Category Archives: Retinol

Hydroquinone-Free Products Reign Supreme

According to leading cosmetics industry market research firm Kline & Company, “While hydroquinone (HQ) has been the gold standard ingredient in the physician dispense arena for the treatment of hyperpigmentation, this ingredient is surrounded with controversy due to some of its reported side effects. Europe has banned HQ in concentrations greater than 1% and in the United States it has been banned from five states – New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Montana, and Texas.” Kline also cites this trend as the reason for the rise of  hydroquinone-free or HQ-free skin brightening products featuring alternatives to HQ.

Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi has been at the forefront of reversing hyperpigmentation for 30 years. However, he has raised concerns about the abuse and overuse of hydroquinone without medical supervision that has arisen due to the Internet. “For many consumers, hydroquinone is like an old friend who inexplicably turns on you. They may have used it for years, trusting that their dermatologist – or, frequently, some Internet pharmacy – would never recommend a product that could harm them. But over time, some of these consumers commonly develop new pigment problems in the areas where they have faithfully applied hydroquinone. The product they bought to lighten sunspots, melasma, or other hyperpigmentation paradoxically leaves them with tough-to-treat issues such as severe rebound hyperpigmentation.”

Due to this plea for caution, Dr. Obagi has developed hydroquinone-free alternatives that work synergistically for visible skin brightening, without the side effects associated with long term use of hydroquinone. Through extensive research, the ZO Skin Health team has created the ZO Non-Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System for Skin Brightening  that contains 4 key products to help reverse discoloration, including

This breakthrough system reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation without the use of hydroquinone or retinol. It works to brighten your skin tone and lessen the appearance of discoloration and brown spots, for a more even complexion. Because the formulation is hydroquinone-free, it is gentle and easy to tolerate without irritation when used under your ZO doctor’s supervision.

The results are younger, brighter, healthier-looking skin and you will start to see results in 2-3 weeks with consistent application. Don’t forget that getting brighter skin means practicing safe sun.

 

First Signs of Spring

The first day of Spring is finally in our sights. In many parts of the country, the first sign of tulips and green leaves on the trees with birds chirping will bring a welcome relief from a cold, harsh winter. And the anticipation of spring making its way is also a reminder that it’s time to step up your skin care regimen as the seasons are changing.

Springtime will naturally be about spending time outdoors, running, jogging, playing sports and taking the kids and dogs to the park. So your first defense against UV rays and protect your skin from free radical damage is a broad spectrum sunscreen. To insure adequate protection, the general rule is to use a tablespoon of SPF 30+ for your face and a shot glass to cover your body. ZO Medical Oclipse-C Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF50 offers daily multi-defense protection. If you plan to sweat or go swimming, reapply your SPF as needed to maintain coverage.

Think of spring as the season to exfoliate and get rid of lingering dead skin cells that have built up during the winter and can cause your complexion to look dull and pale. Slough off dead skin cells with gentle scrubs for your arms, legs, chest, neck and face that contain microbeads, such as our bestselling ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Polish.

For your face, dead cells and debris will come off to reveal softer, fresher, rosier skin beneath with a dose of ZO Medical Invisapeel Intensive Resurfacing Peel.  Use Invisapeel several times weekly, or once per week if your skin is thin or tends to be dry, and watch your radiance return.

Since skin tends to be dry the during cold winter months, switch out the heavier creams you may have been using for lighter lotions or serums. In the spring, your skin will benefit from retinol to help improve tone, texture, fight acne, and minimize the appearance of fine lines and pores. ZO Skin Health Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair is the pen ultimate retinol serum for daily use.

If your skin is oily, make sure to use ZO Medical TE Pads Acne Pore Treatment to keep breakouts under control, as skin tends to have more oil production when the weather starts to warm up.

Lastly, spring is the ideal opportunity to see your dermatologist for a full body check to make sure your skin is free of any suspicious lesions that could be pre-cancerous or skin cancer. It could save your life!

Alpha Arbutin – A NEW Retinol Alternative

The ZO Medical range was specifically developed as an intensive daily skincare program that slows down premature aging and skin damage, and helps to maintain healthy skin for the long term.

