Category Archives: Dry Skin

AHAS VERSUS BHAS: WHICH ONE IS YOUR SKIN’S BFF?

Deciding between an AHA or a BHA in the skincare aisle is not as easy as ABC.

Alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids are found in many skin care products, from cleansers to daily peel pads. We all need to exfoliate regularly to get rid of dead dull skin cells and make room for new ones, and both of these are effective exfoliants. But there are differences between how these two key skin care ingredients really work.

Knowing the difference between the two and choosing the right one for your skincare needs can really help you get and keep your glow.

If you have dry skin, AHAs are your BFF

AHA stands for “Alpha Hydroxy Acid.” Some popular AHA’s include glycolic (derived from sugar cane), lactic (made from sour milk), and mandelic (comes from almonds) acids. AHAs are ideal for sun-damaged and dry skin because they help to exfoliate and moisturize. Renowned dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi recommends Glycogent Exfoliation Accelerator – a mix of potent glycolic and lactic acid — https://zoskinhealth.com/zomedical/glycogent – for dry skin.

AHA’s can cause sun sensitivity in some people, so it’s best to use them at night and make extra sure to use your ZO SPF by day.

If you have acne-prone skin, BHAs are your BFF

BHA is short for “Beta Hydroxy Acid.” It penetrates the pores and helps release the ‘gunk’ trapped inside. This is why they are perfect for oily and acne-prone skin. The most well known BHA is salicylic acid. Dr. Obagi suggests Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment for acne-prone skin. These daily treatment pads are one of ZO’s hero products for oily skin types. Warning: Salicylic acid may cause drying if you overdo it.

“Both AHAs and BHAs offer positive effects on skin quality and condition,” says Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS, a plastic surgeon in New York City. “Choosing the right products for your skin care needs will maximize the effectiveness of these effective exfoliators.”

If you have other concerns about your skin or your acne does not seem to be improving, schedule an appointment with a skin consultation to see what else you could or should be doing.

To locate a ZO skincare specialist near you, visit https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you

BEAUTIFUL HANDS

Your face looks great but what about your hands?

Hands can take a real beating from your daily activities. Sun exposure, chemical exposure from washing dishes and cleaning, extended exposure to water and dry, cold air.

Maintaining soft, young and supple hands requires a constant adherence to a diligent regimen, wearing gloves in cold, frigid, dry weather, and applying sunscreen 365 days of the year.

To prevent the natural wear and tear on your hands, you need to give them some TLC. You can keep your hands looking healthy and youthful by treating them well and keeping them protected.

After age 30, your skin gets lazy and cell production decreases by about 10 percent, making it less efficient at repairing itself. The tops of your hands, where the skin is thinner, tend to show signs of aging first from sun exposure. The skin of your palms is thicker and is usually not exposed to sunlight nearly as much. With advanced aging, the hands also lose their youthful plumpness due to the breakdown of collagen and elastin and the loss of fat. Bulging veins and wrinkled knuckles will start to look more prominent.

What can you do to keep your hands as beautiful as the skin of your face?

6 Steps to Fabulous Hands:

  1. Avoid overwashing delicate hands. Wear gloves when using harsh household detergents and only wash with lukewarm water, never very hot water that can be more drying. Apply hand crème immediately after getting hands wet.
  2. Regular sunscreen wear with SPF30+ is critical to protect the skin on the top of your hands when you will be outdoors and your hands will be exposed to damaging UV rays.
  3. Brush or dab on a nail oil twice every day to keep cuticles soft.
  4. Peels are an ideal treatment for aging hands, and work the same way they do for your face and décolletage. We recommend Invisapeel Intensive Resurfacing Peel for at home use to exfoliate the surface of the epidermis, and improve skin texture and tone. Leave on for 1-3 hours or overnight, and for best results, use 2-3 times per week. Using Invsapeel regularly will also help your topical skin care products to penetrate better and more evenly.
  5. Exfoliate daily with Correcting Hand and Body Scrub , our own chemical and mechanical exfoliating system that combines salicylic acid and sugar crystals to leave hands soft, smooth and younger-looking.
  6. Ask your dermatologist, plastic surgeon or cosmetic doctor about BOTOX® Cosmetic, Dysport® or Xeomin® or dermal fillers like Radiesse®, Juvederm® or Restylane® to help camouflage bulging veins and plump up shriveling, old-looking hands.

