Brooke Shields tells daughters to use sunscreen after her skin cancer scares

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People Magazine is doing a good job releasing details from their Most Beautiful issue. As Hecate has mentioned, they’re doing a 10 year challenge, where women who posed without makeup in 2009 are doing it again. So many of the celebrities have said they’re happier with their looks and just in general now, and that’s true for Brooke Shields too. We’ve already heard from Brooke about her thoughts on aging and staying fit. In this latest excerpt she’s talking about the importance of sunscreen, particularly when it comes to teaching her daughters about preventing skin cancer. She also talked about her famous eyebrows and how she’s grateful for them and how she thinks she looks younger than 53. She does look younger than 53, but you guys tell me not to use that as a compliment anymore. I love when people tell me I look younger than I am that so it will be a hard habit to break.

“I feel like look a lot younger, [Brooke Shields], 53, tells PEOPLE in the 2019 Beautiful issue. “And yet, I still feel like I’m myself.”

[Shields] says her biggest beauty change in the last decade has been prioritizing her use of sunscreen due to health scares over the years.

After learning her lesson about sun protection, Shields now advises her daughters Rowan, 15, and Grier, 12, to start regularly applying sunscreen.

“I don’t want them having stuff cut off their face like I’ve had to in my later years,” [Shields] says. “They just burn so easily. And whenever I have to get a procedure, something burned off, I show it to them. I say, ‘You want this?’ Getting stuff cut off my lip. There was an era where we were baking in the sun, and you can’t do it.”

“My eyebrows are my favorite thing because I don’t have to do much to them,” Shields says. “They have thinned over the years, which is quite shocking, really. But they’ve always been such an important part of the way people see me. As I’ve grown older, I appreciate that I don’t have to use an eyebrow pencil.”

That’s another lesson Shields wants her teenagers with husband Chris Henchy to know: embrace your natural beauty. “I think that it’s important for my kids to see in this age where there’s so much going on with makeup, to not forget that we’re as beautiful and should be as confident without makeup,” she says…

“I am in my place now where I feel like I actually look and feel the best that I have in decades.”

[From People]

I’m very fair and have only had two sunburns as a child that I can remember. All of my day moisturizers have sunscreen, that’s the easiest way to remember to use it. I’m really lucky that my mom taught me to wear sunscreen from an early age. She grew up on Long Island in the 50s and 60s and they used to bake on the beaches. She’s since had treatments for skin cancer similar to what Brooke mentioned. My dad and mom both used cream from the dermatologist that brings out the skin cancer and helps get rid of it. The difference in their skin afterwards is amazing although it was hard for them to go through as your face gets scaly, red and blotchy while you’re doing it. I’ll admit that the main reason I’ve always worn sunscreen though is to prevent wrinkles. I don’t know how much it worked because I still have them, but maybe it would be worse if I didn’t protect my skin so much.

As for her thoughts on going without makeup to show confidence, I always talk about that and you know my position on it. No one should have to prove anything by wearing makeup or not wearing it. Women should be able to make their own choices without pressure and that includes going without makeup as well.

View this post on Instagram

Mondays are always better in a bikini ☀️

A post shared by Brooke Shields (@brookeshields) on

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Brooke, Grier and Rowan in 2017:
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The photo agency says that’s Grier, 13, in the top photo. She looks so grown up and that’s from 2018. Photos credit: WENN and Getty

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44 Responses to “Brooke Shields tells daughters to use sunscreen after her skin cancer scares”

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  1. minx says:

    Her daughters are so pretty. I’ve always liked Brooke and wish her the best.

  2. Erinn says:

    I’m hella fair. Pretty much unhealthy looking pale lol. And I was slathered head to toe in sunscreen as a kid- and forced to wear giant t-shirts and hats at the beach. Because thankfully, my parents didn’t need a skin cancer scare to try to prevent us from getting it.

    One of my aunts has had to have at least two surgeries for skin cancer though – and it was brutal. She’s been lucky that she hasn’t had to do anything beyond the surgeries though. And she always wore sunscreen, but apparently not enough / didn’t reapply often enough.

  3. Kittycat says:

    I never used to wear sunscreen religiously as being from the Caribbean its frowned upon.

    I had about 4 different shades across my body a couple years ago when I figured maybe it’s not a good look!

    Now I regularly use sunscreen and enjoy better even coloured skin.

  4. Char says:

    Just a tip: you also need to apply on your eye lids.

    • Esmom says:

      Oh yes, I have had burned eyelids and it’s terrible. The tips of the ears are often forgotten, too, and that’s where my mom had skin cancer.

