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

Can You Take Cream In Your Hand Luggage?

Short answer, yes. You can absolutely take cream products with you. 

From cosmetics or medication, we have many essential cream products that are common travel items. That's why airlines allow us to bring them aboard.

But, they regulate it for safety reasons.

So, the real question is how much we can take and how we're supposed to pack them. 

Why Can't You Bring Cream Products On A Plane?

Lotion, moisturizer, hand cream - how harmless, right? Why are they not allowed on the plane?

The airlines put limits on size of cream or liquid products in general because there was an incident where terrorists concealed chemicals in common travel items and seemingly harmless items such as toiletries.

From then, airlines introduced restrictions on the amount of liquid you can bring with you on a flight.

This luggage restriction makes it hard for terrorists to have enough chemicals to make explosives.

It also makes it more trouble-free for the airport security personnel to conduct a security check on the products. 

How Much Creams Can You Bring In Your Hand Luggage?

Airlines can have different rules and regulations.

But, the 3-1-1 liquid rule from TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is what's generally followed.

The liquid rule is:

3 - 3 oz or 100ml per bottle limit on the amount of liquid. Preferably plastic bottles as glass can shatter, so it's potentially dangerous.

1 - one clear quart-sized plastic bag. All your 3 oz containers should fit into one clear quart-sized plastic bag. Usually, you can carry about seven or eight travel-sized containers in your one quart-sized bag. But, you can bring as many as you can fit in your quart-sized plastic bag. 

1 - Each passenger can only bring one of the quart-sized plastic bags.

Security officers are always looking out for liquids, especially if they're squirreled away in a bottle. 

You can bring up to 100 ml or 3.4 ounces of cream in your carry-on bag. After passing through security, you can purchase more lotion in the airport store if you need it.

On the other hand, you can pack as much cream as you want in your checked baggage on the plane without size restrictions, just as long as it doesn't exceed the baggage allowance to avoid additional baggage fees.

No restrictions apply to how much you can carry in your checked baggage.

What Is Considered Liquid?

You may be confused since cream isn't really fluid. So why does it have to follow the liquid rule?

Any substance that is free-flowing is a liquid according to TSA guidelines. Anything viscous is also considered a liquid.

That means, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes together with other fluids as a liquid that has to follow their 3-1-1 liquids rule.


Inbound international flights. You may carry duty-free liquids in secure, tampered-evident bags, more than 3.4 oz or 1 liter in your carry-on baggage if: The duty-free liquids were purchased internationally and your travel is connected to the U.S. via an international flight. The liquids should be packaged in a transparent, tamper-evidenced bag by the retailer and don't show any signs of tampering when presented for screening.

You should pack all liquids that are more than 3.4 ounces (100ml) in your checked baggage and pack those in tamper-proof bags.

Of course, the security staff may or may not allow anything that's deemed potentially dangerous through the airport security checkpoint.

Can You Take Medicated Cream In Your Hand Luggage?

You should always carry essential medicines such as topical skin creams with you, even when you travel.

You should repack them in travel-size containers as much as you can.

If you can't, get a letter from your doctor explaining why you need them. You can show that to airport security staff if they ask about your liquid container.

You may carry medications in your hand luggage as long as they are in their original retailer containers or packages and labeled.

Keep in mind that all liquids must be screened, even medicines.

Alternatives To Flying With Cream

A solid moisturizing bar could be used instead of a moisturizing lotion because it takes up less room and doesn't need to be packed in checked luggage. A wet wipe product doesn't count as liquid, so it won't get you into trouble when traveling.

Sometimes you'll need to be creative if you want to save money by avoiding checked luggage.

Final Words

Travelers should always check with the airline before packing any liquids into their luggage. They should also make sure that the liquid doesn't exceed the maximum size limit. 

Creams are considered liquids, so you can only take them on planes in your carry-on luggage if they follow the operational security rules.

Just make sure you put them in travel-size containers, and you're good to go.

Happy travels!

About this Guide

Written By Sheena
Last Updated On April 4, 2022
Reading Time 
5 minutes
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