One of the newest additions to the ZO Medical roster is Brightalive Non Retinol Skin Brightener. What makes Brightalive so unique is that it is a highly effective skin brightening formula without containing hydroquinone or retinol.

Brightalive™ manages the skin’s pigment system by using clinically proven alpha arbutin combined with bioengineered plant phytotechnology to reduce the appearance of brown spots and even skin tone. Alpha arbutin is a novel ZO ingredient that has been shown to brighten pigmentation by inhibiting melanin production and is encapsulated in a patented Oleosome delivery system. Because this unique formula was created with natural plant-based ingredients that are gentle, it is safe for all skin types, even sensitive skin, and can be used daily.

Brightalive’s exclusive 12-hour time-release antioxidant complex contains vitamins A, C and E to deliver continuous protection against oxidative stress. Your skin will feel nourished, brighter and hydrated.

Who should use Brightalive?

According to Dr. Zein Obagi, Medical Director of ZO Skin Health, “Brightalive is ideal for all skin types when strong skin lightening is not indicated. It can reduce pigmentation while it restores the skin’s vital moisture balance and enhances DNA repair with consistent use.”

Although it can be used on its own, he also recommends Brightalive as a great complementary treatment product to be applied on top of ZO Medical C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum. C-Bright is a powerful dose of pure vitamin C that is stabilized to brighten and re-texturize the skin. It is a silky smooth formula containing naturally occurring lipids that rapidly exfoliates the pigmentation on the skin’s surface to reveal a more even tone and brighter complexion.

 

Pre-Valentine’s Day Lip Shape Up

With Valentine’s almost here, luscious lips are taking center stage.

The first thing you should be mindful of is preventing and restoring healthy, soft lips. Cold weather and sun exposure are the major culprits when lips get dehydrated.  Cool air, reduced humidity and wind can leave the thin lip skin with deep cracks. When lips get dry and uncomfortable from moisture loss, chapping and painful cracking and peeling are not far behind.

The consistent use of a protective balm can prevent your lips from drying out. Emollients in tubes or pots can also reverse the problem. But once lips are chapped, the more often you apply an emollient balm, the  faster the healing process can begin. Look for lip products containing ingredients like shea butter, lanolin, vitamin E, beeswax and dimethicone. They work to create a barrier against dehydration while the moisturizing ingredients keep chapping to a minimum.

ZO Medical LIPREBUILD Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment was developed to reverse and restore severely dry, cracked and wrinkled lips using a clinically proven moisture recycling technology. This hydrating formula contains plant stem cell antioxidants, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, fruit extracts to soften and repair lips. It does double duty by plumping up lips to actually improve their shape, size and contour while restoring them to their natural, rosy color. Now that’s what we call a win-win!

Once your lips are brought back to optimum health, keep them supple with a moisture-rich lipstick or lip balm with an SPF that you apply several times daily.

6 Healthy Skin Solutions for a New Year, New Glow

Have you noticed that you tend to look older during hectic times of year? Stress can show up as wrinkles, sagging, dryness, and even rosacea and acne breakouts. Stress increases the production of hormones that damage collagen and elastin. Too much stress also takes some of the joy out of life–so you’re more likely to frown or scowl, which also induces wrinkles.

What’s the answer? Take good care of yourself, exercise, and try to get enough sleep so your body can rest and your skin has time to renew itself. Thirty minutes before bedtime, apply your dose of retinol, since nighttime is the best time to repair your skin. You’ll look and feel better–and feel better about yourself–in the morning.

