Does mascara count as liquid on plane?

Traveling by air often requires passengers to adhere to strict regulations regarding what they can and cannot bring in their carry-on luggage. Among the many items travelers may have questions about is mascara. Does mascara count as a liquid on a plane, and if so, what are the rules and guidelines you should be aware of? In this article, we will explore the intricacies of carrying mascara when flying, ensuring you’re well-prepared for your next trip.

Does Mascara Count as Liquid on a Plane?

Yes, mascara typically counts as a liquid when going through airport security. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines in the United States and similar regulations in many other countries, mascara is considered a liquid or gel. It must be packed in a quart-sized, resealable plastic bag with other liquids and gels in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.

Understanding TSA Regulations

When it comes to bringing beauty products on a plane, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sets the guidelines for what’s allowed in your carry-on baggage. Mascara, like many other liquid or gel-based products, falls under their scrutiny. According to TSA regulations:

1. Liquid Limit

Mascara is considered a liquid or gel, and as such, it must adhere to the 3-1-1 rule. This rule states that you can carry liquids, gels, or aerosols in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. All these containers must fit in a quart-sized, clear, resealable bag. Each passenger is allowed to bring one such bag.

2. Travel-Sized Mascara

To ensure compliance with the liquid limit, it’s advisable to purchase travel-sized mascara tubes. These are typically smaller than the standard-sized mascara tubes you might use daily and are designed to fit within the 3-1-1 rule.

3. Exceptions

If you prefer to carry your favorite mascara and it exceeds the 3.4-ounce limit, you have the option to pack it in your checked luggage. There are no restrictions on the amount of mascara you can put in your checked baggage.

Keeping Your Mascara Safe

To avoid any mishaps or delays at the airport, follow these tips when packing your mascara:

4. Double-Check the Container

Make sure the mascara tube is tightly closed to prevent leaks during the flight. Place it in a resealable plastic bag as an extra precaution.

5. Bring a Travel-Sized Mirror

Having a small mirror handy can be helpful for applying mascara during the flight, especially if you want to freshen up before landing.

6. Cosmetic Pouch

Consider investing in a transparent, spill-proof cosmetic pouch to keep your mascara and other beauty products organized and easily accessible.


In summary, mascara does count as a liquid on a plane according to TSA regulations. To ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience during your air travel, it’s essential to adhere to the 3-1-1 rule and pack your mascara in containers of 3.4 ounces or less. Alternatively, you can place larger mascara containers in your checked luggage. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy your journey without any concerns about your beauty essentials.


Can I carry mascara in my purse instead of the quart-sized bag?

Mascara should be placed in the quart-sized, clear, resealable bag along with other liquids, gels, or aerosols.

Are waterproof mascaras subject to the same rules?

Yes, waterproof mascaras are treated the same way as regular mascaras when it comes to TSA regulations.

Can I bring multiple mascara tubes in my quart-sized bag?

You can bring as many mascara tubes as can fit in the quart-sized bag, as long as each container is 3.4 ounces or less.

What happens if my mascara leaks during the flight?

To prevent leaks, ensure your mascara tube is tightly closed and placed in a resealable plastic bag. Airlines provide napkins and tissues if any minor spills occur.

Can I bring mascara on international flights?

TSA regulations apply to domestic and international flights departing from U.S. airports. However, it’s advisable to check the specific regulations of the country you are traveling to for any additional restrictions.

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