To keep your hands looking their best, also try the NEW Beautiful Hands by ZO Kit

With our rich moisturizing formula Nourishing Hand Crème plus three perfect polishes in ZO’s signature colors: royal blue, platinum silver and pearl white.

WHAT’S THAT GROWING ON YOUR SKIN?

Lumps and bumps can appear on your skin – seemingly out of nowhere. Before you hit the panic button, take a deep breath and remember that not all skin lesions are dangerous.

Trinidad-based dermatologist Rachael Eckel, MD, the principal trainer for ZO® Skin Health in Europe, sheds some new light on a few of the more common benign skin lumps and bumps.

Sebaceous Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of oil on the skin.  They usually feel like large peas and can develop as a result of infection or clogging of sebaceous (oil) glands. Sebaceous cysts typically grow slowly, are usually painless, and have a smooth appearance. If a sebaceous cyst is bothersome, it can be removed surgically. Occasionally, cysts become infected and require medical care. How can you tell? When a cyst becomes infected it usually grows rapidly, hurts, and the skin surrounding the area can become very warm to the touch and red. In these cases, your dermatologist may drain the cyst and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Sometimes steroid injections are also needed to cool inflammation.

Lentigines (liver spots) are freckles or age spots that occur on the arms, legs, and face or any sun-exposed area of the skin. They are various shades of brown and have a clearly-defined edge surrounded by normal-appearing skin and a flat surface. There are lasers and many bleaching creams available to help eliminate lentigos, but they are harmless. If you have a lentigo that starts to rapidly grow, change color, itch, or bleed see your doctor for evaluation. This may signal lentigo maligna, a form of the potentially fatal skin cancer melanoma.

Seborrheic Keratosis has a waxy brown, black, red or white appearance. These are rough lumps that can grow rapidly anywhere on the body. A Seborrheic Keratosis can appear suddenly, grow rapidly, be multi-colored and itch. They are harmless, but if bothersome, there are many ways to remove Seborrheic Keratosis. Most removal treatments involve lasers or excision. There is, however, much hope being pinned on an investigational topical product called A-101. It works by penetrating into the lesion and causing oxidative damage, which can ultimately result in the sloughing of the cells. Stay tuned.

Warts are viral-caused painless growths typically caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They can be disfiguring and embarrassing and they can sometimes itch or become irritated. Your dermatologist has a whole tool box to address warts including “painting” them with cantharidin to cause a blister to form under the wart, killing it and cryotherapy (freezing) among others.

Skin Tags (acrochordon) are soft, skin-colored growths that hang from the surface of the skin on a thin piece of tissue. They typically appear the skin folds of the neck, armpits, and torso, beneath the breasts or in the genital area. They are harmless, but can become irritated if clothing or jewelry rubs against them. They are permanent unless you have them removed. There are many ways for a dermatologist to remove skin tags that become bothersome.

This is just a guide.  There is no substitute for a visit with your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to diagnose any skin condition. When in doubt, always check it out. If something on your skin is bothering you, there is no downside to scheduling a visit with your doctor to find out what you need to know.

To locate a ZO skincare specialist near you, visit https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you

CARING FOR YOUR DRY SKIN

Dry, flaky, itchy skin and cold weather go hand in hand.

Winter winds and cold weather leaves skin flaky, red and rough. Severely dry skin (xerosis) can show up on your arms, hands, lower legs, ankles and even your scalp.

