Are Full-Sized Sunscreens Actually Allowed in a Carry-On Bag?

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Finding travel-sized versions of our favorite skin-care products and fitting them into a carry-on bag is always a struggle, so, naturally, our spirits soared when we heard news that full-size sunscreens are now allowed in the overhead bin.

MSN reported that sunscreen was added to TSA’s medically-approved list of items on April 7, which meant that larger bottles of SPF could be packed in carry-on bags. However, a recent article from Thrifty Traveler explains that this news is all one big misunderstanding and that TSA is not allowing travelers to pack bottles of sunscreen that are over the normal 3.4 ounce limit.

In a statement provided to NewBeauty, TSA contends information reported over the weekend regarding traveling with sunscreen was incorrect. “For a brief period of time, the TSA website incorrectly reported that sunscreen containers larger than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) were allowed in carry-on bags, if medically necessary. The error on the website has been corrected. Travelers still need to ensure liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-on bags do not exceed quantities larger than 3.4 ounces.” To avoid confiscation, TSA “advises passengers who need larger quantities of sunscreen, or other liquids, gels and aerosols, to add them to checked baggage for use at their destination. Note that since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, TSA has been allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags. This is in effect until further notice.”

Full-sized items that are still allowed in carry-on bags (if declared) are products such as inhalers, contact solution and medications. But, just like an inhaler protects against asthma attacks or difficulty breathing, sunscreen protects against skin cancer, which effects approximately 3.3 million people annually, according to cancer.org. This alone should be enough reason for TSA to allow full-size sunscreens in carry-on bags—and dermatologists agree. According to MSN, the original idea to allow room for full-size sunscreens in carry-on bags was brought on by the department of dermatology at Brown University, who confronted TSA on the liquid limit due to the fact that sunscreen is needed to protect against skin cancer.

According to Davie, FL dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, MD, “Generous enough sunscreen use, especially for those getaway sunny vacations, is essential to stay safe from sunburns and skin cancer,” a major reason why a 3.4 ounce sunscreen may not be enough for a long trip. Saddle Brook, NJ dermatologist Dr. Fredric Haberman adds that implementing this new rule would allow people to have much better sun protection all around.

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