Author Archives: ZO Skin Health


It’s the night before your big event, and as luck would have it, your skin is not behaving properly.

Cancelling is not an option, but camouflaging the imperfections certainly is.

To the rescue: ZO Skin Health Offects® Correct & Conceal. This targeted spot treatment helps eradicate acne and is tinted for light or medium skin tone to conceal blemishes. It’s a win-win. Dr. Zein Obagi recommends cleaning the skin thoroughly before applying Correct & Conceal. Then, he says, cover the entire area with a thin layer of product one to three times per day. Start slowly with just one application a day as excessive dying of the skin may occur, he warns. “Gradually increase to two or three times daily if needed,” he says. “If bothersome dryness or peeling occurs, reduce application to once a day or every other day.”

Other ways to camouflage any blemishes or imperfections include:

Taking a Tip or Two From The Pros

Many professional make-up artists also have their own hacks on how to cover up a blemish, smooth skin tone and/or neutralize skin discolorations. Their secret: corrective color. For example, a green corrector neutralizes the redness of rosacea or broken blood vessels, while orange neutralizes dark brown spots or hyperpigmentation.

Refocusing the Eyes

If a pimple has taken up residence your forehead, apply bright red lipstick to divert eyes to your lips. It never fails!

Protecting While Covering

While covering up imperfections is important, never sacrifice sun protection. Many sunscreens do double duty – protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and evening out skin tone. For example, Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30 features a universal tint, serving as both a sunscreen and a primer.

All of these trouble-shooting tips can help your skin look its best on your big day or night, but if your skin is breaking out repeatedly, your rosacea is flaring more often or your sun spots or age spots become bothersome, see a dermatologist to discuss all of your treatment options. To locate a ZO skincare specialist near you, visit


Lumps and bumps can appear on your skin – seemingly out of nowhere. Before you hit the panic button, take a deep breath and remember that not all skin lesions are dangerous.

Trinidad-based dermatologist Rachael Eckel, MD, the principal trainer for ZO® Skin Health in Europe, sheds some new light on a few of the more common benign skin lumps and bumps.

Sebaceous Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of oil on the skin.  They usually feel like large peas and can develop as a result of infection or clogging of sebaceous (oil) glands. Sebaceous cysts typically grow slowly, are usually painless, and have a smooth appearance. If a sebaceous cyst is bothersome, it can be removed surgically. Occasionally, cysts become infected and require medical care. How can you tell? When a cyst becomes infected it usually grows rapidly, hurts, and the skin surrounding the area can become very warm to the touch and red. In these cases, your dermatologist may drain the cyst and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Sometimes steroid injections are also needed to cool inflammation.

Lentigines (liver spots) are freckles or age spots that occur on the arms, legs, and face or any sun-exposed area of the skin. They are various shades of brown and have a clearly-defined edge surrounded by normal-appearing skin and a flat surface. There are lasers and many bleaching creams available to help eliminate lentigos, but they are harmless. If you have a lentigo that starts to rapidly grow, change color, itch, or bleed see your doctor for evaluation. This may signal lentigo maligna, a form of the potentially fatal skin cancer melanoma.

Seborrheic Keratosis has a waxy brown, black, red or white appearance. These are rough lumps that can grow rapidly anywhere on the body. A Seborrheic Keratosis can appear suddenly, grow rapidly, be multi-colored and itch. They are harmless, but if bothersome, there are many ways to remove Seborrheic Keratosis. Most removal treatments involve lasers or excision. There is, however, much hope being pinned on an investigational topical product called A-101. It works by penetrating into the lesion and causing oxidative damage, which can ultimately result in the sloughing of the cells. Stay tuned.

Warts are viral-caused painless growths typically caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They can be disfiguring and embarrassing and they can sometimes itch or become irritated. Your dermatologist has a whole tool box to address warts including “painting” them with cantharidin to cause a blister to form under the wart, killing it and cryotherapy (freezing) among others.

Skin Tags (acrochordon) are soft, skin-colored growths that hang from the surface of the skin on a thin piece of tissue. They typically appear the skin folds of the neck, armpits, and torso, beneath the breasts or in the genital area. They are harmless, but can become irritated if clothing or jewelry rubs against them. They are permanent unless you have them removed. There are many ways for a dermatologist to remove skin tags that become bothersome.

This is just a guide.  There is no substitute for a visit with your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to diagnose any skin condition. When in doubt, always check it out. If something on your skin is bothering you, there is no downside to scheduling a visit with your doctor to find out what you need to know.

To locate a ZO skincare specialist near you, visit


Dry, flaky, itchy skin and cold weather go hand in hand.

