Can You Take Cream In Your Hand Luggage? Find Out Here!

Can You Take Cream In Your Hand Luggage?

Hand creams are a common sight among most toiletries today. Basic skin care is an important part of a daily skin care ritual for many people, and for others medicated creams can help treat serious dermatological problems.

Can I take cream in my hand luggage? Yes! However, your cream will be classed as a liquid, and will therefore be held to the same standards and regulations as other liquids. Different airlines may have different policies, but most airports limit the volume of liquids permitted per person boarding a flight.

Can You Take Cream In Your Hand Luggage?

So what liquid restrictions will be applied to your bottle of cream? It's different from solid food items, so how much cream can you take? Let's take a closer look at airport security services, and their expectations on you, the passenger, when it comes to hand luggage. 

Why the Regulations?

When flying, both domestically and internationally, you will be bringing various items to security. Security officers may pull you aside prior to you boarding a cross country flight, and you may have to make adjustements at the airport. Disposing of excess liquids, or repacking your belongings. 

These security requirements were put in place after a failed terrorist plot was foiled in 2006. The attempted bombers smuggled materials and chemicals in unassuming toiletries, and thankfully staff at security control stopped them before anything got out of hand. 

Security concerns raised by normal items such as these, make service on flights difficult. As such, to protect both passengers, pilot crew, and flight attendants from danger, all flights have security rules in place regarding liquids. Whether they are domestic flights or international, short or long haul flights, the rules apply.

Restricitions for items also cover other areas, but this is just concerning liquids and other liquid based travel items. Creams for your face or hands fall into this category, even if they aren't exactly liquids per se. While bringing food on board can be something worth questioning, you are entitled to have medication on board your flight.

If your cream is a medical necessity and not purely cosmetic, then be sure to follow the guidelines closely. Further on in this article, we'll look at ways you may be able to bring more than your allotted 100ml on board. These will only apply to medical creams however, other liquids will still be held to a volume restriction.

What are the Regulations?

The maximum size for your carry on weight and size allowances is one plastic bag per passenger. This bag will be one quart in size, allowing you to carry multiple liquid containers at once. However, every passenger gets only one bag.

Luggage restrictions will put the maximum size of your liquid containers at no more than 100ml, or 3 fluid ounces. This is quite small, and compared to bringing large equipment like a TV or instrument on board, you are unlikely to find it too hard to separate your liquids. 

It should also be noted that these maximum size limitations only apply to hand luggage. Check the size of cabin baggage or checking baggage, as you may be able to fit some of the less essential creams and toiletries into your weight limits.

Hand luggage is usually reserved for bringing snacks on board, but longer flights may have you bringing more than food through airport security. Just be mindful of these liquid restrictions before you reach your security check, and make sure yourpacking priorities are in order.

While it would be nice to have our whole skin care routine on hand after the security filters, snacks on board the flight can keep costs down. Other items like baby milk and baby food are also obviously vital for travelling parents, so be careful regarding the different restrictions for items. Be warned, you may be asked to drink the milk by security staff to prove its no filled with chemicals. Ew!

Can You Take Cream In Your Hand Luggage?

Why are Creams Classed as Liquids?

While limitations on electronic items or having a cheeky cigarette on board a flight are understandable risks requiring regulation, the classification of creams as liquids is less explicit. For American TSA, a liquid is any product or material that is free flowing, regardless of its viscosity. 

So there you have it, creams are liquids. At least, when it comes to your luggage at security control they are classed as such. So make sure you're prepared for a security check with your 3 oz of hand cream, and definitely do not try to bring something dangerous like a blade or cigarette on board.

Exceptions to the Regulations

So what if you medically need a cream for a skin condition, and a security individual won't let you take it on board? Unlike less essential items like shampoo or hand gels, medical creams can exceed the liquid allowance under exceptional and special circumstances. 

Where possible, you should still try to pack lightly. Travel containers can be used for priority medicine just as much as they are used for other toiletries and normal items. It can be a major hassle to get the liquids you need on board, so proper preperation is always recommended. 

Can You Take Cream In Your Hand Luggage?

If you can't pack for travel, then see your doctor to get a note. Present this doctor's note or your prescription at security control, and they may make exception for you to bring the cream on board. Of course, as stated before, this will only work for creams designed to treat dermatological conditions.

Do not try to trick security staff into allowing you more liquid allowance. Not only will this present very immediate consequences when you are caught, as trying to get around real security regulations is certainly suspicious, you could even face jail time for fraud.

Alternatives to Liquid Creams

Avoiding liquid based creams can be easily done. Solid bars of moisturiser are available, and will therefore not be classed as a liquid. This is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to fit some skin care into your long haul flying. 

Wet wipes and other sanitary wipes also don't count as liquids. If you're just looking for some hygiene, then this is your best bet. A quick wipe over on the skin can keep you feeling fresh, no matter the distance you'll be travelling. 

About this Guide

Written By Alex
Last Updated On June 1, 2022
Reading Time 
6 minutes
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