Category Archives: Moisturizers

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

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.

NEW YEAR, NEW SKINCARE

I will lose weight … I will join a gym …I will get a clearer complexion. A coming New Year often heralds a laundry list of resolutions about things we will do more of or less of in the future. Many are set ups to fail. In fact, fully 45 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions every year, and just 8 percent of us keep them, according to Statisticsbrain.com.

The key to sticking with your New Year’s resolutions is to create an actionable plan that is not too overwhelming yet provides clear and visible benefits. If your resolution is to get your glow on and achieve a clear, youthful complexion, Dr. Zein Obagi’s “GSR Getting Skin Ready” plan can help. GSR eliminates skin sensitivity, restores hydration and enhances skin health.

Start fresh

Starting fresh is the perfect way to ring in a new year. That’s why the first step in Dr. Obagi’s GSR regimen is to use a cleanser such as Offects® Hydrating Cleanser to remove surface debris.

 

ZO Rx: Moisten your hands and apply a small amount to your damp face and neck. Massage for one minute and then rinse thoroughly.

Out with the old

Sticking with the New Year’s theme here, the best way to jumpstart skin health is to exfoliate regularly. This helps get rid of dead skin cells and makes room for newer, healthier ones. Offects® Exfoliating Polish does just this.

ZO Rx: Exfoliate your skin two to three times a week. Bonus: regular exfoliation enhances the penetration of other your skincare products.

Oust Oil

 

Oil control puts the brakes on breakouts and keeps skin healthy and vital.  Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment works well on all skin types, and gets the job done.

ZO Rx: Use pads twice a day, AM and PM.  A toner may also help eliminate oil. Dr. Obagi suggests using Balatone™ Calming Toner, pH Balancer in the morning and evening after cleansing.

Following the GSR plan will surely reboot your outer glow and keep your complexion healthy for the rest of the year.

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.

 

Alpha Arbutin – A NEW Retinol Alternative

The ZO Medical range was specifically developed as an intensive daily skincare program that slows down premature aging and skin damage, and helps to maintain healthy skin for the long term.

One of the newest additions to the ZO Medical roster is Brightalive Non Retinol Skin Brightener. What makes Brightalive so unique is that it is a highly effective skin brightening formula without containing hydroquinone or retinol.

Brightalive™ manages the skin’s pigment system by using clinically proven alpha arbutin combined with bioengineered plant phytotechnology to reduce the appearance of brown spots and even skin tone. Alpha arbutin is a novel ZO ingredient that has been shown to brighten pigmentation by inhibiting melanin production and is encapsulated in a patented Oleosome delivery system. Because this unique formula was created with natural plant-based ingredients that are gentle, it is safe for all skin types, even sensitive skin, and can be used daily.

Brightalive’s exclusive 12-hour time-release antioxidant complex contains vitamins A, C and E to deliver continuous protection against oxidative stress. Your skin will feel nourished, brighter and hydrated.

Who should use Brightalive?

According to Dr. Zein Obagi, Medical Director of ZO Skin Health, “Brightalive is ideal for all skin types when strong skin lightening is not indicated. It can reduce pigmentation while it restores the skin’s vital moisture balance and enhances DNA repair with consistent use.”

Although it can be used on its own, he also recommends Brightalive as a great complementary treatment product to be applied on top of ZO Medical C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum. C-Bright is a powerful dose of pure vitamin C that is stabilized to brighten and re-texturize the skin. It is a silky smooth formula containing naturally occurring lipids that rapidly exfoliates the pigmentation on the skin’s surface to reveal a more even tone and brighter 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.

6 Healthy Skin Solutions for a New Year, New Glow

Have you noticed that you tend to look older during hectic times of year? Stress can show up as wrinkles, sagging, dryness, and even rosacea and acne breakouts. 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 also induces wrinkles.

What’s the answer? Take good care of yourself, exercise, and try to get enough sleep so your body can rest and your skin has time to renew itself. Thirty minutes before bedtime, apply your dose of retinol, since nighttime is the best time to repair your skin. You’ll look and feel better–and feel better about yourself–in the morning.

