Is make-up allowed on the plane

Well prepared for air travel - liquids and cosmetics in hand luggage

Before a trip comes packing. While car and train travelers can be relatively flexible, it can get complicated for air travelers. Here, baggage weight and hand baggage regulations must be complied with.

If you don't want to give up a suitcase or have a long flight ahead of you, you can be at a loss in view of the many regulations.

Which cosmetics are actually allowed on the plane, how do they have to be packaged and what do you need on a long-haul flight?

Hand luggage regulations: What amounts of liquids and cosmetics are allowed?

  • Only liquids that are in a container with a maximum capacity of 100 ml may be taken on board.
  • All liquids must be packed in a transparent plastic bag that holds a maximum of one liter. Only one of these bags is allowed per passenger.
  • All gels, creams, and lotions are considered liquids.
  • Face powder and all other powdery make-up utensils are not considered liquids.
  • Liquid medication may be taken with you in the amount that is needed during the trip. To prove this, a medical certificate in English is helpful.
  • People with food allergies are allowed to bring special food on board; porridge, milk and baby food are allowed for toddlers and babies.
  • You can also take everything you bought in the duty-free area after the security check. These items must be packed and sealed for boarding in accordance with ICAO regulations; on flights to the USA, these items must be checked in as baggage.
  • Scissors and razor blades are not allowed.

Tip: The bags for the flight are available in the supermarket in the department with the freezer bags, in airport shops or in the drugstore as reusable zipper bags. There are also matching small cream jars and bottles in which you can fill your cosmetics.

What amounts of liquids and cosmetics are allowed? (Image: © Pixelot -

More fits in there than you think!

Sometimes the fluid restriction means that you have far too little space for everything you need. For example, on long-haul flights and when you go to an important business appointment or attend a private party right after the flight. Or you only travel with hand luggage and have to stow all cosmetics in it for a few days.

Don't panic, little tricks create space.

  • Samples from magazines are your most important weapons if you want to make the most of every millimeter of space. You can take cream, perfume, shampoo or even make-up with you for one or two applications. The flat film packaging takes up almost no space. The next time you shop at the perfumery, politely ask the saleswoman for cream and make-up samples for your skin type. Most of the time there are some in stock.
  • If you don't check in luggage, take face masks or hair treatments with you for use in a practical, flat sachet. The Comodynes brand even offers peelings, face masks, self-tanning wipes and cleaning wipes in small packages for one application.
  • Many hotel shampoos leave your hair in a straw-like, dull and knotted mat. The shower gels are mostly okay. So pack shampoo, shower gel doesn't have to be.
  • Powder foundation and mineral make-up are not liquids and are available in compact, flat mirror boxes that even fit a sponge. These products not only save you the liquid foundation, but the cans also serve as make-up mirrors during the trip.
  • Toothpaste, shower stuff, shampoo and lotions are available in drugstores and perfumeries as holiday or sample sets in small bottles during the travel season.
  • Bring cosmetics that serve more than one purpose. The lipstick is suitable as a cream blush, a lip liner can replace the lipstick when applied thinly. A make-up base with a sun protection factor and caring properties can be a moisturizer, sunscreen and foundation all in one.
  • Get yourself a travel-size micellar water or fill 100 ml from a larger bottle. Micellar water serves as a make-up remover, facial toner and facial cleanser in one. In stores there are different types with active ingredients against acne, for sensitive skin or with anti-aging ingredients. Put it in your pocket with some cotton pads and you can clean your face without water while the other passengers wait for a toilet cabin to become free. At the destination, the micellar water will still be useful as a make-up remover.

Fresh for landing - cosmetic bag for long-haul flights

  • The Bioderma Sensibio H2O cleansing lotion is available as a travel size with 100 ml in pharmacies. The micellar water for sensitive skin cleanses and tones with just a cotton pad. No make-up remover, no water required.
  • With the individually wrapped "Easy Peeling Towels" from Comodynes, you can even do a facial peeling on the go. The wipes contain microfibers, you don't need any water and there are no residues on the skin. You can continue with your further care immediately after the peeling.
  • The air in the plane dries out the skin very much. After removing your make-up and before applying your make-up, apply a serum such as the “Multi-Hydratante Moisturizing Serum Bi-Sérum Intensif” from Clarins. The standard size contains 30 ml, ideal for hand luggage.
  • Travel toothbrushes are offered in small formats that can be folded in or put together. Small tubes of toothpaste are available in the sample department of the drugstore, in the pharmacy or free of charge at the dentist.
  • The Ioma brand offers day and night creams as well as a repair gel as so-called tabs in blister packs similar to those in a pill box. Each tab contains a single dose of cream. The flat packaging is ideal for air travel.
  • If you want to put on make-up on the flight, take a light-reflecting concealer such as the "Airbrush Concealer" from Clinique, a mascara and a cream rouge. Cover shadows under the eyes and bumps with the concealer, pound in with your finger, it also creates small pimples or scars. Cream rouge like the “Chubby Stick Cheek” from Clinique is equally suitable for lips and cheeks, simply dab on with your ring finger. Mascara gives the eyes an alert, fresh expression.

A flight takes a little preparation, especially for us women, so that we really don't forget anything and have all the products we need with us on the plane despite hand luggage regulations. But the effort is worth it, because we get on without excess baggage and get off with a fresh, shiny look.


Top picture: © Olesia Bilkei -

About Maria Wildt

Maria Wildt is an agricultural engineer and beauty blogger from the very beginning. Beauty, lifestyle, nature, the environment and science are therefore her favorite topics. She has been a blogger since 2007 and a freelance online editor and copywriter since 2013.