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Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Update: The TSA made a fail. It updated its own website with incorrect information and is still banning full sized sunscreen, despite saying it wasn’t. Read up on the latest here.

The primary job of the United States Transport Security Administration, commonly known as TSA, is to keep air travel safe.

But for years, they’ve created travel risks outside of airports, by banning sunscreen over the standard liquid 3.4 oz liquid limit for passengers. Rather than simply checking or vetting the liquid contents, they’ve just banned them.

After agency review, and thoughtful research from medical experts at Brown University warning of the dangers, that’s finally being reversed for travelers. You can once again bring full sized sunscreen through TSA security checkpoints, just be prepared for a bit of hassle.

TSA Adds Sunscreen To Liquid Exemption

It took a pandemic to get hand sanitizer back through security, and water over 3.4 ounces is still banned, which airside shops absolutely love, but the traveling public got one thing back recently, and that’s full sized sunscreen.

There’s just one catch: you’ll need to tell the agents you have it, or they might still take it from you.

a man standing on a beach with palm trees and a sunset

Yep, per the TSA, it’s totally ok to bring a full sized bottle of sunscreen through the checkpoint now, you just need to separate it from your standard ‘non-exempt’ liquids and let the screening agent know you’ve got it. It’s now on the approved list of medical liquids and aerosols.

Intriguingly, the policy change was largely brought on by skin cancer researchers, who cite over 10,000 people per day are diagnosed with skin cancer in the USA alone. The researchers offered the following opinion to TSA officials, to bring about the change…

Because inadequate access to sunscreen can lead to severe sunburns and subsequent skin cancers, this is an important public health initiative.

We hope that this change will promote sun-safety and encourage travelers to use the recommended amount of sunscreen. The average adult requires 1.4 ounce of sunscreen per application, and reapplication is recommended every two hours.

Cancer remains a leading cause of death in the world and unlike positive trends in other health issues, instances of cancer have only been on the rise in recent years. It’s great to see the TSA now going to the trouble to scrutinize items which may save lives, rather than applying blanket bans to them.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Nope, not at dfw. April 12, 2021, Just went through security and he said no way. Either this is false information or they haven’t told their TSA agents.

    1. TSA agents are often under trained and over worked, sadly. Most agents never read the briefs or new mandates and will challenge you. If you have the time, it’s sometimes good to get a supervisor over, so they can school the agent on what they should already know. Sorry for your troubles.

      1. Actually we are thoroughly trained and briefed everyday before starting our shift. We are also REQUIRED to read over any new procedures and mandates before signing off on them. This was an error as stated, so please tell me more about my job.

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