Tag Archives: Anti-Aging

Pregnant Pores

Pregnancy is an exciting time for every woman, but along with carrying a new life inside you, your skin, hair and nails experience many changes. It is natural to wonder what you can do about the many changes your body is going through – and what might be dangerous for your baby during these 9 months.

It is well known that some ingredients in prescription medications and from topical skin care products can get absorbed into the body when applied to skin. If you are not entirely sure what is safe or what to avoid, always ask your OB/Gyn or medical doctor to find out.

A a general rule, most mild skincare products found in the drugstore or on department store shelves that do not contain high levels of ingredients regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be safe to use. These may include cleansers, toners, moisturizers, eye creams, scrubs, masques, lip balms, body lotions, body wash, hand creams, etc.  But there are certain ingredients that are to be avoided until you have given birth and finished breast feeding.

According to Dr. Rachael Eckel, Dermatologist in Trinidad and ZO faculty member, following is the list of ingredients to avoid while pregnant and lactating:

  • Prescription Retinoids – Retin-A, Accutane, Differin, Tazorac, etc.
  • Retinol
  • Beta Hydroxy Acid/Salicylic Acid
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Hydroquinone

Of course this doesn’t mean that you can’t look after your skin while pregnant, but you may need to adjust your normal anti-aging or anti-acne skin care regimen temporarily. “Instead of loading up on vitamin A based products, switch to a non-retinol day cream or serum. Anti-aging skin care that contain Vitamin C, antioxidants, and peptides are usually fine to use during pregnancy too.  A strong SPF is also essential. ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer SPF30 is a great choice because it includes a subtle tint with high protection,” says Dr. Eckel.

Many women break out during the first trimester, which then slows down by the second trimester. In some women, however, they may have acne for the whole nine months. “You can substitute benzoyl peroxide and Beta Hydroxy acid based products with glycolic or lactic acid formulas to help control breakouts. If your skin is inflamed or ruddy, try using ZO Medical Balatone, a calming toner designed to invigorate dry, weak skin. It also removes impurities and balances the skin’s pH,” she says.

Some of the skin changes that occur during pregnancy include pigmentation, melasma on the cheeks, chin and upper lip, moles, acne, rosacea, and stretchmarks. Many of these changes will resolve on their own once your hormones go back to normal, some will get better, and others will remain. The best advice is to wait to see your Dermatologist when you are ready for a post pregnancy skin check. Your dermatologist can advise you on what may require prescription drugs, topical products, or clinical treatments for your condition.

 

The Skin Health Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection from free radical damage that causes premature aging. The most dangerous environmental factors for skin are sun, pollution and oxygen that compromise your skin’s health every day.

The benefits of vitamin C include the benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, heart disease, eye disease, stress reduction, wards off colds, improves bones and teeth, and much more. While we cannot always get the required amount just from a healthy diet, doctors often recommend Vitamin C supplements year round.

In addition to Vitamin C working wonders for your body, other benefits of vitamin C include its ability to induce younger, firmer skin, fading sun damage, reducing discoloration, and preventing new damage from showing up.

Enter ZO® Medical C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum, a potent formula that provides a high dose of pure vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) that is stabilized to brighten and retexturize the skin. This water-free formula instantly self-activates upon contact with skin’s natural water content to reveal more radiant, even-toned skin. ZO® Medical C-Bright uses the power of pure vitamin C to rapidly exfoliate the skin’s surface. Advanced vitamin C ester goes one step further below the skin surface to prevent new melanin pigment from forming. The addition of coenzyme Q10, another powerful antioxidant, helps to defend against environmental triggers that cause inflammation. Natural occurring lipid hydrates and supports skin barrier restoration. It also minimizes the appearance of wrinkles.

“C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum delivers exfoliating and brightening benefits while inhibiting the formation of new pigmentation. The result is a brighter skin tone and reduction in lines and wrinkles,” said Dr. Zein Obagi.

Introducing ZO Skin Centres

ZO Skin Centres is the newest brainchild of Dr. Zein Obagi, and the flagship location opened in June 2015 at the posh Fashion Island in Newport Beach, California. Clients can stop by for a rejuvenating ZO peel, have a bit of BOTOX for your crow’s feet or Juvederm in your lips. You can even schedule a Coolsculpting session to freeze the fat on your tummy, all in the privacy and convenience of a modern pampering setting.

Dr. Obagi has spent over three decades researching and developing revolutionary ways to restore and maintain healthy, vibrant and glowing skin. Just like our celebrated ZO family of products, our signature services are sought-after by celebrities in Beverly Hills, London, Paris and more.

