Southern California

Free, Public Sunscreen Stations Installed in Santa Monica, Malibu

It's needed now more than ever during an extreme SoCal heat wave.

What to Know

  • Free public sunscreen kiosks will be stationed across Santa Monica and Malibu beaches.
  • The kiosks will remain up through Halloween.
  • BrightGuard's founders say they got the idea when a young friend of theirs was diagnosed with skin cancer.

As Southern California goes through another massive summer heat wave, three organizations are teaming up to make sure beachgoers have free sunscreen.

Sunscreen manufacterer BrightGuard, along with UCLA Health and nonprofit IMPACT Melanoma, are installing 50 sunscreen dispensers across Santa Monica and Malibu beaches. They hope to reduce harmful sun exposure that could lead to skin cancer.

"I know a lot of parents are really vigilant about putting sunscreen on their children" said Jennifer Hsiao, a dermatologist with UCLA Health. "And hopefully the kiosk will be reminders to put it on your child, and put it on yourself to protect yourself too."

In addition to the 50 stations around Santa Monica and Malibu, there are plans to put eight more sunscreen stations throughout Los Angeles County. All the dispensers are set to remain through the end of October. BrightGuard reps say they were inspired to create the dispensers after a friend of one of its founders was diagnosed with skin cancer at a young age.

Former UCLA volleyball player Sinjin Smith attended the unveiling of one such kiosk on the Santa Monica Pier. Smith, a skin cancer survivor, is one of the lucky ones: an estimate of over 9,000 Americans will die of skin cancer just this year. About one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

Doctors say spots that change in color grow in size, or become itchy or bleeding, should be checked out by dermatologist for possible signs of cancer.

NBC4's Austin Green contributed to this report.

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