Category Archives: Hyaluronic acid

Pregnant Pores

Pregnancy is an exciting time for every woman, but along with carrying a new life inside you, your skin, hair and nails experience many changes. It is natural to wonder what you can do about the many changes your body is going through – and what might be dangerous for your baby during these 9 months.

It is well known that some ingredients in prescription medications and from topical skin care products can get absorbed into the body when applied to skin. If you are not entirely sure what is safe or what to avoid, always ask your OB/Gyn or medical doctor to find out.

A a general rule, most mild skincare products found in the drugstore or on department store shelves that do not contain high levels of ingredients regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be safe to use. These may include cleansers, toners, moisturizers, eye creams, scrubs, masques, lip balms, body lotions, body wash, hand creams, etc.  But there are certain ingredients that are to be avoided until you have given birth and finished breast feeding.

According to Dr. Rachael Eckel, Dermatologist in Trinidad and ZO faculty member, following is the list of ingredients to avoid while pregnant and lactating:

  • Prescription Retinoids – Retin-A, Accutane, Differin, Tazorac, etc.
  • Retinol
  • Beta Hydroxy Acid/Salicylic Acid
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Hydroquinone

Of course this doesn’t mean that you can’t look after your skin while pregnant, but you may need to adjust your normal anti-aging or anti-acne skin care regimen temporarily. “Instead of loading up on vitamin A based products, switch to a non-retinol day cream or serum. Anti-aging skin care that contain Vitamin C, antioxidants, and peptides are usually fine to use during pregnancy too.  A strong SPF is also essential. ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer SPF30 is a great choice because it includes a subtle tint with high protection,” says Dr. Eckel.

Many women break out during the first trimester, which then slows down by the second trimester. In some women, however, they may have acne for the whole nine months. “You can substitute benzoyl peroxide and Beta Hydroxy acid based products with glycolic or lactic acid formulas to help control breakouts. If your skin is inflamed or ruddy, try using ZO Medical Balatone, a calming toner designed to invigorate dry, weak skin. It also removes impurities and balances the skin’s pH,” she says.

Some of the skin changes that occur during pregnancy include pigmentation, melasma on the cheeks, chin and upper lip, moles, acne, rosacea, and stretchmarks. Many of these changes will resolve on their own once your hormones go back to normal, some will get better, and others will remain. The best advice is to wait to see your Dermatologist when you are ready for a post pregnancy skin check. Your dermatologist can advise you on what may require prescription drugs, topical products, or clinical treatments for your condition.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

For Your Eyes Only

The skin around the eyelids is the thinnest on the body, and therefore, more delicate and subject to daily damage from UV exposure. By starting to use a protective eye cream as early as in your 20s, you can effectively help delay the visible signs of aging. A good eye cream, depending on the active ingredients, can keep eyelid skin hydrated and smooth.

Laguna, California plastic surgeon Dr. Aaron Kousins recommends ZO® Medical Hydrafirm Eye Brightening Repair Creme. “Puffiness under the eyes can be caused by several issues, including fatigue, fluid retention, seasonal allergies, excess salt intake, and of course, heredity. The cause of dark circles can include darkening of the skin from chronic rubbing or a genetic predisposition. Additionally, some patients with thin under eye skin can have darkening from underlying blood vessels that are visible.  Volume loss or hollowing under the eyes can cause shadowing that can create a dark appearance. An eye cream that contains caffeine that will help tighten the skin, reducing the puffiness, and also help with drainage.”

The powerful combination of caffeine, enzymatic vasodilators, retinol, arnica montana, and coenzyme A in ZO Medical Hydrafirm works together to rapidly reduce the appearance of puffiness around your eyes. In the AM and PM, use only a pea size amount for the entire under eye area – and blend in gently with fingertips. Hydrafirm absorbs quickly and can be used year round.

To keep your eyelid area looking young, never pull or tug on the thin skin around your eyes, and always wear an SPF30+ when you will be exposed to sunlight.

