Tag Archives: sun protection

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.

 

6 Makeup Tips To Make You Look Younger

“You look tired!” Those are three little words that no woman ever wants to hear, especially after sleeping a full eight hours. Newsflash – it could be that you’re making makeup mistakes that are ruining your good looks.

Before you apply any makeup, make sure your skin is properly cleansed and hydrated, protected with your daily SPF, especially around the delicate eyelid area. ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer SPF30 is the ideal first step before foundation.

  • Apply foundation the right way.

Wearing too much, none at all, or the wrong shade that doesn’t match your skin tone are all considered cardinal sins by makeup artists.  Skipping foundation or base completely can make your skin look pale and washed out. The wrong foundation in any form – from powder to liquid or cream –  can make wrinkles and imperfections actually appear more prominent too. Find your ideal color and apply it evenly. If you’re struggling to choose the best match, ask for professional help. If you are not a consistent makeup wearer, try mineral makeup that is feather light and looks great on all skin types with added UV light protection.

  • Add a sweep of  bronzer or blush.

A touch of natural looking blush gives your face a brightness and radiance – as if you were kissed by the sun. Start by using a soft natural bristle blush brush on the apples of your cheeks and apply toward your hairline. Keep the shade warm, peachy or golden for maximum effect and don’t overdo it. You’ll look awake and refreshed and ready to face the day (and night).

  • Never leave home without mascara.

Glossy dark mascara is a must to make your eyes really stand out, and it adds a touch of glamor to every woman’s face. For maximum impact lashes, try ZO Skin Health Ossential Lash Enhancing Serum with a powerful blend of peptides that has been clinically proven to enhance eyelash thickness and length and add volume to thinning, sparse lashes and brows too.

  • Don’t go crazy with eyeliner.

If you wear too much or a thick application of jet black liner, you eyes can actually appear smaller and look tired. Choose a softer shade for daytime wear – such as gray, black-brown, or charcoal. If your eyes are bloodshot or you haven’t had enough sleep, also consider lining your lower lid with a blue or navy-colored pencil to open up your eyes and make the whites look whiter.

  •  Set your brows to frame your eyes.

Brows are critical elements of a well put together face. They balance out your features and frame the eyes for a maximum impact. If you are stumped as to what shape works best for your face, take a lesson with a pro to learn how to groom your brows. Stick with the shade that matches your brow and hair color – don’t go too dark. Powders and pencils may be easiest to apply. Use a fixative – wax or gel – to keep unruly brows in place. Avoid over-plucking or your brows may end up looking too thin for your face.

  • Choose a flattering lip color.

If your lips are small or have lost volume, don’t choose a color that makes them look smaller. Stick with soft, pretty shades (rosy, tawny, medium pinks, corals) that flatter your complexion. Browns and brown-reds, deep plums and wines can make lips recede and accentuate fine lip lines. Line your lips with a neutral shade pencil to maintain a nice shape, follow with lipstick, and add a touch of gloss in the center of the bottom lip for a sexy pout. Matte lipsticks can also make you look older. A young lip is a moist, curvy, and natural-looking lip.

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.

Pre-Valentine’s Day Lip Shape Up

With Valentine’s almost here, luscious lips are taking center stage.

The first thing you should be mindful of is preventing and restoring healthy, soft lips. Cold weather and sun exposure are the major culprits when lips get dehydrated.  Cool air, reduced humidity and wind can leave the thin lip skin with deep cracks. When lips get dry and uncomfortable from moisture loss, chapping and painful cracking and peeling are not far behind.

The consistent use of a protective balm can prevent your lips from drying out. Emollients in tubes or pots can also reverse the problem. But once lips are chapped, the more often you apply an emollient balm, the  faster the healing process can begin. Look for lip products containing ingredients like shea butter, lanolin, vitamin E, beeswax and dimethicone. They work to create a barrier against dehydration while the moisturizing ingredients keep chapping to a minimum.

ZO Medical LIPREBUILD Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment was developed to reverse and restore severely dry, cracked and wrinkled lips using a clinically proven moisture recycling technology. This hydrating formula contains plant stem cell antioxidants, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, fruit extracts to soften and repair lips. It does double duty by plumping up lips to actually improve their shape, size and contour while restoring them to their natural, rosy color. Now that’s what we call a win-win!

Once your lips are brought back to optimum health, keep them supple with a moisture-rich lipstick or lip balm with an SPF that you apply several times daily.

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.

Skin Enemy #1

The sun presents a great conundrum for dermatologists and skin care professionals. On the one hand, it is the life-giving source of all natural living things. On the other hand, UV exposure is the cause of premature aging and, even worse, skin cancer.

It was once believed that only UVB was damaging because it causes the epidermis to burn and turn red. But now we know that UVA is equally damaging, if not more dangerous. UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. They cause skin cancer by damaging skin cells called keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur. In the past few years, the US FDA has required that all sunscreens sold in the US offer broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB.