      Both my parents have had skin cancer. My dad even had melanoma, but not sun related since it was in an area that wasn’t exposed to the sun. I’m fair with blue eyes and spent my teens as a lifeguard so I feel like it’s only a matter of time until my dermatologist finds something cancerous. Ticking time bomb over here, sigh.

      Brook looks fantastic and her daughters are lovely.

      • Bosandi says:

        Yes, you have to apply sunscreen everywhere. Although it’s almost impossible to put sunscreen there, you have to watch your scalp as well.

        I’m an African-American woman who had melanoma in my late 30′s. They don’t know if it was from sun exposure or not. I’ve always worn sunblock. They said it was maybe from childhood. It was on my ankle of all places and had spread to the lymph nodes – serious business, serious surgeries. I have to get moles and other stuff cut off all the time – once it was on my rear end, another time on the sole of my foot. It’s no fun but better safe than sorry.

        Brooke and her daughters are lovely.

    • Giddy says:

      And on the back of your hands every day. You’ll be grateful you did because your hands show age just as much as your face.

  5. Seraphina says:

    I have olive skin. At the age of 25 my dermatologist put the fear of God in me and said: just because you are lucky to be blessed with this kin doesn’t mean you won’t get skin cancer or wrinkle quickly. then she gave me a lecture on daily sunscreen use. And I’ve been religious about it since. I also wear hats in the summer to block off the sun from my face. And at the beach I go with sunscreen too.

    And as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized beach going all day long is so wrong. I know in. Greece and Brazil, you go to the beach in the am and then after 4. People look horrified to be out between 12-4. The Greeks would say to me: why would you want to bake yourself???

    • Eleonor says:

      I have olive skin too.
      I never roasted myself with sunbathing, I use sunscreen protection, and now I am approaching the 40′s it definitely pays off.

      • Seraphina says:

        Eleanor, me too. It definitely has paid off. My husband notices it too when we see women younger than me who look older. I just can’t understand the love of worshipping the sun. 20 minutes a day with my face protected and I get my vitamin D too.

      • Eleonor says:

        Because in your 20′s and 30′s it gives you that “young bronzed” colour, but after you reach 35 or even less everything the damages show up on your face.

  6. HeyThere! says:

    My mom still bakes in oil in the summer sometimes on her legs! Yikes! I have always been obsessed with sunscreen. I’m in my 30’s and nobody believes me. Idk. Lol I’ll take it. I have rash guards, giant hats, sun glasses, giant sunglasses….and I do all these things for my babies too. I’m very white, but when I’m in the sun I get dark, fast. Just in my genetics on my dads side. But yeah. I’m one of those weird people who get comments for wearing long sleeves most days in the summer. It’s lightweight stuff and no I’m not hot, it keeps me cool by keeping the sun off me. People drive me crazy with comments.

    • Kittycat says:

      People love to comment on your personal choices! I used to get it all the time.

    • Erinn says:

      lol … I’m from Nova Scotia – so not a crazy hot place. I went to Disney in senior year of highschool during a time when we were being pummeled with blizzards while at home. I sat on that freaking typhoon lagoon beach in a light hoodie, sunglasses, a hat, and had pulled the hoodie down over my legs.

      I legitimately got hives from the sun. My body just basically got shell shocked haha.

    • Olive says:

      i get the same comments for wearing a big sun hat or carrying an umbrella if i’m going to be out in midday sun – i just let it roll off my back since i know i’ll have much better skin in 20 years than anyone commenting on what i’m wearing!

      • KidV says:

        I carry an umbrella if I’m going to be outside for any length of time. I’ve had a few people ask if I’d share.

      • HeyThere! says:

        I also carry an umbrella! Ha! Giant umbrella at the zoo because it was too sunny to just stand be in it all day without cover! Team umbrella!!!

    • Seraphina says:

      Big hats and sunglasses, I’m in!!! I used to hear people ask why I wear sunglasses in winter, to protect my eyes from the cold wind when I walk to work!!!

      I have a picture with a friend from Sweden and we are in the sun and my mom said: look at this, the olive complexed one (who doesn’t really need it) is in a hat, long sleeves and and big sunglasses and your friend is in a tee and no sun protection. And well, it shows in the skin.

  7. Adrien says:

    My Mom still uses the OG of Sunscreens, Coppertone even for everyday use. I’m not even sure if that product is still in the market but I still see that in her drawer. She looks great so it’s good. But that thing is sticky and smelly and make your face shiny and white. I gave her Biore water sunscreen and a Korean brand (both cheaper than Coppertone) that blends well with makeup but she swears by the American beach staple.

