Skin Care Layering

We used to get by with only 3 steps (cleanse, tone, moisturize), but that is so yesterday. But is all that layering is actually good for your skin? Well, the short answer, is that it depends. You want us to recommend FEWER steps, and we’re going to recommend MORE steps! Unfortunately, doing as you ask would not necessarily be doing you (or your skin) any favors. Some day there may be one product that cleanses, tones, activates, stimulates, moisturizes, and protects. But not soon. Actually, if we combined too many active ingredients, one would invariably de-activate or…

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Great Makeup Starts with Great Skincare

If you’re a fan of makeovers then surely you’ve seen TLC’s “What Not to Wear” and have watched the pivotal moment when makeup artist Carmindy twirls the chair around to reveal her jaw-dropping work. Viewers can’t help but wish they knew the secret to her artistry. Well, guess what her tip #1 is? It’s not the way to master a smokey eye. Carmindy proclaims that great makeup starts with great skincare. “Skin tells all. It reflects your health, indicates your stress-o-meter, and shows whether yov’e made precention part of your beauty routine. Even if you haven’t been…

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Key Ingredients To Look For

When you get serious about skincare, ingredients become priority number one.  As a formulator, that is the way Dr. Obagi develops his products. He don’t have time to waste on the ineffective skincare, and neither do you. But we often hear women say that they just don’t know which ingredients are the real deal. Let’s start with the anti-oxidants. They protect your skin cells from UV damage, pollution, and free radicals. The most common ones (and the most important!) are Vitamins A, C, & E. Retinol (aka Active Vitamin A): This ingredient’s main function is skin cell…

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Incredible Shrinking Pores

Large pores: how can  something so small be such a big deal? Probably because enlarged pores make it difficult to have smooth, firm, tight, youthful-looking skin. Correcting large pores can be a challenge, and it’s even harder for men who tend to have larger pores and more oil glands than women. Here are a few do’s: Make sure that you use the right cleanser. Use  one designed for oily skin—look for ingredients like salicylic, glycolic, or lactic acid, and make sure that you use it for one full minute—it takes that long to break down sebum. Even if…

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Love Your Body

What do you like best about your body lotion? If your answer has anything to do with the smell of vanilla, brown sugar, lilacs, roses, tangerine, or watermelon—you’re using the wrong lotion. Dr. Zein Obagi wants you to have a long list of things you like best about your body lotion and he wants them all to do with the way they make your skin look and feel. That’s why he formulated Body Emulsion, which hydrates, firms, fades dark spots, smooths rough patches, and improves fine lines and wrinkles. Like all the products Dr. Obagi is known for, this one…

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Water, Water Everywhere

The number one ingredient in most skincare products (even the high-priced ones!) is—you guessed it—water. Water, of course, is excellent for your skin, especially if it is supplied from the food and water that you consume. Water applied to the surface has much less value. A principal ingredient in most moisturizers, water does in fact help to plump the skin, thereby helping to smooth and hydrate—but it won’t affect a real change in your skin. And, there are several other problems with water: Most creams and lotions take up to 30 minutes to be fully absorbed by…

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Do Cleansing Brushes Really Work?

Anything that makes your life easier and your skin healthier gets four stars around here—that’s why we like the Clarisonic cleansing brushes. The best part is that they’re programmed to operate for one full minute. This is the amount of time required to break down sebum, which Dr. Obagi calls “the enemy of healthy skin.” Many ZO users like to use the Clarisonic with our Hydrating Cleanser. Used in combination, the two get 5 or 6x as much dirt, cosmetics, and oils off of your skin. For fighting acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and large pores, that’s powerful….

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Use It or Lose It

Why do so many skincare companies put products in 1-to-6 ounce containers? Why not supersize them, like some discount retailers do? The problem is that supersized products may be false economy. Here’s why: 1. Just about all personal cosmetic products have a shelf life. You can see that date printed on the jar; it’s called the PAO (Period After Opening)—an illustration of a little open jar, with a number inside, like 6M, 12M, etc. This number stands for how long the product will stay fresh after it has been opened. Skincare companies are not required to…

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Best Facials for Acne

Sometimes, despite your best intentions, at-home care for acne just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the advice and treatments of an aesthetician or a dermatologist. A facial may be a good idea, but always make sure that you’re getting the right kind of facial as some acne facials can actually make the problem worse. Here’s what to look for—and what to look out for. A good acne facial requires four steps: cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, and sunscreen. The exfoliation can be mechanical—a good scrub, like ZO’s Exfoliating Polish—or a device such as a crystal-free microdermabrasion. Particle-based microdermabrasion,…

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Give Your Skin The Rub

Lotions, creams, serums and other skin care products that sit on the surface of your skin have little to no benefit. Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi recommends massaging creams and lotions into your skin until they have completely disappeared and absorbed fully. Here are the added benefits: Apply products vigorously in a circular motion giving your skin added exercise to stimulate dormant cells. You will enhance the activity of the functional ingredients, because you’re increasing penetration and absorption. It only takes a few extra seconds to do it correctly and reap the full benefits of your…

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