Is Cream Makeup Considered a Liquid? (Detailed Guide)

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The TSA 3-1-1 liquid may sound puzzling, especially when it comes to makeup. And if you ever wondered if your face cream is considered a liquid and whether you can take it in your carry-on or checked baggage?

Here is a short answer:

Cream makeup, like face cream, is considered a liquid by the TSA and airlines. Even though it looks like a gel, it needs to follows the same liquid rules as serums and perfumes when transported in your carry-on bag

Keep reading to know if a cream counts as a liquid, and how to know if any type of cream will be considered a liquid.

Let’s dive right in.

What Does TSA Consider a Liquid? And How To Know If a Product Is a Liquid

The TSA has a general rule that summarizes what they consider as a liquid.

If you can pour it, pump it, squeeze it, spread it, smear it, spray it, or spill it, it’s subject to the 3-1-1 liquid rule.


Since most types of cream makeup like foundation, BB cream, concealer, and cream blush fall under the ‘spread‘ category, they must comply with the TSA 3-1-1 liquid rule.

However, there is another way to determine if your product will be counted as a liquid or not.

Just take a peek at the product label.

If it’s measured in fluid ounces (fl oz) or ML, then you can bit it will be considered a liquid.

Because fluid ounces (fl oz) and ml are used to measure volume and ounces (oz) and grams are used to measure weight.

Like in the image below.

Remember that some makeup companies may use grams for some liquid products just like for powdered makeup, which may be confusing for you.

Like in the image below.

In this case, you can refer to the TSA rule above to determine if the liquid rule will be applied or not.

Or you can just use your intelligence and if it is free flowing then it is a liquid.

If you are traveling with concealer or mascara we already covered them In more detail.

The TSA And Cream Makeup

Now that you know that your cream makeup is considered a liquid, let’s find out how to pack it and where to place it.

Generally, the TSA and most airlines limit the ounces of liquids you can take in carry-on, because of some bad things that happened on 9/11.

Liquids and toiletries need to be in containers of 3.4 fl oz / 100 ml or less, and all the containers must be placed inside a quart sized bag.

The good news is that most creams come in small containers and tubes, usually less than 3.4 fl oz / 100 ml.

But there are always exceptions.

If your makeup cream is medically necessary, you don’t have to worry about the TSA liquid rule.

But the cream needs to be in a reasonable quantity.

You can take larger containers of cream makeup in your checked baggage without any issues.

How Do You Pack Cream For Travel?

Here are some simple tips to remember while packing your cream makeup for your next flight.

  • Place it inside your solid toiletry bag, which is clear and resealable, and make sure your toiletry bag is easy to reach because you will need to take it out at the security checkpoint.
  • If you are flying with prescription cream makeup (for medical purposes ) in a container that is larger than 3.4oz / 100ml, remember to notify the TSA officer and place it in a separate bin for additional screening.
  • If packing cream makeup in your checked bag, ensure that you protect it neatly to avoid any possible breakage by placing it inside a solid bag in the middle of your suitcase and surrounded with other soft items.
  • If you are traveling with powdered cream, there is nothing to worry about, just ensure that you remove any amount of powders more than 12 oz / 340 grams from your bag at the security checkpoint.
  • If you are traveling with powdered cream, there’s nothing to worry about. But make sure to remove any powders exceeding 12 oz / 340 grams from your bag at the security checkpoint.

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Final Thoughts

So does a cream count as a liquid?

Cream makeup, including products like foundation, BB cream, concealer, and cream blush, is considered a liquid by the TSA and most airlines, even though it may not be entirely in liquid form.

If you have another type of cream makeup just use the techniques mentioned above and you will easily figure out if the TSA will count it as a liquid or not.

We hope this helps

Happy travels