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Can You Bring Nail Polish on A Plane?

Can you bring nail polish on a plane? You’re not alone in asking this! With all the confusing rules and regulations around what can or cannot be brought on a plane, it can be tricky to know what you can and cannot take with you.

Today, I’ll answer that question for you, and let you know whether it’s possible to bring nail polish through airport security.

Woman packing her toiletries into a clear plastic bag ready for her trip

Which Beauty Items Are You Allowed To Take On A Plane, According To The TSA?

When travelling by plane, it can be a challenge to know which beauty items are allowed in your hand luggage and which should go into your checked-in baggage.

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), allowable beauty items in hand luggage that contain liquid, gels or aerosols must adhere to the 3-1-1 rule.

This means each container must have a capacity of 100 milliliters/milligrams (about 3.4 ounces) or less, all containers must fit comfortably inside one clear, quart sized resealable plastic bag and only one bag is permitted per passenger.

The following items are permitted:

  • solid cosmetics such as makeup foundation;
  • lip balm
  • nail clippers
  • scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches
  • tweezers
  • razors for personal hygiene purposes, such as electric razors and disposable razors requiring cartridges
  • aerosol insect repellant with limited amounts of flammables such as hairspray
  • deodorant and body sprays.

However, any sharp objects, including box cutters and tools used for work, are prohibited from being brought on board the aircraft.

Can You Bring Nail Polish on A Plane?

You may be wondering if you can bring nail polish with you on a flight. The answer depends on where the nail polish is stored and how much of it you have.

Small amounts of non-flammable liquids, such as most types of nail polish, are allowed in carry-on luggage as per TSA regulations.

However, if you happen to have an especially large amount or bottle size of nail polish that doesn’t comply with these regulations, it will need to be placed in your checked bag instead.

You should always double-check the TSA’s rules concerning what items are allowed in your carry-on so that you don’t end up having any issues at the airport.

Even if your particular type and brand of nail polish is allowed in a carry-on bag, remember that no flammable liquids or aerosols are permitted on planes at all.

That means even though you can take nail polish with you, using it to paint your nails might not be a good idea, whilst onboard the airline.

Woman holding lots of bottles of nail polish

Should You Pack Nail Polish In Your Checked Baggage?

When it comes to packing nail polish in your checked luggage, the answer is yes, but with a few warnings according to the TSA rules.

A quart-sized bag filled with a mini bottle of nail polish can make for an eye-catching accessory on vacation, so you may be inclined to pack it in your carry-on bag or checked luggage.

However, flight attendants may have issues as large containers of liquid are not allowed beyond the checkpoint since they could potentially cause a security risk.

Hence, it is important that any nail polish bottles fit within the 3-1-1 TSA requirements when other items such as toiletries are packed.

If you plan on bringing along a traditional bottle of nail polish while travelling, then you should put them in your checked luggage and not your carry-on bag.

Nail polish contains flammable chemicals and therefore falls under the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) restrictions regarding hazardous materials on flights.

Thus making it forbidden to bring on board a plane even if it’s in small quantities inside sealed containers placed in a 1 quart sized clear plastic bag.

Be aware that all items must go through security screening, which means all liquids must pass through without any extra security checks – including those found inside carry-on or checked bags too.

How Many Nail Polishes Can You Bring On A Plane?

According to American Airlines’ regulations, the number of nail polishes you can bring on a plane is limited. American Airlines states that passengers may only bring up to 3.4 oz (100ml) for each item in their carry-on bags.

This means passengers are limited to 18 ounces of various liquid/gel items such as nail polish across all of their containers, including nail polish on an airplane.

That includes lotions, shampoos, and other such items. However, larger containers that are at least half full will be allowed if they follow this size limitation rule.

Passengers must place these containers into a quart-sized sealable clear bag for easy visibility and security screening requirements.

Woman packing her makeup bag ready for her vacation

How Should You Carry Nail Polish?

When you take nail polish on the plane, it is important to pack it securely so that it is not damaged, especially if you bring in your carry-on.

One of the best ways to do this is to place your nail polish in a sealable plastic bag according to the air travel guidelines.

This will help protect the nail polish from being exposed to any spilled liquids or other substances and will also keep odors contained.

You should also ensure that you have securely fastened the cap on each bottle before packing it away.

Wrap each bottle in a piece of clothing such as a sock so if the container does leak, you can avoid staining your other belongings.

Place all items in a separate, padded pouch or box for even more protection and store them away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures during transport

Can You Bring Nail Polish Remover On A Plane?

If you plan to bring nail polish remover on a plane, know that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) only allows containers of 100ml or less in your carry-on items.

Nail polish and nail polish remover are allowed in your carry-on as long as they meet the size restriction.

If you want to bring more than 100 ml of nail polish remover, such as for commercial use or if it is being purchased after passing through the security checkpoint, then it must be placed in checked baggage.

However, if travelling to a location overseas, some countries may have additional restrictions on items taken onto a plane; therefore, be sure to check their requirements before your departure.

TSA allows small bottles of nail polish and nail polish remover onboard planes within reason; therefore, you should not run into any issue taking this item through security if properly packed according to regulations.

Are You Allowed To Take Nail Clippers In Your Checked Luggage

Can You Use Nail Polish Whilst Flying?

If you’re wondering if it is okay to use nail polish on a flight, the answer is no. Nail polish is a product that contains chemicals with strong odors which are released into the air, and this can cause distress to other passengers in such a confined space.

Not only will your neighbors be complaining about the smell, but in some cases there can be health risks associated with breathing in these fumes, whilst nail polishing in flight.

For everyone’s safety, it’s best not to use nail polish while flying. If you do decide that you absolutely must use nail polish during your flight, make sure to check the instructions of the flight attendant first, as some airlines may have specific rules regarding this type of usage on board.


When travelling by plane, you have to be careful with the items on a plane, which are allowed according to the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid rule.

All airlines will have a formal policy on nail polishing during the flight, and if you can take nail polish in your hand luggage or checked bags.

In most cases, small amounts of non-flammable liquids such as nail polish, and products similar to nail polish, are usually allowed in carry-on luggage, but any sharp objects must be stored in checked baggage.

If your particular type and brand of nail polish does not fit within the 3-1-1 restrictions, it will need to be placed in your checked bag instead.

Nail polish remover is also allowed on the plane when it follows TSA size regulations, while you should also double-check with individual flights on what they allow in their cabins regards battery use or metal items such as nail clippers.

And finally, bear in mind that using nail polish onboard the aircraft itself is generally forbidden for hygiene and safety reasons.