Can You Bring Foundation On A Plane?

Travelers often wonder if they can bring their favorite beauty products, such as foundation, on a plane, considering the array of regulations in place for air travel. The foundation is a staple cosmetic item for many, used to create an even skin tone and a base for other makeup. The ability to bring foundation on a plane is subject to strict security measures that have evolved significantly over the years, particularly since the introduction of the 3-1-1 liquid rule by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States in response to security threats.

Historically, air travel did not always involve such stringent restrictions on what passengers could carry onboard. The 1970s and 80s saw relatively lax security where concerns over liquids were minimal. However, with the increased security threats and the evolution of international security protocols, regulations began to tighten. The pivotal moment came after the thwarted liquid bomb plot in 2006, which radically changed the landscape of air travel security. Authorities around the world introduced measures to limit the quantity and size of liquids, gels, and aerosols that passengers could carry in their hand luggage. This included personal care items like liquid foundations, which are subject to the same screening procedures as other liquids.

Today, the 3-1-1 rule, which has been adopted by many countries internationally, allows passengers to carry liquids in containers no larger than 100 milliliters (or equivalent in other measurements) packed in a clear, resealable 1-quart sized bag, with one bag per passenger being permitted for carry-on baggage. Full-size bottles of foundation and other cosmetics must be stowed in checked luggage. This regulatory environment reflects the ongoing balancing act between convenience for passengers and the imperative of ensuring flight security. As a result, the issue of traveling with foundation and other similar products continues to be relevant for travelers who must navigate these rules to maintain their beauty routines while on the move.

can you bring foundation makeup on a plane

Can You Take Foundation On A Plane?

When traveling by air, passengers often wonder if they can take their liquid foundation makeup on a plane. The answer is yes, but there are certain restrictions you need to be aware of. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), liquid cosmetics such as foundation are subject to the 3-1-1 liquids rule. This means that each passenger is allowed to take liquids, gels, and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. These containers must fit comfortably in one clear, quart-sized, resealable plastic bag. At the security checkpoint, you must remove this bag from your carry-on luggage and place it in a screening bin. Powdered foundation, on the other hand, does not have the same restrictions and can be packed in your carry-on without limitation. Understanding these guidelines will help ensure a smooth security check-in process and keep your travel plans flowing seamlessly. Continue reading for a detailed discussion on how to pack your foundation and other makeup essentials when flying.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) sets forth guidelines to standardize and regulate the carriage of goods and materials on flights to ensure safety and compliance. When it comes to flying with foundation or other cosmetic items, passengers must adhere to the regulations that pertain to liquids, aerosols, and gels. These guidelines are part of the IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) and are designed to manage the risks associated with the transport of potentially hazardous materials.

  • Liquids, aerosols, and gels must be in containers with a maximum capacity of 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces) each.
  • Containers must be placed in a transparent, resealable plastic bag with a total capacity not exceeding 1 liter (approximately one quart).
  • Only one plastic bag per passenger is permitted, and it must be presented separately for inspection at the airport security checkpoint.
  • Any containers larger than 100 milliliters should be placed in checked baggage, regardless of the amount contained within.

For more detailed information on IATA guidelines, please refer to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Country Specific Regulations

When traveling internationally with foundation or other cosmetic items, it is crucial to be aware of the specific regulations that apply to the country of destination. Each country may have its own set of rules regarding the importation and transportation of cosmetic products, which can include restrictions on quantities, packaging, and declaration.

United Kingdom

For information on UK regulations for flying with foundation, please visit the UK government’s hand luggage restrictions page.


European regulations can be found on the European Commission’s liquid restrictions page.


The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority provides guidelines at CATSA’s website.


For Australian rules, refer to the Department of Home Affairs’ aviation security page.

New Zealand

New Zealand’s regulations can be reviewed on the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand’s website.


Asian countries may have varying regulations; it is recommended to check with the specific country’s civil aviation authority.


For Singapore’s guidelines, visit the Changi Airport’s liquids, aerosols, and gels information page.

10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with Foundation

Airlines may have their own specific policies regarding the transport of foundation and other cosmetics in addition to the general IATA guidelines and country-specific regulations. It is important to review the regulations of the airline you are flying with to ensure compliance and avoid any issues during your journey.

American Airlines

Refer to American Airlines’ baggage policies at American Airlines’ Carry-On Baggage page.

Delta Air Lines

Delta’s carry-on information can be found on the Delta Air Lines Carry-On Baggage page.

United Airlines

United’s baggage policies are detailed at United Airlines’ Carry-On Baggage page.


Guidelines for Emirates can be accessed on the Emirates Cabin Baggage page.


Lufthansa’s carry-on rules are available at Lufthansa Carry-On Baggage page.

Air France

For Air France’s policies, visit the Air France Hand Baggage page.

British Airways

British Airways provides their guidelines on the British Airways Hand Baggage Allowances page.


Information for Qantas can be found at Qantas Carry-On Baggage page.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific’s restrictions are detailed on the Cathay Pacific Carry-On Baggage page.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines’ carry-on baggage policies are at Singapore Airlines Cabin Baggage page.

Packing Foundation in Your Carry-On Luggage

Packing foundation in carry-on luggage requires careful attention to TSA regulations. Liquids, gels, creams, and aerosols must be 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per container, and all of these containers must fit in a single, transparent, quart-sized bag.

