Will Spray Sunscreen Explode on a Plane - airlinespolicy

Sunscreen is vital for our skin’s protection by giving immunity from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. As the consumption of sunscreen is increasing day by day, safety concerns have been raised regarding bringing this aerosol-essential skincare on board. In this article, we will try to answer the question – Will spray sunscreen explode on a plane?

Will Spray Sunscreen Explode on a Plane - airlinespolicy

What is Spray Sunscreen? 

Before we delve into the restrictions regarding carrying sunscreen on the plane, let’s understand what spray sunscreen is.

Spray Sunscreen comes in aerosol cans (like deodorants) and is meant to be sprayed on your face and outer body. This is the most convenient way to apply, as these aerosol sunscreen sprays are essential for hard-to-reach areas of our bodies.

The mist in the can is the water particle that contains the active ingredients of UV filters and the compounds of emollients and propellants.

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How do I apply?

The Spray Sunscreen will release the mist when you press the nozzle. It forms a layer of protection on the skin, thus preventing the exposure of UV rays.

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The 3-1-1 TSA Guideline

TSA simplified the guidelines regarding carrying liquids on board with the 3-1-1 rule. According to the rule, passengers can carry liquids, gels, and aerosols in a can or containers within 3.4 oz or 100 ml.

The ‘’3’’ rule signifies that each liquid container that contains toothpaste, gel, hair gel, or sprays must not exceed 3.4 ounces. The ‘’1’’ part signifies you can bring as many as 3 ounces of bottle. The other ‘’1’’ states that each passenger can carry just one carry-on bag.

To sum up, passengers are allowed to bring one handbag, which is one quart in size, and it can only be filled with a 3-ounce bottle.

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Safety Concerns: Can I Bring Sunscreen Spray on Plane?

Can I Bring Sunscreen Spray on Plane - airlinespolicy

Passengers can fly with aerosol sunscreen as a carry-on and checked luggage. But they need to adhere to certain guidelines – 

  • The TSA sunscreen limit must not exceed 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters). The capacity of each container must not exceed 0.5 kg or 500 ml.
  • The spray sunscreen must be properly packed to prevent leaks.
  • While you head to the security screening, you need to take out the spray sunscreen from the carry-on bag.
  • Always place the container in a plastic bag for extra protection.
  • TSA advises placing sunscreen spray in zip-lock pouches.

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Can you pack aerosol sunscreen in checked luggage?

Passengers have the option to pack the aerosol cans in checked luggage if the size of the carry-on limit exceeds. Here are the step-by-step instructions – 

  • Ensure these sunscreen sprays are tightly sealed.
  • Place the sunscreen in a resealable zip-lock bag.
  • When placing the plastic-wrapped sunscreen can in your suitcase, always position it in the center to minimize risk.
  • Always check with the airline about the baggage restrictions when flying with spray sunscreen. 

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Can I bring sunscreen spray on the plane as hand luggage?

TSA allows passengers to carry up to 2 liters of products like sunscreen, but carrying that amount in your carry-on baggage is not permitted. To know – 

  • Carry-on bags have weight restrictions on aerosol sunscreen sprays. It needs to be under 3.4 oz or 100 ml.

The aforementioned guidelines rule out the inclusion of most sunscreen spray brands in your hand luggage.

If you notice, the aerosol sunscreen cans are around 5 to 6 oz in size. These larger sizes must go as checked luggage. Attempting to bring such sunscreen on a plane would result in TSA officers not allowing it to be bought on board. As a result, these items might be confiscated.

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Will Sunscreen explode on a plane?

Now let’s address the main topic: Will spray sunscreen explode on a plane? It is theoretically possible that aerosol sunscreen on planes may explode. Several factors may contribute to this risk – 

  • It could be a change in temperature or air pressure that damages the structural integrity of aerosol cans, like sunscreen sprays.
  • It could be the controlled conditions of the aircraft that result in a possible explosion in the aircraft.
  • Experts in the fields of aerosol quality and aviation safety have researched the topic – will sunscreen explode on a plane? Their research and experiments support the idea of a possible explosion.

While the risk is low, it’s essential to follow proper guidelines for packing sunscreen, especially if you’re carrying aerosol sunscreen on a plane.

Ideal way of using sunscreen on board

aerosol sunscreen on plane - airlinespolicy

While spray sunscreen is permitted on flights, if you’re aware of the possible concern, it is recommended to go for the alternatives.

Airlines always recommend opting for a tube or small bottle of travel-sized sunscreen instead of flying with spray sunscreen (as hand luggage).

Previously, numerous passengers have encountered problems when bringing aerosol sunscreen on a plane. Smaller sizes (TSA sunscreen limit of 3.4 oz) usually pose no hassles, but there are instances of confiscation or disposal of aerosol products at the airport.