Together UVA and UVB are responsible for sunburns and skin cancer. They also are responsible for every type of skin change that we consider normal aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, dark spots, freckles, coarse texture, and other discolorations. It also breaks down the elastin in the skin, causing it to sag and stretch. This is why the parts of your body that are regularly exposed to the sun look so different than the covered parts.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, protection is the first step in avoiding the damaging effects of the sun. Wear protective clothing, seek the shade when the sun is highest, and apply 1 ounce of sunscreen to your face and body every two hours when you are outdoors.

“Sun damage and skin cancer are the most common skin problems that we face,” says Dr. Zein Obagi. “They are on the increase, no matter how high the SPF.” In addition to broad-spectrum sunscreen, he believes that antioxidants can help skin fight the bombardment of aging free radicals. ZO® Skin Health Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF30 is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that also addresses the issues of inflammation and free radicals. It is a physical sunscreen, the best kind, and features titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for UVA/UVB protection. It also includes melanin, nature’s own skin protectant, which helps prevent melanocytes from having a negative response to UV.

Dr. Zein Obagi recommends that you treat your skin for excess sebum before applying sunscreen so it will stay in place, and apply sunscreen to dry skin.

There Is No Such Thing as a Safe Tan

You can’t dispute the science. The UVA and UVB rays from the sun as well as tanning beds and lamps lead to premature photo-aging at best, and skin cancer, including deadly melanoma, at worst. As beauty magazines and dermatologists advise, “The only safe tan is a fake tan.”

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “A tan, whether you get it on the beach, in a bed, or through incidental exposure, is bad news, any way you acquire it.” And tanning salons may pose the biggest risk. People who use indoor tanning devices are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than someone who has never visited a tanning salon or sat under a UV lamp. In the US alone, 419,254 cases of skin cancer can be attributed to indoor tanning. Out of this number, 6,199 are melanoma cases, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Avoiding indoor tanning is a no brainer, but what about natural sunlight? What is the best way to protect yourself yet enjoy outdoor activities, especially in the summer?

“The new FDA guidelines explicitly state that you should wear a sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) protection. It also says you should reapply sunscreen frequently to maintain high levels of protection—a critical point,” says Dr. Obagi.

The Skin Cancer Foundation adds that you should seek shade when the sun is highest and wear protective clothing, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses. Also, apply one full ounce of sunscreen to your body and face every two hours when you are outdoors.

In fact, Dr. Ogagi believes you should never leave the house without sunscreen on exposed parts of the body and recommends ZO® Skin Health Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30, which contains natural melanin that acts as a shield to fight the assault of ultra violet light on skin cells.

If you are still tempted by the illusionary enhancement of a tan remember this, skin ages 10 times faster when exposed to UV light from any source. You may not see the changes in your 20s, but textural and tone changes will appear in your early 30s, sun induced melanoma can occur in teens, and premature photo aging—lines, wrinkles, discoloration—is never a pretty sight.

Fear of Aging Motivates Teens to Use an SPF

It turns out that fear of looking old motivates teens to apply sunscreen much more than the possibility of developing skin cancer.

A recent study from the University of Colorado in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that educating teens about the aging and appearance-related effects of sun exposure is more effective than showing them the relationship between UV exposure and skin cancer when it comes to getting them to use sunscreen.

Fifty students from a Northern California high school were divided into two groups and shown one of the following videos:

  • A health-based video that “discussed the growing incidence of melanoma among young people and the link between skin cancer and UV radiation.”
  • An appearance-based video that “discussed the contribution of UV light to premature cutaneous aging and how sunscreen use could help delay signs of skin aging.”

According to researchers, they sought to compare the effectiveness of appearance-based video education with that of health-based video education in improving sunscreen use and knowledge. They were inspired by previous studies showing that appearance-based education was successful in getting teens to apply sunscreen, but costly. Videos are much more cost effective.

The results confirmed that appearance-based video education appears to be effective in promoting sunscreen use and knowledge in adolescents.

Knowledge about the risks of sun exposure increased in both groups, but the appearance-based group demonstrated a statistically significant increase in sunscreen use.

Eat More Water

Drinking 8 glasses of water every day is easier said than done. Are you looking for alternatives? Try eat more fruits and veggies, especially in the summer when fresh produce is easy to come by. Not only do they offer a healthy blend of vitamins, anti-oxidants, and fiber, they’re also high in water. Here are some of the best.

F​ruits

  • Strawberries—a 149 gram serving has 92% water.
  • Melons—a typical portion of watermelon or cantaloupe is 160 grams, but the water content is 90-92%.
  • Blueberries and apples—you can count on getting 84% of their weight in water, but what they lack in water content, they make up for in anti-oxidants.
  • Banana—one of the lowest in water content: only 74%.

Vegetables

  • Lettuce—at the top of the list vegetable list with 96%.
  • Zucchini and spinach—offer 95% and 92% water content, respectively.
  • Green peas—also generally higher in sugar content, peas are 76% water.

Water has its redeeming qualities, but consuming fresh produce has many benefits that water alone can’t offer.