  • Choose the Right Size: Use travel-sized bottles if your foundation is not already within the size limit.
  • Transfer if Necessary: Pour foundation into a travel-sized container if the original is too large.
  • Seal it Tight: Ensure that the container is sealed properly to avoid leaks.
  • Quart-Size Bag: Use a clear, plastic, zip-top bag to hold your foundation and any other liquids.
  • Pack Smart: Place heavier items at the bottom of your bag to prevent squashing the foundation.
  • Accessibility: Keep your liquids bag easily accessible for screening.

taking foundation makeup through airport security

Packing Foundation in Hold Luggage

For those checking in their luggage, the limitations on liquids are more lenient, allowing for full-sized products. However, the risk of damage or spillage can be greater.

  • Padded Protection: Wrap the foundation bottle in bubble wrap or a padded makeup case to cushion against impacts.
  • Leak Prevention: Place the wrapped foundation in a leak-proof bag as an extra precaution.
  • Central Packing: Position the foundation amidst soft clothing to provide additional protective layers.
  • Separation: Keep the foundation away from valuable items in case it leaks.
  • Temperature Concerns: Be wary of hold temperatures that might affect the consistency of your foundation; opt for a thicker formula if concerned.
  • Backup Plan: Consider taking a powder or stick foundation as an alternative to liquid in case of spillage.

Tips for Both Carry-On and Hold Luggage

  • Avoid Air Pockets: Select foundation packaging that has little to no air inside to prevent expansion and possible leakage due to cabin pressure changes.
  • Labeling: Clearly label all containers with their contents to facilitate security checks.
  • Check for Expiration: Before traveling, ensure your foundation has not expired to avoid skin irritations.
  • Eco-Friendly Options: Consider solid foundations as a spill-proof and an environmentally friendly choice.

Always remember to check the airline’s specific regulations before flying, as these can vary and may have changed since the last update of this content.

Essential Carry-On Items for Air Travel

When packing for a flight, alongside your foundation, consider including travel-sized skincare products to keep your skin hydrated in the dry cabin air. A good book or e-reader can be a great companion to pass the time during long flights. Noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs are a must-have for peace and quiet, while a neck pillow and eye mask can help you catch some sleep. Don’t forget to pack a portable charger or power bank to keep your electronic devices charged, and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, which you can fill up after passing through security. Lastly, ensure you have all your travel documents, such as your passport and boarding pass, easily accessible in a secure travel wallet or pouch.

FAQ’s About Can You Bring Foundation On A Plane?

Traveling can be stressful, especially when it comes to ensuring your favorite beauty products can come along for the journey. One commonly asked question revolves around bringing foundation on a plane. With airport security measures in place, it’s important to know the rules and tips for packing makeup, especially liquid foundations, in your carry-on or checked luggage. Below is a compilation of frequently asked questions that will help you navigate the nuances of flying with foundation and other cosmetics.

Can you bring liquid foundation in your carry-on bag?

Yes, you can bring liquid foundation in your carry-on bag, but it must adhere to the TSA liquids rule, meaning it should be in a container of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less and fit within a single, clear, quart-sized resealable plastic bag.

Is it possible to bring powder foundation on a plane?

Absolutely. Powder foundation is not subject to the TSA’s liquids rule and can be packed in your carry-on without any restrictions on quantity.

Can you bring full-size foundation in your checked luggage?

Yes, you can pack full-size bottles of foundation in your checked baggage without the size restrictions that apply to carry-ons.

Are there any restrictions on the type of foundation you can bring on a plane?

No, there are no specific restrictions on the types of foundation you can bring on a plane. Both liquid and powder foundations are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, adhering to the rules for liquids and packaging.

Will I need to declare my foundation at security checkpoints?

You do not need to declare foundations unless they exceed the allowed liquid limits for carry-ons. In which case, you must declare them at the TSA checkpoint for inspection.

How should I pack my liquid foundation to prevent leaks?

To prevent leaks, ensure the foundation’s cap is tightly secured. You might also want to place it inside a plastic bag or wrap it in plastic wrap for an extra layer of protection against spills.

Can I bring multiple bottles of foundation on a plane?

Yes, as long as each bottle adheres to the liquids rule for carry-ons, or you can pack multiple bottles in your checked luggage without concern for volume limits.

What happens if my foundation is larger than the allowed size for a carry-on?

If your liquid foundation is larger than what’s allowed (3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters), you will need to either transfer it to smaller containers, pack it in checked luggage, or potentially leave it behind.

Does cream foundation count as a liquid when flying?

Yes, cream foundations are generally treated as liquids by airport security and must follow the same 3-1-1 liquids rule in carry-ons.

What’s the best way to pack foundation to save space in my luggage?

To save space, consider using travel-sized foundations or decant your foundation into smaller containers. Utilizing stacking pots or palette forms for makeup can also be space-efficient.

Packing It All Up

Carrying foundation on a plane is permitted with adherence to TSA regulations, specifically the 3-1-1 liquids rule for carry-on luggage. This rule allows passengers to bring liquid cosmetics, including foundation, in containers up to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) each, and all containers must fit within a single quart-sized, clear, resealable plastic bag. This requirement ensures that travelers can bring their essential makeup items, such as foundation, while maintaining security protocols. For those who need more than what is allowed in carry-on luggage or prefer not to be restricted by the 3-1-1 rule, packing foundation in checked baggage is a straightforward alternative, where there are no limits on liquid quantities.

It’s important to pack foundation securely to prevent any spills or breakage during transit. Doing so helps maintain the condition of the rest of your belongings and eases security checks. It’s also recommended to consider solid or powder foundations as alternatives to liquid types, which can make the security process more efficient and eliminate the need to comply with liquid restrictions. By following these guidelines, travelers can ensure a stress-free journey with their favorite cosmetic products, including foundation, maintaining their beauty routine wherever they go.