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Hand Luggage Cosmetic Rules

Updated April 17, 2017

When travelling by air, cosmetics packed inside hang luggage must comply with Transportation Security Administration rules. Since August 10, 2006, these rules apply to all liquids, gels and aerosols that pass through airport security. Limited quantities are allowed in the one piece of hand luggage a traveller may bring on board. The TSA established the 3-1-1 rule for hand luggage: 100ml (100ml) bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin.

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The maximum size container for all liquids, gels and aerosols must not exceed 3.4oz. (100ml). Half-full or rolled-up toothpaste tubes exceeding this size are not allowed.

All cosmetics that are liquids, gels and aerosols must be stored inside one quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Not permitted are the gallon-size plastic bags or non-zip sandwich bags. Only one clear plastic bag per traveller is allowed.

At the security checkpoint, every flight passenger must remove his quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from his hand luggage and place it inside a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening.

Cosmetic liquids, gels or aerosols inside containers larger than 100ml must be declared at the airport security checkpoint.

Permitted cosmetics packed inside hand luggage include the following (under 100ml per item):

Aerosol spray bottles and cans

Bubble bath balls, bath oils or moisturisers

Bug and mosquito sprays and repellents

Creams and lotions including first-aid creams and ointments, topical or rash creams and ointments, suntan lotions and moisturisers

Cuticle trimmers

Deodorants made of gel or aerosol

Eye drops--up to 85.1gr., of eye drops in a clear, one-quart plastic bag

Eyelash curlers

Gel-filled bras and similar prosthetics--gel-filled bras may be worn through security screening and on board the aircraft

Hair styling gels and spray of all kinds including aerosol

Hair straightener or detangler

Lip balms

Liquid lip glosses or other liquids for lips

Liquid bubble bath including gel or liquid-filled

Liquid foundations

Liquid, gel or spray perfumes and colognes

Liquid hand sanitisers

Liquid soaps

Liquid mascara

Make up removers or facial cleansers


Nail clippers

Nail files

Nail polish

Personal lubricants--up to 85.1gr., of eye drops in a clear, one-quart plastic bag

Safety razors--includes disposable razors

Saline solution--up to 85.1gr., of eye drops in a clear, one-quart plastic bag

Scissors--plastic or metal with blunt tips

Scissors--metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches in length

Shampoos and conditioners



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About the Author

Gina Lee

Gina Lee began writing in 1999. She was features editor and reporter for award-winning campus newspaper "The Advocate" and a writer/editor for "The Hoffman Tribune" in Minnesota. Lee received her Bachelor of Science in mass communications/photojournalism from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and an Associate of Arts in film from the Los Angeles Film School.

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