Tag Archives: acne

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!

6 Things That are Aging Your Skin

How your skin ages will depend on many factors, some of which you have control over and some of which you don’t. For starters, aging is partly hereditary; that is, your genes help to determine whether your upper eyelids will sag in your 30s or stay perky well into your 50s, etc. Among the factors that contribute to wrinkled, damaged skin include normal aging and the inevitable breakdown of fatty tissue that supports your skin and muscle, collagen and elastin.

However, your lifestyle, diet, and other personal habits play an even more important role and can speed up the aging process. Let’s look at what you can control – so you can get a handle on the aging process and add years to your life.

1. Don’t Smoke Ever. Smoking can produce free radicals, those nasty little oxygen molecules that become overactive and unstable. Free radicals damage your healthy cells, leading to premature wrinkling, and a whole list of potentially life shortening conditions. Cutting back to a little nicotine helps but not as much as you might think. Any amount of nicotine can have a negative impact on your health and longevity.

2. Keep Your Weight Stable. Maintaining a healthy weight will help to avoid premature sagging and skin slackening. Years of yo-yo dieting is another common cause of lax skin quality. As you age, the more weight you carry, can have a dramatic effect on your joints, in particular knees and hips, making you feel older and less mobile as well. Excess fat around the mid section is a known cause of other health conditions, including heart disease.

3. Avoid the Sun and Pollution. Ultraviolet (UV) rays cause damage to the fibers in your skin that give it a plump, cherub-like texture and tone. The breakdown of elastin fibers causes sagging and reduces the resiliency that young, healthy skin has. The skin also bruises more easily, and with additional thinning, may take longer to heal. Furthermore, discoloration and brown spot (also known as age spots) will show up from prolonged sun exposure without adequate protection. The effects of sun and pollution on your aging complexion are cumulative, so they may not show up until later in life.  Stock up on ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer SPF30

4. Sleep on Your Back.  The position in which you sleep can actually have an effect on lines, wrinkles and sagging. Sleeping on your side will inevitably cause a deeper furrow on one side of your face. The best position tends to be sleeping on your back whenever possible to avoid what is commonly referred to as “sleep creases.” Just as with excessive facial movements, lines become more visible as your skin loses its elasticity, sleep with your face dug into your pillow can exacerbate facial lines and wrinkles.

5. Manage Your Stress. Stress is a silent killer. It creates all sorts of skin problems, from acne to rosacea, due to hormonal flux. It also affects your ability to rest and get enough sleep to keep you going. Stress can actually damage your cells, and ages your brain, according to numerous studies. When you are embattled by stress, you also tend not to take such good care of your body, your skin and your health.

6. Don’t Overdo Alcohol. Although the occasional cabernet may deliver some much needed resveratrol, downing the whole bottle in one sitting will not serve you well over time. Alcohol, like caffeine, is notoriously dehydrating. Too much alcohol can contribute to other health conditions, such as cirrhosis of the liver, inflammation, dry skin, and a dull, grayish tone to your complexion.

Get Your Own Copy of Dr. Obagi’s New Skin Care Bible

Dr. Zein Obagi’s original textbook was heralded as a bestseller around the world. Years in the making, his second edition is a comprehensive overview of his renowned skin care regimens and features the cutting edge skin changing techniques that are followed by physicians and skin care professionals in over 80 countries.

In The Art of Skin Health Restoration and Rejuvenation: The Science of Clinical Practice, Second Edition (CRC Press, Dec 2014) Dr. Zein Obagi reveals his new System of Skin Classification that specifically addresses all of the variables in skin types and their expected responses to various treatments, from topical agents to medium depth peels and more.

Dr. Obagi’s range of signature skin peels for every skin type, and his innovative approach to correcting sun damage, controlling the pigmentary system, stimulating new collagen, and restoring skin elasticity are explained in detail. Effective therapies for managing acne, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, rosacea, melasma and other common skin conditions are addressed. In addition, there is an up-to-the-minute chapter on laser resurfacing written by renowned laser and dermatologic surgeon Dr. E. Victor Ross in San Diego.

With more than 200 illustrations and photographs of Dr. Obagi’s own patients from his Beverly Hills Clinic, the Obagi Skin Health Institute, a presentation of his new breakthrough skin classification system, and a special section on combining laser resurfacing and peels with other techniques including aesthetic facial surgery, this is a volume you are sure to cherish for many years to come.

Researcher, innovator, scientist, published author, lecturer and board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Zein Obagi is the ZO Skin Health, Inc. founder and medical director and is responsible for the development of new skincare treatments, protocols and products to achieve healthy skin. This must-have reference book is an indispensable resource for plastic surgeons, dermatologists, facial plastic surgeons, skin care professionals and anyone dealing with the skin.

