The TSA guidelines about what is considered a liquid can be confusing sometimes.
Here’s their general principle:
Any item that you can pour, pump, squeeze, spread, smear, spray or spill must follow our liquids rule in carry-on bags.Transportation Security Administration
But is chapstick considered a liquid? After all, you smear it on your lips. Is lipstick considered a liquid? Again it’s a product that smears and spreads.
This post lets you know if you can take chapstick, lipstick, lip balm, and lip gloss on to planes. And if you need to pack it in your toiletries bag or you can just throw it in your carry on.
TSA Chapstick Rules
Let’s start with chapstick.
The good news is that chapstick is not considered a liquid. It smears but the TSA counts chapstick as a solid, not a liquid.
This means that you can pack chapsticks in your carry on bags or your checked bags. There are no restrictions on chapsticks.
TSA Lipstick Rules
The same goes for lipstick.
The TSA don’t consider lipstick to be a liquid. Even although lipstick smears and you spread it on your lips they count lipstick as a solid.
So you don’t need to pack lipsticks or chapsticks in your clear plastic toiletries bag. You can pack them in a make up bag, keep them in your purse or anywhere you like really.
You can bring lipsticks in both hand luggage and hold luggage.
TSA Lip Gloss Rules
Most lip gloss products are applied with a brush.
The TSA doesn’t mention lip gloss on their website but I wanted to find the answer.
Sometimes when the answer isn’t available on the TSA website you can find out on Twitter.
Here was Liu asking about her lip gloss and liquid foundation:
And another Twitter user received this answer:
So lip gloss is considered a liquid by the TSA and you should be packing it inside your toiletries bag.
You can’t bring containers that are larger than 3.4 oz.
TSA Lip Balm Rules
You can probably figure this out yourself now although the @AskTSA service on Twitter seems somewhat confused about lip balm.
You can find them telling Kevin that lip balm is considered a liquid:
And also you can find them saying that lip balm is considered a solid:
The truth is it depends on what type of lip balm you are talking about.
Solid stick lip balms will not be considered a liquid. But little lip balm jars that are more like vaseline or petroleum jelly are considered liquids and need to go in your clear liquids bag.
You can take chapstick and lipstick in your carry on and they don’t need to go in your quart-size liquids bag.
Lip gloss does need to go in the toiletries bag.
And lip balm, well it depends on what type of lip balm.
As always, the final decision about what is considered a liquid is taken by the TSA officer at the security checkpoint.