Tag Archives: pigmentation

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.

 

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.

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.

 

 

What is Healthy Skin?

Dr. Zein Obagi first introduced the definition of skin health in 1983 and expanded it in 2008. His definition provides specific, easily recognized physiological, histological, and clinical attributes that can be represented by the skin of a baby as a model for healthy skin. According to the author, skin treatments must correct any abnormality in skin health that deviates from the definition so that it attains the desirable attributes.

“Currently skin health does not have a widely accepted definition or model, as it means different things to different people throughout the world. Healthy skin is frequently described as beautiful, flawless, glowing, and young, but these terms are imprecise and reflect subjective and non-quantifiable characteristics,” says Dr. Obagi.

HEALTHY SKIN IS NATURALLY:
•    Smooth
•    Even in color tone
•    Firm and tight
•    Hydrated
•    Tolerant
•    Contour rich
•    Free of disease

Dr. Obagi’s goals to achieve optimum skin health include the following 4 steps:

  1. Restore skin smoothness, tolerance, and even color tone
  2. Provide uniform hydration
  3. Improve circulation
  4. Regulate skin cellular functions

 

“Most of us begin life with healthy, unflawed skin, but environmental, internal, and hereditary factors and the normal process of aging proceed to undo what was ours at birth. Over time, activities promoting skin health decrease and deterioration begin. Intrinsic aging and/or photoaging (sun damage) cause anatomical, physiological, and clinical changes. These range from a sensation of dryness and dull, weathered skin to wrinkling, jowling, laxity, skin thinning, and easy bruising. Although these changes may not be detectable in youth, they are occurring and will become visible with age,” Dr. Obagi says.

 

To reverse the signs of aging skin and restore skin to a healthy state, consult with a ZO Authorized Physician

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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).

How Long is a Skin Cycle?

The concept of Skin Health Restoration, advanced by Zein E. Obagi, MD, is the optimum process to restore skin activity, vitality, strength and youthfulness, while also treating any skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, or pigmentation. This process ultimately leads to the best possible results for your skin, and will allow you to maintain these results for the long term. But you will need to be patient because skin health restoration doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to revitalize your skin and wake up your cells that Dr. Obagi describes as having been sleeping because they get lazy.

Dr. Obagi defines one full skin cycle as the time it takes from baby cells to be born at the deepest layer of the epidermis (the skin’s outer layer), and mature as they rise to the surface of the skin, and ultimately are shed off. This process takes approximately six weeks.

Why is this important? Because it explains why you should not expect to see improvement in your skin when you begin on the ZO Skin Health regimen before the 6-week mark, because healthy, new cells have not yet had a chance to mature and rise to the surface until a skin cycle is complete. In fact, the best results you can achieve will occur after three full skin cycles  – which is approximately 18 weeks or between four and five months, according to Dr. Obagi.

Skin health restoration – the process of making your skin healthy, strong, and youthful, while concomitantly treating any existing skin problems – will take an average of approximately five months that is, if you follow the treatment regimen your ZO doctor or skin care professional has recommended without interruption. If you choose to slow down by using less product than recommended or interrupt the cycle by skipping days, you can still see a significant improvement, but it will just take longer than five months to reach the optimal results.

The Benefits (and Dangers) of Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is a topical agent used in dermatology for reducing pigmentation and discoloration in the skin. It is available in the U.S. in over-the-counter strengths of up to 2 percent, with higher concentrations available only by prescription. Because of dangers associated with hydroquinone several countries, such as the U.K. and Japan, have banned its use.

Consumers are now getting hydroquinone on the internet without the benefit of medical supervision, which can have dangerous consequences. Over the past six years, the internet has been inundated with discounted skincare products, including hydroquinone-based skin bleaching creams that are being sold direct to consumers. In the past, hydroquinone could only be obtained with a prescription or under the care of a physician. We are seeing a wave of cases of hyperpigmentation from consumers using hydroquinone for the wrong indications and without adequate sun protection. Without seeing a qualified dermatologist or licensed skincare professional, there is so much misuse and overuse of this potent topical agent.

Our skincare collection, the ZO® Medical range, is available exclusively through healthcare practitioners around the world—you can only use our formulations through your dermatologist or plastic surgeon, because they are the skincare experts and can instruct you on how to use these potent and effective products in an optimal way.

MELAMIN™ contains 4% USP hydroquinone and is s highly effective solution to lighten hyperpigmentation. The MELAMIN formulation alters the essential subcellular metabolic processes that cause cytolysis and inhibits melanin production, resulting in a more even skin color and tone. Similarly, MELAMIX™ also contains 4% USP hydroquinone. It is a gradual bleaching cream that works to penetrate the skin and effectively deliver the active ingredients of the system to the melanocytes. MELAMIX reduces the appearance of chloasma, melasma, and freckles and optimizes delivery of active ingredients.

ZO Skin Health is on a mission to help make our customers aware of the dangerous consequences of prolonged use of hydroquinone without medical supervision, and to provide safe concentrations of hydroquinone through prescription-only products engineered to to safely correct hyperpigmentation and other skin discoloration issues.

Environmental Skin Aging vs. Intrinsic Skin Aging

Dermatologists like to tell people what they can do to treat lines and wrinkles caused by UV damage, wind, smoke, etc. It’s easy. There are lots of good ingredients for treating environmental aging.

But intrinsic aging—meaning, you and your skin are just getting older—is different. Until recently, if you asked dermatologists what ingredient worked best, they wouldn’t be able to give you a straight answer because they didn’t know what ingredients worked for natural skin aging!

But now, that’s changed. We have something to say to people who are getting older—and look that way.

Intrinsic skin aging (aka natural or chronological aging) looks a little different from environmental skin aging. With intrinsic aging, the wrinkles are finer, and the skin gets thinner and more lax. Environmental factors, on the other hand, cause deeper wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.

John Voorhees, MD and his team at the University of Michigan, did a test on the underside of the upper arms of older women—and found that high concentrations of retinol significantly reduced wrinkles and other signs of aging. The study was controlled (meaning that one arm was tested and the other was not) and double-blind (meaning that neither the researcher nor the subject knew what products were being tested). The underside of the arms have never been exposed to the sun, so it’s easy to isolate skin aged due to natural causes.

The conclusion: high concentrations of retinol successfully treat intrinsic aging due to retinol’s ability to stimulate collagen and retain water. As Dr. Voorhees said, “This is the first systematic, double-blind study showing that [retinol] improves any kind of aging—photoaging as well as natural aging. You can rub it anywhere, and it will help to treat the signs of aging.” The study was widely reported, but first published in the Archives of Dermatology.

That’s why we are so committed to ZO Skin Health’s Radical Night Repair Plus. Whether you’re concerned about environmental or natural skin aging—whether you’re concerned about your face or your arms—retinol, if properly formulated, can make a true improvement.