can you bring sunscreen on a plane?

Can You Bring Sunscreen on a Plane? Unpacking the Carry-On Baggage Rules for Liquids

Before you set off on your next adventure under the sun, whether it be scaling mountains, catching waves, or simply soaking up the rays on exotic beaches, there’s one essential item you wouldn’t want to leave behind – your sunscreen. But the burning question remains: can you bring sunscreen on a plane?

The answer is a resounding YES, but there are some nuances and guidelines you need to be aware of. 

Understanding TSA regulations for carry-on and checked luggage is crucial, particularly regarding liquids such as aerosol spray sunscreen, creams and gels.

Article at a Glance:

What are the TSA Rules for Carry-On Baggage 

3 Ways to Bring Sunscreen on Your Next Holiday

Sunscreen Rules in Popular Holiday Destinations

What Are the TSA Rules for Carry-On Baggage Liquids?

5What Are the TSA Rules for Carry-On Baggage Liquids?

Understanding the carry-on baggage rules for liquids in carry-on bags, including sun protection products, is crucial for breezing through airport security and ensuring your skin remains protected throughout your travels. 

In general, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stipulates that liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes must be 100 ml (3.4 oz) or less per container and must fit in a single, clear, quart-sized ziplock bag—this includes your sunscreen!

Reasons You Need to Understand Sunscreen Regulations When Travelling

Travel Friendly Sunscreen

Navigating the requirements for bringing sunscreen on a plane keeps your vacation hassle-free and guards your skin against harmful rays. Here are some reasons why this knowledge is indispensable:

  • Ensuring your sunscreen makes it through security.
  • Having immediate access to sun protection upon arrival.
  • Staying compliant with local regulations and environmentally conscious choices.

Comprehending these guidelines ensures a sun-safe and seamless journey!

Ensuring you have sunscreen handy is vital in mitigating the risk of skin cancer, one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in the U.S., by shielding against harmful UV rays.

3 Ways to Bring Sunscreen On A Plane

Bring your sunscreen on a plane

You are bringing sunscreen on your flight, which shouldn’t be a problem. 

Knowing how to pack sunscreen effectively for air travel is crucial for your skin’s protection under the sun.

1. Size It Right

Ensure your sunscreen is 100 ml (3.4 oz) or less, including travel-sized, TSA-friendly sunscreen products, which are especially convenient for travellers. This applies to lotions, creams, aerosols, spray sunscreen, and even your favourite gel formulations.

Pack these in a clear, quart-sized ziplock bag. If your products are over 100ml and you REALLY need them in your carry-on luggage, consider using sunscreen containers like the Solmates refillable sunscreen applicators.

2. Check It In

Do you prefer your full-sized sunscreen bottles? You can pack them in your checked baggage without worrying about the 100 ml limit. 

When packing sunscreen in a checked bag, remember the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines allow up to 2 kg/2 L of sunscreen in checked luggage, with each sunscreen container no more than 0.5 kg/500 ml.

3. Know the Exception for carry-on luggage

Certain destinations, like Hawaii and Key West, have bans on specific sunscreen ingredients to protect coral reefs. Opt for mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to stay eco-friendly while protecting your skin. 

Additionally, travellers should be aware of the concerns and restrictions surrounding traditional aerosol sunscreens, which are subject to the TSA’s liquid and gel restrictions and pose environmental and health risks. This emphasizes the importance of selecting natural and eco-friendly sunscreen options.

Sunscreen Rules in Popular Holiday Destinations

reef safe sunscreen for travel

Despite universal guidelines for carrying sunscreen on planes, it’s crucial to be aware of local regulations, especially in destinations with chemical sunscreen bans like Hawaii (since 2021) and Palau (since 2020). This awareness enhances your travel ease and safeguards the health of our planet’s ecosystems.

Hey there! When you’re planning a sunny getaway, consider using reef-safe sunscreen. It’s not just about your health – it’s a promise to protect our planet. Regular sunscreens contain chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate that seriously harm coral reefs. These chemicals cause coral bleaching, which damages reef health and biodiversity.

Studies show that even small amounts of these substances can trigger bleaching, slow growth, and make corals more vulnerable to disease. This doesn’t just affect marine life; it impacts local economies that rely on tourism and fishing supported by healthy reefs.