Winter winds and cold weather leaves skin flaky, red and rough. Severely dry skin (xerosis) can show up on your arms, hands, lower legs, ankles and even your scalp.

Dry skin needs more moisture and barrier protection so that your skin’s natural moisture does not escape.

Reverse dry skin and restore moisture by:

Taking shorter showers

Limit yourself to a single 5- or 10-minute shower or bath each day. Spending more time in the water often leaves your skin less hydrated than before you started, the American Academy of Dermatology states.

Cooling it

Hot water strips the essential oils from your skin, drying it out. Opt for warm or cool water, never hot.

Smearing on lotion

Apply body lotion right after your shower and bath when your skin is still moist. Read the labels and look for certain ingredients. Ceramides, or synthetic ceramides, help skin retain water and soothe dry skin. Dimethicone and glycerin draws water to the skin and keeps it there. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is like ceramides and also helps the skin to retain moisture. Lanolin, mineral, and petroleum jelly help skin hold on to the water absorbed during bathing.

Dr. Zen Obagi recommends Ommerse® Overnight Recovery Crème. It works overnight to repair and regenerate severely dry, irritated skin. He suggests applying one or two pumps on the face and neck 30 minutes before bedtime for best results.

Choosing and using gentle products

Look for unscented, soap-free, or mild soap cleaners. These will be the least likely to irritate and exacerbate dry skin problems.

Turning the humidifier on

Indoor air is dry, but using a humidifier at home to keep skin hydrated during winter months.

If you feel your skin is itchy or inflamed, apply a cool compress or an over the counter hydrocortisone cream on the area for a few days to one week. See your dermatologist or ZO skincare professional for more tips and tools to help resolve your dry, itchy winter skin.


I will lose weight … I will join a gym …I will get a clearer complexion. A coming New Year often heralds a laundry list of resolutions about things we will do more of or less of in the future. Many are set ups to fail. In fact, fully 45 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions every year, and just 8 percent of us keep them, according to

The key to sticking with your New Year’s resolutions is to create an actionable plan that is not too overwhelming yet provides clear and visible benefits. If your resolution is to get your glow on and achieve a clear, youthful complexion, Dr. Zein Obagi’s “GSR Getting Skin Ready” plan can help. GSR eliminates skin sensitivity, restores hydration and enhances skin health.

Start fresh

Starting fresh is the perfect way to ring in a new year. That’s why the first step in Dr. Obagi’s GSR regimen is to use a cleanser such as Offects® Hydrating Cleanser to remove surface debris.


ZO Rx: Moisten your hands and apply a small amount to your damp face and neck. Massage for one minute and then rinse thoroughly.

Out with the old

Sticking with the New Year’s theme here, the best way to jumpstart skin health is to exfoliate regularly. This helps get rid of dead skin cells and makes room for newer, healthier ones. Offects® Exfoliating Polish does just this.

ZO Rx: Exfoliate your skin two to three times a week. Bonus: regular exfoliation enhances the penetration of other your skincare products.

Oust Oil


Oil control puts the brakes on breakouts and keeps skin healthy and vital.  Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment works well on all skin types, and gets the job done.

ZO Rx: Use pads twice a day, AM and PM.  A toner may also help eliminate oil. Dr. Obagi suggests using Balatone™ Calming Toner, pH Balancer in the morning and evening after cleansing.

Following the GSR plan will surely reboot your outer glow and keep your complexion healthy for the rest of the year.


We spend hours styling and caring for our hair, but most of us don’t give our scalp the time of day. That’s unfortunate as healthy hair and a healthy scalp typically travel together. If your scalp isn’t in prime condition, odds are your hair is isn’t ready for prime time either.

Here’s how to care for your scalp (and your hair!)

Go on a shampoo diet

As the weather grows cooler and the humidity drops, your scalp and hair will retain less moisture.  Over shampooing will further strip away this needed moisture. During your daily shower, either wet your hair without adding shampoo, or cover it completely and save yourself another blow dry. Dry shampoo can also sop up the oil that makes your hair look greasy and buy time between shampoos and pricey blow drys.

Tip: A scalp massage during your shower will help stimulate blood circulation to the hair follicles (and it feels great).

Ditch the dandruff

If you notice white flakes on all of your clothes and it’s not snowing outside, you may have dandruff. Try an antidandruff shampoo to see if it improves the situation. Follow the instructions on the label for maximum benefits. See your dermatologist if your condition doesn’t improve or worsens.

