A Comprehensive Guide To Packing A Hospital Bag

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Being in hospital really tests one’s loyalty to one’s cosmetic regime. It’s ridiculously hard to maintain a good cleanse, tone and moisturise routine, at both morning and night. Firstly as you don’t always feel up to going through the whole lengthy process of it all and secondly as you don’t always have your usual products to hand. Which can be rather frustrating, when you know you are prone to breakouts when your regime isn’t adhered to as strictly. So if you do have a little time to pack yourself a bag, like I did, the crucial decision of what cosmetics to take begins. If you know well in advance then if possible you can buy travel sized products specifically.

As a self confessed ‘Beauty Addict’ I would  rather have a case full of beauty products than clothes or other so called ‘essentials’. Essentials to me are my skin care creams, serums, masks and gels. So the decision of which cosmetics to bring was hard and took me the best part of an hour to consider my options. In the end I decided to bring my Pro Radiance Cleanser by Elemis, then for a toner I brought a small bottle of rose water, to make sure I removed all the cleanser and to close the pesky pores on my cheeks and nose! For my moisturiser I brought my Temple Spa Truffle cream which I absolutely love. I used the sample that was sent in the Anti Ageing Beauty Bible Box which I have spoken about before. I  also brought a mini tub of Sudocrem in case of breakouts or scratches which has been absolutely invaluable. It is also important to have a good moisturiser for all over the body, this is because the hospital environment is quite drying and the skin can easily become flaky . I have found Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Body Moisturiser , to be absolutely amazing! It soaks in immediately, leaving a soft finish and clears up dry patches within a few applications!  Then a good lip balm protects the lips from the drying atmosphere. I have been using Jelly Pong Pong Lip Crayon in pink for both moisturising properties and the lovely pink sheen it leaves after application.  A hand cream is another absolute essential, I have been using Neal’s Yard, Bee Lovely To Your Hands Hand Cream, as it’s good quality and also because Neal’s Yard are running a very important campaign regarding treatment of bees. Lastly an eye cream has been very useful to perk up tired eyes in a morning, thus disguising the fact I’ve had a sleepless night! Hospital wards tend to be quite loud at night (ear plugs are a good idea if you have them). I have been using Caudalie Vinexpert Eye and Lip serum which I’ve been very impressed with.

Another recommendation I would make is to purchase the Avene Eau Thermale Spray, it’s a very sensitive, thermal spring water spray. It is useful for pepping up skin, and it’s very refreshing  to make one feel cool and clean in between showers. It is also good for removing cleanser, when water is not to hand. You can buy it from £3.15 from Boots. Feminine wipes, washes, talcs and even spray deodorants are available in supermarkets and are very useful to keep one clean and fresh, during a hospital stay. Femfresh do a good range but there are plenty of organic alternative brands which are available at supermarkets such as Waitrose for example. Normal under-arm deodorants are another must for any overnight stay. Organic or mineral deodorants are best as they don’t contain aluminium. Aluminium can cause discoloration under the armpits, so remember to check on the ingredients list. My favourite deodorant has to be the Tea Tree Deodorant by Jason (£5.00). Tea tree is  naturally anti bacterial which is helpful in a hospital setting. Similarly, products with silver ions also provide anti bacterial protection. Nivea do men’s products with silver ions and their silver deodorant smells really nice! There’s no rule that says you can’t use men’s products, is there?

I usually bring baby wipes too as you never know when you will want to clean your hands, etc. I always get organic baby wipes as they are better for the environment because they are biodegradable. ‘Earth Friendly Baby Eco Baby Wipes’ are amazing as they contain both chamomile and calendula for £3.49.  Never underestimate the need for wipes when in hospital, they are a must for any stay, no matter what the length. You will also need things for the shower such as shampoo, conditioner and body wash. You can buy such things in travel bottles from any supermarket, Boots, or Superdrug, if you know you’re going into hospital prior to admission. Moroccan Oil do amazing travel sized bottles of their shampoo, conditioner, and intensive mask, which I usually bring away with me, along with a mini bottle of Moroccan Oil itself to use as a leave-in conditioner. Feel Unique sell a gift set of all four travel sized products for £33.85 go to http://www.feelunique.com/p/Moroccanoil-White-Travel-Kit. I also like to bring the smallest bottle of ‘It’s Raining Men‘, a gorgeous ‘toffee-like’ smelling body wash which is £3.95 from Lush.