The experience begins with a consultation by Dr. Obagi himself or his plastic surgeon colleague Dr. Aaron Kosins. At your first Skin Health evaluation with Dr. Obagi or Dr. Kosins, you will have a comprehensive assessment of your skin  and an opportunity to discuss your specific concerns and review your medical history. Photographs will be taken to document your skin’s current condition and to be evaluated by the doctor. You will receive a fully individualized program designed to meet your goals. At each follow-up visit, new photographs will be taken to document your skin’s progress.

All treatments are performed by highly skilled medical aestheticians trained in the principles, protocols and methods of Dr. Zein Obagi. The services offered at the ZO Skin Centres are inspired by the ZO® Circle of Skin Health, which takes into account Prevention, Therapy, Daily Skincare and Maintenance. One of our client favorite treatments is the ZO® Signature Facial with Lymphatic Drainage for hydrated skin that glows.  This relaxing treatment utilizes cutting edge technology, including microcurrent therapy, to improve skin firmness, reduce wrinkles and smooth skin followed by lymphatic drainage to rid the skin of toxins and impurities. It’s perfect before a night out or special occasion!

Look for the ZO Skin Centre at 401 Newport Centre Drive, Suite A208, Fashion Island – open 7 days/week.

 

 

The Brightening Brigade

Although prescription hydroquinone is still considered the gold standard in skin lightening by many physicians and skincare professionals, Beverly Hills Dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi warns that it comes at a price.

It fades many spots when used consistently and blocks the enzyme needed for creating new ones. Paired with a prescription retinoid or potent retinol, it can begin to lighten dark spots in four to six weeks, sometimes sooner. However, prolonged use of hydroquinone comes with some risks.

But today, there are some potent alternatives to hydroquinone that do not come with the side effects and potential irritation. “Skin becomes immune to the effects of hydroquinone after prolonged use,” says Dr. Obagi. “Alternative treatment options can reduce discoloration with powerful agents that are gentle on skin.”

Dr. Obagi believes that non-hydroquinone alternatives can be ideal for the treatment of skin conditions either when hydroquinone treatment is completed or contraindicated, or as a healthy maintenance system long term. He often recommends use after completing a course of hydroquinone for 4-5 months, or when skin lightening is not needed or desired. These novel treatments are also effective when an even skin tone is the main objective, and when texture and anti-aging benefits are part of restoring even color tone.

In the ZO family of products and treatments, the ZO® Non-Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System For Restoring Even Skin Tone includes 5 key products. These potent products will not cause the level of irritation and side effects commonly associated with hydroquinone, but are effective at improving skin tone and texture and reduces the signs of pigmentation.

  • BRIGHTENEX
    Skin Brightener & Correcting Crème, Non-Hydroquinone
  • RESTORACALM
    Soothing Recovery Crème
  • RETAMAX
    Active Vitamin A Micro Emulsion
  • Ossential® Daily Power Defense
  • Oclipse-C Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50

Of course, Dr. Obagi strongly recommends daily liberal use of a broad spectrum SPF50 to guard against further UV damage that causes discoloration.

The Anatomy of Dark Circles

The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on the body, which accounts for why it is so prone to environmental abuse and the effects of stress and sun exposure. The skin around the eyes is one of the first places signs of aging like crow’s feet, crepey skin, puffiness and dark circles. The area around the lower eyelids is also prone to dryness because it is so thin, which can make fine lines and wrinkles appear earlier and become more visible over time.

The lower lid area is also quite sensitive so it is recommended not to overdo it with intensive and aggressive anti-agers. Use a moisturizing eye cream with essential fatty acids to combat dryness and smooth the skin around the eyes.  You want to decrease the potential for irritation while increasing the skin’s ability to build new collagen to strengthen the skin that has thinned with age.

Dark circles under the eyes are the result of several factors. For starters, genetics will determine whether you are more prone to darkened areas. Fair skin and thin skin around the eye area can make dark circles look worse and more prominent. Dark circles can also be the result of increased pigmentation, thinning skin that reveals blue and purple veins, or hollowness of the under eye area from fat loss that can create a shadow.

Eye creams with skin lighteners and brighteners such as Vitamin C, can be used to treat pigmentation of the area. Eye creams with ingredients that increase collagen production can help to thicken the skin around the eyes and reduce the appearance of dark circles due to underlying blood vessels.

ZO Medical Hydrafirm Eye Brightening Repair Creme contains active vitamin A and biomimetic proteins to encourage natural collagen production and help restore skin’s elasticity. Our exclusive blend of bioengineered plant stem cells provides potent antioxidants and inflammation management to protect against future signs of skin aging. We also added enzymatic vasodilators, caffeine and coenzyme A to reduce the appearance of puffiness along with optical diffusers soften the appearance of dark circles. Nourishing shea butter moisturizes and replenishes the delicate skin barrier.

