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Will Sunscreen Explode On A Plane?

Are you worried about the safety of your sunscreen during air travel? We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but can we safely bring our sunscreen on board without it exploding?

As a frequent flyer and sun protection advocate, I understand your concerns. That’s why I’ve done some research and am here to ease your worries. In this post, I’ll let you know, will sunscreen explode on a plane?

Will Sunscreen Explode On A Plane?

What Are The TSA Rules On Taking Sunscreen On A Plane?

When you pack sunscreen for air travel, you need to adhere to the rules set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

For carry-on bags, sunscreen is subject to the standard 3-1-1 liquids rule. This means you can bring sunscreen in bottles or containers that:

  • Hold 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item
  • Fit comfortably in one quart-sized, resealable bag (a zip-top bag)
  • Allow one bag per passenger placed in screening bins

For checked baggage, there are fewer restrictions:

  • You can pack larger bottles of sunscreen, but be aware of the FAA’s quantity limits
  • Total quantity of all medicinal and toiletry articles should not exceed 2 kilograms (70 ounces) or 2 liters (68 fluid ounces)
  • Individual containers should not hold more than 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces)

Remember, aerosol cans sunscreen have additional restrictions. You cannot bring any aerosol sunscreen larger than 18 ounces in checked baggage, and the total quantity can’t exceed 70 ounces.

These limits are in place to ensure the safe transport of potentially flammable materials.

Always check the latest guidelines before traveling as regulations can update, and choose to decant products into smaller containers where possible.

For example, due to exceptional situations, such as the recent pandemic, the TSA officers temporarily allowed one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags.

This exception illustrates that rules can adapt in response to current health considerations.

Are Aerosols Allowed in Checked Baggage?

When you’re packing for a flight within the United States, it’s essential to know what items are permitted in checked baggage. Aerosols are a common item that many travelers have questions about.

Personal Care Aerosols:

  • Permitted? Yes, with restrictions.
  • Quantity Limit: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) typically allows up to 70 ounces (2 liters) per passenger in checked baggage.
  • Size Restriction: Individual aerosol containers must adhere to size limitations set by airline regulations for checked luggage.

For your aerosol spray sunscreen and other personal care items in aerosol form, make sure they:

  • Do not exceed 70 ounces in total.
  • Are equipped with caps or other protective measures to prevent accidental release.

Here’s a quick list of what you should remember about aerosols in checked luggage:

  • Make sure each container is within the size limit.
  • Protect against accidental discharge with a safety cap.
  • Keep the total amount of all aerosol products under 70 ounces.

These rules are in place to ensure the safety of all passengers and the aircraft, as part of the airport security process.

Compliance with the FAA’s guidelines allows for a worry-free travel experience with your necessary personal care items, like sunscreen, included in your checked hold luggage, so it’s a good idea to check the TSA website before travel, to ensure you adhere to the different rules.

Can You Take Aerosol Sunscreen Spray In Your Carry-On Luggage?

Can You Take Aerosol Sunscreen Spray In Your Carry-On Luggage?

When flying, you may want to bring aerosol sunscreen spray in your carry-on luggage due to its convenience and ease of application (and various types of sunscreen other than a conventional cream type of sunscreen).

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations, you are permitted to do so under the following conditions:

  • Size Restriction: Your bottle of sunscreen must be in a smaller container that is no larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters.
  • Packing Method: The container should be placed within a quart-sized resealable bag along with any other liquids, gels, and aerosols you are carrying.
  • One-Bag Limit: Only one liquids bag is allowed per passenger, so make sure that all your liquids, including sunscreen, fit comfortably within that single, quart-sized bag in small containers where possible.

Here’s a concise explanation of the requirements TSA agents will look for:

Item Requirement
Size ≤ 3.4 oz / 100 ml
Bag Type Quart-sized, resealable
Bag Limit One per passenger

If you have a larger container of toiletry aerosols, or if you wish to bring more than what fits in your limited baggie, you’ll need to pack it in your checked luggage, and you won’t need to worry about limited quantities.

