Can you actually pack full-sized sunscreen in your carry-on when you fly?

Bye-bye, travel-sized sunscreen?! It seems too good to be true

travel-sized sunscreen - Woman putting on sunscreen
(Image credit: Getty Images / JGI / Jamie Grill)

Skincare trends come and go, but SPF is a constant, which is why travel-sized sunscreen is always at the top of our holiday packing list, no matter the season (sun protection isn’t just for summer, we should be wearing it all year round!) or what Gwyneth Paltrow says. 

We foolishly rejoiced that the days spent hunting for travel-sized bottles of our favorite sunscreen or decanting a full-sized one into a teeny tiny bottle were behind us.

This week, the Transportation Security Administration got all of our hopes up and mistakenly announced that you could now carry a full-sized bottle of sunscreen in those Away carry-ons of yours, or any hand luggage for that matter.

The TSA released a statement, saying: "Our website incorrectly reported that sunscreen containers larger than 3.4 oz. were allowed in carry-on bags, if medically necessary. That error has been corrected."

"Travelers still need to ensure liquids, gels, and aerosols in carry-on bags meet the 3-1-1 requirements and are no larger than 3.4 ounces.," the statement continued. Disappointing to say the least!

travel-sized sunscreen - Suitcase Packed with Beach Wear

(Image credit: Getty)

PopSugar reported The Department of Dermatology at Brown University had challenged the TSA over the 3.4-ounce liquid limit. They have argued that sunscreen is a "necessary protectant" against skin cancer that should be under the same regulations as other forms of medication like inhalers.

UV rays have been heavily linked to skin cancer and therefore sunscreen is our number one source of protection against any UV and sun damage. (Should you even wear sunscreen indoors? The short answer is yes!)

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. The National Foundation for Cancer Research says 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every single day. We should be wearing SPF 15 or higher every day, the foundation instructs, and regularly reapply it throughout the day to keep skin protected.

Sadly, we won't get to ditch our annoying travel-sized sunscreen bottles just yet, but remember either way, SPF is really important. We hear celebs and beauty gurus tell us this in make-up routines every day, and it can be easy to discount it, but sunscreen is crucial to protect your delicate skin from constant UV rays.

Remember that those UV rays are present every day—not just when it’s sunny or hot—and you can find amazing face moisturizers that have SPF, but aren’t oily.

We'll have to keep dreaming for full-sized SPF in our carry-ons for now...

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.