How to Prevent Your Nose From Getting Sunburned

by Michelle Miley ; Updated August 14, 2017

Every nose requires a little extra sun protection.

Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images

No matter how small and button-like it may be, your nose sticks out farther than the rest of your face, making it more prone to sunburn. In fact, the nose is the most common location for skin cancer, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation. Unfortunately, skin cancer on the nose is also one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer and is difficult to treat due to the complex anatomy of the nose. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect yourself and your nose from the sun every day -- not just when you are at the beach or on the ski slopes.

Avoid sun exposure when the sun is at its brightest -- between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. When you are out during the day, seek out shade or create your own with an umbrella or hat.

Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to your nose. For best results, apply the sunscreen generously 30 minutes before sun exposure so the lotion has time to soak into your skin. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours, as well as after swimming.

Apply opaque zinc oxide to your nose for added protection.

Wear a sun hat with a brim that is at least 3 inches wide to protect your nose and the rest of your face from sunburn. Wide-brimmed sun hats offer much better protection than baseball hats do. Dark-colored under-brims are best as they absorb more of the ultraviolet rays that are reflected up to your face by water, sand and snow.


  • Remember that the sun’s rays are still strong and potentially harmful even on cloudy and cold days. On a gray day, more than 70 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays reach you and can still cause sunburn. Sun protection is also a concern during the winter months, so dab some sunscreen on your nose before shoveling or playing in the snow.

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  • Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.