Caring For Dry Winter Skin

Winter weather takes a beating on the skin, leaving  it flaky, red, and rough. Severely dry skin- also known as xerosis- can show up on your arms, hands, lower legs, ankles and even your scalp.  Excessive sun exposure, bathing,  or use of harsh soaps, detergents or chemicals can also trigger dry skin.

Making a few simple changes in your daily skin care regimen and lifestyle can help you to overcome severely dry skin. Keep baths and showers short. Hot water strips the essential oils from your skin, drying out your skin. Limit yourself to a 10-miute warm shower or bath. Look for unscented, soap-free, or mild soap cleansers and body washes. These will be the least likely to irritate and exacerbate dry skin problems. When you come out of the shower, pat your skin damp and then apply moisturizer. Your skin will be more accepting to lotions within 3-5 minutes after washing.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get successful results. Read the labels and look for certain ingredients. Ceramides, or synthetic ceramides, helps 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 are other ingredients that help skin hold on to the water absorbed during bathing.

Dr. Obagi says, “Don’t  forget sunscreen when you leave the house. You should apply a broad spectrum sunscreen on all exposed parts of your body. Look for SPF30 or higher, as in ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sunscreen +Primer Broad Spectrum SPF30. When it comes to sunscreen, more is more. Make sure to reapply sunscreen often when in the sun for prolonged periods of time.  Applying sunscreen regularly will not only help prevent dry skin, it will prevent aging as well.”

Use a humidifier at home to keep skin hydrated during winter months. Indoor air is dry so you want to make sure your skin won’t suffer. Drink plenty of water and green tea, and try to eat foods that are rich in omega-3. Essential fatty acids can be found in cold-water fish like salmon and halibut, flax, walnuts, and safflower oil; it helps fortify skin’s natural oil-retaining barriers. If you feel your skin is itchy or inflamed, apply a cool compress or a hydrocortisone cream on the area for a few days to one week.

If you still see redness and irritation, see your dermatologist to find out if there is more to your dry skin than meets the eye.

NEW Skin Care Technology

For anti-aging skin care and cosmeceuticals, technology is the driver. Some of the most important categories of ingredients for anti-aging used today include; DNA repair enzymes, plant stem cells, growth factors, retinol, and peptides. Retinol triggers natural skin hydration from deep within, by upregulating extracellular matrix production (collagen-1, hyaluronic acid). You can find a potent form of retinol in ZO Skin Health Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair, for example. DNA repair agents and synthetic growth factors promote faster repair of the DNA damage induced by both intrinsic (genetic) and extrinsic (environmental, sun exposure, pollution) aging.

According to Dr. Zein Obagi, “Topical agents should promote skin health and not induce further harm. A patient’s regimen should therefore be created using scientifically proven, active ingredients, suited to their skin type and needs. Novel delivery systems and techniques allow us to customize a regimen for each individual.”

Are You in Hot Water?

You already know that it’s best to stay away from proverbial hot water. But when it comes to your skin, it’s best to stay out of the real stuff, too.

Long showers, especially during the cold winter months, dehydrate the skin, causing not only a loss of water, but also electrolytes. When your skin is dehydrated, it becomes scaly, taut, irritated—and makes you look older.

So let’s face the facts and see how best to protect your skin.

  • Wash with tepid water and shower only once a day. Hot water will dehydrate and damage your skin.
  • Keep your showers as short as possible. The chlorine in tap water can cause skin damage, so less exposure is preferred and a 5 to 10 minute shower is generally recommended.
  • Look for cleansers that have moisture boosting ingredients like sodium hyaluronate, panthenol, and allantoin. We recommend the ZO Skin Health Hydrating Cleanser for this reason.
  • Immediately after towel drying, apply a good body lotion, such as ZO Skin Health Body Emulsion, which has a high concentration of lactic acid and does an excellent job of hydrating the skin. It’s good to apply it while your skin is slightly damp and your pores are open, so make it part of your morning shower routine.

To combat the effects of chilly fall and winter weather, work to protect and strengthen your skin by keeping it hydrated and protected from the elements. Brrrrrr…