You take great care of your skin, and you want to know if your skincare regimen or other creams and lotions can come with you as you fly to your next big adventure. 

woman holding cream and openning the bottle - can I bring cream on a plane?

Yes, you can bring creams and lotions on a plane. They are considered a liquid by TSA. Follow TSA’s 3-1-1 guidelines for liquids and don’t bring more than 3.4 ounces or 100 ml of it with you in your carry-on. 

If you do need to bring more than 3.4 ounces in your carry-on, keep reading. We have a solution for that.

If you need to buy more moisturizing cream, check out this one or this one, both by CeraVe on Amazon. Or here is Sephora’s Sale Page to check out what’s on sale.

How to pack creams or lotions in your carry-on

No matter how much you want to bring with you, it’s best to pack your lotions or creams in individual 3.4 ounce or 100 ml or smaller containers. Then place those with your other toiletries, including your other skincare products in a quart-sized ziploc bag to make screening quick and easy.

TIP – I always pack my toiletries and other liquids in these gallon-sized ziplocks and TSA hasn’t ever said anything about it. Including times they have looked through it by hand.

When you go through airport security, you may need to remove your liquids for a separate screening. That’s one of the reasons it is helpful to have them all in a clear bag. It makes it easy to grab and easy for the TSA agents to see what you have so you don’t have to unpack everything. 

Tips for packing liquids, glass bottles or fragile containers when you fly

  • Make sure your bottles are completely closed.
  • Put each one inside a zip-lock bag. 
  • If it’s going in checked bags, avoid placing it near the edges of the bag. Place it towards the middle and surround it with clothes or other soft items.
  • If it’s going in your carry-on or handbag, pack it with your other toiletries in the transparent, quart-sized zip-lock bag. Again, surround it with soft items and keep it packed in the middle of your hand luggage.

Read Also: Can I Bring Creatine On A Plane?

How many 3.4 oz containers can you bring on a plane?

You can bring between six and eight 3.4 ounce individual containers of liquids, aerosols or gels on a plane, so long as they fit in a 1-quart clear zip bag. Six to eight containers are approximately how many you can fit into one clear quart-size bag

These are the gallon-sized ziplocks I use instead of the quart-sized ones.

Can I bring creams or lotions in checked baggage?

Yes, you can bring your creams in unlimited quantities in checked baggage. Just make sure to pack it securely.

Keep in mind that each airline has weight restrictions for luggage. Liquids are quite heavy, so the weight of your luggage can add up quickly.

How to pack lotions or creams in checked baggage

When packing lotions or creams in checked baggage, make sure it’s closed tightly and secured to prevent spills in transit. Place it inside a plastic bag for extra protection against leaks. 

Consider placing it towards the center of your bag with clothes or other items packed securely around it to prevent it from breaking if and when your checked luggage gets dropped or thrown around.

Weigh your luggage before going to the airport as well to ensure it’s within the weight limit of your specific airline or you may have additional fees to pay when you go to check-in.

Related: Can I Bring Lotion Bars On A Plane?

How much lotion or cream can you take on a plane in checked baggage?

You can take as much cream or lotion in your checked luggage as you would like, within reason. There is no limit set by the TSA on the quantity you bring in your checked bags. So long as you can pack it safely, you can bring it.

But you should double-check with your airline on the weight restrictions of your checked bags and don’t exceed those restrictions.

TIP – As you pack, consider creating more space in your bags by shipping it to your destination, buying it there, or ordering some online and shipping it to your final destination.

Here are some great options you could order online and ship to wherever you are traveling.

Can I use creams or lotions every day when traveling?

It depends on what the lotion or cream is for. Gentle and nourishing ones can be used daily as you travel depending on how your skin responds. It can actually be quite good for your skin as your body will be under a lot of stress. Additionally, the humidity on planes is typically below 20%, which can cause skin dryness or irritation. 

If your lotion or cream achieves results by exfoliating or damaging the skin in order to “stimulate growth” be careful and really watch your skin for adverse effects.

If you are trying new products, you may want to alter how frequently you are using them, what products you are using or how you are using them. 

Just pay close attention to your skin as you use it on your trip or vacation. If you feel it is not helping your skin discontinue using it or reduce how often you are using it. If you notice significant stinging, redness, breakouts, consider reducing or changing how you are using your skincare products, including your lotions.

When traveling it is a good idea to use products you are familiar with so you have a baseline and will know if something is off with your body if something happens to it while you are away from your familiar daily routine.

What is the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for liquids?

