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Nevermind: TSA Won’t Allow Full-Size Sunscreen After All

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Whoops. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said late Monday that it still won't allow full-size sunscreen bottles through security, days after updating its website to suggest that it would.

Popsugar first reported on that supposed policy change, citing the TSA's addition of sunscreen to medically approved items that would allow travelers to pack bottles larger than the normal 3.4-ounce limit on liquids. That change had been pushed by dermatology experts who said larger sunscreen bottles would help prevent skin cancer.

But by Monday evening, the TSA said that was a mistake: It hasn't made any changes to allow larger sunscreen bottles after all.

“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,” the agency said in a statement. “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.”

It turns out common sense didn't prevail in the end.

Being unable to bring a full bottle of sunscreen often forces travelers to choose between checking a bag to bring more liquid or buying an overpriced bottle of sunscreen after landing. The push to change that has been spearheaded by the dermatology department at Brown University, which fought against the 3.4-ounce limit on sunscreens because Americans need more sunscreen to protect against skin cancer.

“We hope that this change will promote sun-safety and encourage travelers to use the recommended amount of sunscreen,” Dr. Julia Siegel, dermatology resident physician at Brown, said in reference to the changes that were later clawed back.

It wouldn't have been the first change to the TSA's notorious liquid limits. In the early stages of the pandemic, the TSA added bottles of hand sanitizer of up 12 ounces to the OK list.


Bottom Line

Easy come, easy go.

This seems like a no-brainer change for the TSA to make. Many of the TSA's liquid limits are outdated and unnecessary. Allowing full-size sunscreen bottles through airport security would make it much easier to bring what you need on your next sunny trip – and easier to pack in a carry-on bag, too.


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