented.
Another great brand for unscented bodycare, is NECESSAIRE. The body wash is amazing, you feel clean and refreshed without the addition of lingering scents.
For deodorant, the Caudalie Vinofresh natural Stick Deodorant developed using natural ingredients with no aluminium, alcohol, silicone and bicarbonate of soda, is unscented yet effective.
Make sure to also pack a water spray. I love the La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water spray, great for keeping your skin refreshed throughout the day.
Another option is to take an empty spray bottle and fill it up with ZamZam water and use that as a facial spray. It works so incredibly well, and you get all the added benefits of ZamZam water.
You want to get the most out of your Umrah trip, and while packing your beauty essentials may seem frivolous, a well-packed toiletry bag ensures smooth sailing, and no rushing around when you land.
Zeynab Mohamed is a freelance writer, exploring the prisms of culture, identity, beauty and religion as it to relates to marginalised voices.