The real reason Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman is so passionate about sunscreen

Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman says her family’s history of skin cancer influences her daily skin-care routine.
(Vianney Le Caer / Invision / AP)

Nicole Kidman’s porcelain skin is discussed as often as her hit HBO show “Big Little Lies,” so it should come as no surprise that the Oscar winner is an advocate for sun protection.

During a recent sunny afternoon at the “Everyday is a SUNday” symposium on skincare sponsored by Neutrogena, Kidman — who is a brand spokeswoman — talked to us about balancing her love of the beach with her family’s history of skin cancer. “It’s why I’m passionate about sunscreen,” she said. “It really does give me the chance to live my life how I want to live it.”

Here, Kidman, 51, shares her tips for navigating the sun, how to get kids into healthy habits, and why her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis turned her onto meditation.


1. Embrace the outdoors. Sunshine has its benefits.

I was in Monterey and I would go swimming in the ocean before we started work on “Big Little Lies.” We are an active, sporty family. Both of my daughters are learning to surf right now. It’s fun. I don’t think sun is bad. I think sun is good. It’s vitamin D. It’s just how much sun you’re exposed to. You have to protect yourself like we do with all things medical.

2. Find the right SPF for your lifestyle.

Being of Irish, English origin, skin cancer is a huge concern. You have to be diligent. It’s just a given, whether it’s genetically a part of your family, which it is in mine, or whether you’ve had a lot of sun exposure, we all have to be careful. I use Neutrogena’s 100+ sunscreen because I can put it on and then put my makeup on and go out and work in the sun with no hat on. Their sheer zinc 50 plus is good as well because it’s waterproof. I use it if I’m surfing or swimming.

3. Get kids into good habits early on.

They say what they see you doing as a parent is what they’ll do. A lot of times my kids just naturally put sunscreen on themselves now. The spray can is helpful. And then there’s a waterproof stick... I also wear those rashie swimsuits, which are covered, but they do not do that.


4. Self-care also impacts your skin and overall health.

If you take care of yourself, your skin does well. Meditation is a really big part of my routine. Just taking 20 minutes a day to meditate. My mother had breast cancer when I was 17 and my father was a psychologist. He’s passed away now, but he started to research stress and cancer and that was when he brought meditation into the family. That’s when we all started. She was diagnosed at 45 and she’s now 78. I always like saying that because I think for a lot of women who are diagnosed young and go through enormous pain and trauma and fear, it’s nice to hear that a woman who was diagnosed at 45 with an aggressive breast cancer is now 78. She’s still going strong.

5. Diet matters.

I don’t smoke. Because, obviously, that’s tried and tested. It really does negatively impact your health and your skin. I love salmon. And I love raspberries, blueberries and blackberries [all foods that promote good skin health]. I have them every morning.


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