In an Instagram post from March, Caitlyn Jenner posted a picture of herself sans makeup and with a significant amount of skin missing from the tip of her nose. She captioned it: “I recently had to get some sun damage removed from my nose. PSA-always wear your sunblock!” Although she didn’t specify in the post whether or not she had cancer, People later confirmed that Jenner had “cancerous basal cell carcinoma” removed from her nose.
Jenner’s candid, raw photo serves as a public service announcement encouraging people to apply sunscreen—not just during the hot summer months but throughout the year. Sun exposure is cumulative and the sun’s rays can cause damage even on cloudy days.
And since July is National UV Safety Awareness Month, there’s no better time to remind people of the importance of applying sunscreen to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Many people look forward to sunny weather because it gives them the opportunity to tan. But often, people don’t seriously consider the negative effects of the sun’s rays until they are diagnosed with skin cancer and it is too late.
So remember to apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 on your face and neck every day and all over your exposed skin on those days when you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors—especially during the summer when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest. The American Cancer Society advises to apply sunscreen every two hours—more often if you’re swimming or sweating—and to use at least an ounce (about a palmful) to cover your arms, legs, neck and face.