Follow these 6 solutions to energize your skin for a glowing 2015:
1.    First, undo some of the partying damage, and exfoliate—from head to toe. ZO Skin Health Offects Exfoliating Polish does a great job of scrubbing away dull, dry skin so that fresh, healthy cells can emerge. It’s more aggressive than most, so if you have weak skin, be gentle at first. You will love the difference in your skin. For your body, use a lotion high in lactic acid—such as ZO Skin Health Oraser Body Emulsion Plus. It’s not a typical smell-good body lotion—it will really work hard to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin.
2.    Fill ‘er up—with water! Too many glasses of wine and champagne and not enough water can dehydrate your skin. Drink at least 64 oz. of water throughout the day. If you don’t like water, reduce the amount of caffeinated beverages, and increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables like pears, apples, oranges, lettuce—all of which have high water content.
3.    Book yourself in for a relaxing facial at your favorite spa or medspa. If you’re confused by the menu of options available, look for adjectives like hydrating, restorative, comforting or anti-aging for the best results.
4.    Prefer an at-home treatment? Try ZO Medical Invisapeel Intensive Resurfacing Peel  that contains specialized enzymes and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to promote exfoliation to improve skin texture and even skin tone.
5.    Keep your skin active. High concentrations of retinol will work to rejuvenate your skin, produce more collagen and accelerate cellular turnover. Make sure that it’s a potent concentration, though—like ZO Skin Health Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair.
6.    Here’s a resolution that’s not so easy – work up a sweat at least three times a week. Take brisk 30-minute walks–you can stop and smell the roses later. When you work up a sweat, you moisturize your skin from the inside out. Avoid saunas and steam rooms, however. They may seem therapeutic, but can actually dehydrate your skin.

Radical Night Repair – Now Even Better

When it comes to anti-aging skin care, technology is the driver of beauty breakthroughs. Some of the most important categories of ingredients for anti-aging used today include; DNA repair enzymes, plant stem cells, growth factors, retinol, and peptides. Retinol has long been considered a hero anti-aging ingredient because it triggers natural skin hydration from deep within, by upregulating extracellular matrix production (collagen-1, hyaluronic acid).

You can find a potent form of retinol in the new advanced formulation of one of our best sellers – ZO Skin Health Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair. A full 1% concentration of retinol found in this powerful anti-ager stimulates new cell activity and collagen formation in UV-damaged skin faster and more effectively than any other anti-aging treatment on the market.

Due to the high concentration of retinol, initially you can expect to have some dryness, irritation and mild peeling. These symptoms typically develop within a few days to one week after your first application. This shows that your skin cells are awakening and  damaged skin is being repaired. If you are a first time retinol user, start gradually. After cleansing, apply 2-3 pumps twice a week in the evening, 30 minutes before bed time. As your skin gets used to retinol, you can increase the frequency of use as your skin can tolerate it.

According to Dr. Obagi, “Topical agents should promote skin health and not induce further harm. Your regimen should therefore be created using scientifically proven, active ingredients, suited to their skin type and needs. Novel delivery systems and techniques allow us to customize a regimen for each individual.”

NOTE: Two important things to know about retinol: First, you must wear an SPF30 daily if you are using retinol for sun protection, and secondly, it is not recommended for use during pregnancy or while breast feeding.

NEW Skin Care Technology

For anti-aging skin care and cosmeceuticals, technology is the driver. Some of the most important categories of ingredients for anti-aging used today include; DNA repair enzymes, plant stem cells, growth factors, retinol, and peptides. Retinol triggers natural skin hydration from deep within, by upregulating extracellular matrix production (collagen-1, hyaluronic acid). You can find a potent form of retinol in ZO Skin Health Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair, for example. DNA repair agents and synthetic growth factors promote faster repair of the DNA damage induced by both intrinsic (genetic) and extrinsic (environmental, sun exposure, pollution) aging.

According to Dr. Zein Obagi, “Topical agents should promote skin health and not induce further harm. A patient’s regimen should therefore be created using scientifically proven, active ingredients, suited to their skin type and needs. Novel delivery systems and techniques allow us to customize a regimen for each individual.”

Retinol for Sensitive Skin

Many people think that sensitive skin means that they have delicate or fine skin. In reality, sensitive skin is weak skin. No one is born with sensitive skin. Rather, skin becomes lazy from the use of too much moisturizer, and intolerant from the use of products with perfumes, dyes, and additives.

