I am based in the US. I am preparing to move out, and am thinking of giving some nail polish and polish remover to some people who will be visiting me before my move, since they will have more use for it. I believe that they are flying to Hong Kong afterwards.

Nail polish remover contains acetone, which clearly is inflammable, and I've heard that "paints" are also often prohibited (e.g. here).

Is it safe to assume that nail polish remover is prohibited?

More importantly, does the same hold for nail polish? Or does this depend on the airline? (For instance, this website seems to suggest that the TSA is fine with such items provided that they are checked in.)

The thing is, if it's outright banned, I can probably just donate my materials to my neighbours, but if not, I'd like to give them to people I know better (who, in this case, happen to be travelling by air).

  • Hi Maroon. From where will you be flying? The rules depend on the country of departure. Giving a link to a website talking about TSA rules doesn't quite answer this, as you prefixed the sentence with "for instance" (which may or may not refer to a page that suits your actual case).
    – DCTLib
    Jun 10, 2015 at 8:58
  • @DCTLib: in this case, my visitors (whom I was thinking of giving my stuff to) are flying to/from the U.S. Part of the problem is that it looks like there's inconsistency (see the first link to Cathay Pacific, which to be honest is also a bit vague).
    – Maroon
    Jun 10, 2015 at 9:00
  • Ok, your visitors are flying to the US. But where are they flying from? (Or do you meant "within"?) The country of departure has the authority. For example, (since you mention Cathay) from Hong Kong, you can't take a 12000 mAh rechargable Lithium battery outside of a device to the US, even though the TSA is fine with that.
    – DCTLib
    Jun 10, 2015 at 9:04
  • @DCTLib: Ah, so that matters as well. If I'm not mistaken, they're flying from the US to Hong Kong after visiting me, although I am not entirely aware as to whether or not they are doing any additional travelling beyond that.
    – Maroon
    Jun 10, 2015 at 9:06

1 Answer 1


No, they're not prohibited. See faa.gov, which lists them in the "Allowed" column under "Toiletry and medicinal items" for both checked-in and carry-on luggage.

However, if you bring them in your carry-on luggage, you need to ensure that they're under 3.4 oz (unlikely to be a problem) and placed in a transparent bag. In theory, anyway; in practice this doesn't really appear to be enforced for makeup, but why risk it?

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