Is Cream Makeup Considered a Liquid by the TSA? (Blush, Foundation, Face Cream, Concealer)

Last Updated on September 16, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, according to the TSA, cream makeup counts as a liquid
  • Any liquid, cream, or gel foundation, blush, or face cream will have restrictions when it’s in your hand luggage
  • There are no restrictions on cream makeup packed in checked luggage

If you take any cream makeup in your hand luggage it needs to follow these rules:

  • All cream makeup containers must be less than 100 ml or 3.4 oz.
  • You must put all your containers or bottles inside 1 zip-top plastic quart-sized transparent bag
  • You can only have 1 plastic quart-sized bag in your carry-on bag

Here is my best tip to help you decide where you should pack your make up in your hand luggage.

Check the packaging of your beauty product. Does it give the size in milliliters (ML) or fluid ounces (FL OZ)? If the answer is yes then it counts as a liquid.

It doesn’t matter if it’s face cream, blush, foundation or concealer. If it’s measured as a fluid it’s treated as a liquid by the TSA.

Cosmetics measured in Fluid Ounces (FL Oz) are considered liquids by the TSA.

The TSA often says “If you can squeeze it, smear it, pump it, spread it, spray it, or spill it then it’s considered a liquid”.

On the other hand, if the size of the product is just written in grams or oz then it’s might not be counted as a liquid and restricted. You need to use your common sense because sometimes the product is clearly a gel or a paste even when the measurement is in oz, not FL oz.

Take a look at this powdered foundation:

If the product is labeled as a powder and measured in grams and oz then the TSA won’t count it as a liquid.

As always with security screening, it’s up to the TSA officers what is permitted.

Can You Take Powdered Foundation or Other Powdered Cosmetics On A Plane?

Powdered makeup is a little different. Powdered cosmetics don’t fall under the liquids rule. But there is a rule about powders if you are taking large quantities.

You can take powders in containers up to 12 ounces or 350 ml.

If you have more than 12 oz of powder, that’s a lot of powdered foundation, you can still take it in your hand luggage. But it needs to be placed in a separate container during the TSA check to be examined by xray at the security checkpoint.

Usually, a typical powdered foundation will be a small container much less than 12 oz. I just draw the powders rule to your attention in case you are flying with a lot of powdered make up.

So you don’t need to put powdered makeup in your plastic quart bag. You can pack it in your toiletries bag or even your handbag.

Regardless, if you are flying with a lot of makeup, whether it is powdered makeup, liquid, creams, liquid gels or pastes then it’s easiest to pack it in checked luggage. There are no restrictions on beauty products in checked luggage.

In case you are wondering. Mascara is a liquid too we covered mascara on this page.

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