You can make a positive impact by choosing reef-safe sunscreens with mineral filters like zinc oxide. These products provide sun protection while reducing harm to marine environments. This choice aligns with the trend of sustainable travel, ensuring that natural beauty is preserved for future generations.

Organic Face Sunscreen Tinted Mineral SPF 50

(80 customer reviews)
Original price was: AU$40.00.Current price is: AU$34.99.

Hydrating, antioxidant-boosted natural face sunscreen crafted for adventure and endurance sports.

Essential Sun Protective Kit for Your Next Big Adventure: Travel Light and Stay Safe

sun protection for holidays

When preparing for an adventure under the sun, it’s crucial to prioritize your skin’s protection. However, lugging around heavy bottles and an assortment of sun care products isn’t conducive to travelling light. 

Focusing on compact, multifunctional items can ensure you enjoy your holiday fully. Remember  that your lips are also susceptible to sunburn without the setback of sunburned days spent seeking refuge in the shade. 

Here’s what to pack in your essential sun protective kit:

1. Mineral Sunscreen Stick

Swap the bulky bottles for a portable sunscreen stick. Ideal for quick reapplication and targeting sensitive areas like the face, ears, and shoulders, these sticks are TSA-friendly and can easily fit in your pocket.

2. UV Protection Lip Balm

Lip Balm with SPF

Remember that your lips are also susceptible to sunburn. A natural lip balm with SPF adds minimal weight to your kit but offers essential protection.

3. Wearable Sun Protection

UPF-rated clothing has built-in UV protection. A long-sleeve shirt made from UV-blocking fabric can be stylish and doesn’t take up much space in your luggage. To complete your sun-safe ensemble, add a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective sunglasses.

4. Aloe Vera Gel

Despite taking precautions, sun exposure can lead to irritated skin. A small, travel-sized bottle of aloe vera gel can soothe mild sunburns and hydrate the skin.

By packing these light but powerful items, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy your adventure under the sun with the added peace of mind that you’re protecting your skin. This way, you’ll return home with amazing memories and healthy, sunburn-free skin.

Conclusion: Travel-friendly Sunscreen

Packing for a flight involves many considerations, with sunscreen being a small but vital part.

Armed with the correct information and preparations, you can ensure that your skin remains shielded from the sun’s harmful effects throughout your travels while adhering to TSA regulations and supporting environmental preservation efforts at your destinations. 

Remember, the right sunscreen protects you and can safeguard the natural beauty of the places you visit. 

Happy travels, and don’t forget to lather up!


Can I bring sunscreen in my carry-on?

You can bring sunscreen in your carry-on, but it must comply with the liquids rule, which limits each container to 3.4 ounces (100 mL) or less.

Can I bring sunscreen on a plane in Australia?

In Australia, sunscreen can be carried in carry-on luggage when flying, following the same liquid restrictions.

Can you put sunscreen in a travel container?

Sunscreen can be put in a travel container, provided the container is 3.4 ounces (100 mL) or less.

What is not allowed in a carry-on bag?

Sharp objects, flammable items, firearms, and liquids over 3.4 ounces (100 mL) are typically not allowed in a carry-on bag

What toiletries can I bring on a plane?

You can bring toiletries on a plane in your carry-on if each container is 3.4 ounces (100 mL) or less and all containers fit in one clear, resealable quart-sized plastic bag.

Can you bring spray sunscreen on a plane?

You can bring spray sunscreen on a plane, but it must follow the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) liquids rule. Any spray sunscreen in your carry-on luggage must be in a container that holds 3.4 ounces (100 millilitres) or less and fit comfortably in a single, clear, quart-sized, resealable plastic bag along with your other liquids. If your spray sunscreen exceeds these limits, you’ll need to pack it in your checked baggage. It’s also advisable to double-check the latest regulations on the TSA website or with your airline before travelling, as policies can change.

Can you bring aerosol sunscreen on a plane?

You can bring aerosol sunscreen on a plane, but it must comply with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) liquids rule. This means that any aerosol sunscreen you wish to carry in your hand luggage must be in a container that is 3.4 ounces (100 millilitres) or less. Furthermore, it must fit within a single, clear, quart-sized, resealable plastic bag alongside your other liquids. If your aerosol sunscreen container exceeds these limits, pack it in your checked luggage. It is always a good idea to check the most current regulations on the TSA website or with your airline before your trip, as rules can sometimes change.