The 3-1-1 liquids rule is a rule implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that regulates how much liquid you can bring on a plane. It states you can bring up to 3.4 ounces or 100 ml of liquid on a plane. All of your liquids must be in separate containers of 3.4 ounces or less. And they must fit in one clear quart-size bag. 3.4 ounces, 100 ml, one quart-size bag. Hence, 3-1-1.

The 3-1-1 liquids rule can be misleading because not all the items that follow this rule are technically liquids. It also applies to gels, aerosols, creams, and anything in between. Here’s what @AskTSA has to say about the rule.

They say you won’t be able to bring more liquid than whatever will fit in the one quart-size bag, but I always pack in a gallon-size bag and don’t ever have an issue getting through TSA security.

TSA Liquid Rule Exceptions

For some liquids, the TSA makes exceptions to the 3-1-1 rule. You can bring more than 100 ml of the following liquids. 

  • Baby formula
  • Breast milk
  • Juice or water for babies
  • Medically necessary liquids, prescription liquids, and gels

To make screening smooth, let the TSA agent know how much of these liquids you have with you. And if a liquid came with a label, it is best to keep that original label with you as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t you take more than 100ml of cream on a plane?

The 3-1-1 liquids rule was implemented in response to a 2006 liquid bomb plot. It was thwarted by British police two weeks before the intended attack, and new regulations went in at the airports.

For airlines, it’s difficult to discern if every type of liquid is a threat to passengers as they come through security checkpoints. Limiting liquids is a security measure to not only make passengers safer as they fly but to make security screening easier as well.

Related: Delta Airlines WIFI Portal Login Guide

How strict is the TSA on liquids?

The TSA is incredibly strict on liquids. They are committed to ensuring all passengers are safe and there are no liquid explosives in carry-ons. Don’t try and get around the 3-1-1 liquids rule. It will just create more trouble for you as you’ll have to throw out any containers larger than 3.4 ounces. To make screening quick and easy, put your liquids in a separate bin as well. 

We have all been there standing in the security line with some item, for me, it always seems to be a drink, and you realize you need to drink it fast or throw it away before you get to the TSA agents. 

It isn’t fun, but you need to comply. It’s not worth the hassle and time to try to sneak it through. 

Here is the TSA’s page on liquids. 

Are creams considered a liquid when flying?

Yes, the TSA considers liquids to be free-flowing or viscous substances, which include liquids, aerosols, pastes, creams, lotions, and gels. This includes body lotions cleansing facial creams, lip glosses, mascara, etc. 

Do lotions count as liquids on airplanes?

Yes, the TSA considers lotion to be a liquid even though it seems creamy to you. The only restriction is that it must be in smaller bottles or containers, 3.4 ounces or smaller, to be carried on a plane. Keep these containers in a one quart-sized bag.

Why can’t you take lotion on a plane?

You can take lotion on a plane. the TSA considers lotion to be a liquid and thereby allows them on the plane with you so long as you follow the 3-1-1 rule they have laid out.

There have been times when other countries, due to enhanced security measures, wouldn’t allow liquids, gels, lotions and other items of similar consistency have not been permitted in carry-on baggage. These types of items would then need to be packed in your checked baggage. But this isn’t the case in America.

Related: Can I Bring Eye Creams or Serums On A Plane?

Can I bring 4 oz of lotion on a plane?

No, 4 oz is too large a qty to bring in a single bottle. The checkpoint allows you to carry a quart-size bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in your carry-on bag. Each item can only be in a travel-sized container that is no bigger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters). If you want to bring more than 4 oz of a single item, split it into more than one 3.4 oz bottle. 

Seems kind of finicky, doesn’t it? But that is the law.

Why is it important to use nourishing and moisturizing creams when traveling?

When you’re traveling it is important to use good lotions or creams because your body will be under a lot of stress. Additionally, the humidity on planes is typically below 20%, which can cause skin dryness or irritation. 

Consider using a night formula or extra-hydrating creams before your flight and take a break from skin products that tend to dry out your skin or skin exfoliants, such as retinol or others.

Related: Are Carabiners allowed on Airplanes?

Recap and My Recommendations: Can you bring creams on a plane? 

Creams and lotions are permitted on planes. The TSA considers them to be a liquid. Make sure you follow the airline’s liquid guidelines and bring the amount you need in containers that are no larger than 3.4 oz in your carry-on. 

You can bring multiple 3.4-ounce bottles so long as they all fit in one clear plastic Ziploc bag. They say to use quart-sized ones. I have always flown with the gallon-sized ones and never had an issue. 

And in your checked bags you can bring as much of it as you can safely transport.

Also, as you pack, consider creating more space in your bags by shipping it to your destination, buying it there, or ordering some online and shipping it to your final destination.

Thanks for reading! Check out more ‘can I bring’ articles below to help you pack for your trip. Have fun!

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