Order your personal copy here at a Special price of only $159.96 (20% off list price).

Getting Skin Ready – 3 Steps to Gorgeous

The perefect first step in your skin care protocol is the ZO® GSR™: Getting Skin Ready system. It was designed to help you optimize the effectiveness of your ZO® treatment program.

This basic system includes 3 key products; a cleanser, scrub and our best selling oil control pads, that work synergistically for maximum results.  You’re just 3 steps away from gorgeous skin!


Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser

This light clear gel cleanser comes in a generous sized tube for daily cleansing that will last you well. It contains blue microparticles to gently exfoliate your epidermis – the outermost layer of the skin. Cleanse your face twice a day to remove impurities, and refresh and revive skin.


Offects® Exfoliating Polish

One of our most popular products, Exfoliating Polish is a turquoise blue paste that smells delicious and scrubs away dirt and debris, while keeping pores open and clean.  Scrub your skin 2-3 times a week to remove buildup and activate skin cells. Your skin will feel smooth as silk – like you just had a luxurious facial.


Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment

According to Dr. Zein Obagi, Oil Control is one of the best ways to fight aging, acne breakouts, and keep skin healthy and vital. Our TE-Pads work wonders to keep skin squeaky clean and remove surface oil and dirt, without causing irritation or dryness. Works well for all skin types, not only acne prone skin.

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.

Operation: Banish Blackheads

Blackheads are an accumulation of oil and oxidized dead skin cells, which is why they appear black in color. They form in hair follicles where sebum and dead skin collect. Whiteheads are similar clogs, but the oil and dead skin cells do not touch the air, so they appear white. Along with pimples, blackheads and whiteheads are the typical symptoms of acne.

As Dr. Zein Obagi says, “The first line of defense against blackheads is to use a good exfoliating cleanser. This will loosen debris, bringing it to the surface where it can be washed away.” Exfoliating will also help to purge pores and keep them clean to prevent more blackheads from forming. ZO® Skin Health Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser is formulated for daily use and in addition to removing impurities, sebum, and dead skin cells, it neutralizes free radicals with encapsulated vitamin E.

He continues, “Sebum control is also a necessary step in banishing blackheads.” Drenched with 2% salicylic acid, ZO® Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment reduces sebum production and soothes inflammation and irritation with botanical extracts. Perhaps even more important is the blackhead fighting properties of salicylic acid, which slows down the shedding process of cells inside the hair follicle to keep pores clear.

Finally, a light peel can help control blackheads by removing debris and dead skin before it has a chance to clog the follicle. Invest in an at-home chemical peel such as ZO® Medical Invisipeel™, which uses an enzymatic process to exfoliate the outer layer of the skin without flaking or peeling. It also makes the skin more receptive to other acne fighting ingredients.

Preventing Acne Scars

According to Dr. Obagi, the best way to avoid acne scars is to seek treatment early and stick with the right regimen.

Acne sufferers should never pick or pop a pimple. Picking or popping a blemish is a sure way to develop a scar and aggravate the infection. If you have an unsightly pimple that just has to go, visit a dermatologist. If you have cystic acne, your doctor may inject the cyst with cortisone to minimize inflammation and scarring.

Dr. Obagi has developed an effective treatment regimen—ZO® Skin Health Acne Prevention and Treatment Program—which includes Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser, Offects® Exfoliating Polish, Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment, and Bio-Sulfur Masque. The TE-Pads with 2% salicylic acid are particularly useful in controlling oiliness and breakouts. ZO® Medical Cebatrol™ also contains 2% salicylic acid, but formulated with mandelic acid to reduce inflammation, and triclosan to fight the P.acnes bacteria, which is the root of all types of acne.

If you already have acne scars, discuss treatment options with your dermatologist to lessen their appearance. Certain lasers including Fraxel® and a series of chemical peels, for example ZO® 3 Step Peel or ZO® Controlled Depth Peel, can definitely help soften existing acne scarring.

And always remember to wear sunscreen. UV rays can cause blemishes to darken even if they are healed, which means the signs of acne will take longer to fade away.

Battle of the Blemish

Acne can mar a beautiful complexion at almost any age. Most prevalent in teens and young adults, it can plague women well into their 50s. The causes of acne may include genetics, hormones, excess oil production, diet, sleeping habits, hygiene, and stress. Therefore a successful acne treatment needs to be customized to your specific kind of acne condition.

“Drug store and prescription treatments that claim to treat acne can actually perpetuate the condition,” says Dr. ZeinObagi. “From the synthetic oils in so-called ‘oil-free’ cleansers to the pore-clogging agents in moisturizers, unnecessary ingredients can aggravate acne, leaving people afflicted with acne and blemishes to assume that their skin issues are incurable. With the right regimen, many people can clear up their skin without a prescription.”