It’s also worth noting that there are no exceptions to these TSA’s guidelines and security checks, so even if you need sunscreen for medical reasons, the same size limitations and packing guidelines apply, but check with the security officer at the security checkpoint for specific regulations with where you’re traveling. 

Is It Better For Spray Sunscreen To Go In Your Checked Bag Or Carry On Bag?

Will Sunscreen Explode On A Plane?

Traveling with sunscreen is common since you often need protection from UV rays upon reaching your sunny destination.

The primary concern with bringing sunscreen on a plane revolves around its potential to explode due to pressurization changes at high altitudes.

Aerosol Sunscreens

  • Containers: Must adhere to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations, which allow containers of 3.4 ounces or fewer in carry-on baggage.
  • Pressure Changes: Air pressure inside the aircraft cargo hold and cabin is regulated. Explosions of sunscreen are unlikely if the container is properly sealed and within TSA limits.

Non-Aerosol Sunscreens (Lotion, Cream)

  • Capacity: Similar to aerosols, lotion and cream sunscreens should not exceed 3.4 ounces in carry-on bags.
  • Risk: These forms are less volatile; thus, the risk of exploding due to pressure changes is minimal.

Checked Baggage

  • If you wish to bring larger quantities of sunscreen, placing them in checked baggage is permitted. However, be mindful of FAA regulations on how much you can pack.

Here are quick tips for packing sunscreen:

  • Ensure Tight Sealing: Check that the sunscreen lid is secure to prevent leakage.
  • Respect the Limits: Stick to the 3.4-ounce rule for carry-ons.
  • Pack Safely: In checked luggage, cushion your sunscreen amidst clothes to prevent damage.

Is It Better For Spray Sunscreen To Go In Your Checked Bag Or Carry On Bag?

When deciding where to pack spray sunscreen for air travel, consider both convenience and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations.

Spray sunscreen is classifiable as both a liquid and an aerosol, which are subject to specific rules.

Carry-On Bags:

  • Size Restriction: You’re limited to containers of no more than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters).
  • Quart-Sized Bag: All of your liquids must fit in a single quart-sized, clear, resealable plastic bag.

Checked Bags:

  • Larger Quantities: You can bring larger containers that wouldn’t be permitted in your carry-on.
  • Safety Considerations: Since aerosols can be flammable, they are safest when packed in checked baggage, in accordance with airline regulations to mitigate risk.

Tips for Packing Spray Sunscreen:

  • Leak Prevention: Seal the bottle tightly and place it in a plastic bag to avoid spills.
  • Protection: Use bubble wrap or other padding to prevent the canister from damage.
  • Surroundings: Pack it in the center of your luggage, cushioned by other items.

When choosing between checked baggage or carry-on for your spray sunscreen, it leans toward being more practical to pack in checked bags, given you can take larger amounts and reduce the risk of confiscation due to volume restrictions.

However, for short trips or if you only have carry-on luggage, ensure your spray sunscreen complies with the 3.4-ounce rule and is properly packaged.

Is Stick Sunscreen A Liquid According To TSA Rules?

Is Stick Sunscreen A Liquid According To TSA Rules?

When traveling by air, it’s important to understand the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules regarding what forms of sunscreen you can bring in your carry-on luggage.

Following these rules will prevent any unnecessary delays during your security screening process.

Stick Sunscreens:

  • Classification: Stick sunscreen is not classified as a liquid by the TSA.
  • Carry-On Luggage: You are allowed to bring stick sunscreens in your carry-on without adhering to the TSA’s liquid restrictions.

It’s noteworthy that while liquid sunscreens must adhere to the 3-1-1 liquids rule, which dictates that they should be in containers of no more than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters, this rule does not apply to stick sunscreens.

You can comfortably pack your solid stick sunscreen without worrying about the container size or the amount you carry in your hand luggage.

Remember that if you prefer sunscreen in a liquid, gel, spray, or cream form, these are subject to the 3-1-1 rule.

Each passenger is allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes through the checkpoint.

These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.