In order to successfully treat symptoms—redness, itching, and bumps—we have to improve overall skin quality and reduce the reactive nature of sensitive skin. The best treatment for sensitive skin is a program of skincare products with retinol, which strengthens and enables skin to renew itself. A skin-strengthening product such as ZO Skin Health’s Radical Night Repair  is an important step toward resolving sensitive skin issues. Retinol increases cell turnover, which forces the damaged surface cells to slough off, allowing the new healthy cells to emerge. Because Radical Night Repair contains 1% retinol—a natural form of Vitamin A—it replaces what the skin has lost over time: the ability to stimulate the retinoid-receptor found on every cell.

The use of retinol, in some cases, can increase skin redness. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, that is why Radical Night Repair is especially great for sensitive skin. ZO Skin Health’s Radical Night Repair uses an encapsulated, time released delivery system that gently delivers the retinol load over a 6 to 8 hour period while you sleep. We recommend initially using Radical Night Repair only one night a week. This will gradually increase skin tolerance and will prepare the skin so that the treatment can be used more often. Long-term regular use of retinol will provide the skin with the vital nutrients it needs to be healthier and less reactive to the environment.

Products with high concentrations of retinol will cause peeling, and make your skin more vulnerable to UV rays, so be sure to wear a full spectrum sun protection!

Skin Care Layering

We used to get by with only 3 steps (cleanse, tone, moisturize), but that is so yesterday. But is all that layering is actually good for your skin? Well, the short answer, is that it depends.

You want us to recommend FEWER steps, and we’re going to recommend MORE steps! Unfortunately, doing as you ask would not necessarily be doing you (or your skin) any favors.

Some day there may be one product that cleanses, tones, activates, stimulates, moisturizes, and protects. But not soon. Actually, if we combined too many active ingredients, one would invariably de-activate or destabilize another. Plus there can’t be one generic skincare product, because there isn’t one generic skin type. Every person’s needs are so different.

There are several things wrong with the regimen you mention.

  1. You’re missing what dermatologists consider to be the most important step—sunscreen.  It’s critical for both younger-looking as well as healthier skin.
  2. To avoid pigmentation issues, elasticity problems, lines, and wrinkles, you need to stimulate the skin cells. For this you need active Vitamin A, and peptides, growth factors, and anti-oxidants.
  3. Using a moisturizer, while excluding some of these other ingredients, will make your skin cells lazy and function improperly. Don’t make that mistake!

Not to worry about too much layering—your skin will appreciate the attention that it gets. Just make sure to apply the products in the right order, from lightest to heaviest, so that they can be absorbed properly.

So although we can’t recommend just one product, you may want to try one of our uber popular ZO kits that combine —all at a value-price!

Great Makeup Starts with Great Skincare

If you’re a fan of makeovers then surely you’ve seen TLC’s “What Not to Wear” and have watched the pivotal moment when makeup artist Carmindy twirls the chair around to reveal her jaw-dropping work. Viewers can’t help but wish they knew the secret to her artistry. Well, guess what her tip #1 is? It’s not the way to master a smokey eye. Carmindy proclaims that great makeup starts with great skincare.

“Skin tells all. It reflects your health, indicates your stress-o-meter, and shows whether yov’e made precention part of your beauty routine. Even if you haven’t been most excellent to your epidermis, fear not. It’s never too late (or too soon) to step up your skincare routine and reap the gorgeous rewards.” -Carmindy Bower

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Here are a few tips Carmindy recommends that echo the advice Dr. ZeinObagi has been giving for decades to his patients.

  1. Wear sunscreen every single day. Dr. Obagi asserts that SPF is your most reliable protection against the signs of aging.
  2. Wash your face at night. You’ve heard it here time and time again. Dr. Obagi recommends scrubbing at least one full minute to rid of the sebum that leads to blemishes.
  3. Exfoliate. Sloughing off dead skin cells can be achieved with our Exfoliating Polish. Dr. Obagi recommends using it daily, but once a week is the bare minimum.
  4. Retinol helps stimulate collagen. Amen!
  5. Don’t just pile on a bunch of creams. This can lead to sensitive skin and/or overmoisturization, which causes lazy skin cells—the very cause of wrinkles and fine lines.