However, I only had an hour to prepare for this particular hospital visit so I have brought the ‘Earth Friendly Baby Relaxing Organic Lavender Shampoo and Body Wash’ which I had in my bathroom. The smell of the lavender is simply divine and its lathers into lots of lovely fragrant bubbles that can be used on both body and hair. Another reason I love it , is because if it’s for babies it’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin . It makes me feel like I’m somewhere else just for a few moments while in the shower room. To condition my hair I have used ‘Percy & Reed, Colour And Shine Conditioner’, it’s very good, and brightens my hair considerably, while also conditioning it. They may not have a hair dryer on your ward so bring plenty of bobbles and a good brush, if you have long hair like mine. I brought the original Tangle Teezer which easily brushed though wet hair and then I plaited my hair to let it dry naturally.

Make-up doesn’t feature highly on people’s priorities when in hospital. Many don’t think it’s necessary and are far too ill to consider it. However, others bring in a simple bag with foundation, concealer, blusher, eyeliner and mascara. They find that making an effort can actually make them feel better, I have a similar outlook. Some of the other ladies on my ward started talking about what cosmetics they had brought with them, one suggested that continual use of make-up actually ages the skin because of the ‘wear and tear’ of application and removal, so they hadn’t brought any. What a scary thought for ‘Beauty Addicts’ like me! A lot of women suggest that the skin needs to ‘breath’ during periods of ill health. I personally think that mineral cosmetics are the best compromise in this situation, they allow the skin to breath but also provide coverage over red patches, spots blemishes and dark circles. Many people are unable to relax without having these complexion issues concealed in a public setting. So don’t forget a compact mirror, I once tried to apply my make-up without a mirror, it wasn’t pretty I’m afraid.

So all-in-all hospital stays are obviously never wanted, but fingers crossed with good preparation, one can make the best of any stay. Ipods with relaxing music and eye patches, aid in relaxation and distract one ‘s attention from the hustle and bustle of ward life. Perhaps with the extra time to concentrate on skin care and relaxation, it could feel like it’s more like a holiday,  than a hospital stay. OK maybe not that far, but hopefully this article has been useful for you in some form or other. However, I sincerely hope don’t have to go into hospital and you stay fit and well. Here’s a checklist below just in case you do need an admission ( don’t forget if you have time you can decant your favourite cosmetics into travel size bottles. Bobbi Brown do an excellent empty travel set that includes funnels to help transfer chosen cosmetics into the bottles or pots.)

Tissues
Baby wipes
Avene Eau Thermal Water
Cleanser – (* Pro Radiance Cream Cleanser Anti Ageing by Elemis)
Toner – Rose Water (* Eau Extraordinaire Rose by Melvita – Organic)
Moisturiser – (*Skin Truffle by Temple Spa or Ulay Regenerist)
Body Moisturiser – (* Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Body Moisturiser by Jergens)
Hand Cream – (* Bee Lovely To Your Hands Hand Cream by Neals Yard)
Eye Cream – (* Vinexpert Eye and Lip Serum by Caudalie)
Shampoo and conditioner – (*Morrocan Oil)
Shower gel – (* Earth Friendly Baby Lavender Shampoo and body wash OR It’s Raining Men by Lush)
Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Flannel
Razor
Concealer (*prefferably mineral make-up)
Foundation
Blusher
Lip balm
Mascara
Small mirror
Anti bacterial hand gel
Hairbrush
Bobbles and head wrap
Sudocrem
Eye mask
Feminine cleaning products and any pads or tampons you may require.
iPod with relaxing music and/or ear plugs.

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Love Beauty Addict xx