The TSA-Approved Beauty Products I Keep in My Carry-On Suitcase


(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

You know the feeling you get when you’re halfway to the airport and suddenly remember that one important item you forgot to pack? That used to happen to me every time. In fact, I still leave myself Post-its on the door that read, "prescriptions, glasses, contacts, passport” just to be sure I don’t forget—until I decided to adopt a strategic packing technique. While there’s still the occasional slipup (curse you, wandering AirPods!), I can confidently say that I finally have my travel beauty essentials down pat. The trick? They never leave my suitcase. 

As neither a frequent nor infrequent flyer, I used to think that it wasn’t necessary to purchase travel-size items or minis of my favorite products—the cost per use just didn’t add up—until I realized how much more relaxing a vacation or business trip can be when I don’t have to sweat the small stuff. Let’s face it: Hotel toiletries can be hit-or-miss, checked luggage doesn’t always arrive when you do, and there’s not always a convenient drugstore nearby to pick up an emergency spot treatment. After suffering through each of these travel pain points more than once, I now keep my 10 essential, TSA-approved beauty products in a cosmetics pouch tucked inside my go-to carry-on bag at all times. 

While I encourage you to evaluate what "essential” means for your personal on-the-go beauty regimen, the below products have helped me maintain my hair, skin, and makeup routine from coast to coast. Browse below to shop my favorites, and start putting together your own set-it-and-forget-it travel beauty kit!

Need to stock up on more travel essentials? Don't miss these: 

21 Beauty Products So Good I Bought Them in Travel-Size Too

14 Beauty Products I Never Pack When I Travel (and 21 I do)

I've Traveled to Over 30 Countries—These Are the 10 Items I Always Pack

Drew Elovitz
Director of Content Strategy

Drew Elovitz is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has spent the last decade living and working in New York City. She earned a master's degree in media and popular culture from New York University, then began her career on the internet as the Twitter voice of Barbie. She worked previously at Who What Wear as the director of content strategy and also spent several years leading the social media teams at Teen Vogue and Entertainment Weekly. You'll find her byline on the site around topics such as celebrity fashion, must-have basics, beauty favorites (particularly nail polish), and wellness tips and tricks. Her personal style tends to favor the classics: She loves crisp white button-downs, sneakers, and skinny jeans—and no look is complete without a great pair of oversize sunglasses and a trusty leather jacket. After she finishes reading the entire internet every day, she can be found dining out at her favorite restaurants, trying new beauty treatments, or indulging her historical-fiction habit.