Can You Take Lotion on a Plane? TSA Rules Explained

  • Author: John Parker
  • Last Updated: October 10, 2022

Flying, particularly on a long-haul flight, can be very dehydrating, not only internally, but also for your skin and your eyes. So being able to use some of your favorite hand, face or eye lotion during the flight can go a long way to making you feel a little more human.

But are you allowed to take lotion on a plane in either your cabin bag or checked baggage?

The Quick Answer: You can bring lotion on a plane in your carry on bag or checked bags. The TSA liquids rule applies which means you can only take lotion through the security checkpoint if it is no larger than 3.4 fl ozs (100 ml). Any size of lotion can go in your checked bags.

Hopefully I have answered all of the questions you may have about how much lotion you can bring on a plane below. This applies to all types of lotion which includes face and body lotion, sunscreen lotions, eye lotions, moisturizers etc

can you bring lotion on a plane
Can You Take Lotion on a Plane? TSA Rules Explained 1

Can you take lotion through airport security?

The Transportation Security Administration allows you to carry lotion in your carry on baggage through airport security, but you need to comply with the strict TSA’s rules regarding liquids, gels and aerosols. This also applies to lotions such as suntan lotion in aerosols.

Solid lotions (I didn’t know there was such a thing but there are it seems) do not fall under the liquids rule so can be carried without restriction.

Lotions can be quite expensive so the last thing you need is for TSA officers to confiscate them. Lotion often does come in bottles that are larger than is allowed so make sure you check the size of yours before packing it in your cabin bag or your purse.

What size lotion can you take on a plane

  1. The container of lotion should be no larger than 3.4 ounces/100 ml (airplane lotion size).
  2. All your bottles of lotion should be stored in a quart size transparent toiletries bag along with any other gels, creams and liquids.
  3. Airport security only allows one resealable quart size bag for liquids per passenger.

Also don’t forget any lotion you may have tucked away in your purse (if you are carrying that separately from your hand luggage) which must also go in the quart size bag.

You can always check with the TSA using their very helpful service on Twitter called #AskTSA where they will reply to any questions about what can be taken on an aircraft. This is a question regarding taking lotions on a plane in hand luggage:

can you take lotion through tsa

If you are intending to carry lotion in your carry on then you need to be cautious of the amount each liquid item in your quart size bag contains. Generally, a quart sized bag can only carry approximately 7 small bottles.

Can you take lotion on board in your carry on?

Although we have already mentioned that you cannot take a container of lotion that is larger than 3.4 ounces through airport security, you can actually carry liquids in a larger bottle than that on the aircraft with you.

The reason for that is you can purchase it in one of the stores at the airport (perhaps duty free if traveling internationally) after you pass through the security checkpoint.

Most airlines, particularly when flying internationally, don’t miss a trick to get a few extra bucks out of you by bringing around a trolley selling perfumes, colognes, aftershave etc so you can also buy some then.

The same thing applies to any other liquids such as water, deodorant, sun cream, body lotion etc.

can i take lotion on a carry on

Exceptions to these rules

There are two main exceptions to only being able to take lotion through airport security and on a plane if it is no larger than 3.4 fluid ounces. Although they will not need to go in your liquids bag, you should inform the security agent that you have them prior to them going through the x-ray machine.

The exceptions are:

Traveling with a baby

If you are flying with a baby you can take liquids, and things such as lotions and creams that are considered a liquid, that are larger than 3.4 ounces. These do not have to go in your Obviously these can only be carried if they are actually for the baby such as diaper rash cream, Johnson’s Baby Lotion etc.

The following is a reply by the TSA regarding taking lotions for babies through security:

can you bring lotion on a plane for babies

Medically necessary lotions

If you need to take a lotion for medical purposes in your carry on luggage onboard then these will normally be permitted even if they are larger than 3.4 ounces.

The following is a reply by the TSA regarding taking medical lotions through security:

can I bring lotion on a plane for medical conditions

How to take lotion in a carry on bag

If your lotion is in a container larger than the permitted 3.4 ounces and you really want to take it in your carry on to use on board then probably the best way is to buy some smaller travel size containers specifically made to be within the rules such as those below that you can put a smaller amount in.

3 oz Travel Containers for Travel Size Toiletries with TSA Quart Bag.

4 Leak Proof Travel Bottles - 3 oz Travel Containers for Travel Size Toiletries with TSA Quart Bag

Can you bring lotion on a plane in checked luggage?

If you want to pack your lotion in your checked bags then you can almost without restriction as the strict liquids rules only apply to your carry on bags when passing through airport security. The one restriction is that individual containers cannot be larger than 18 ozs (so quite large).

The bottle or bottles of lotion need to be stored very carefully in your suitcase because the last thing you want is for the bottle to leak or break as your clothes will have an overwhelming smell for the duration of your trip.

So when packing lotion, make sure to place it in a plastic bag and with things that will pad it out to prevent breakage.

This is a reply from the #AskTSA service to a passenger asking can you bring lotion in checked luggage confirming that lotions larger than 3.4 ounces can go in checked bags:

can you bring lotion on a plane checked baggage

Conclusion

Lotions can be an essential item for many people to take in their carry on bag with them while traveling on long flights.

You can bring lotion on a plane in your carry on bag or checked bags. The TSA liquids rule applies which means you can only take lotion through the security checkpoint if it is no larger than 3.4 fl ozs (100 ml). Any size of lotion can go in your checked bags.

While packing lotions in your checked luggage, make sure you pack it safely to avoid any type of breakage or spillage.

FAQs

Can you carry lotion in your purse?

Yes, you can carry lotion in your purse or handbag as long as it complies with TSA 3-1-1 liquid rules ie. it must be no larger than 3.4 ozs.

Can you take more than one bottle of lotion in your hand luggage?

You can take as many bottles of lotion as you wish in your carry on provided that they are no larger than 3.4 fluid ounces each and that they all fit in your resealable quart size liquid bag

Can body lotion go in hand luggage?

The TSA permit body lotion to be taken in hand luggage if no larger than 3.4 ozs and it must go in your quart size liquid bag.

Can I bring moisturizer on a plane?

Moisturizer can be taken on a plane. In carry on they cannot be in a container that is larger than 3.4 ounces and must go in a quart sized bag with other liquids. In checked bags there are no restrictions.