The best travel-size beauty products under 100ml to take on your holiday flight

5 mins
11 Jul 2023
The best travel-size beauty products under 100ml to take on your holiday flight

Check out our round-up of travel beauty products which are all under 100ml - the perfect size makeup and skincare kits for your hand luggage.

image The White Lotus, 2021, HBO

words Sophie Wilkinson

Travel-sized beauty products can really make or break the beginning to your hard-won holiday. Picture it, or even better, just remember it: you’ve got to the airport excruciatingly early, only had three mild panics that your passport isn’t in your bag/pocket/hand/the last place you left it, and you’ve zipped past all the bored families queuing for a bag drop. You, hero, have managed to learn the exact dimensions your budget airline will allow as cabin baggage and successfully packed everything for your multi-day trip into your allotted compartments. Granted, you’re wearing three layers on a flight to a city/country/island idyll that is about 27 degrees right now, and yes, you had to make some hard footwear decisions based on a level of practicality that just isn’t you. But you’re there, amidst the bright lights and giddy excitement for the holiday ahead.

And then you get to the desks full of piled up baggies and people frantically unpacking their bags as they select the items ready for the security check. Ah dear. Now it’s your turn. You unpack, you locate your liquids, you struggle to fit them in the little slippery bag, you end up having to chuck a bunch of absolute necessities out, knowing that on the other side of the gates you can buy some more, but will be destined to use any new cosmetics within the realms of your holiday then chuck those ones away because you’ll face the same liquid rules on the return flight. And sure, you’re flying, and it’s not so great for the planet, but all of this plastic going to waste feels extra! Why does it have to be like this?!

Why you’re only allowed 100ml of liquids in your hand luggage

Of course everyone likes to travel light, leaving unnecessaries at home so we’re able to relax and feel free when we’re on holiday. But there’s another, darker reason why you can only take 100ml and under liquids through airport security. Back in 2006, members of terror group Al Qaeda plotted an attack on multiple trans-Atlantic flights from Heathrow, London. This group - 10 were eventually convicted of terror crimes - weren’t going to use guns, knives or shoe bombs. No, they opted for carrying a selection of liquids on board that, when mixed, could prove explosive. Ever since the attempt was - thankfully - foiled by the Metropolitan Police, security measures at airports have beefed up. At first, no liquids apart from baby food was allowed onto flights, then soon, the rules relaxed, just a bit, so that passengers could take up to 1 litre on board with them.

The rules on travel-sized beauty products, in case you’ve never been rudely reminded at the security gates:

  • containers must hold no more than 100ml
  • containers must be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
  • contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be sealed
  • the bag must not be knotted or tied at the top
  • you’re limited to 1 plastic bag per person
  • you must show the bag at the airport security point

As for what constitutes a liquid? Well, it’s everything from water to honey, lip gloss to toothpaste, contact lens solution to mascara - yes, even when the mascara’s gone all cakey and chunky!

When will UK airport security scrap the 100ml liquids rule for travel-sized beauty products?

The good news is that the UK has actually scrapped the ban, provided that airports can provide the CT scanners necessary to assess the liquids far better. These 3D scanners, which work by taking loads more images of whatever’s in your bag, will allow for people to travel with up to two litres in their bags, no need to separate everything into a separate bag. Early adopters of the CT scans include London’s City Airport, where it takes about three minutes to get through security as it is, and passengers are said to be delighted. It’s expected that all airports in the UK will upgrade their scanners by 2024. However, anyone who’s waited around for any major travel developments in the past decade - Crossrail to be finished, that budget airline to actually treat passengers like humans at some point soon, people to be nice and quiet for the duration of your 8am flight southwards, train prices to match those in mainland Europe - would understandably expect a delay in this transition.

So the bad news is that all the faff and fuss of the 100ml rule is here to stay for at least one summer season. And we all face having some of our favourite beauty products confiscated while we watch grown adults sipping on baby food to prove it’s not acetone peroxide. So to help you out we’ve compiled a list of our travel-sized beauty products. They’re all under 100ml as well as bar soaps, shampoos and the rest that entirely defy the liquid rule because they’re solid!

Wear sunscreen

SPF50 Sea & Sun Formula

SPF50 Sea & Sun Formula



Skincare gurus will extol the virtues of sunscreen and we’ll double down on that when it comes to great heights, because the closer you fly to the sun, the stronger UV rays are - up to two times by the time you’re cruising at 30,000 feet! Saltee’s spf50 sea & sun formula comes in at a titchy 50ml but goes a long way. Infused with cucumber extract, it cools and soothes the skin. And venuceane, sourced from the ocean, is there to counter photo damage. Nordic pine bark also helps to combat and prevent hyper-pigmentation. And to top it off the birch water is packed full of healthy amino acids.

Head to the (body) bar

Hydrating Body Bar

Hydrating Body Bar

Beauty Kin


We don’t even need to bother telling you the ml of this hydrating body bar because…it’s completely solid! It’s loaded with active ingredients like squalane to hydrate and tomato seed oil to protect the skin’s surface and fight off the negative impacts of external aggressors like pollution.

See, weed!

Exfoliating Seaweed Block

Exfoliating Seaweed Block



Looking to scrub away the sweat and grime of holiday-time, all sticky sweet drinks and shards of foreign supermarket crisps and and hand-rolled cigarette bits? Scrub a bit of local seaweed on yourself to freshen up. Haeckels’ vegan formula with raw crushed botanicals, including coriander seeds will smooth all rough patches. Don’t let the hydrating qualities of the seaweed, aloe vera and tea tree fool you, though; this block is 100% solid, too!

Rise up, roses





Want to combat the impacts of dehumidifying and circulating air in an aircraft cabin? This rose mist will easily get on board with you as it’s just 50ml. Infused with rose, it’ll bring a bit of floral nature to the otherwise sterile stale air of the cabin.

Lather up

moisturising shampoo bar

moisturising shampoo bar



ALOTT’s moisturising shampoo bar is a LOT to take in because it’s a bar soap but well and truly froths up with foam once applied to hair - with water in the mix, too. Available in a recyclable box, it minimises use of plastics (which yes, still matters to people who take flights to places…!) and contains some really lovely stuff. Bergamot nourishes hair follicles. cedarwood cleanses and promotes healthy hair growth and jojoba oil moisturises and conditions hair.

Glow up

body glow illuminator

body glow illuminator

Lottie London


It’s the eternal truth that air travel saps all life and joy from our skin. Nothing is more greying - face-wise - than being stuck in the stale air of hundreds of other people for extended periods of time. So when you arrive poolside, cityside, clubside, wherever your holiday’s taken you, you might want to have a little glow. Enter Lottie London’s Body Glow. Coming in at 100ml it helps give a tan a kick-start - and also provides the look to anyone who’s under a hat all holiday but still wants the bronzed look.

Have it both ways

Shampoo Crème with Coconut + Grapefruit Oil

Shampoo Crème with Coconut + Grapefruit Oil

UpCircle Beauty


Really want to boggle the mind of the security staff stopping you at customs? Take this half-liquid half-solid shampoo creme in with you. Infused with coconut and grapefruit oil, it smells like a tropical dream and is both zesty and hydrating! Seriously, though, coming in at 100ml you’ll be able to nip through customs swiftly, onto bigger and better and brighter things!

Products are selected independently by our editors from the woo online store, a carefully curated platform for feel good fashion, beauty, wellness and lifestyle, as well as externally. Items on sale are subject to change pending stock availability. Discover more here.

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