 

Skin Care in Your 30s

The thirties are the time when your skin starts to show visible signs of aging. At around age 35, cells get lazy and slow down so they don’t turnover as easily without a little help. Fine lines and wrinkles appear, and skin tone becomes more uneven from daily UV exposure, even if you are diligent about wearing your SPF. Brown spots and wrinkles start to develop, especially for smokers and sun worshippers, and those who have not taken good care of their skin until now.

If you are prone to acne breakouts, you may find that your skin is less oily and therefore, you have fewer pimples, cysts and blackheads. In some cases, acne can continue into the 30s and beyond.  Many women are also starting a family in their 30s, which may bring on another set of skin concerns, including rosacea and melasma due to hormonal changes.

The first thing to do is to step up your skin care regimen and add some more intensive formulations to combat the signs of aging. ZO SkinHealth Oclipse Sunscreen-Primer SPF30 is a great place to begin. This best selling multi-tasker acts as a primer under makeup, and has a sheer, light tint that can make it your every day go to skin saver. Packed with SPF30, it also protects from sun damage whether you are walking outside or sitting in your office all day by a window.

Another handy kit to try in your 30s is the ZO GSR (Getting Skin Ready) System. This trio of essentials will help optimize the effectiveness of your ZO® treatment program. As the first basic step in your anti-aging skin care protocol, three key products are included: Offects Exfoliating Cleanser, to be followed by the Offects Exfoliating Polish, and your new BFF – ZO Skin Health Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment to control excess oil and keep skin smooth and clear.

Take on your 30s armed with a super advanced customized skin care regimen to maintain your youthful, healthy skin well into your 40s.

 

Kick Sugar To the Curb

We all know that sugar is bad for your body, your organs, and your overall health. But did you realize that sugar is also bad for your skin and can actually accelerate the aging process?

A huge part of the problem is that too many of us are not aware how addictive sugar is and easy it is to get hooked. Another issue is that sugar is in just about everything. It is even hidden in some foods where you would least suspect it. For example, canned vegetables, tomato sauce, most cereals, sports drinks and more.

When you eat sugar, it stimulates the release of dopamine in your brain, which makes you feel pleasure. The brain recognizes and likes this feeling and begins to crave more. So in this way, it’s a little like crack cocaine!

According to Plastic Surgeon and ZO Faculty Member Dr. Aaron Kosins, “The best way to get off sugar is to do a quick detox program. You may not realize how addicted you are to sugar until the cravings hit you. Once you eliminate sugar from your diet, you will see how much better you will feel and look.”

Here is a list of what you should avoid during your detox; fast food, junk food, processed foods, gum, mints, candy, desserts, bread, sweetened beverages, soda or carbonated drinks, fruit juice, chocolate, granola, cereal, fruity yogurt, ice cream, condiments like ketchup and salad dressings, and almost anything that comes in a can, box or plastic bag. If you can’t go cold turkey and wipe out all sugar from your diet, try taking small steps and doing it gradually.  Even faux sugar may keep you addicted – like diet soda and packets of sugary powder.

Think about healthy substitutes for sweet treats you used to pick up when hunger struck. Choose an apple or a bowl of berries over a plate of fruit-flavored yogurt. Instead of sweeteners, use cinnamon, vanilla extract or lemon zest to add flavor some of the foods you love. If you crave something crunchy, go for carrot and celery sticks instead of pretzels or pita chips.

Over time, you can actually re-train your taste buds to like foods that are not so sweet. In fact, after a little time away from sugar, you may be surprised to find that the foods you used to indulge with are way too sweet for your palate.

 

Ditch the Dark Spots

Discoloration is a fact of life. The sooner you see dark spots and brown patches has a lot to do with heredity and lifestyle, but by a certain age, we all get some. There are several factors that cause skin to become darker (hyperpigmentation), starting with an increase in melanin, the substance which regulates pigment. Primarily, hyperpigmentation is caused by exposure to the damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. But dark spots can also appear due to melasma and after acne or other skin trauma. Of course, the worst culprit is cumulative sun exposure, says Dr. Zein Obagi, Beverly Hills Dermatologist.

