Sunscreen in Luggage: TSA Rules & Packing Tips

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Sunscreen is among the common products that has become part of life and hold an essential role by protecting our skin from UV rays. According to latest stats, 29 percent of American use it throughout the year.

Many countries or states have specific reservations for kind of sunscreen you are bringing and maybe some of them are banned by them. In the below article, I have provided you dos and don’t to put sunscreen in luggage while traveling.

Can I Pack Sunscreen In Cabin Luggage?

Yes, you can pack sunscreen in your carry-on baggage. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), sunscreen is allowed in carry-on bags if the containers are no larger than 3.4 ounces (100ml). This rule applies whether spray sunscreen, aerosol sunscreen, or sun cream.

If you need larger quantities of sunscreen or other liquids, gels, and aerosols, TSA advises passengers to add them to checked baggage for use at their destination.

Packing Guide

When packing sunscreen in your carry-on bag, follow the 3-1-1 rule and pack it in a quart-sized bag. For aerosol sunscreen, the container must have a cap to avoid risks of unwanted release. Use tape on the caps of sunscreen containers for better protection.

Put them into a plastic bag to prevent accidental release. Seal the bag carefully. Place the bag in the middle of your luggage and use your clothes as extra protection.

Here is an example/reference where you can get an idea about how to pack sunscreen tubes in the bag. 

Can I Pack Sunscreen In Checked Luggage?

Yes, you can pack sunscreen in your checked luggage. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), sunscreen is allowed in checked bags. The FAA limits the amount of restricted medicinal and toiletry articles, including aerosols, in checked baggage. 

The total aggregate quantity per person cannot exceed 2 kg (70 ounces) or 2 L (68 fluid ounces). The capacity of each container must not exceed 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces).

Packing Guide

Place sunscreen in your checked luggage in a sealed plastic bag to prevent leaks. Sunscreen containers should be secured tightly to prevent leaks. Additionally, consider using travel-sized containers or purchasing travel-sized sunscreen to stay within the TSA regulations. 

Keep these items at top to access them easily, so it won’t become as hassle for you. When a security personal request you to open suitcase for further investigation.

TSA & Sunscreen Types

Lotion Sunscreen

Sunscreen lotion is one of the most popular forms of sunscreen. It typically comes in squeezable plastic bottles or tubes. 

Lotion sunscreen is generally friendly for air travel as long as it adheres to TSA regulations regarding liquid container size (3.4 ounces or less per container for carry-on luggage).

Spray Sunscreen

Spray sunscreen is convenient for quick and easy application. It usually comes in aerosol cans. It is allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage. 

Travelers should be cautious when packing aerosol products due to potential TSA restrictions on flammable items. Ensure that the aerosol size meets TSA guidelines and should be capped tightly to avoid leakage. 

Stick Sunscreen

Sunscreen sticks are solid formulations that resemble lip balm. They are compact and mess-free, making them ideal for travel. 

Sunscreen sticks are generally TSA-friendly and can be packed in carry-on or checked luggage without concerns about liquid restrictions.

Gel Sunscreen

Gel has a smooth, lightweight consistency and is often water-resistant. While gel sunscreen is permitted in both carry-on and checked luggage, adhering to TSA regulations regarding liquid container size is essential. Pack gel sunscreen in containers of 3.4 ounces or less for carry-on travel.

Powder Sunscreen

Powder sunscreen comes in loose or pressed powder form and offers a convenient option for reapplication over makeup or throughout the day. Powder sunscreen is generally TSA-friendly and can be packed in carry-on and checked luggage without liquid restrictions.

Wipes Sunscreen

Sunscreen wipes are pre-moistened towelettes infused with sunscreen. They are compact and convenient for travel. Sunscreen wipes are typically TSA-friendly and can be packed in carry-on and checked luggage.

Countries With Sunscreen Rules

Sunscreen is a common product with minimal restrictions around the world. However in order to protect environment and health. Some states and countries have restricted the sale and usage of sunscreen made of banned chemical compounds.

You can bring sunscreen in any place as far as it meet all standard requirements of your destination.

Reef-Toxic Sunscreen

Palau, Key West, Hawaii (USA), Bonaire, US Virgin Islands, Aruba, and Mexico (specific regions).

These places have banned or restricted the sale and usage of sunscreen products containing reef-toxic chemical compounds like oxybenzone and octinoxate to protect coral reefs.

This rule is strictly enforced at arrival; your sunscreen might get confiscated, and sometimes you might get fined in severe cases. 


Sunscreen products must meet the standards set by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), ensuring safety, effectiveness, and proper labeling.

Australia is among the hottest countries with high amounts of UV radiation, and it is a must for our mates to use sunscreen. For that, high-quality sunscreen is required that meets the standards and safety criteria.

European Union

EU regulates sunscreen products and their ingredients to ensure safety and effectiveness by banning compounds like octocrylene, which are not good for health. I am not a medical personal but after reading about it in-depth. These compounds have skin penetrating features that can cause serious damage.

For more knowledge, you can visit their EU official source site where it is explained in-depth with reasons.

Please note that these regulations can change, so checking the latest guidelines before traveling is always a good idea.

Alternative Of Sunscreen

Sunscreen isn’t the only way to protect yourself from the sun when you’re traveling. Here are some other options:

  1. Clothing with UV Protection: Look for clothes labeled with a UPF rating—they’re designed to block harmful rays.
  2. Hats and Sunglasses: Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shade your face and eyes.
  3. Find Shade: Seek shelter under trees, umbrellas, or canopies during peak sun hours.
  4. UV-Blocking Umbrellas: Use a UV-blocking umbrella for extra protection, especially at the beach or outdoor events.
  5. UV-Protective Accessories: Wrap up in scarves or cover-ups made from UV-protective fabrics.

Remember to stay hydrated, use sunscreen on exposed skin, and limit your time in the sun to keep your skin safe.


Can I Use Spray Sunscreen While Flying On An Airplane?

Using spray sunscreen on a plane can be problematic due to the confined space and potential discomfort for fellow passengers, as aerosol particles may irritate those with allergies or sensitivities.

Cream or lotion sunscreen is a more considerate choice as it can be applied discreetly without generating airborne particles. It’s essential to check airline policies on aerosol products before use.

If necessary, apply spray sunscreen before boarding or during a layover to minimize disruption and ensure a comfortable flight for everyone.

Can Aerosol Sunscreen Spray Explode? 

It is uncommon; under normal conditions, aerosol containers will explode. Pressure imbalance due to high temperature or sudden leakage can cause this. 

That is the reason there is a limit to the liquid containers you can carry in a cabin inside the plastic bag to protect your belongings. You can also empty container a bit, so it can expand in low pressure area at high altitude.

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