underscored travel toiletries lead

Traveling without your favorite toiletries can be daunting. The thought of relying on the shampoo, conditioner and lotion at your hotel, plus the lack of available skin care products for your face, much less sunscreen that helps protect against damage is never ideal for those who have a set-in-stone beauty routine.

At the same time, there are plenty of reasons you might want to avoid checking a bag — especially if you’re heading on a quick weekend trip. So, taking your favorite beauty products on a flight might be impossible, knowing you’ve got to stick to the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid rules. In other words, liquids, gels and aerosols have to be 3.4 ounces or less to be allowed in a carry-on bag.

If you’ve found yourself in this scenario of choosing between your beloved beauty products and the restrictions on traveling with them, you’ll know how frustrating it can be.

Here’s the good news: There are quite a few travel-friendly options out there when it comes to skin care, hair care and general hygiene. To help you start packing smartly while taking the best care of yourself, we’ve rounded up 21 travel-size toiletries that pass the TSA’s liquid rules for carry-on bags and can keep you feeling good all vacation long.

Travel toiletries for sun protection

Editor Favorite

This brush-on sunscreen is ideal for travel because it's powder-based instead of liquid, making it naturally TSA-friendly — and it's one of the best face sunscreens out there, according to dermatologists. It provides SPF 30 protection without weighing your skin down, and it's vegan-friendly, paraben-free and safe for sensitive skin. The applicator for this travel-friendly sunscreen weighs only 0.12 ounces as well, so it's the perfect size to throw in your favorite crossbody bag while you're out and about during vacation.

Best Tested

Especially if you're heading to a warm, sunny destination, you'll want to pack enough sun protection for your whole body. Thankfully, our pick for the best mineral sunscreen comes in a travel-friendly option. This solid stick of sunscreen means that it's exempt from the TSA's 3-1-1 rule for liquids, so you can take its SPF 50 sun protection in a carry-on bag without the worry of being stopped.

Editor Favorite

This sunscreen serum is expertly formulated for sensitive skin that's prone to breakouts, so it can help protect skin without blocking pores. It also leaves skin looking dewy without leaving a white cast, so it's ideal for those travel days when you want to go makeup-free. We love this product so much that it made our list of the 50 beauty products we can’t live without. The relatively small size of 1.69 ounces makes it ideal for any size travel bag or even carrying in your pocket when you're out and about.

Editor Favorite

If you're looking for a no-frills way to keep your skin safe from the sun and moisturized while you're away, this 3-ounce Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Daily Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 50 should do the trick. Not only is it just the right size to fly under the radar at the TSA security checkpoint, but it's easy to apply and formulated to be gentle enough for all skin types. In fact, this sunscreen and moisturizing super-product is one of the best face sunscreens, according to dermatologists.

Travel toiletries for moisturizing

This travel hydration tool for your skin is available in 1-ounce tins, making it ideal to throw in your favorite backpack. Shea butter contains fatty acids that help strengthen your skin's natural barrier, making the product perfect for keeping your skin supple or healing dry knees and elbows, dry lips and sunburns. The small tins are even small enough to keep in your pocket, making them ideal for self-care on the go.

Best Tested

This drugstore facial moisturizer made our list of the best face moisturizers for every skin type for a few reasons. Not only is it affordable and easy to pick up online or at your local drugstore, but it's fast-absorbing, lightweight and designed to moisturize sensitive skin without being irritating. In addition to the larger bottles that are great to keep at home, the Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion also comes in a 3-ounce bottle, making it ideal for travel when you don't want to check a bag.

Editor Favorite

Don't forget to pack moisturizing care for your hands and other problem areas on your next trip. This 1.75-ounce bottle of Aquaphor healing ointment helps dry, cracked and irritated skin recover and get back to normal. Better yet, this ointment is versatile enough to use as a lip moisturizer or as a foot cream, or use it to continue your slugging routine on the road. We love how versatile Aquaphor is, and its travel-friendly size makes this a must-pack.

Dental travel toiletries

Packing toothpaste that's TSA-friendly is relatively easy, but finding mouthwash that's 3 ounces or less and worth bringing along on your trip is another story. After all, the travel-size mouthwash containers only have enough wash to get you through a maximum of a few days. That's where Bite Mouthwash Bits come in. These tiny bits let you bite, sip and swish until your mouth feels minty clean, and they're entirely TSA-friendly. The bits also come in a glass jar that's reusable and recyclable.