Causes of Melasma

Hormonal changes during pregnancy lead to melasma, also called the “the mask of pregnancy.” About 70% of pregnant women develop some brown patches on their face, upper lips, cheeks and forehead, as well as their bellies. Melasma frequently clears up after you give birth, but this is not always the case. Unfortunately, you are not advised to use potent topical formulations containing retinoids or beta hydroxy acids while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. NOTE: Ask your obstetrician or dermatologist what products or ingredients are safe to use during pregnancy.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Dark marks from acne can often develop in areas where blemishes have been. The same is true for insect stings, cuts, bruises, kitchen burns, and other skin traumas. These marks often take months to fade and some never fade much at all. And PIH is more common in darker skin types. The first course of action is to avoid direct sunlight during the healing process.

Zein Obagi, MD specially developed the ZO Non Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System to treat skin discoloration without the potential risks and side effects of using hydroquinone. This potent system has 5 effective products that work together to even skin tone, improve texture and rejuvenate the skin.

  • BRIGHTENEX
    Skin Brightener & Correcting Crème, Non-Hydroquinone
  • RESTORACALM
    Soothing Recovery Crème
  • RETAMAX
    Active Vitamin A Micro Emulsion
  • Ossential® Daily Power Defense
    Time-released retinol, antioxidants and specialized DNA-repairing enzymes
  • Oclipse-C Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50

 

 Spotting Sun Damage

Fortunately, early diagnosis and early treatment can prevent and reduce the appearance of dark spots, brown patches and other signs of pigment changes and sun damage. Uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation will also make you look older earlier. Apply sunscreen every 2 hours if you will be outdoors in direct sunlight as a first course of action.

Talk with your ZO skin care professional about your specific condition and concerns.

Skin Care in Your 20s

Your 20s is the time to set up a good foundation for basic skin care and age prevention. In your 20s, your skin is still building enough collagen to keep it supple and resilient. Breakouts are often the biggest concern, especially caused by stress, hormonal flux, late nights out, and general bad habits.

Start by using the right cleanser for your skin type, twice daily. If your skin is normal, a gentle cleanser will do the trick while not drying out skin too much. If you skin tends to be oily or combination (some oily areas, and some drier parts), use a gentle cleanser with salicylic acid to keep clogged pores and breakouts at bay. Our most popular cleanser is ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Cleanser that has microbeads for sloughing away debris and is suitable for all skin types.

If you learn to practice safe sun early, you can keep sun damage and wrinkles at bay.  Use a broad spectrum SPF30-50 daily for daily protection. If you are tend to be more oily, look for an oil-free formulation so as not to cause clogged pores and acne. The NEW ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sun Spray SPF50 is a great choice because it comes in an easy to use spray formula and is non-greasy and feels weightless on your skin.

In yours 20s, you should also start slowly with anti-aging products such a retinol. According to Dr. Zein Obagi, you are never too young to start an age prevention regimen. He always recommends retinol to not only smooth fine lines, but to help turnover dead cells and keep pores open and clean. Try our best selling ZO Skin Health Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair Plus.

Never go to sleep with your makeup on, no matter how tired you may be. the oils in your cosmetics can clog pores and make breakouts worse.

The M Word

Menopause is a word most women would rather not ever hear. But sadly, it can start in your 30s and last til your 60s in some cases. Among the many changes that women experience during this time are those affecting the skin, and unfortunately it’s not great news.

Menopausal Skin Changes

  • Dry skin as oil glands become less active
  • Skin thinning
  • Decrease in collagen and elastin
  • Loss of facial volume
  • Deepening of wrinkles and folds
  • Increased levels of testosterone and facial hair
  • Pigmentary changes

The best defense against all these changes is a comprehensive skin care program along with sun and nicotine avoidance, a healthy diet, regular exercise and sleep, as well as cutting down on alcohol intake. The healthier your skin is when you approach menopause, the better it will be able to manage the hormonal shifts.

According to ZO Faculty Member Anthony Youn, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon in Michigan, “The key ingredients women should look for in skin care include retinol, antioxidants, pigment regulators, growth factors, and DNA repair enzymes. During perimenopause, we may also consider doing treatments that help tighten slack skin and boost collagen production.”

The ZO Medical range represents Dr. Obagi’s newest thinking in maintaining healthy skin with therapeutic treatments, new protocols, prescription pharmaceuticals and products that treat a wide range of anti-aging concerns.

Your ZO physician may start you on BRIGHTENEX 0.5% Retinol Skin Brightening & Correcting Crème that contains a potent blend of retinol, melanin inhibitors and antioxidants to rapidly brighten and even skin tone quality. As your skin gets used to Brightenex, you may be switched to the higher strength of 1.0% Retinol. Another one of our most popular products is C-Bright™10% vitamin C Serum that gives skin a mega-dose of pure vitamin C to retexturize the skin.

To design a daily regimen that is right for your skin, consult with your ZO Physician.