Hand Luggage Only? These Are the Editor-Approved Beauty Products You Can Take On Board With You

We’ve all been there: You’ve arrived at the airport with your carefully packed toiletries bag in your hand luggage only to be told that you’ll have to leave one of your favourite beauty products behind at security because it exceeds the 100ml liquid restriction. Not the start to your holiday that you might have hoped for. I have had to wave goodbye to beloved perfumes and hardworking skincare in the past (while nearly shedding a tear) and I know that I’m not alone. In fact, even the most studious packer might find the government guidance around exactly what items you can and can’t take in your hand luggage confusing. Do cream products count as liquids? Can I take a razor with me? And what about my hair tools?

What beauty products can you take in hand luggage

(Image credit: @_jessicaskye )

While the restrictions on carrying liquids over 100ml in hand luggage are due to be scrapped by June 2025 across airports in the UK, for now they remain firmly in place. So, worry not, we’re here to break down exactly what beauty products you can take on board with you and which ones need to be left behind, or checked into the hold.

What beauty products can you take in your hand luggage?

What beauty products can you take in hand luggage

(Image credit: @rochellehumes)

The good news first—there are currently no restrictions on powders or solid makeup products, which means you can happily pack as many powder eyeshadows, setting powders, powder blushers and makeup pencils as you like. You can stash these in your usual makeup bag (rather than a clear one) and carry them in your hand luggage with no issue.

You can also take on liquid products, providing that they are measure 100ml or less, and these must be secured in a clear bag to go through airport security. It’s important to note that liquids stores in containers that are larger than 100ml won’t be allowed through—even if they are only partially full.

What exactly counts a liquid? The government regulations state that a liquid includes creams, lotions, oils, gels, pastes, sprays, aerosols, and any other solutions of a similar consistency. So, by this reckoning, beauty products like perfumes, mascara, lip gloss, cream blushers, lipsticks, concealers and moisturisers all need to be stashed in your clear bag and measure 100ml or less. Effectively, anything that’s not a powder.

Hair tools are also allowed in your hand luggage with electrical hair straighteners, hair dryers and curling tongs all coming under the list of electrical devices that the government allows on board. While less common these days, you can also take a gas-powered hair curler with you in your hand luggage as long as it has the safety cover fitted at all times—but separate gas cartridges are not allowed.

As for razors, electrical shavers are allowed under the electrical item allowances and standard razors with a fixed blade are permitted too. Likewise, you can take refillable razor cartridges with you in your hand luggage, but individual loose razor blades are strictly prohibited.

So, what beauty products are you not allowed in your hand luggage?

What beauty products can you take in hand luggage

(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Effectively, you can take almost anything with you in your hand luggage as long as you’re bearing that 100ml rule in mind for liquids. These products must be stored in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag (you can only take on one bag per person) which can hold no more than a litre and should measure around 20cm x 20cm. The contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so that it can be properly sealed up too—so no overfilling.

Any liquid items that are larger than 100ml must by checked in as hold luggage that you check in.

Thankfully, there are a whole host of travel-friendly containers available that mean you can decant your larger beauty products into smaller pots and bottles if you want to bring your favourite makeup and skincare with you on your holidays. Or why not invest in a travel-sized mini of your beauty essentials specifically for your hand luggage?

Keep scrolling for our pick of the best travel-sized beauty products to take in your hand luggage.

1. Nars Mini Radiant Creamy Concealer

2. Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash

3. Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% Bha Liquid Exfoliant

4. Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara Travel Size

5.Kate Somerville UK Delikate Soothing Cleanser Mini

6. Hair by Sam Mcknight Lazy Girl Dry Shampoo

7. Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream Mini

8. Charlotte Tilbury Mini Hollywood Flawless Filter

9. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Suncream

10. Glossier You Solid Perfume

Mica Ricketts