Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dopp Kit

Im about to go on a two week trip, so I spent some time this week to go through my dopp kit. I wanted to make sure all my favorite things are in it. I decided to share with you  some tips on the best things to pack in that kit to liven up your next trip.

Let's start with the dopp kit itself. I prefer the clear zipper cube from the container store for $5.99. Because it's clear plastic it is easy for me (and the airport security officers) to see what's inside. Also, unlike fabric bags, the plastic prevents spills from ruining the rest of your packed items.

While I'm fairly certain that everyone remembers to pack tooth paste, I have found one that blows all the rest of them (sorry Colgate..) out of the water.
It's called Marvis. Made in Italy, it has had a cult following for many years (before they were easily available via the internet I would  stock up on them when in London so I would have enough until my next trip). It comes in a variety of amazing flavors including clssic strong mint, jasmine, aquatic, ginger and whitening mint( yup!!)
Get the travel size of a few flavors and decide which one you like the best.
I' partial to the ginger mint; it has the classic mint flavor with a subtle hint of hot ginger… some days I crave that taste, so I brush my teeth a few times an evening..
And your dentist will be happy that all flavors include flouride.
Between $6 - $13… depending on the size on

Never travel without a Tongue scraper ( what? you don’t scrape your tongue????)
Ever brush your teeth in the morning but still have an odd taste and even some morning breath afterwards?
Well, sometimes its not because of your teeth but because of your tongue. To scrub off the bacteria and food  debris that take up residence on your tongue and is the cause of this "morning breath" I scrape ("brush") my tongue in the morning. The best product is called Tonguedetox. Unfortunately you may have to physically go to a pharmacy in Europe to get it ???? .
There are good substitutes at your local pharmacy like Dentek Tongue cleaner work well too… $2.99

Traveling these days is stressful, and even worse when the stress causes a breakout on your face. To prevent this, make sure you pack a good (face) soap. I recommend the Wonder bar (and it is!) This soap bar is 5.65 PH just like our skin, while most soaps are 9 all day way to 11PH. This bar, cleanses and moisturizes all in one and rejuvenates the skin like no other. (You know people notice great skin!)
The soap takes some getting use to as  it slowly restores your skin to a healthy place (read about the healing phase on their website) Its not cheap but if you like it, it cannot be replaced by anything else… $40 at

For some men, carrying (and using) two different kinds of soap is a burden. For those who want one soap that they can use for both face and body, I recommend. Dove men + Care. It is a body and face bar in one: It’s a Dove moisturizing cream and a cleanser that rinses off easily without leaving skin feeling dry and tight like regular soap does.
Around $9 at your local pharmacy or online. 

Another great option is the Anthony Logistics for Men Glycerin Cleansing Bar.
This is a great soap - filled with botanical extracts and aloe vera and glycerin to clean and moisturize. It comes in a citrus scent, which is fresh and relaxing. Around $7 at

Nothing is more mortifying that spending the day outside, and coming back to your hotel room to find out you look like a red raccoon (think of the hot person you just met and invited  to dinner or drinks? Or just the business dinner your about to have.… uchhhh.. To prevent this, use the day-to-day moisturizer with sunscreen called Face Fuel from Kiehl’s.  It’s a vitamin-enriched, non-oily moisturizer that also protects it against the sun's harmful UV rays (SPF 15). It has a great cool feeling when you apply it on
(it feels super refreshing) and If used daily it can improve your skin texture and look all together...oh, and very importantly, unlike other moisturizers its very light and absorbs very easily into the skin.
$25-$35 depending on the size at your local Kiehl’s or on line at

Everyman that shaves on a regular basis knows that few things hurt and annoy like an ingrown hair (splinters maybe..) For these purposes reach for the tweezers designed for removing anything embedded under the skin. These ultra-sharp, perfectly aligned elongated points, tweezers are unsurpassed. They also come in handy if you are fighting the unibrow look.

Deodorant is perhaps the MOST important thing in your kit. If you wear a cologne that is strong, you might want to consider wearing the same sent deodorant,  usually the company that makes your favorite sent makes a deodorant with the same fragrance as the    au de toilette. But if you don’t wear a particular sent, or just prefer soap and water, you should consider a deodorant that is subtle but will keep you smelling fresh even on a hot day. 

Dr Harris Arlington Stick Deodorant is a solid deodorant stick (also comes in a roll on) with the classic fragrance of Arlington. This deodorant contains a bacteriostat to destroy the bacteria which cause odor. $20

In the past I have also used Weleda’s herbal fragrance with pure essential oils is a spray deodorant that takes care of any residual odor and neutralized and  purified with this earthy, (unisex) deodorant. It’s a, non-aerosol spray that helps eliminate body odor. It comes in sage, citrus and wild rose. ( If you’re a man,  don’t get the wild rose please…) $13 at

Note that I never recommend anti-perspirants, as they contain Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly, a common ingrediant that may be hazardous to health. At a minimum it is the cause of "armpit stains" on clothing, reacting with sweat to create that ugly yellowing.

The fuller, more slick style of hair cuts that we are seeing lately requires a hair product that can give you more hold with a less greasy appearance.
The best product to use depends on your activity (dinner at a fancy restaurant or snowboarding in Aspen).

Oribe Rough Luxury Molding Wax is more paste than wax. This product has a lot of umph to it and gives that rough luxury feel of "cool" hair… and it smells amazing!

Malin + Goetz Sage Styling Cream. This cream adds shine without to much weight. This one is best when my hair is a little longer. $20;

Satin Design White Tea Polishing Milk, this is a moisture rich lotion that provides a weightless conditioning. It gives the hair beautiful polish (a la Carrie Grant...look)

As for shampooing, when I travel, the easiest way to pass through security with a shampoo is with the amazing invention,
Burts bees Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar (yeah, you rub your hear with it like a soap..) Its 99.9% Natural and it’s a natural shampoo bar .
It has a rich lather and a Peppermint scent with also some Rosemary oil and Oat Proteins will help nourish your hair, leaving it looking shiny and healthy.

Since a painful experience on a transatlantic flight with dry lips, I make sure to never leave home without ChapStick. (On that fateful flight, I ended up doing something a man should NEVER do:  I asked a young lady to borrow hers…
They function as both a sunscreen, available with SPFs as high as 35, and a skin moisturizer and lubricant to help prevent and protect chafed, chapped, sunburned, cracked, and wind burned lips (great for ski and snowboarding).
They come in a huge variety of tastes and forms but I'm partial to the classic black one. Have been using them since I was a child..
(By the way, ChapStick tubes with hidden microphones played a role in the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s…)

Lastly, For those of you like me who have a short beard, you know that some days it starts to itch. Help comes in the way of Mr Natty & Frank's Beard Elixir  (again a product from the UK, sorry, but they do not ship to the US). Add a few drops onto your palms and massage in to your beard to keep it soft and not itchy…
About 5.50 BP which is roughly $9 at

Safe Travels, and keep shopping, I.