For those who are prone to anxiety or need to have essential skincare, a small tube of cream or sunscreen wipes emerge as the most convenient option. This minimizes the possible wrath of TSA officers and ensures you have backup.

If you’re traveling with family or friends, each person can carry a small amount, thus guaranteeing everyone has access to sunscreen.

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Alternatives of Spray Sunscreen

can you pack aerosol sunscreen in checked luggage - airlinespolicy

Will spray sunscreen explode on a plane? The possibility is low. However, there are several alternatives for travelers flying with spray sunscreen. Here are some alternatives – 

  • Lotion sunscreen – Convention lotion is the most common substitute for aerosol, as these lotions come in SPF levels and are easy to apply to the skin.
  • Stick sunscreen – Sunscreen sticks are mess-free alternatives. They are very handy and are commonly used to apply to the face.
  • Gel sunscreen – Gel-based sunscreens are often lightweight and absorb quickly into the skin. 
  • Sunscreen wipes – These are the most convenient options for on-the-go applications. They are easy to carry and can be disposed of.
  • Mineral sunscreen – Mineral sunscreen comprises zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active compounds. This is a good option for sensitive skin.
  • Spray-pump sunscreen – They come in pump bottles and are different from aerosol sprays. 
  • Powder sunscreen – You can apply powder sunscreen with a brush or simply pat the powder on the skin. It is a dry alternative to bringing sunscreen spray on planes and is acceptable as carry-on luggage.


Will spray sunscreen explode on a plane? The likelihood of an explosion is very low. However, there are strict guidelines and safety measures in place, along with a controlled environment inside the cabin that prevents any mishaps. However, it is important to follow the TSA sunscreen guidelines while traveling with aerosol items, as passengers are required to take necessary precautions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will spray sunscreen explode on plane-checked baggage?

The possibility of sunscreen exploding in checked luggage is extremely low. The packaging of aerosols is designed to deter controlled conditions inside the cabin. It is very important to follow TSA sunscreen limit guidelines.

How to pack sunscreen in checked luggage?

Always ensure that the container in which you have packed sunscreen is tightly packed. Placing sunscreen in a zip-lock pouch provides an extra layer of protection against leaks.

Full-size sunscreen in carry-on?

Sunscreen in carry-on must adhere to the 3-1-1 rule, which says that the container should be 3.4 ounces or less and must fit in a resealable plastic bag.

Can I bring spray sunscreen on a plane checked baggage?

Yes, passengers are allowed to bring spray sunscreen in their checked luggage, and there are no restrictions on their weight or size for carrying in a checked suitcase. 

Can you bring spray sunscreen on a plane carry-on?

Yes, sunscreen is allowed as hand luggage, provided that each container must be within 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters). At the time of security screening, you have to remove the sunscreen from your handbag for inspection. 

Is it allowed to bring aerosol products in checked baggage?

Yes, aerosol items are permitted as checked luggage, provided they comply with the TSA guidelines.
Is there a risk of spray sunscreen exploding in checked luggage?
The risk is minimal. Ensure the can is properly sealed, and always consider placing it in a plastic bag to prevent spillage.

Is there a chance of aerosol sunscreen leaking during a flight?

It’s rare, but there’s a minimal possibility. You need to secure aerosol sunscreen in its original packaging and consider placing it in a plastic bag.

Is spray sunscreen flammable?

Yes. Due to their propellant content, they are flammable. You need to check product labels for safety information.

Am I allowed to bring spray sunscreen on a plane?

Yes, spray sunscreen is allowed as a carry-on as well as checked luggage. You need to adhere to the 3-1-1 rule for carry-on and place it in a resealable pouch. 

Is spray sunscreen safe to use?

Yes, spray sunscreen is safe when used as per the product’s instructions. You need to avoid inhaling and take other necessary precautions.

Are there alternative sunscreen options to sprays?

Yes, sunscreen sprays have alternatives, which include lotions, sunscreen wipes, powder, creams, sticks, and gel-based sunscreens.

What precautions should I take when traveling with spray sunscreen?

Always secure the can properly, place it in a plastic bag, and be mindful of the potential leakage.

Have there been reported incidents of spray sunscreen cans exploding on planes?

There have been no reported incidents of possible explosions yet. The risk of explosion is minimal due to safety guidelines and controlled cabin requirements.

Did TSA change the sunscreen guideline in 2024?

No. TSA adheres to the same 3-1-1 guideline, which restricts the containers to 3.4 ounces in carry-on bags. Any larger amounts of aerosol items must go as checked luggage.


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A seasoned content writer with a passion for storytelling, who loves creating content that engages the audience, builds trust, drives results, and solves problems related to travel assistance and travel news

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