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Expert Shopper Travel

Nonliquid toiletries that take the stress out of packing for travel


Powdered face wash, shampoo bars, toothpaste tablets and more things that make traveling with beauty products easier

If you’re preparing for a plane trip, you’ll need to consider the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) 3-1-1 rule for liquids, which places limits on the size and quantity of liquids you can pack in your carry-on. For those of us with more extensive skin care, hair care or overall beauty routines, it can be quite the challenge to narrow down what to pack. Luckily, lots of toiletries that are traditionally in liquid form also have solid alternatives that can make packing much easier. 

Shop this article: J.R. Liggett's Old-Fashioned Bar Shampoo, Glossier Milky Jelly Cleansing Bar and BLUE LIZARD Mineral Sunscreen Stick with Zinc Oxide SPF 50+

What is the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for liquids?

The TSA’s 3-1-1 rule states that each passenger can only carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or less in their carry-on luggage. Furthermore, each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols.  

Why are liquids inconvenient for travel?

If you’ve ever tried to pack all your toiletries in your carry-on luggage, you may have found it to be quite a challenge to fit your shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, face moisturizer, sunscreen and other travel essentials in a single quart-size bag, even if you’re using travel-size containers. Those who enjoy more extensive beauty routines with products like face serum, hairspray or liquid foundation will find this even more difficult. 

Even if you’re not boarding a plane and therefore not limited to the TSA’s rules, it’s still wise to replace as many liquid toiletries with solid alternatives. This helps prevent accidental spills or leaks, which can create quite a mess in your luggage. 

Below, we’ve outlined 15 of the best nonliquid alternatives to toiletries, cosmetics and hygiene essentials that are typically found in liquid form. 

Best solid toiletries to replace liquids for travel

J.R. Liggett's Old-Fashioned Bar Shampoo

Replace your liquid shampoo with this multitasking shampoo bar that can be used to wash your hair and your body, as a lubricant for shaving or even to handwash items of clothing like underwear or socks. Gentle but tough, the formula includes a blend of olive oil, coconut oil, aloe vera and castor oil to clean well and rinse out easily. 

Ethique Nourishing Solid Conditioner Bar

This conditioner bar comes in six delicious scents including lime, coconut and grapefruit. It’s formulated with cocoa butter and coconut oil to combat frizz and nourish dry hair.

DHC Face Wash Powder

Instead of your typical liquid cleanser, try this powered alternative, which becomes a foamy lather when wet. It gently exfoliates and hydrates the skin while it cleanses. The fragrance-free product works best on oily or combination skin.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleansing Bar

Glossier’s gentle yet effective Milky Jelly Cleanser also comes in an ergonomically designed bar form. It’s vegan, fragrance-free and safe for sensitive skin. 

Aquaphor Healing Balm Stick

If you like to carry Aquaphor to soothe dry skin, lips or minor wounds on the go, this balm stick version is a smarter choice for travel. It’s convenient and mess-free. 

BLUE LIZARD Mineral Sunscreen Stick with Zinc Oxide SPF 50+

If time spent outdoors is on your vacation agenda, you’ll want to pack plenty of sunblock. This SPF 50+ version is a noncomedogenic stick you glide over your face and body. It’s sweat- and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. 

SuperBee Dentos Toothpaste Tablets

When chewed, these tablets become a spearmint-flavored paste in your mouth, which you can use to brush your teeth as usual. The individual-use tabs make it easy to pack the exact amount you need for the duration of your trip. 

MERIT The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick

This foundation stick provides just as much coverage as your favorite liquid version, but in a convenient solid form. Apply it directly to the skin and blend using a kabuki brush. It comes in 20 shades. 

Nudestix Dewy Barrier Hydrating Stick

Plane cabins can be notoriously drying on your skin. Rather than carrying a lotion or face mist, this hydrating stick provides the same burst of moisture without counting against TSA regulations. It’s formulated with squalane, a plant-based retinol alternative and vitamin C. 

Briogeo Scalp Revival Dry Shampoo Powder

Instead of an aerosol dry shampoo, use this powder formula to help keep your tresses looking and smelling cleaner between hair washes. It’s infused with charcoal to draw out impurities and coconut oil to moisturize your scalp. 

Worth checking out 

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