Tag Archives: stress


Follow these tips from the ZO® team of skin care experts for how to avoid the most common skin saboteurs.

Choosing the wrong products

If you’re looking for visible skin improvements, sticking with a routine customized for you by a skin care professional is where you should start. ZO® Skin Health develops clinically advanced products that work synergistically. Your ZO® doctor will recommend when to use each product, what order your products should be applied, and how much of each to use. They can make the process simple so you will see results.

Skipping vital steps

If you’re getting started on a skin care routine with active ingredients like retinol and glycolic acids, start slowly with only a few products at a time. This will allow your skin to adjust to new products. Once your skin begins to normalize and can tolerate more intensity in the active ingredients, your ZO® doctor may upgrade your regimen. Skipping steps, like not cleansing properly at bedtime or forgetting to use your sunscreen, or not being consistent is going to slow down your progress. Follow the plan designed for you and return to see your ZO® doctor periodically to check on how you are doing.

Not using sun protection properly

Sun protection is needed 365 days of the year, even in winter and when the sun isn’t shining. Most of us don’t use nearly enough sunscreen to get adequate coverage. Don’t get lazy about sun protection or you will reverse some of the benefits you have achieved by using ZO® Skin Health and ZO® Medical products. Sun exposure causes DNA damage that shows up as premature aging. Over time this damage leads to more lines and wrinkles and mottled pigmentation that will make you look older.

Missing out on the benefits of retinol

Beverly Hills dermatologist Zein Obagi is a huge proponent of adding retinol to your skin care routine. He believes that retinol is the cornerstone of every effective skin care program. Ask your ZO® doctor to recommend the retinol that is best for your skin type and concerns. You may start with ZO® Ossential Advanced Night Repair and move up to using ZO® Medical Retamax Active Vitamin A Micro Emulsion as your skin gets acclimated to it.

Giving up before you see results

If you get lazy or give up after a few weeks of consistent use of your ZO® plan, you will miss out on the real benefits. Stick with your regimen for 6-8 weeks and you will see your skin improve. Good skin care formulations are an investment in your skin’s future, and it takes time to reap the rewards. But it will be worth it when you experience the difference ZO® can make for your skin.


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 induces wrinkles.

  • Take good care of yourself by eating a healthy diet loaded with antioxidant-rich fruits, veggies, and good-for-your-skin foods.
  • Try to get enough sleep so your body can rest and your skin has time to renew itself. Thirty minutes before bedtime, apply a retinol. We recommended ZO® Skin Health Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair Nighttime is the best time to repair your skin. You’ll look and feel better–and wake with more youthful-looking skin in the morning.
  • Consuming too many glasses of wine and cups of coffee and not enough water can dehydrate your skin. Drink water throughout the day and reduce the amount of caffeinated beverages you drink, including coffee, tea and cola drinks. Increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, including juicy fruits like pears, apples, oranges, and vegetables high in water content, such as lettuce, celery and mushrooms.
  • Get plenty of exercise and work up a sweat at least three times a week. Take a brisk 30-minute walk during your lunch hour whenever possible, or go to a Yoga or Pilates class after work to stretch and tone your muscles. When you work up a sweat, you are also moisturizing your skin from the inside out.
  • Treat yourself with a visit to a spa for relaxation and to keep your skin in optimum condition. Massages can work wonders to soothe sore muscles and moisturize the skin of your back, shoulders, arms and legs. Facials are ideal for deep cleansing and taking a break from your electronic devices to enjoy an hour of solitude and tranquility. Avoid the temptation of saunas and steam rooms as they can actually dehydrate your skin.

Back to School With Clear Skin

College is calling your name – and unfortunately, so are stress, sleepless nights, partying, and forgetting about your good skin habits. What comes next? Acne breakouts, pimples, blackheads and more, of course.

Stay calm and carry on. ZO Skin Health has solutions that are easy and simple enough even for an overscheduled student to stick with.

Acne may be caused by genetics or hormones, and usually it’s a combination of multiple factors.   Contributing factors may include diet, sleep patterns, hygiene, lifestyle, exercise, and did we mention stress? If you are not exfoliating regularly because crashing for exams take precedence, dead skin cells will build up on your skin’s surface and inside the pores. These dead cells and debris mix with trapped oil and the end result is pores that get clogged, along with blackheads and whiteheads or pustules can’t be far behind.
To keep breakouts under control requires a 24/7, 365 days/year regimen. Even when you are not breaking out, but have a history of acne, don’t get lax. Stick with a program to achieve and maintain clear skin.
ZO Skin Health makes it easy – even for sleep deprived, stressed out college and grad students.  Try the ZO Skin Health Acne Prevention and Treatment Program that includes:
  • Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser
  • Offects® Exfoliating Polish
  • Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment Pads
For even more convenience, Offects TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment Pads now also come in single use packets, so you can through a few in your backpack or gym bag to keep acne prone areas clean and free from oil and dirt building. And the super effective blue Ossential Bio-Sulfur Masque doubles as a terrific spot treatment to prevent pimples from erupting.
With daily consistent use, these 4 best sellers will keep your skin clear and healthy all semester long!
NOTE: If your acne is severe or you get deep, painful nodules or cysts, see a Dermatologist. You may also required medical treatment with peels, lasers and prescription drugs.

