Handbag & Mini Travel Essentials To Keep You Fresh And Cool At Work

When the temperature rises, it can become really unpleasant if you are commuting or stuck in traffic.  Then there are offices with no air conditioning or just running around after kids in the sunshine.

Looking hot and sweaty makes you look a little less than composed and just feels so darned uncomfortable but there are some handbag essentials that will help.

It can be a real challenge keeping cool in an office environment

Why not carry a zipped pouch which contains a selection of your favourite travel minis?  My absolute general handbag essentials are spare tights, bottled water and a powder compact but here are some other suggestions – some for your handbag and some to throw in your travel bag for an overnight trip or weekend away.

Wet Wipes

Probably everyone’s first choice for a quick freshen up – underarms, back of the neck, even feet at a push!

Stock up on beauty wipes or you can choose the slightly more environmentally friendly route by opting to wipes like Naty Eco Wipes which are flushable and contain no nasties.  They’re safe for baby too and are £2.65 from Big Green Smile.com.


Mini Dry Shampoo & Brush

Dry shampoo is great for quickly adding volume to lacklustre or greasy hair.  Batiste is an old favourite which seems to have reinvented itself of late.

Batiste from Superdrug – £1.50

Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Mints

I carry a travel toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, plus some breath mints.

Nothing freshens you up faster than cleaning your teeth I find (although I am ever so slightly obsessed with my teeth)!.


I’ve recently discovered the Sonic Chic Urban Sonic Powered Toothbrush from Lifes2good (who also make the popular MicroPedi and MicroNail).  It’s a small, lightweight brush with a handy hygiene cap that gives 22,000 strokes per minute.

There is a school of thought that says that a sonic toothbrush gives an even better clean than an electric toothbrush and the reviews I have read about this product certainly suggest that it is almost as effective as a Philips Sonicare brush which is pretty impressive for a travel toothbrush.

It comes with a replacement brush head and battery and you can choose from a variety of bright designs. There is even a deluxe version which can be charged by USB and is dual speed with a timer.

With this brush, the head does not rotate but instead it vibrates so you clean gently in the normal way while the brush does most of the work for you.

I’ve been wondering how to take my electric toothbrush on holiday and now that’s one less thing to worry about.  Sonic Chic Urban toothbrushes are available at Boots for £20.

Antibacterial Hand Gel

I like to make sure my hands are clean after using public loos and antibacterial hand gels are great for ensuring your kids hands are kept germ free too.  There are loads on the market but the best ones don’t smell too chemically and leave your hands nice and soft.

Body Shop Coconut Hand Cleanse Gel – £2.50

Travel Deodorant

I have used Mitchum deodorant for years because it really does last for 48 hours and I have not found an anti perspirant-deodorant that beats it – exams, presentations, interviews, heatwaves, it copes with the lot. If I’m travelling though I’ll take a mini deodorant or body spray just to add a quick blast of freshness.

You can get a great selection of travel minis these days – these are my holiday haul and I found them (with the exception of the toothbrush ) on a 3 for 2 offer at Boots.  These were all bought in store and there seems to be a different, although quite large, selection at Boots.com.

They are:-

  • OGX Coconut Water Shampoo 88.7 ml
  • OGX Coconut Water Conditioner 88.7 ml
  • Dove Deeply Nourishing Moisturing Body Wash 55 ml
  • Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover
  • Sanctuary Spa Cleanse Moisture Burst Facial Wash
  • Sanctuary Spa Radiance Illuminating Whipped Moisture Creme SPF15

Caitlin helped me choose these and they brought back memories of one of my best ever Christmas presents when I was a youngster – mum gave me a grown up toiletry bag filled with travel minis.  It was either that or Avon Little Peach toiletries!

Here are some other ‘keep cool’ tips to help you look groomed when the temperature rises at work.

* Choose cool fabrics like cotton that will help absorb sweat
* Try an unpadded bra to minimise heat around your chest
*  If it’s really hot, keep your make-up in the fridge to help it last longer (and feel nicer when you apply it)
* Try a primer to help your make-up stay on longer
* If you can, start your journey to work a little earlier to make the most of the coolest part of the day
* Drink plenty of water and keep a bottle on your desk.
* Avoid big meals, although, conversely, eating chilli can have a cooling effect.
* You might find mint tea more refreshing than coffee.
* Don’t schedule meetings for the hottest part of the day, particularly if you have to travel across town to get there.

For us mums it’s important to remember that little ones (and bigger ones!) should avoid being out in the sun between 12 noon and 3 pm so, however, tempting the park and swings might be, staying in the cool and the shade will keep the kids calmer and more comfortable.

And everyone should be slapping on the sunscreen.

How do you keep cool are work?  Let me know in the comments below.

*pr samples were received for this post


Marketing professional turned family lifestyle blogger. I live in Cardiff with hubby Mat, Caitlin (10) and Ieuan (8).

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