Don’t skip the sunscreen before heading outside!

Jun 23, 2024, 7:00 AM




SALT LAKE CITY – We all know it’s important to wear sunscreen before stepping outside in the sun, but how many of us do it consistently?

In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Dekker Deacon with the Huntsman Cancer Institute to learn all about sunscreen, from what we should look for in a sunscreen product to how we can monitor for skin damage.

Don't skip the sunscreen before heading outside!…
10 minutes

One reason why many people don’t seem to wear sunscreen regularly is because they don’t have it accessible.

“If you have it around, you’re more likely to put it on, so keep it in places accessible like your car, your bag, or by your front door,” Dr. Deacon said.

The sun produces ultraviolet radiation, and it’s primarily UVB and UVA radiation that can cause damage to our skin. The types of skin damage include wrinkles, fine lines, and photoaging.

“What I’m most concerned about is the development of melanoma and other types of skin cancer like squamous cell and basal cell skin cancers,” Dr. Deacon said.

How sunscreen can help prevent skin damage

All of these are preventable to some extent if you are practicing good sun protection. One of the most common ways to do that is by applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. SPF stands for sun protective factor, and it’s relative to the amount of sun exposure you’re getting. Therefore, it lasts longer if the weather is cloudy or if you’re outside during the evening.

However, it’s not just about having the right sunscreen. Dr. Deacon says it’s just as important to put enough of it on.

“Most patients only apply about a third as much sunscreen as is needed to get that rated SPF. If you’re applying an SPF of 30 and you’re not putting a lot of it on, you’re probably getting closer to a protection factor of 10,” he said.

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Don’t skip the sunscreen before heading outside!