Dry skin needs more moisture and barrier protection so that your skin’s natural moisture does not escape.

Reverse dry skin and restore moisture by:

Taking shorter showers

Limit yourself to a single 5- or 10-minute shower or bath each day. Spending more time in the water often leaves your skin less hydrated than before you started, the American Academy of Dermatology states.

Cooling it

Hot water strips the essential oils from your skin, drying it out. Opt for warm or cool water, never hot.

Smearing on lotion

Apply body lotion right after your shower and bath when your skin is still moist. Read the labels and look for certain ingredients. Ceramides, or synthetic ceramides, help skin retain water and soothe dry skin. Dimethicone and glycerin draws water to the skin and keeps it there. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is like ceramides and also helps the skin to retain moisture. Lanolin, mineral, and petroleum jelly help skin hold on to the water absorbed during bathing.

Dr. Zen Obagi recommends Ommerse® Overnight Recovery Crème. It works overnight to repair and regenerate severely dry, irritated skin. He suggests applying one or two pumps on the face and neck 30 minutes before bedtime for best results.

Choosing and using gentle products

Look for unscented, soap-free, or mild soap cleaners. These will be the least likely to irritate and exacerbate dry skin problems.

Turning the humidifier on

Indoor air is dry, but using a humidifier at home to keep skin hydrated during winter months.

If you feel your skin is itchy or inflamed, apply a cool compress or an over the counter hydrocortisone cream on the area for a few days to one week. See your dermatologist or ZO skincare professional for more tips and tools to help resolve your dry, itchy winter skin.

IS YOUR SCALP HEALTHY?

We spend hours styling and caring for our hair, but most of us don’t give our scalp the time of day. That’s unfortunate as healthy hair and a healthy scalp typically travel together. If your scalp isn’t in prime condition, odds are your hair is isn’t ready for prime time either.

Here’s how to care for your scalp (and your hair!)

Go on a shampoo diet

As the weather grows cooler and the humidity drops, your scalp and hair will retain less moisture.  Over shampooing will further strip away this needed moisture. During your daily shower, either wet your hair without adding shampoo, or cover it completely and save yourself another blow dry. Dry shampoo can also sop up the oil that makes your hair look greasy and buy time between shampoos and pricey blow drys.

Tip: A scalp massage during your shower will help stimulate blood circulation to the hair follicles (and it feels great).

Ditch the dandruff

If you notice white flakes on all of your clothes and it’s not snowing outside, you may have dandruff. Try an antidandruff shampoo to see if it improves the situation. Follow the instructions on the label for maximum benefits. See your dermatologist if your condition doesn’t improve or worsens.

Add a conditioner to your routine

Occasional use of a moisturizing conditioner (even just on the ends of your hair) can decrease static electricity, smooth split ends and protect your hair from harsh winter weather. Deep conditioning hair masks can also rejuvenate damaged hair. Use a mask once a week.

Dial down the heat

Blow dry your hair on the cool or warm setting, never hot as heat can burn the scalp and damage the hair. Air dry your hair occasionally as well to minimize damage.

Dim the (high)lights

Consider going one or two shades darker for the fall and winter to give your hair a break from the damaging effects of over highlighting. If you also get treatments that change your hair texture – straightening, for example, decide which one is more important to you or discuss the best ways to space them out with a trusted hair stylist.

Just chillax

Stress and anxiety make everything worse – including hair loss and scalp health issues. Find something that helps you take the edge off and do it on a daily basis. Medication, yoga, regular exercise and deep breathing can all reduce stress.

See your dermatologist

Increased itching, dryness, and irritation can mask a more serious scalp condition such as scalp psoriasis. See your dermatologist or ZO skincare professional to find out more.

Tips For Winterizing Your Hands

Don’t let your hands give away your age! Fight the effects of cumulative sun damage, and daily wear and tear on your hands by keeping them protected from the environment and harsh chemicals.