Editor Favorite

This natural approach to toothpaste is perfect for taking along on the go. While its standard-size tubes are larger than the TSA's liquid limit, this sample pack of the three different Before toothpaste options is a great way to find your new favorite while you travel. The pack comes with Whitening, Sensitive and Classic options — each coming in at just 2.01 ounces, well within the TSA's liquid limits.

Your toothpaste doesn't need to come in liquid or gel format. These tablets from Hello are the perfect way to skirt around any liquid requirements while still keeping your dental hygiene top of mind. Not only do they do the trick at keeping your mouth clean, but they're also compact and a more sustainable way to brush your teeth.

Travel toiletries for hair care

Best Tested

Dry shampoo is a staple on vacation to use in between washes. And thankfully, our pick for the best dry shampoo comes in a travel-friendly size. In our testing, the DryBar Detox Dry Shampoo was the best at absorbing oil and sweat and has a pleasant scent to boot. Grab one of the three fragrances — original scent, lush scent or coconut colada — in the travel-friendly 1.4-ounce mini size for your next vacation.

Having fun in the sun can wreak havoc on your hair, which is why it always makes sense to bring treatment. The Hydra Shot Hair Treatment from Nutree Professional is only 1.58 ounces, so it's perfect for travel and small enough to fit in any size bag. The treatment itself can be used to soothe and heal dry and damaged hair while providing long-term hydration benefits. 

Editor Favorite

A leave-in conditioner is a great choice for vacations too, as it'll keep your hair looking sleek and detangled. This option from Moroccanoil is one of the best out there, especially for those with fine hair, according to experts. Not only does it come in a full-size option, but also in this travel-friendly 1.7-ounce canister to continue your leave-in conditioner routine on the road.

Skin care travel toiletries

If you never want to think of using hotel lotion to care for your face, consider this three-piece travel set to keep up your impeccable skin care while traveling. You'll get a day collagen serum, a night collagen serum and an active exfoliant, all of which work in tandem to reduce skin aging and help you look your best. QMS Medicosmetics also offers full-size serums and face care products, but this three-piece travel set is great for vacation since each tube is just 0.19 ounces.

Editor Favorite

One of our best skin care products for women over the age of 40, this travel-friendly Pacifica Glow Baby Booster Serum should be on your radar. Not only is it affordable, but it helps your skin glow and appear fresh and youthful all day long. Active ingredients include stabilized vitamin C and glycolic acid, which work together to support luminous skin.

Editor Favorite

These makeup-removing wipes are some of the best out there, according to experts, and they're perfect for throwing in your bag and carrying along wherever you go. Not only can they remove makeup — including waterproof mascara — but they're also hydrating and won't disrupt your skin's barrier. Plus, since they're wipes, you don't have to worry about the TSA's 3-1-1 rules.

If you're hoping to keep your lips looking luscious on vacation, this trio of tools can help. The Kiss & Tell Lip Care Trio comes with a butter lip mask, a sugar lip scrub and a Vitamin E lip moisturizer as well as a soft velvet carrying case you can easily throw in your backpack or carry-on bag. All of the items are less than 3 ounces, meaning you won't have to worry about being stopped at the TSA checkpoint.

Editor Favorite

CeraVe skin care products are popular for use at home for a reason, and they're also offered in TSA-friendly travel sizes. This CeraVe Daily Face Wash comes in a 3-ounce bottle and offers the same hydrating face wash that was developed by dermatologists — in fact, it's one of the best face washes for dry skin, according to skin care experts. It's made to gently clean your skin without causing irritation or breakouts.

Reader Favorite

Plump lips are always in, and that's even more true when you want to see and be seen on vacation. This lip plumper set can ensure your lips are puckered up and fabulous at all times, and it's both TSA-friendly and affordable. Not only does this duo of treatments keep your lips looking full and soft, but it helps repair peeling and other damage — and it's a CNN Underscored reader favorite.

Daybird is a BIPOC, women-owned skin care brand that offers a range of products for travel and looking your best at home or away. The Tinted Skincare is perfect for every trip you take since it combines several products in one: moisturizer, SPF 50 protection and sheer foundation that gives you a natural glow. Best of all, the metal-free airless pump the product comes in is fully curbside recyclable.

If you're into the basics and want a kit of essentials that includes several toiletries you'll need for your next vacation, this set from Amazon is worth adding to your cart. For less than $15, you'll get a reusable toiletries bag with TSA-approved shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant and toothpaste. A white styling comb is even thrown in for good measure.

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