Despite the cause, the mechanism of acne is similar. When skin does not exfoliate properly, dead cells build up on the skin surface and inside pores. The dead cells mix with trapped oil and cause pores to become clogged, resulting in blackheads and whiteheads. Through bacteria into the mix, and you’ve got inflamed and irritated skin.

ZO® Skin Health by Zein Obagi MD offers a targeted regimen designed to heal and prevent blemishes, effectively breaking the cycle of acne. With the Acne Prevention +Treatment Program, ZO® Skin Health combines three key acne-fighting products as well as an exclusive Bio Sulfur-Masque to deliver the ultimate acne solution.


Cleansing is an important step in any skincare regimen, but when treating acne, it is critical. ZO® Skin Health Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser targets the dead skin cells that trap bacteria, reduces excess oil, and neutralizes free radicals. “Skin must be cleansed for one full minute,” according to Dr. Obagi. “That is the time required to adequately reduce surface sebum and remove dirt and debris.” The exfoliating action in the Offects® cleanser comes from smoothing micro beads that leave skin clear and soft.


Even with diligent cleansing, dead skin cells, a key acne trigger, can still build up. ZO® Skin Health Offects® Exfoliating Polish used twice a week will help to remove the build up and promote the healing process. “Exfoliating is a crucial step in fighting acne,” says Dr. Obagi. “Unclogging pores and clearing away debris also prevents new blemishes from forming.” Offects® Exfoliating Polish uses round magnesium crystals to gently, yet effectively, remove dead skin cells, increase epidermal turnover, and create a clearer, smoother, more even-toned complexion.


In addition to exfoliation, reducing sebum—the oil on the skin’s surface—is paramount. ZO® Skin Health Offects® TE-Pads used twice daily sweeps away any excess oil and dead skin cells left behind after cleansing. The multi-tasking pads are soaked in 2% salicylic acid—the highest over-the-counter concentration—to gently exfoliate and control breakouts by reducing oiliness. “These one-of-a-kind pads also prep skin for future treatments,” says Dr. Obagi. “The treatment actually increases the benefits of other therapies used in conjunction with salicylic acid.”


The fourth product in the ZO® Skin Health acne regimen is available only in the ZO® Skin Health Acne Prevention + Treatment Program. The ZO® Skin Health Bio-Sulfur Masque continues the system’s attack on excess sebum, but also calms acne prone skin. Use it once per week, applying the paste evenly to face and neck and leaving it on for 15 minutes. It can also help spot treat pimples overnight.

Under A Lot of Stress? It Shows On Your Skin

Stress. There’s just no getting away from it. And all that stress shows—in fact, it’s written all over your face.

Problem: Chronic stress triggers a hormone called cortisol, which reduces the ability of the skin to retain water. The result: a dull, dry complexion.


  1. Although it seems counter-intuitive, reduce the amount or frequency of moisturizer. It causes your skin to stop collecting water from the food and water that you consume.
  2. Avoid the use of hot water and highly fragranced skincare products.
  3. Don’t use cleansers that strip your skin of its natural oils.

Problem: A furrowed brow, fine lines, and wrinkles around the eyes. All of this may be caused by a decrease in the amount of collagen and elastin fibers, as well as increased dryness (which exacerbates the appearance of wrinkles).


  1. Stimulate the production of collagen and elastin with active Vitamin A (as found in ZO Skin Health’s Radical Night Repair Plus) or Rx Retin-A.
  2. Drink more water.

Problem: Chronic stress causes or complicates other skin problems, including rosacea, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. There’s a new term for this—psychodermatology: skin disorders that are related to your thoughts or feelings.


  1. For acne, use products specifically for oily or acne-prone skin. Dr. Obagi’s favorite cleanser is ZO Skin Health’s Exfoliating Cleanser. Cleanse twice a day, but avoid the use of hot water. To slough off the surface skin cells that trap debris, try the ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Polish. Apply a product that has salicylic acid, like ZO Skin Health TE pads, which help to break down the sebum. Once a day is sufficient for maintenance—twice a day if you have active or persistent flare ups.
  2. For rosacea—or if your skin appears red in the nose, cheeks, and forehead—there are many over the counter products that claim to reduce redness, but not as many that really work. Dr. Obagi is a fan of Growth Factor Serum to reduce redness. If a prescription is required, he frequently recommends small doses of Accutane.

This is a stressful time. You can’t take care of all of the problems, but you can take care of yourself. For advanced medical conditions or persistent problems, see a dermatologist.