  8. smcollins says:

    My skin is pretty damaged from over exposure (I live near the beach and used to go almost daily during the summer, just laying in the sun). My mom as been treated for skin cancer a couple of times. Now that I have kids I’m obsessed with keeping them covered in sunscreen and long sleeve rash guards, while I tend to stay under the umbrella and also slathered in sunscreen. My 5-year-old already knows that if we go to the beach or he wants to go in the backyard and play in his little pool sunscreen is an absolute must.

  9. Bunny says:

    Brooke and I are the same age, and I still pass for late-30′s to early-40′s. Part of it is genetic (my maternal grandmother looked several decades younger than her actual age), but part of it is years of sunscreen, hats, and sleeves.

    I grew up in Southern California, and am very fair in spite of having dark hair. I tanned a bit as a teen-ager, but always found laying in the sun boring, which I’m so grateful for now.

    If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to wear sunscreen, sleeves, and hats! It makes the biggest difference once you hit 35 or so. You won’t be sorry.

  10. Ali says:

    You know who else is 53?
    Elizabeth Hurley.
    Maybe this is what 53 really looks like on former models….

    The thing I hate most about my former days in the sun are the spots on my chest. I’d love to have those lasered off. I feel like those age me more than any wrinkle on my face.

    • Esmom says:

      I feel your pain about your chest, I also think my chest aged more quickly than the rest of my skin. My collarbone is pretty prominent so it was always a magnet for the rays, lol, no matter how much sunscreen I put on.

      My dermatologist lasered some spots off a few years ago, it helped a ton. I felt immediately less self-conscious about my chest. It’s not cheap, though. We had agreed on a set number of zaps and she went a bit over because she seemed to be enjoying it so much. I was counting them in my head worrying about the price but she didn’t charge me for the extras. So I got a few bonus zaps, lol.

  11. Billbop says:

    You know that higher levels of vitamin D protect against cancers (including breast) and heart disease. Recent studies have shown that supplements do not provide this protective effect. Also, the majority of skin cancers are basal and squamous which are rarely deadly. Melanomas, the dangerous skin cancer, are very rare and show up more often on people who get LESS sun exposure and/or had severe sunburns as children/adolescents. So don’t let your kid get sunburned!

    This fear of the sun is ridiculous, we need Vit D, and the nitric oxide produced from sun exposure. Have you read studies on many of the common sunscreens, they contain hormone blockers among other nasty things. And zinc, the only “safe” one , might not be safe if it is nano-particle sized. Why are people so scared of the sun they spread poison on their skin daily, even if they work inside?

    I have kids and we don’t spend much time outside in the middle of the day in the summer sun without hats/long sleeves. Physical sun barriers like these provide 100% sun protection, chemical-free. But we don’t worry about sunscreen otherwise and make sure to get light tans when possible. We are of German/Norwegian/English descent, so very white, so we don’t need a lot of sun to get and stay healthy. But we do need regular doses! I noticed my anxiety and mood improves if I get more sun too.

    Anyway, do some research on sun benefits and the actual risks of dying from skin cancer. My entire German side were all sun worshipers and would get savage tans all summer long. They all had a few basal cell cancers cut off but lived healthily until their late 90’s. And their skin might have had some sun spots/wrinkles, but who cares. Dermatologists are trying to terrify us, ignoring the rest of our body. If vit D supplements were enough then that would be great, but as I said recent research is showing this not to be true, so you might be increasing your risk of non-skin cancers/heart disease/inflammation/anxiety/depression to keep away wrinkles/basal/squamous cancers that aren’t deadly.

    • Olive says:

      if you want to know why people are scared of the sun look at brooke’s chest – that is sun damage. it ages you badly.

    • Jaded says:

      Actually, latest research shows that there is no proof vitamin D can help prevent cancer. I ended up with breast cancer so to trivialize what I went through was because of low levels of vitamin D is just stupid. Please read this article before you lecture those of us who prefer not to wreck our skin by tanning. My mother baked herself in the sun for decades and by the time she was in her sixties she was disfigured from all the skin cancers she’d had removed from her forehead, nose and chest. Her skin was severely damaged. I take a vitamin D3 supplement and get enough sun to generate my own. If I am going to be out in the sun for any longer than 20 minutes I always use sunscreen, wear a hat and dark glasses as another side-effect of too much time in the sun is cataracts and macular degeneration, both of which my mother had as well.

      https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2018/vitamin-d-supplement-cancer-prevention

    • paranormalgirl says:

      I’m a doctor and I don’t go out in the sun without sunscreen, nor did I let my spawn. They still use sunscreen and we live part time in the Bahamas. You still get the benefits of vitamin D even with sunblock since nothing completely filters out the UVB. SPF 30 blocks 97% UVB That still leaves you with enough to trigger the D3 production.

