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Fly with Any Size Sunscreen in Your Carry-On Bag?

by kelly / April, 14 2021 01:30

Photo of woman at an airport rolling her carry-on bag luggage

There was some confusion on the internet this week. And this time it was around sunscreen and the Transportation Security Authority (aka the TSA). The TSA updated their rules around medical liquid carry-on travel sizes – allowing any size in carry-ons. Many news outlets reported sunscreens as part of that rule. Turns out it wasn’t the case. Here’s what you can actually bring when it comes to sunscreens on the plane…

The 311 Rule

When traveling with sunscreen and SPF products in a carry-on. Passengers have to follow the TSA 311 rule which is:

“Each passenger may carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols.”

Of course you can always pack any size sunscreen or liquids in a checked bag.

Oh, and it just so happens our sunscreen and SPF moisturizer are 3.4 ounces so feel free to pack them in your carry-on or checked bag.

The New Medical Liquid Rule

The new rule that everyone got confused about went into effect on April 7, 2021 and applies to liquid medication:

“TSA allows larger amounts of medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols in reasonable quantities for your trip, but you must declare them to TSA officers at the checkpoint for inspection.”

The TSA has come out with a statement about the confusion:

“Our website incorrectly reported that sunscreen containers larger than 3.4 oz. were allowed in carry-on bags if medically necessary. That error has been corrected. Sunscreen in carry-on bags must be 3.4 oz. or less. Larger quantities should be placed in checked baggage.”

The TSA also updated their website to reflect that sunblock and SPF products are not part of this new ruling. So even though all SPF products are considered over-the-counter (OTC) medications by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is the same category as things like cough medicine, ibuprofen, and Tylenol. You can see why people thought sunscreen would fall in the TSA’s “liquid medication” category. I wish that was the case, but at least it got cleared up.

Suncare Smarts

So, hopefully all this information makes traveling a little bit easier. And as always don’t forget to pack the sunscreen – in your carry on or checked bag – for your next trip.

For even more smart sunscreen travel tips check out our Suncare Smarts series.

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