Hands actually have fewer oil glands and get the most exposure to the elements – along with your face, neck and upper chest – which makes them especially prone to premature aging. Always exposed to the elements, your hands give away your age more than any other body part. Dermatologists agree that sun damage is the main culprit. Although hands start showing signs of aging by your late 20s, most women don’t zero in on it until their 30s or 40s. To prevent damage early, it is wise to upgrade your routine before the signs of aging hands appear.

The NEW ZO Skin Health Oraser Nourishing Hand Creme  was designed by Dr. Zein Obagi for universal usage, day or night, to help reduce the signs of aging in hands. Oraser contains powerful retinol enzymatic skin resurfacers to diminish lines and wrinkles, dry skin, brown spots that cause your hands to look older. With continued use, Oraser will work to break up existing pigmentation and sun spots, and prevent new pigment formation for a more even skin tone. It also stimulates exfoliation to improve rough texture and soften dry skin patches.

To restore hydration and replenish skin barrier function to dry hands, start at your pulse points, apply Oraser generously, smoothing into hands, wrists and cuticles so it gets absorbed. Reapply after washing hands and right before bedtime. If your hands are noticeably cracked and dry, try sleeping with a thick coating of Oraser under cotton gloves for greater absorption overnight. With cooler temperatures on the horizon, Oraser will help keep your hands well moisturized and protected.

Of course, no skin care program for your hands would be complete without adequate daily sun protection. Apply sunscreen – SPF30 – to the backs of your hands, and reapply as needed throughout the day if you will be outdoors. For best results, try the ZO Medical OCLIPSE-C™ Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50. This innovative sunscreen formula is intended for the face and the body, and goes beyond conventional UVA and UVB protection with the addition of fractionated melanin that minimizes the damaging effects of HEV light. Powerful antioxidants will help protect your hands from free radical damage, and anti-irritants help to minimize irritation and reduce redness. This creamy formula also restore hydration and enhances the skin barrier to prevent dehydration from daily environmental exposure.

How To Wash Your Face The Right Way

Cleansing should be the simplest part of your daily skin care routine. But, you may not realize that some all too common bad habits can cause a whole list of skin problems, including dry patches, irritation, oiliness, redness, clogged pores, and breakouts.

Cleansing before you go to bed is an essential part of keeping your skin healthy. During the day the oils on your skin oxidize, which collects dirt and debris on cells from pollutants, bacteria, perspiration and smoke. Cleanse skin at night to remove these toxins that can age your skin and contribute to clogged pores. Cleansing your skin in the morning is important to reduce oil and drops of perspiration that may have formed overnight. Beware that overwashing or harsh scrubbing can also exacerbate your skin’s oil production, leading to acne.

If you’ve got sensitive skin, you’ll want to use clean hands or a soft washcloth to avoid irritation. ZO Offects Hydrating Cleanser is the one for you. It gently hydrates and rejuvenates without disrupting the moisture barrier. Using panthenol and allantoin to soothe, repair, and restore skin, it sweeps away all the dead skin cells and supports cellular renewal.

If you have an oily complexion, cleansing your skin with the right product is vital to control breakouts. ZO Offects Exfoliating Cleanser is ideal to gently exfoliate and cleanse skin, reduce excess oil and neutralize free radicals from the environment. This bestseller also contains encapsulated vitamin E that provide antioxidant protection and hydration for healthy oily and acne prone skin. The foaming surfactants to remove oil and impurities from the skin, and micro-beads help to remove dead skin cells to unclog pores and stimulate healthy cell turnover. An added dose of beta hydroxy acid (BHA) also help to stimulate the exfoliation process dead skin cells. Plus, this multi-tasking formula helps to boost your skin’s natural production of collagen.

Generally, it is best to use warm water. Both hot and cold water can be harsh on your skin. After washing, gently pat skin dry and leave skin slightly damp.

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 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.

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.