What Is The TSA Approved Cosmetic Bag Size?

Preparing for a vacation and packing everything that you need can be a hectic time. Packing cosmetics, for example, can be worrisome because you also have to think about the right size of cosmetic bag that you can use. Fortunately, we are here to help you out by answering all your questions.

Cosmetics, in general include various products ranging from basic toiletries to makeup. With this is mind, the TSA-approved cosmetic bag size is a quart-sized bag, with approximate dimensions of 7" x 8". This bag is only for the use of keeping liquid, cream, gel, and aerosol cosmetic products.

We know that there are strict regulations in place about bringing cosmetic products in your carry-on. Keep reading because in this post, we will be sharing with you all the information you need about the cosmetic bags you can use for your trip. We also have some advice that can help you pack wisely.

clear bag of cosmetics, colorful plastic container inside, pink neck pillow, What Is The TSA Approved Cosmetic Bag Size

What Is The TSA-Approved Cosmetic Bag Size?

Traveling can be hectic, especially if you have to pack and make sure that all of the things you need are all in place. Traveling with a carry-on is easier because you don't have to check your bag. However, certain carry-on restrictions make packing quite exhausting to work with.

clear transparent plastic cosmetic bag, toiletries and cosmetics inside

In general, cosmetics are products that are for personal care use. These include products for oral care, skin care, body care, hair care, makeup, and perfumes. To make it more general, we list these items down as toiletries and they come in different kinds and types.

Some toiletries come in solid form, while most products do come in liquids and creams. For travelers, these two should be completely separate from each other because of TSA rules. Solid toiletries like bar soaps, shampoo bars, stick deodorants, and other similar items do not need to be in a TSA-approved bag.

Liquid toiletries on the other hand should strictly comply with the TSA's 3-1-1 rule. This rule states that all passengers can only carry one quart-size bag of liquid, gel, cream, paste, or aerosol products in their carry-on. If you are bringing toiletries, all items that fall in this category must be inside a bag.

TSA allows all liquids, creams, gels, pastes, and aerosols in a quart-size transparent resealable bag. The dimensions of a quart-size bag is approximately 7" x 8". As long as the toiletries that you would like to bring fits inside the bag, the TSA will most likely allow it through inspection.

Get this quart size ziplock on Amazon.

In a pinch, you can always grab a quart-size ziplock bag from the kitchen to stow your toiletries for travel. However, you can also choose to get yourselves some reusable bags that are sturdier and leak-proof which you can use for packing.

How Strict Is The TSA On Quart-Sized Bags?

The TSA is not really very strict about the size of the quart-sized bags, as long as it is within the ballpark range. However, it is still safer to use bags that are within the size dimensions so that you'll avoid the hassle of extra security inspection.

Grab this TSA-approved cosmetic bag on Amazon.

Reusable bags such as these fare better during travel because the bags have more structure. It is easier to put your favorite cosmetics inside and it is easier to seal them to prevent leakage. You can also have the bags ready to go anytime you need to hop on a flight.

Do Bags Need To Be Clear For TSA?

woman hands, clear transparent plastic cosmetic bag, cosmetics containers inside

If we are talking about cosmetics bags (and these include your solid toiletries), the TSA do not have specific rules about bag needing to be clear or transparent. However, the liquids bag is a different requirement altogether.

During inspection, a TSA officer will ask you to place your liquids bag in a separate bin for checking. It will definitely be faster and more efficient if you use a clear plastic bag because officers can immediately check the contents upon sight.

For those who prefer their cosmetics all together in one bag, consider getting a 2-layer bag where you can put separate your liquid and solid toiletries. Bags like these are easier to organize and you can put all your care products and makeup in just one bag for your carry-on.

Check out this double layer bag on Amazon.

What Items Go Inside The Quart-Sized Bag?

The TSA has a list of items that you can bring on a carry-on or a checked luggage. To make it easier, we have a list of the most common toiletries travelers take with them and it should help you check where to put your toiletries in.

Must be in 3-1-1 bag

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hair gel
  • Aerosol dry shampoo
  • Hair mousse
  • Hair spray
  • Liquid makeup remover
  • Moisturizer creams
  • Serums
  • Toner
  • Astringent
  • Sunblock
  • Lotion
  • Nail polish
  • Liquid foundation
  • Concealer
  • Mascara
  • Liquid eye liners
  • Lipgloss
  • Cheek tints
  • Setting sprays
  • Liquid soap (including body wash)
  • Contact lens solution
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothpaste
  • Insect repellant

Things that do not need to be in 3-1-1 bag

  • Wipes (baby wipes, makeup wipes, sanitizing wipes)
  • Lip balms
  • Bar soap
  • Toothpaste tablets
  • Shampoo and conditioner bars
  • Powder makeup
  • Eyeshadow palettes

How To Pack An Essential Toiletry Bag

close up photo of pastel colored cosmetics, pink, silver, grey wall

Packing a toiletry bag is an art in itself. For some people, it can be hard to go on a trip without their regular toiletries. A travel toiletry bag is severely limits the amount and the space for your favorite cosmetics. This is why you should have a list of your toiletry essentials for travel.

Pare down your necessary items to things that you need to keep yourselves clean and fresh every day. You can leave the non-essential products at home and just enjoy using them when you get back.

Essential toiletries

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Travel toothbrushes are fairly easy to find and foldable ones are easy to pack in your bag. For toothpaste, you can get travel-size tubes which fit easily inside the 3-1-1 bag. Alternatively, you can also get yourselves some toothpaste tablets so you can fit other items inside your kit.

Get these toothpaste tablets on Amazon.

Shampoo and conditioner

If you will be staying in a hotel, you will most likely find yourselves a nice bottle or two of shampoo and conditioner in your room. However, if you have favorites or if you have a specific hair care regimen, you will want to bring your own. Transfer your products into TSA-approved travel-sized bottles so you can bring them with you.

Check out these travel bottles on Amazon.

If you want to save more space in your liquids bag, try using shampoo and conditioner bars. They are also more environment-friendly and they last longer than their liquid counterparts.

Grab this shampoo and conditioner bar set on Amazon.

Hair styling products

Most hair styling products will immediately fall in the liquids category, so you have to decant or transfer them into smaller bottles. If you are able to get a small travel-size version, it would be better because you can just pack it in right away.

Soap or body wash

Ideally, it is easier to travel with body wash because you can easily transfer them in a travel-size bottle. If you're not partial to using a specific soap or body wash, grab yourselves a bunch of travel-sized bars that you can store at home to use for travels.

See this travel-sized bath bar soap on Amazon.

Deodorant or anti-perspirant

Deodorants or anti-perspirants can be outside your 3-1-1 bag, as long as it is in solid or stick form. If you use liquid or aerosol variants of these products, make sure to grab a travel-size version that you can easily put inside the TSA liquids bag.

Sunblock and skin care products

Your skin care products will most likely be inside the liquids bag, so prepare a set of travel jars and containers that you can transfer them into. Sunblock, however, also come in solid form so this can be an alternative that you can use for your kit.

Check out this sunscreen stick on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

clear bag of cosmetics, colorful plastic container inside, pink neck pillow

Make the most out of your cosmetics bag by simply packing only the essentials. You can also try using solid alternatives to toiletries so that you can bring other liquid items with you. There are different ways on how you can efficiently pack toiletries for your travel, so be creative and pack them wisely!