The 20 Carry-On Beauty Products That Save My Skin Mid-Flight

It's me and these minis against the world.

woman sitting on beach with curly hair
(Image credit: Guillaume Lechat/Gallery Stock)

I love taking a trip. I like the ride to the airport (the anticipation!) and even the plane ride itself. It's the perfect time to read a book and apply my carry-on beauty products (who doesn't love an in-flight routine?), which I painstakingly fit into a clear, TSA-approved bag.

In my humble opinion, the most important part of packing is the carry-on. Lost and missing suitcases happen, so I know these mini skincare and makeup products will be by my side no matter what travel mishaps happen. Even more so, they're what I'll have to reach for mid-flight when my lips are chapped, my skin is thirsty, or when I get to the end of my long-haul flight.

Ahead, the 20 beauty products so indispensable that I always make room for them in my carry-on bag. TSA, this is a warning: If you throw any of these away I will cry.

The Skincare Products in My Carry-On

It's not crazy that my skin is a big concern while traveling—the air that circulates on aircrafts is dry and not at all kind to your complexion. Thus, I make it a point to take very good care before, during, and after my time in the air. If you're someone who likes an in-air face mask, I salute you. If not, I hope you'll at least choose to moisturize before finding your seat.

The Makeup Products in My Carry-On

While my makeup drawer at home is crammed at best, something about a trip makes me feel like a minimalist. Sure, I might throw an eyeshadow palette in my actual suitcase, but my carry-on holds just the products I'll want when I land and need to brighten up before my next destination.

The Other Beauty Products in My Carry-On

While I can live without my microfiber hair towel for a weekend (barely), the following tools are absolutely necessities.

What Makes a Good Carry-On Beauty Product?

Besides fitting under the 3.4 oz size limit, your carry-on products are your desert island choices. Seriously, in the very small chance that you crash land on an island, you'll have these babies by your side.

Kim Kardashian sitting on a private jet with the sunset coming through the window.

This is exactly how I feel when I get on a plane with my beauty products nicely packed in my carry on—even if (when) I'm sitting in the last row of coach.

(Image credit: @kimkardashian on Instagram)

How to Find New Beauty Favorites

Another of my favorite beauty habits while traveling is picking up new products—there's no better place for a souvenir than the local grocery store cosmetics aisle. That said, make sure you leave a little room in your carry-on for your departing flight. You'll find something to fill it with on the way back.

Freelance Writer

Sophia Vilensky is a freelance beauty writer at Marie Claire, where she writes about the latest and greatest skincare launches, hair colors, and Cardi B manicures. Her work can also be found at Byrdie, Bravo, and Us Weekly. You can find her on Instagram @sophiavilensky.