For celebrities, looking good is part of the job description. So how do A-Listers like Charlize Theron and Carrie Underwood keep their skin looking its best? It’s not all about expensive skin treatments and rare ingredients. In fact, these stars extol the value of one very simple product: sunscreen.
Sun Protection Stars
“I’m a massive believer in sunblock. Massive,” says Oscar-winning beauty Charlize Theron.1 “I wear sunblock in the winter, when it’s rainy and gray out — all the time. And not just SPF 15; I wear 50. Five-zero!” The fair-skinned Theron, who grew up under the intense South African sun, explains, “The importance of sunscreen has been instilled in me from a very young age through my mom, who is aging so well.”
Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway also credits a maternal relative with her excellent sun protection habits: “My grandmother had skin cancer,” she explains. “So she has taught me to wear [sun protection] factor 30 sun cream every day. I even carry an umbrella if I walk in the sunshine.”2
While Brooke Shields loves to try all the latest skin care products, she knows “There’s no miracle product… My husband perpetually makes fun of me about my creams and my jars and potions and lotions, but it’s simpler than anyone makes it… Protect yourself from the sun and drink water.”3
Men in the spotlight are serious about sun protection, too. Skin cancer survivor and Good Morning America weather anchor Sam Champion recalls, “I used to be like George Hamilton — always at the beach, always tan,” he says. “Now, going to the beach, getting on a boat, I use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every single time. I don’t mess with that.”4
The Younger Generation
Sun protection isn’t just for Hollywood legends. Up-and-comers are equally concerned: Kat Dennings of 2 Broke Girls has never gotten a tan,5 actress Selena Gomez always wears sunscreen under her makeup,6 and singer Kellie Pickler explains: “I’m cotton ball-white, so I’m careful in the sun.” 7
Many of these young starlets are eager to encourage sun safety: “If you want to be in sun, please use SPF, it’s important,” TV and film actress AnnaLynne McCord reminds her fans.8 Though she’s hardly getting on in years, Grammy Award winner Carrie Underwood laments her less than perfect sun protection history: “If I could go back and talk to my 15-year old self, I’d be like, ‘Seriously, listen to your mom,’” the singer says. “Drink more water, put more sunscreen on, moisturize. There are a lot of people like me who wish they did more.”9
Sunscreen isn’t the only way to avoid premature skin aging and skin cancer. Avoiding tanning, seeking the shade, and covering up with clothing is also important, according to Julianne Moore, whose radiant pale skin is her signature. “I say this to every young person I know. Stay out of the sun! I have very fair skin and it would have been super-damaged. I always wear sunscreen and I walk on the shady side of the street.”10
Celebrity Skin Secrets Revealed
If they need to look tan for a role or an event, these sun-safe stars don’t damage their skin by sitting out in the sun: Anne Hathaway uses a spray tanner, while Kellie Pickler recommends the combo of sunscreen and Physicians Formula bronzer. “It just gives you a little color!” Nor do they lie in a UV tanning bed, which increases the risk of all forms of skin cancer (and accelerates the signs of skin aging, like wrinkles). In fact, actress Olivia Wilde finds the practice totally inexplicable: “In a thousand years, archaeologists will dig up tanning beds and think we fried people for punishment.”11
Cindy Crawford Said It Best
Finally, having your skin checked is as much a part of saving your skin as sun protection. Supermodel Cindy Crawford recently tweeted about a dermatologist’s visit, noting “[It’s] important (especially as we get a bit older) to have your skin checked annually!”12 She’s absolutely correct. We urge everyone to follow her lead, and learn about the Foundation’s Prevention Guidelines.
We were especially pleased with another recommendation by Cindy: “Follow @SkinCancerOrg for good info.” We couldn’t agree more!
Trading "Sun-Kissed for a Moonlight Glow
A tan-free complexion isn’t just a sign of healthy, youthful-looking skin. These days, it’s also high fashion. Recent runway shows featured models whose flawless skin was free from bronzer, shimmer, or any product that might suggest an afternoon at the beach. In her article “The Tan Ban,” Vogue writer Rachel Marlowe cites the so-called Rooney Effect, named for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara, whose pale skin seems to glow with an almost blue-white luminosity. According to makeup artist Dick Page, who created the look at designer Michael Kors’s show, the look “is less about bronze this time, more about energy.” His colleague Lucia Pieroni puts it bluntly: “A tan — it’s not modern at all,” she says. And if it’s not modern, well, it’s not fashion.
Learn more about The Skin Cancer Foundation’s campaign for healthy, glowing and tan-free skin, Go With Your Own Glow.
- O’Toole JJ. Charlize Theron’s hair and makeup secrets. Elle http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Hair/Charlize-Theron-s-Hair-and-Makeup-Secrets. Dec. 19, 2011. Accessed April 24, 2012.
- Pearce G. Anne Hathaway: don’t take things too seriously–especially yourself. The Sun http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/article4155975.ece. Feb 28, 2012.Accessed April 24, 2012.
- Spencer A. Brooke Shields on marriage, beauty and self esteem: model and actress Brooke Shields talks about aging, raising children,and growing up Bohemian. Health.com http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411700,00.html. Last updated May 16, 2009. Accessed April 24, 2012.
- McMillen M. Sam Champion spotlights skin cancer. WebMD The Magazine http://www.webmd.com/cancer/features/sam-championspotlights-skin-cancer-awareness. Reviewed on Feb. 15, 2011.Accessed April 24, 2012.
- Schuster D. Discuss: Kat Dennings is the new Sarah Jessica Parker. Page Six Magazine http://www.nypost.com/pagesixmag/issues/20110908/Discuss+Kat+Dennings+new+Sarah+Jessica+Parker. Sept. 8, 2011. Accessed April 24, 2012.
- Seventeen.com. Celebrity skin care tips. http://www.seventeen.com/beauty/celebrity/skin-care-tips#slide-6. Nov. 8, 2011. Accessed April 24, 2012.
- What’s in my bag: Kellie Pickler. US Weekly http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-style/news/kellie-pickler-whats-inmy-bag-2012181. Jan. 30, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2012.
- Seventeen.com. Celebrity skin care tips. http://www.seventeen.com/beauty/celebrity/skin-care-tips#slide-7. Nov. 8, 2011. Accessed April 24, 2012.
- Hogan K. Carrie Underwood wishes she’d taken her mom’s skincare advice. People Style Watch. http://stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com/2012/04/13/carrie-underwood-olay-products-charity/?xid=rsstopheadlines. April 13, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2012.
- InStyle.co.uk. Julianne Moore sizzles as InStyle’s May cover star! http://www.instyle.co.uk/news/julianne-moore-sizzles-as-instylesmay-cover-star-08-04-11. April 8, 2011.
- Wilde O. Twitter.com. http://twitter.com/#!/oliviawilde/statuses/69576736400089088. May 14 2011. Accessed April 24, 2012.
- Crawford C. Twitter.com. http://twitter.com/#!/CindyCrawford/statuses/154688999896780802. Jan. 4, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2012.