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

Yes, you can bring glycolic acid on a plane. Glycolic acid or products that use it as an ingredient are considered a liquid by TSA. Follow TSA’s guidelines for liquids and don’t bring more than 3.4 oz of it with you in your carry-on. 

You are fine bringing the textured pad applicators like the ones below as well.

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

See below for how to pack it in your checked luggage as well.

How to Pack glycolic acid in Carry-On

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

If you have the acid in the applicator pads, like these ones, you are fine bringing them as they are.

video #1 Travelonthefly.com

When you go through airport security, you may need to remove your glycolic acid products for a separate screening. 

Tips for packing liquids, glass bottles or fragile containers

  • Make sure your bottle is completely closed.
  • Put each bottle inside a separate zip-lock bag. I use these gallon sized ones.
  • 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.

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 quart-size bag. 

Can I bring glycolic acid in checked baggage?

Yes, you can bring glycolic acid in liquid or applicator pads 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 glycolic acid in Checked Baggage

When packing glycolic acid in checked baggage, make sure it’s closed tightly and secured in a ziploc bag to prevent spills in transit. 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.

How much glycolic acid can you take on a plane in checked baggage?

You can take as much glycolic acid 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 luggage. 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.

The TSA has restrictions on the amount of the all-liquid ones you bring in your carry-on bags but not the cotton pad applicator packages.

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.

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

((insert a couple of amazon products))

Using facial serums and skincare products when traveling

Can you bring face serums on a plane?

Yes, You can bring face serums on a plane. They must be in a container that’s 3.4 ounces (100mL) or less. If your facial products are solids they don’t need to fit any specific size or to be packed in your quart-sized ziploc bag. 

Can I bring skincare products on a plane?

Absolutely, you can bring skincare products on a plane. The most important thing to remember when you’re traveling is that you can only bring liquids, gels, creams, and pastes in carry-on luggage in containers weighing less than 3.4 oz., and they all need to fit in a quart-size clear ziplock bag.

Can I use glycolic acid every day when traveling?

It can be used daily as you travel depending on how your skin responds to AHAs. Those who are sensitive (significant stinging, redness, breakouts) should reduce their usage to every other day. 

It’s also important if you are spending larger amounts of time in the sun to note that since glycolic acid works by exfoliating skin, it can increase sun sensitivity.

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.

TIP – When you are first experimenting with any chemical exfoliant, work up to using them every day slowly instead of overdoing it. And don’t use them for the first time on a trip. You want to be able to enjoy your trip and not worry about your skin.

Can I travel with mandelic acid?

Yes, you can fly with mandelic acid. You just need to follow the TSA guidelines and bring it in your carry-on luggage in containers of 3.4 ounces or less. And if you bring more than one 3.4 ounce container make sure they all fit in one quart-size clear ziplock bag.

I wrote an article on flying with mandelic acid here for more details including bringing it in your checked bags.

Can you fly with hyaluronic acid?

Yes, you can fly with hyaluronic acid. You just need to follow the TSA guidelines and bring it in your carry-on luggage in containers of 3.4 ounces or less. And if you bring more than one 3.4 ounce container make sure they all fit in one quart-size clear ziplock bag.

I wrote an article on flying with hyaluronic acid here for more details including bringing it in your checked bags.

Can I bring Olaplex on a plane?

Yes, you can fly with Olaplex. You just need to follow the TSA guidelines and bring it in your carry-on luggage in containers of 3.4 ounces or less. If you bring more than one 3.4 ounce container make sure they all fit in one quart-size clear ziplock bag.

What does a glycolic acid toner do?

Due to its small molecule size and water solubility, glycolic acid is the most commonly used AHA. Because of this, it penetrates more deeply into the skin. When used in toners, it helps to unclog clogged pores by sloughing away dead skin cells.

Is glycolic acid considered a liquid by the TSA?

Yes, glycolic acid is considered a liquid by TSA. Skincare products like your face creams and serums gels and pastes are all considered liquids by the TSA.

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 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.

You won’t be able to bring more liquid than whatever will fit in the one quart-size bag.

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. 

More Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t you take more than 100ml 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.

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 screening easier as well.

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 where you are 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. 

Does the TSA allow frozen liquids?

Yes, completely frozen liquids are considered solid and therefore have no restrictions. The liquid must be completely frozen and not slushy. Otherwise, it’ll be subject to the 3:1:1 rule.

What does the TSA do with confiscated items?

The TSA typically sends confiscated items to state agencies where they are distributed and resold. The TSA does not profit from the selling of these items. Some items are donated to non-profit organizations or recycled. TSA employees are prohibited from stealing confiscated items for personal use.

If you bring prohibited items through security, here are a few options aside from giving your items to the TSA.

  1. Pass the item to a friend who’s not traveling.
  2. Transfer the item to your checked baggage.
  3. Throw away the item.
  4. If it’s a liquid, dump it out and carry the empty container or bottle through with you.

Recap and My Recommendations

Can you bring glycolic acid on a plane?

Glycolic acid is permitted on planes. The TSA considers glycolic acid, or products containing it, 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 gallon-sized ziplock bag. 

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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