      • PleaseAndThankYou says:

        Thank you, as usual, for your incredibly well-stated comment based on your knowledge and expertise as a medical professional. I appreciate you, @paranormalgirl!

    • SKF says:

      Ha ha ha! Try living in Australia without using sunscreen! You won’t last long! I am a 50+ girl (and I actually get really tanned even wearing that). I don’t bake, I swim, dry and leave. I have kaftans, and I wear hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, other cover-ups… I never go to the beach in the middle of the day or for too long in summer. In Tasmania (which has the hole in the ozone layer above it) you can burn so easily even when it is cool and overcast. I don’t even garden without full coverage there. I get plenty of vitamin D, plenty of sun, and yet I look better than many peers in my mid-30s and hopefully won’t have skin cancer. I know a number of people of my parents’ generation who have died from skin cancer.

  12. Lucy2 says:

    I live near the beach, but don’t like baking in the sun, so I spend most of the time under the umbrella. When I was a kid though, I was always outside in a pool, no sunscreen! As a result I’ve had to have several spots tested when in my 30s, but luckily ok so far.

    Brooke looks great, maybe a few years younger than 53, but just great in general. Her daughters are quite pretty too, I didn’t expect them to be so fair. Nice that they seem to be living a private life despite famous parents.

  13. Ashipper says:

    I think she looks 53. Fifty three doesn’t have to look hideous. We are the same age, so I experienced her fame and beauty in real time and have seen how she’s changed and I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying she looks 53. She definitely looks like she puts a lot of effort into staying fit, so good for her on that point.

  14. Olive says:

    she’s gone through all that and she’s still sunbathing in a bikini. her chest area especially is badly sun-damaged – you’d think she’d realize by now that the sun is NOT her friend! you can wear all the sunscreen you want but it’s still better to stay in the shade.

  15. KidV says:

    I’m fair skin and have had too many sunburns to count. I grew up in the desert in the 70′s, laying out every day in the summer to work on my tan. Surprisingly, I haven’t had a cancer scare – yet.

    Vitamin C serum has saved my skin. I don’t have wrinkles or sun damage on my face or chest. I’m 55 and don’t look it. I can’t recommend using it enough. Start in your early 30′s, by the time you hit your 50′s you’ll thank me. lol

  16. Dizzy says:

    I’m 53 too. My mom always put coppertone 4 or 6 on us. That was the highest number back then. I’m glad, less wrinkles and so far no carcinoma. Also, I’m Canadian. Half the year in the dark makes you look young!!

  17. Giddy says:

    I have fair skin I have used sunscreen religiously every day for over 30 years. Here’s the payoff: no skin cancers, no age spots, very few wrinkles and generally great skin. I’m an old, kids, so hark unto my wisdom. I’m 70 and can easily pass for 50. My dermatologist has pictures of me in her office to show the benefits of wearing sunscreen. There are so many great products now that have high SPF, and it’s definitely worth taking the time to find the best one for you. You’ll be so grateful later, and you’ll look great!

    • Jaded says:

      Ditto – I’m 66 and look 20 years younger. Hardly any wrinkles or spots – I have friends who were sun worshipers in our younger days and they look every inch their age. Yes I was ridiculed for being “pale and interesting” but it sure paid off.

  18. Veronica S. says:

    I’m fair skinned and have had…hmm, 3-4 really bad burns in my life when I was kid/teen, and that was the end of that. I wear it religiously on my face year round, and in the summer, I wear at least SPF15 on my body. If I’m out for long periods of time, it’s SPF50+ and nothing less, and usually the ones based on titanium oxide rather than organic chemicals. I reapply it every couple of hours I’m out, too – and you generally won’t see me in tank tops. I have a massive number of freckles on my shoulders from one really awful burn when I was 19 or so, and I learned my lesson. It’s just not worth the cancer risk, not to mention how much UV damage contributes to aging.

  19. sommolierlady says:

    Her daughters are adorable.

  20. Naddie says:

    I’d have a chip to produce sunscreen in my skin if I could. I live in a hot and sunny place, so I sweat a lot and I need to apply again at every 1 hour. Tiresome.

  21. Sorella says:

    I thought she did botox few years back, because at one point her eyebrows were crazy angry boxed looking.

    Her daughters are lovely and she looks great. Brooke looks about 50, and there is nothing wrong with that, but she doesn’t look much , much younger than that as she says but she proberly FEELS younger. She’s a good 50 though, very fit.

  22. Val says:

    Sunscreen is good and there’s zero reason to use any daily moisturizer that doesn’t include it. However: what’s even better is stopping deliberate sun exposure, i.e., tanning in addition to that.