Follow these 6 solutions to energize your skin for a glowing 2015:
1.    First, undo some of the partying damage, and exfoliate—from head to toe. ZO Skin Health Offects Exfoliating Polish does a great job of scrubbing away dull, dry skin so that fresh, healthy cells can emerge. It’s more aggressive than most, so if you have weak skin, be gentle at first. You will love the difference in your skin. For your body, use a lotion high in lactic acid—such as ZO Skin Health Oraser Body Emulsion Plus. It’s not a typical smell-good body lotion—it will really work hard to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin.
2.    Fill ‘er up—with water! Too many glasses of wine and champagne and not enough water can dehydrate your skin. Drink at least 64 oz. of water throughout the day. If you don’t like water, reduce the amount of caffeinated beverages, and increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables like pears, apples, oranges, lettuce—all of which have high water content.
3.    Book yourself in for a relaxing facial at your favorite spa or medspa. If you’re confused by the menu of options available, look for adjectives like hydrating, restorative, comforting or anti-aging for the best results.
4.    Prefer an at-home treatment? Try ZO Medical Invisapeel Intensive Resurfacing Peel  that contains specialized enzymes and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to promote exfoliation to improve skin texture and even skin tone.
5.    Keep your skin active. High concentrations of retinol will work to rejuvenate your skin, produce more collagen and accelerate cellular turnover. Make sure that it’s a potent concentration, though—like ZO Skin Health Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair.
6.    Here’s a resolution that’s not so easy – work up a sweat at least three times a week. Take brisk 30-minute walks–you can stop and smell the roses later. When you work up a sweat, you moisturize your skin from the inside out. Avoid saunas and steam rooms, however. They may seem therapeutic, but can actually dehydrate your skin.

New Year, New Skin

Some New Year’s resolutions are meant to be broken: get to bed by 11 pm, cut out carbs, spend less money on shoes, really??? But new healthy skin habits, that’s a no-brainer.

Healthier skin is possible for all skin types and skin tones, which is the premise of the ZO® Skin Health and ZO® Medical regimens. Instead of approaching troubling skin conditions like pigmentation, fine lines, acne, rosacea, wrinkles, and even sagging with an arsenal of injections, lasers, and radio frequency treatments, Dr. Obagi believes that the basic health of skin should be addressed.

And some of his approaches may be surprising. We are conditioned from a young age to believe that moisturizers are the cure-all to our skin care problems, but Dr. Zein Obagi believes that too much moisturizer can actually weaken skin, and make it more sensitive and lazy.

The ZO® approach is to focus on achieving optimal skin health through topical agents with high concentrations of active ingredients that are formulated to treat specific conditions and concerns. Your healthy skin regimen begins with identifying the proper ZO® Skin Health or ZO® Medical products that suit your needs. A dispensing physician or qualified skin professional can help you determine which protocols, daily skin care, anti-aging, or aggressive anti-aging program is right for you.

But with any of these programs, the first and most important step for getting and maintaining healthy skin, according to Dr. Obagi, is getting your skin ready.

The proper cleansers, polishes, sebum control pads, and toners are necessary to prep skin for your New Year’s skin care regimen. Dr. Obagi calls it “Getting Skin Ready”. Daily use of ZO® Skin Health Offects® Hydrating Cleanser or Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser, supplemented with a twice weekly use of Offects® Exfoliating Polish will prep skin for treating conditions ranging from lines and wrinkles to hyperpigmentation. Sebum is a major enemy of healthy skin and if you suffer from excessive oil or blemishes add twice daily use of Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment.

Alternately, ZO® Medical offers three different daily cleansers: FOAMACLEANSE™ for all skin types, OILACLEANSE™ for normal to oily skin, and NORMACLEANSE™ for normal to dry skin types. VITASCRUB™ will exfoliate and sweep away dirt and grime, while CEBATROL™ Oil Control Pads will remove unwanted sebum, and BALTONE™ Calming Toner pH Balancer will soothe dry, sensitive, and irritated skin.

With the proper prep, your skin will be on the right path for healthy, glowing skin in the New Year.

Taking Care of Your Dry Skin

Winter weather takes a beating on skin, leaving your skin flaky, red, and rough. These are indications of dry skin that show up on your arms, hands, lower legs, and ankles. Making a few changes in your daily skin regimen can help beat dry skin. When taking a bath or shower, try to keep it short. Hot water strips the essential oils from your skin, drying out your skin. Limit yourself to a single 5- or 10-miute warm shower or bath. When you’re shopping for a shower gel, look for unscented, soap-free, or mild soap cleaners. These will be the least likely to irritate and exacerbate dry skin problems. When you pop out of the shower, pat your skin damp and then apply moisturizer. Your skin is more accepting to lotions within 3-5 minutes after washing. Speaking of moisturizers, 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 keep water in. Lanolin, mineral, and petroleum jelly are other ingredients that help skin hold on to the water absorbed during bathing. And don’t forget sunscreen when you leave the house.

We recommend you apply sunscreen on all exposed parts of your body. Look for SPF 15 or higher. In addition to changing your daily regimen and finding a non-scented moisturizer, here are a few more tips we want to share with you. 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 eat foods heavy 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 week.