Shine in the summer sun...Putting your best face forward

March 12, 2008

Sitting in the bleachers on opening day at Wrigley Field, jogging on the lakefront or just dining with friends at a sidewalk café all required special precautions from protecting skin.

“Like clothing, which can change with the weather, you skin also changes with the humidity, the sun factor and the heat or cold,” explains Amy Forman Taub, M.D., founder and medical director of Advanced Dermatology, Skinfo and SKINQRI in Lincolnshire. “If you take care of it on a daily basis and are prepared for the challenges of Chicago’s changeable weather you will be rewarded with healthy looking skin.”

Taub suggests using a sunscreen and an antioxidant everyday.

“An antioxidant is your second line of protection against the sun,” Taub says. “It soaks up free radicals as they are formed and prevents damage.”

Currently the sun protection factor (SPF) display on packaging only rates a sunscreen’s ability to protect against UVB, which is the burning type of ray. In the upcoming year, the food and drug administration (FDA) will require sunscreens to also list UVA protection, which causes the skin to age. Taub recommends using daily SPF 30 that contains zinc oxide as its main active ingredient or new products called helioplex.

“These ingredients block out the longer UV rays which cause sunspots, skin cancer and collagen damage [that leads to] wrinkles and skin laxity,” Taub says. A perfect tan is a symbolic of summer, but the health risks are making more and more women turn to do-it-yourself tanning products.

“Things have improved so much with self tanning products over the last 18 years,” says Jennifer Pfeifer, studio owner of Merle Norman locations in Buffalo Grove and Arlington Heights. “Things have come a long way. There are self-tanners for the body and bronzers for the face that are much more natural, easy to use and smell good.”

—Pioneer Press