Will TSA Consider Your Lipstick And Chapstick To Be A Liquid?

There are plenty of bizarre effects travel has on the human body, including dryness and dehydration on flights. To prevent dry, chapped lips, it's a good idea to keep a tube of hydrating lipstick or Chapstick in your carry-on bag. Of course, this begs the question: Are these products counted as liquids by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)?

If you've ever visited an American airport, you know security officers are strict when it comes to fluids, and even cosmetics such as mascara are considered to be a liquid by TSA. However, it's a different story when it comes to most lipsticks and lip balms. TSA states on its website that both lipstick and Chapstick are allowed in checked and carry-on bags without any restrictions. That means you won't have to place these items in a separate plastic bag or pull them out of your purse or backpack during routine security screenings. With that in mind, keep a tube stashed in your purse or carry-on to protect your pucker from the dry plane air.

Watch out for certain lip products when traveling

While lipstick and Chapstick may have TSA's stamp of approval, not all lip products are as easy to travel with. Some lip balms have a gel-like consistency and count as liquids under TSA's rules. The same goes for any lip balm with a rolling ball applicator, which is generally a sign that the product is a liquid.

Lip gloss is also usually considered a liquid, even if its sister cosmetic — lipstick — isn't. If you're ever in doubt when packing your lip goodies, just ask yourself: If this product wasn't in its bottle or container, would it be able to hold its shape? If not, it's most likely a liquid.

Liquid lip balms and glosses should abide by TSA's liquid rules and be placed in a quart-sized bag along with any other liquid items. Moreover, each container should be no larger than 4.3 ounces (or 100 milliliters). However, there are no size and quantity restrictions if you choose to pack your lip balms and glosses in your checked luggage.

Another reason to stick to solid lip products when flying

Sticks of lipstick and Chapstick are no problem in TSA's book, and these solids might also be safer to use while in transit compared to wet glosses and tubes of liquid lip balms. With liquid lip products, the fluid could leak and spray due to the change in air pressure (a similar problem can occur when bringing this popular type of reusable water bottle on a plane). TikToker @sarasaadia posted a clip demonstrating this unfortunate mishap. In the video, she opens a tube of lip gloss on a plane, only to find the contents oozing all over the cap.

Packing solid lip balms will prevent messes, but if you must bring a liquid gloss or gel, do so carefully. If your product comes in a tube, start by pressing any excess air out first. Then, place plastic wrap over the opening before putting the lid or cap on top to keep the contents from bleeding out. Finish by stashing the item in your sealable quart-sized bag. If you plan to use the lip protectant during your flight, consider opening it during take-off. This may prevent pressure build-up, reducing your chance of dealing with a balm or gloss explosion.