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Personal Care Products

We are leaving mid-June to join the June tour in Turkey. Yeah! Since we try to follow the RIck Steves rule with the carry-on luggage only and are therefore limited in the personal care products we can take. We are wondering if any other Turkey travellers have suggestions as to which stores in Istanbul would be the best to shore up on sunscreen, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Are there any Turkish or European products available there that travellers particularly like?

Posted by
1643 posts

Hi, I have not been on tours. Perhaps those who have can offer suggestions of exotic or unusual products.

Is it possible for the "we" in your party to each take personal products? I understand you want to pack light and carry on, but, you can still take your personal items. Of course any gel, liquid, aerosol, & cream will need to be in your 3-1-1 bag.

I don't know your skin care or makeup/hair styling needs, but, if packed right, you can still take your favorites. If you are female and use perfume, take along a roller ball slim tube - manageable because you're not spritzing a lot on you. Or, perhaps one of the department stores will have sample sizes of your favorite.

Something like these can store your products and be stacked in your personal 3-1-1. Stack and tape the jars together longways so they keep neat and afford more room.

Mine came with cosmetic cases from long ago. Can be washed out and reused for travel. In USA stores, they sell toothpaste in travel sizes or up to 3 oz - the limit. Most hotels give toiletries - their shampoo and conditioner - bath gel - so, if you don't mind their brand, use theirs. Or, each decant your own into 1, 2 or 3 oz containers - don't fill to the top to allow for some leakage leeway. If not, places like Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree sell mini sizes of toiletries - use and dispose as you go along.

A lot of stores now carry the clear (TSA/Airline approved) cosmetic bags to pack 3-1-1 toiletries. They are pretty much equal to the quart size but of course stronger and a teeny bit wider. Anything that is liquid - can pour out of a jar or bottle and cause a puddle on the floor needs to be in the 3-1-1.

Posted by
11280 posts

When I was there in 2011, I found excellent Nivea brand sunscreen in a pharmacy. It wasn't cheap, but was a really nice product. I don't remember seeing drugstores (as opposed to pharmacies), but they must exist - just ask at your hotel where to buy toothpaste, etc.

On Istiklal Caddesi, there's a large Sephora, if you want fancier items.

I also agree with the above post. If you're creative, you can get a LOT into that 3-1-1 bag. These days, almost everything is available in containers small enough to meet the 3-1-1 rules, and you can investigate solid or powder substitutes for other things. For instance, you already know about stick deodorant, but they now make stick sunscreen. I found it a bit waxy, but workable. Previously, sunscreen had been my biggest problem when using carry-on only. You can't take enough that way for a whole trip (if you're using it daily), and it's expensive to buy in Europe, and then you have to throw it away unless you want to check the bag on the way back.

Posted by
20 posts

Enjoy the tour! I went in April. Most of the hotels have shampoo and soap. Conditioner is sometimes available. Body wash wasn't around. If all else fails, ask your guide or walk into the thousands of pharmacies "E" in each location. You are going to LOVE the hotel in Cappadocia!

Posted by
234 posts

Watsons is akin to a CVS or Walgreens, minus the pharmaceuticals, so it has everything you mentioned. Numerous locations around Istanbul.

Posted by
85 posts

You should be able to get anything you need, but if it's imported the prices will be very high because of import duty and VAT. If your checking a bag, I would bring what's needed from home.