Skin Care, Personal Hygiene and Hair Products for Camping

A woman with a towel on her head gently dries her face, gazing into the mirror after a refreshing glamping shower

I love feeling clean and fresh, even when I’m camping. Though it can be a bit tougher without running water and a bathroom counter full of my favourite skincare, I’ve found a selection of products that help me feel as refreshed as the mountain air and sparkling turquoise mountaintop lake while camping.

Speaking of lakes, don’t wash off your soap, shampoo or other cleansing products in natural water sources (rivers, lakes and ponds) as this can harm the water and wildlife. Instead, use the campground’s onsite shower facilities or, in the absence of amenities, dig a six-inch hole at least 50 metres from waterways to dispose of soapy water. Whenever possible, choose eco-friendly, biodegradable soaps.

When camping, I strip my skincare, hair care and personal hygiene products back to basics, forgoing my 10-step routine. Here’s what toiletries I use on camping trips:

Skin Care

I wash my face every evening and morning, which can be a challenge at the campsite if there isn’t clean running water. My skin type is dry-normal. I don’t typically get oily (just sweaty), so the products listed below are what work for my skin.

Garnier Fresh Cleansing Cloths 

While I try to avoid cleansing cloths at home (they are bad for the environment and not great for the fragile skin on your face, either), they make wiping away dirt and makeup at the campsite a breeze.

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Breath of Fresh Air Toner

I’ve been using this toner to refresh on international airplane trips and hot summer days for years, and I will keep returning to it. It’s a hydrating, floral-scented mist with soothing aloe vera.

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Sample-Sized Face Wash and Moisturizer

Whenever possible, I ask for free sample face washes and moisturizers from Sephora or Lush. At Sephora, you can choose two samples with an online purchase; at Lush, just ask for a sample of whatever you’d like to try in-store. These tiny tubes and packages tend to have enough product for a one-to-three-night camping trip.

Buy it here: Sephora & Lush


It’s important to stay consistent with your dental and personal hygiene, even on camping trips. Liquids can be a bother to pack into your backpack—you want to avoid soapy spills—so below are some liquid-free options.

Personal Wipes

Choose a gentle, pre-moistened cleansing wipe to clean your hands, face and any other exposed skin that gets dirty while camping. You can event have a ‘tent shower’—cleanse your entire body in the privacy of your tent to feel fresh and clean.

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Dirty Toothpaste Tabs

Solid toothpaste tabs make brushing your teeth easy and less messy. Nibble on a tablet and brush away. I’ve used these at home, but for some reason, the flavour tastes better in the outdoors.

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Crème de Menthe Mouthwash Tabs

Crunch one of these between your teeth and take a swig of water for an instant mouthwash. The fresh mint leaves my mouth feeling sparklingly clean.

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Solar Camp Shower

Wash your hands, rinse your body or shampoo and condition your hair with lukewarm water that’s been heated by the sun. Hang the solar camp shower on a tree or other secure place. This is the best way to get salt off your body after swimming or surfing in the ocean.

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Hair Products

Depending on the type of hair you have, you might not want to wash it during your camping trip—I rarely do. My hair is thick, straight and relatively easy to manage, but it can get cold air-drying my wet locks overnight. If you must wash your hair, one solution is a hair-specific microfibre towel, like the one we’ve included below.

Dry Shampoo

Grab a mini bottle of dry shampoo spray for a camping trip when you don’t want to shower but also don’t want to deal with greasy locks. Just spray a bit in your roots and rub it in. This waterless formula targets excess oil and dirt, while leaving your hair smelling fresh and clean.

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Tangle Teaser Hairbrush

I keep my hair relatively fresh and tangle-free by running this small brush through it after every windy adventure. It’s small and portable, making it perfect for camping trips.

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Godiva Shampoo and Conditioning Bar

This is a one-and-done solid shampoo and conditioning bar, ideal for when your shower has a time limit or if your water source is freezing cold. I find the smell delightful, but the shampoo-conditioner duo can leave my hair a bit greasier faster than a regular separate shampoo and conditioner.

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Microfibre Hair Towel

Wrap up your wet hair post-shower into a microfibre hair towel. Made of 80 per cent polyester, these soft towels allow you to dry your damp strands (wring out your hair first) on top of your head. The button latches at the back. The towel is super absorbent and gentle on your hair. Although it doesn’t work as well as blow drying, it saves your shoulders from getting cold while your damp hair dries.

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Remember to keep all scented products out of your tent (including deodorant) as the fragrance can attract wildlife. Heavily scented soaps and perfumes may attract bugs, too, so don’t be afraid to embrace your natural odour—after all, you’re camping!

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