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.


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


Good Hair Days Ahead

A full head of healthy, shiny hair is a very coveted thing. Stress, genetics, vitamin deficiencies, styling damage, and chemical processing can all contribute to hair thinning over time in women and men.  On average, we lose 50-100 hairs day, which is part of the natural growth cycle. However, if you start seeing more hairs on your pillow, in the bathroom sink, or in your brush, hair loss may be a bigger problem.

Making some simple changes to your daily hair care routine may help slow down hair thinning.

Here are 5 tips:

  1. Use a brush made with boar bristles. Plastic brushes can be abrasive on your hair and scalp.
  2. Switch your hair appliances to a cooler setting, or hold your dryer further away from your hair (6-12 inches). Prolonged exposure to heat can be extremely damaging to hair.
  3. Use a protein-based nourishing conditioner to restore the natural oils that are removed from the hair and scalp during the washing process. Also use only sulfate-free shampoo.
  4. Avoid wearing your hair in a too tight ponytail or using an elastic band that can weaken strands and cause breakage.
  5. Eat your share of green leafy vegetables and Omega 3-enriched eggs. Diets rich in calcium, protein and iron can help reduce or even prevent hair loss.

If excessive hair loss persists, see your dermatologist to find out what the underlying cause may be.

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.

Stress Reduction Strategies

Have you noticed that people are looking older these days? Could be that they’re not getting their BOTOX injections as frequently, or it could just be that they’re under a lot of stress—which shows up on the face as wrinkles, skin laxity, rosacea, inflammation and acne.

“The problem,” Dr. Zein Obagi says, “is that stress increases the production of hormones that damage collagen and elastin.” Too much stress also takes the joy out of life—so you’re more likely to frown or scowl, thereby inducing wrinkles, fine lines, and premature aging.

Take good care of yourself, get plenty of exercise, and try to get 8 hours of sleep per night. Thirty minutes before bedtime, be sure to apply skincare products with retinol—night time is the best time to repair your skin. You’ll feel better, and better about yourself, in the morning!

Winter Skin Care Survival

Thanksgiving has come and gone. With our skin starting to feel the dehydrating effects of winter winds and cold, dry air, what’s a woman to do?  Slather their skin with moisturizers, right? Wrong.

A moisturizer is like “dessert” to your skin—it feels good, nice, and smooth, but does little to nothing for your skin cells that lay beneath the surface—the source of skin aging. That’s why it’s important to remember the “main course” of skin care: products that activate, stimulate, and protect your skin.

During winter, it’s especially important to:

  • Exfoliate. The dull, dry skin cells on the surface of the skin should be exfoliated, and there are a couple of reasons for this. 1) Exfoliation allows younger, healthier skin cells to emerge. 2) You can enhance the penetration of other skin care products, because they don’t get trapped by the superficial cells—if anti-aging products remain on the surface of your skin, they’re pretty useless. 3) Exfoliation deep cleans the pores, and helps reduce excess oils. We like to recommend the ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Polish—it’s more aggressive than many of the exfoliating creams, because we want to provide a product that’s as effective as can be without damaging or irritating the skin. During the summer, Dr. Obagi recommends exfoliating twice a week, but during the winter, exfoliate every day.
  • Protect. During winter the days are shorter, but UVB rays will still damage your skin, and UVA rays will penetrate through windows and go straight to the dermis—where they can create permanent damage. If you’re headed to the mountains for a day of skiing, remember that UV rays are intensified by snow and high altitude, so taking a vacation from sunscreen during the winter is a big mistake. Try ZO Skin Health’s Oclipse Sunscreen—two different physical sunscreens plus melanin all work to protect the skin.
  • Avoid the use of hot water. It may feel good for a few minutes (no showers longer than 10 minutes, please!), but will dehydrate your skin, deplete the natural oils, and create parched, chapped, dry skin. After showering, pat your skin dry, and apply ZO Skin Health Body Emulsion while your skin is still slightly damp. The high concentration of lactic acid in Body Emulsion is a great exfoliator—be sure to apply it to the soles of your feet if they’re dry or scaly.
  • Hydrate. With shorter days and colder temperatures, most of us spend more time indoors during the winter—where the air is warmer, but also dryer. Use a humidifer, don’t overuse space heaters (including your car), and drink plenty of water. Your face and hands especially need extra care during the winter, because they have greater exposure, so be sure to keep them hydrated (and exfoliated)!
  • Escape. These are stressful times, so find time for yourself. Take a warm bath, read a good book, do something just for yourself. Do something that you enjoy for short, daily escapes.

While you take care of everyone else this holiday season, be sure to take care of yourself (and your skin!)