Add a conditioner to your routine

Occasional use of a moisturizing conditioner (even just on the ends of your hair) can decrease static electricity, smooth split ends and protect your hair from harsh winter weather. Deep conditioning hair masks can also rejuvenate damaged hair. Use a mask once a week.

Dial down the heat

Blow dry your hair on the cool or warm setting, never hot as heat can burn the scalp and damage the hair. Air dry your hair occasionally as well to minimize damage.

Dim the (high)lights

Consider going one or two shades darker for the fall and winter to give your hair a break from the damaging effects of over highlighting. If you also get treatments that change your hair texture – straightening, for example, decide which one is more important to you or discuss the best ways to space them out with a trusted hair stylist.

Just chillax

Stress and anxiety make everything worse – including hair loss and scalp health issues. Find something that helps you take the edge off and do it on a daily basis. Medication, yoga, regular exercise and deep breathing can all reduce stress.

See your dermatologist

Increased itching, dryness, and irritation can mask a more serious scalp condition such as scalp psoriasis. See your dermatologist or ZO skincare professional to find out more.


Hyperpigmentation is one of the most challenging problems reported by dermatologists and other skincare professionals. An over production of melanin, and uneven distribution of melanin can show up in several ways, and presents difficulties for many people, particularly in darker skin types.

Pigment can also be complicated to treat safely and effectively. Some topical agents can be difficult to tolerate for prolonged periods and inconsistent sun protection habits can make it worse. All of the unwanted signs of sun damage are a universal problem that can affect all skin types, from very fair to very dark skin.

We have all seen what happens to skin that gets exposed to the sun’s harmful rays. It looks sallow, feels dry, becomes mottled with dark patches and blotches, and generally looks old and dull. Chronic exposure to ultraviolet light results in severe skin damage; translation: lines, wrinkles, and brown spots that nobody wants to see.

New Way To Reverse Pigmentation

ZO Medical Melamin-C™ Skin Bleaching and Correcting Creme contains (4%) hydroquinone and 20% vitamin C to correct even the most severe and advanced forms of hyperpigmentation. A potent level of 20% vitamin C works to accelerate the exfoliation of existing surface pigmentation to create a more uniform skin tone. In addition, antioxidants help calm and soothe irritated skin, making this very potent formula easy to tolerate for most people.

Melamin-C works well for melasma, freckles and age spots. The addition of a potent strength of 20% vitamin C helps enhance skin brightening and reverse superficial pigmentation. An anti-irritant complex consisting of sichuan pepper fruit extract, sunflower seed oil and rosemary leaf extract helps keep inflammation and redness to a minimum.

For best results, Melamin-C should be applied to skin areas twice daily, and the use of a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or above is mandatory. Ask your ZO® skincare professional if Melamin-C is right for you.


When November rolls around, you can’t go very far without seeing a turkey or two. But the last place you want to be reminded of turkeys is in the mirror. If you are troubled by a turkey neck, you will be pleased to learn that there are new ways to cope. The excess fat and saggy skin in this tricky area can be hereditary in many cases, and can show up in women and men at almost any age. There is now a great selection of new and novel treatments that can help to get your turkey neck under control.

If you’re interested in neck contouring that is effective, yet non-invasive, CoolSculpting® (Zeltiq) offers the Cool Mini applicator that was designed especially for treating this key area. This FDA-cleared treatment can restore definition to your chin and jawline by freezing unwanted fat cells with zero downtime.

More recently, FDA-approved Kybella™ (Allergan) was introduced to reduce the fat deposits under your chin. This treatment involves a series of 2 to 6 sessions of injections to dissolve fat deposits. There is some swelling and mild redness and you can return to normal activities over a weekend.

Another excellent option to sculpt the area under your chin is minimally-invasive liposuction. This can be performed on local anesthesia with or without sedation to keep you comfortable. Your dermatologist or plastic surgeon will make tiny incisions under the chin and behind your ears to suction our small amounts of fat with a thin instrument. A chin strap will be applied to wear for several days. There is minimally swelling and bruising and you can get back to enjoying your life with new confidence very quickly.

All of these popular neck-contouring treatments can provide noticeable and rapid results with minimal downtime.


Tis the season for holiday party after holiday party after holiday party. Between office parties, college friends, your partner’s office party and all of the family-friendly fetes, you have one busy dance card.

Your head is likely spinning when you start to think about all the prep and primping you’ll need to look your best at each event. Dr. Zein Obagi has a practical solution with long-lasting benefits.

The ZO® 3-Step Peel targets hyperpigmentation, acne, fine lines, rough texture, large pores and dullness, and works on all skin types.

