Tag Archives: skin care

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.

 

Beautiful Bride Bootcamp

You found the perfect dress, but there’s still so much do before you walk down the aisle and say “I do.” Your big day is coming and it will be all eyes on you. So how can you make sure that your skin is ready for prime time? Start six weeks ahead on an intensive skin care regimen to purge pores, smooth lines and creases, and reverse pigmentation for a flawless look.

Try this simple and effective home regimen to look positively gorgeous from the rehearsal dinner to the honeymoon. Start at least 6 weeks ahead.

 

For normal to dry skin, start with this basic plan:

 

For oily or acne prone skin, add these important steps:

  • Use ZO Skin Health Offects TE Pads Acne Pore Treatment twice daily to prevent breakouts and clogged pores
  • Avoid all skin care and cosmetic products that are not oil-free and non-comedogenic
  • Cleanse and exfoliate diligently on your decollete and back to guard against pimples that may show in your dress from the front and the back
  • See your ZO doctor if your acne increases due to the stress and hormonal flux of being a new bride

 

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.

Treat Yourself to a Spa Night In

Who doesn’t love the pampering, skin reviving benefits of a day at a luxurious spa?!

Dr. Zein Obagi has recreated some of the fabulous treatments sought out by celebrities and offered at the Obagi Skin Health Institute in Beverly Hills for you at home.

Send your kids and the hubs to the mall or a movie, so you can finally have some ME time. Then start by lighting a few aromatherapy candles to set the mood. Lavender is especially soothing and calming. Pour yourself a chilled glass of champagne to relax. Put your hair up or wrap in a soft, fluffy towel. Wash your face, pat dry, and you’re ready for your treatment.

One of our all time favorite spa-like treatments is our signature ZO Medical Invisapeel Intensive Resurfacing Peel. It can be used for your face, body, decolletage, arms, legs, even your hands. The formula uses papain and bromelain enzymes to gently renew the epidermis or outer skin layer, leaving skin visibly smoother, firmer and brighter. For added benefits, Dr. Obagi added some kukui seed oil and safflower seed oil to restore hydration and extra lipids for skin barrier reinforcement. This single treatment does it all.

If your skin is oily and breakouts are getting you down, indulge yourself with the NEW ZO Medical Offects Sulfur Masque. This deep-pore cleansing masque was created to target oily and acne prone skin.  It works to absorb surface oils, reduce oiliness, and prevent clogged pores which cause pimples and inflammation. What’s more, this little tube is a lifesaver as a spot treatment for flare ups. You will want to take one of these babies in your travel bag wherever you go.

Voila! These two great skin loving treatments that you can do at home are sure to have your complexion glowing and clear.

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.

Pack Your Bags With ZO

You asked for it – we listened. In time for summer vacay planning, we are excited to introduce two new Travel Packettes of Dr. Obagi’s signature complexion control pads. Just because you’re going to be chillaxing at the beach or climbing a mountain trail, or having a barbeque in your backyard, your skin doesn’t have to suffer.

According to Beverly Hills Dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi, Medical Director of ZO Skin Health, “Your skin cannot afford to take a vacation. I created our line of Travel Packettes so that you can take these important skin care remedies with you wherever you go. The end result is that your skin will be clear because you will be able to control the sebum in the skin.”

Welcome ZO Offects TE Pads Travel Packettes

One of our best sellers, this daily leave-on treatment helps target oil and decrease breakouts. It exfoliates to remove dead skin cells, prevents clogged pores and calms and soothes skin that is irritated or inflamed.

These single use packettes in the metallic blue pouch will be a lifesaver. Throw a few in your bag, tuck them into your desk drawer, and use after the gym, of before a night out, the uses are endless. 20 packettes per box

Say hello to ZO Medical Cebatrol Oil Control Pads Travel Packettes

This potent acne prevention solution was designed to be used with the ZO acne treatment program to control acne flares and prevent pores from getting clogged with oil and debris so new pimples don’t have a chance to form.  Cebatrol removes oil, keeps pores open and clean, helps smooth out the surface of the skin, while reducing irritation commonly found with acne or oily skin types.

In a white pouch, these pads come in a box of 20 packettes and are intended to be used daily for best results and as part of a long term acne solution.

 

 

 

The Redness of Rosacea

Picture this. Your face flushes for no reason and without notice. Your cheeks often look ruddy and you can see tiny spider veins. You sometimes have breakouts in those areas too. You get flare-ups sometimes after eating spicy foods, drinking alcohol, and when the weather get hot and humid. If this sounds familiar, you could be suffering from Rosacea.

April is Rosacea Awareness Month, which calls out the symptoms of Rosacea to make people more aware of this all too common problem. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that is often called “Curse of the Celts” because it is common in people with fair skin, and often in those of Irish or Celtic descent. Just a small fraction of the millions of people who suffer from rosacea are even aware of the condition and seek treatment from a dermatologist and even less of them receive the most effective treatments.

Flushing and persistent redness are the most common early signs of Rosacea. For some people, symptoms may only include mild, intermittent facial redness and flushing. For others, symptoms may be more severe and persistent such as redness, pimples and broken capillaries, or thickened, rough skin. Rosacea onset typically occurs any time after age 30. In some cases, it can affect the neck, chest, scalp or ears as well as the face.

Although exactly what causes the inflammation and redness is not completely understood, hormonal fluctuations and genetics, hyperactive oil glands that lead to increased oil production can all be culprits. While there is no cure for rosacea, effective treatments can be tailored to each individual by a dermatologist to keep Rosacea under control.It is also important to recognize and avoid triggers; the activities or habits that can cause flares.  These can include extreme temperatures, sun exposure, alcohol, spicy food, and stress.

For mild rosacea, Dr. Obagi recommends a daily skin care regimen consisting of ZO® Skin Health products to soothe and calm the skin and repair the skin barrier, such as:

If your case of rosacea is more severe, a combination of in-office treatments and at-home use of redness-reducing products can help improve symptoms. The first step is a consultation with a dermatologist, doctor or skin care professional to find out what is right for you.

 

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.