The 'Big C' star talks about easy ways to stay safe in the sun

By Kate Hogan
Updated July 01, 2011 04:00 PM

Amanda Schwab/Startraks

Fair-skinned Laura Linney is no stranger to sunburns, sunscreen … or skin cancer. Growing up with a mother who worked at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the actress has always “been very aware of cancer and how fierce a disease it is.” And now that she’s playing a character fighting stage four melanoma on Showtime’s The Big C, Linney is working to spread the word about skin protection and cancer prevention. Speaking to PEOPLE at Cosmopolitan‘s Safe Sun Awards in Manhattan on Wednesday, where she was honored for her efforts to battle melanoma, she said, “Any attention that I can help raise, I am happy to do.” Her number one piece of advice? “Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen,” she emphasized. “There are now so many different kinds of sunscreen. There are lotions, there are sprays, there are powders. There’s something for everybody out there.” But protecting your skin can come with its fashion perks, too. “I wear a lot of scarves because I get very burned,” she said, adding, “I love hats. I do the big crazy, southern-lady gardening hat, I do the baseball cap; I love fedoras.” If you do crave that golden glow, “Roxanne Rizzo has a spray tan that’s very, very good,” Linney shared. But staying sun-safe doesn’t mean you can’t hit the beach or spend an afternoon outside. “Everything in moderation,” she said. “It just means you have to grow up and be a little responsible about it.” —Hannah Kay Hunt