Step 1 is the actual peel itself, which is formulated to remove the outermost layer of skin. Composed of salicylic acid (17%), trichloracetic acid (10%) and lactic acid (5%), the peel also contains saponins to minimize inflammation and glycerin for hydration.

Step 2 is the application of the Stimulating 6% Retinol Crème, which stimulates deep-down cellular function. The results include collagen enhancement as well as firming and wrinkle reduction.

Step 3 is the use of the Revitatrol™ Epidermal Repair Creme which minimizes inflammation and irritation from the first two steps while restoring the moisture balance of the skin. It also is one of the reasons that the downtime with those peels is so minimal, but the results are so incredible. Your skin will be aglow after just one peel, and results will grow more dramatic with time.

Dr. Obagi recommends using ZO® Skin Health Ossential® Advanced Radical Night Repair Plus or the even more potent ZO Medical Retamax Active Vitamin A Micro Emulsion for three to four weeks before having the 3-Step Stimulation Peel. The skin needs to be primed to tolerate the peel safely, and using Retinol or retinoids consistently will help strengthen the skin to improve barrier function. The ZO® 3-Step Stimulation Peel can be repeated every three to four weeks, or as needed.

Other options for pre-party season skin smoothing include microdermabrasion with Hydrafacial and/or skin-tightening lasers such Fraxel, which stimulate your collagen production from within.

Talk to your dermatologist about the best way to get your holiday glow on. Cheers!


Walking in a Winter Wonderland can be anything but wonderful for and on our skin. Harsh winter weather can leave skin dry, flaky and itchy.

Our skin becomes dry when it loses too much water or oil, and this tends to occur more dramatically in winter months. Extremely dry winter skin, in turn, can lead to inflammation.

Prevent this vicious cycle by stepping up winter skincare today with:


Dr. Zein Obagi recommends exfoliating daily during the winter months to get rid of dead, dry skin and allow younger, healthier skin cells to emerge. ZO® Skin Health Offects® Exfoliating Polish is effective without risk of irritation, making it a win-win for winter.


Sunscreen isn’t just for summer. It is important in winter too. In fact, snow can double UV exposure because it reflects sunlight. ZO® Skin Health’s Oclipse® Sunscreen comprises two different physical sunscreens plus melanin to protect the skin all year long.

Avoidance of hot water

No matter how cold you get, hot water will dehydrate your skin, deplete its natural oils, and worsen dry skin. After showering, pat skin dry, and apply ZO® Skin Health Oraser® Body Emulsion Plus to restore hydration and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier. Always choose unscented, soap-free, or mild soap cleansers. These will be the least likely to irritate and exacerbate dry skin problems. Along the same lines, avoid the overuse of heaters as they can also worsen dry, winter skin. Instead, plug in your humidifer and make sure to drink enough water and load up on omega-3-rich foods. Omega 3’s fight inflammation and can be found in cold-water fish like salmon and halibut, flax, walnuts, and safflower oil. These friendly fats help fortify the skin’s natural oil-retaining barriers.

If you feel your skin is itchy or inflamed, despite all of these prevention efforts, apply a cool compress or a hydrocortisone cream on the area for a week. Sometimes dry, itchy skin may be a result of eczema or atopic dermatitis. See a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and skincare advice.


Healthy skin needs the basics like plenty of H20, key vitamins and minerals, and specific nutrients like essential fatty acids that keep skin supple.

Your body’s organs, including the skin, which is the largest organ, need these fatty acids to function optimally. Omega-3 is called an essential fatty acid because it is essential to your health.  Because the human body doesn’t produce it, it is also essential in your diet. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats, which are vital nutrients. Omega-3 is used to regulate blood clotting, build cell membranes and support cell health.

Omega-3 fatty acids are an important component of a healthy skin diet. Two crucial ones, EPA and DHA, are mainly found in fish including salmon and tuna. Another vital omega-3 fatty acid, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), can be found in plant sources such as nuts like walnuts, and seeds such as wheat germ. Edamame, pinto, or kidney beans are great sources to boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Look for oils that are high in omega-3s for sautéing, baking, and dressing salads include canola, soybean, and walnut oils.

It is important to note that Omega-3 is easily damaged by oxygen, light and heat, so eating foods that contain them raw is the best way to get them into your system. If you can’t eat them raw, baking or broiling will cause less nutrient loss than frying or boiling. So if you are eating Omega-3 enriched eggs for example, eating them scrambled in a pan or in an omelet may be more beneficial than frying them up. And throwing in some spinach or kale is a great idea because leafy greens are loaded with Omega-3 too.

If you can’t get enough Omega-3 in your daily diet, fish oil supplements are a last resort. Eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to get the nutrients your body and skin need.