Category Archives: Skin Conditions

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.

KEEP CALM AND REVERSE ROSACEA

More than 16 million Americans have rosacea, according to the National Rosacea Society. The first signs can include redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. With time, the redness often becomes more persistent and visible blood vessels can appear. Left untreated, bumps and pimples can develop and the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue, a condition called rhinophyma (think Santa Claus, W.C. Fields, Bill Clinton). The laundry list of rosacea triggers ranges from sun exposure, emotional stress to wind, exercise, alcohol, fragrances and spicy foods. Changes in temperature from hot to cold or cold to hot can also cause rosacea flares. Many doctors recommend keeping a diary of your personal triggers to know what to avoid, such as certain foods, activities or environmental exposures that correlate to when you have a flare-up.

More than just a nuisance, rosacea can also cause physical pain and psychological duress, not to mention the embarrassment of flushing and blushing without warning in social situations. Symptoms may include a red face, dry, sensitive, or tight feeling skin, burning or stinging, little bumps or acne-like pimples, broken blood vessels and skin irritation. People with rosacea may use heavy camouflage makeup to cover up the signs of redness, but this can often make the condition even worse.

But rosacea can be reversed and controlled with the right skin regimen. The first step is a consultation with a dermatologist or skin care professional to get a diagnosis, as rosacea and acne are commonly confused. Once rosacea is ruled in, Dr. Zein 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:

ZO® Medical Foamacleanse Gentle Foaming Cleanser removes all traces of makeup and oil without drying out your skin

ZO® Skin Health Ommerse Renewal Crème is a lightweight hydrating crème infused with antioxidants for gentle skin repair

ZO® Ossential Growth Factor Serum Plus is a light-textured gel that won’t irritate even the most sensitive and reactive skin types

For more severe cases of rosacea, Dr. Zein Obagi recommends in-office treatments to reduce redness, such as IPL therapy and vascular lasers, combined with daily at-home use of redness-reducing products. Avoiding triggers is also a key component of a lifelong commitment to help rosacea sufferers.

GET TO KNOW YOUR HEV’S FROM YOUR UVA’S AND B’S

Blocking HEV light has been found to be as important as blocking UVA and UVB. There’s a new buzzword in the sunscreen world – it’s called high-energy visible light (HEV). And if you haven’t heard about HEV yet, it’s time to get with the program as what you don’t know may hurt your skin and your eyes.

Here’s the 411 on HEV and why blocking it really matters to your skin.

What it is:

The sun’s HEV, also called blue light, may actually be as harmful as UVA and UVB light combined. It may not cause redness or burns like UVA and UVB because it goes deeper.

What it does:

Exposure to HEV can cause just about everything you want to prevent your skin from having, including dryness, sensitivity, inflammation, redness, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, slack tone, uneven pigmentation, blotches and sun spots.

What to do about it:

To the rescue, choose a sunscreen that also blocks HEV such as Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30. This double-duty product blocks UVA, UVB and HEV light and helps to smooth the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines. Blocking HEV light can also save your vision. Research suggests that it may contribute to cataracts (clouding of the lens) and macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss.

Besides the sun, blue light is emitted from computers, phones and/or other digital devices. If you spend a lot of  time in front of a screen, consider blue light filters for digital devices. Contact lenses and glasses that block blue light are also available.

Ask your ZO® Skincare Expert which sunscreen is right for you to protect your skin from HEV exposure.

EAT YOUR OMEGA-3 FATS

Healthy skin needs the basics like plenty of H20, key vitamins and minerals, and specific nutrients like essential fatty acids that keep skin supple.

Your body’s organs, including the skin, which is the largest organ, need these fatty acids to function optimally. Omega-3 is called an essential fatty acid because it is essential to your health.  Because the human body doesn’t produce it, it is also essential in your diet. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats, which are vital nutrients. Omega-3 is used to regulate blood clotting, build cell membranes and support cell health.

Omega-3 fatty acids are an important component of a healthy skin diet. Two crucial ones, EPA and DHA, are mainly found in fish including salmon and tuna. Another vital omega-3 fatty acid, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), can be found in plant sources such as nuts like walnuts, and seeds such as wheat germ. Edamame, pinto, or kidney beans are great sources to boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Look for oils that are high in omega-3s for sautéing, baking, and dressing salads include canola, soybean, and walnut oils.

It is important to note that Omega-3 is easily damaged by oxygen, light and heat, so eating foods that contain them raw is the best way to get them into your system. If you can’t eat them raw, baking or broiling will cause less nutrient loss than frying or boiling. So if you are eating Omega-3 enriched eggs for example, eating them scrambled in a pan or in an omelet may be more beneficial than frying them up. And throwing in some spinach or kale is a great idea because leafy greens are loaded with Omega-3 too.

If you can’t get enough Omega-3 in your daily diet, fish oil supplements are a last resort. Eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to get the nutrients your body and skin need.

TEEN ACNE VS. ADULT ACNE  

You survived high school. You sailed through college. Your breakouts were still showing up in your twenties. But you hit your thirties and your acne is still flaring up, and you thought you would be done by now…

You’re not alone. Adult acne is more common than you think. But it is different than the acne you had during your teens in several ways.

The key difference is that teenage age is caused by active oil glands and excess oil production, whereas adult acne is caused by hormonal activity. As we age, cell turnover slows down, so in adults, the oil builds up and causes inflammation, cystic acne and pimples.

Teenage acne tends to show up all over the face, and back, chest and shoulders. Adult acne is more commonly found on the lower face, chin and jawline.

The way to treat teen acne is also different than the best treatments for adults. For starters, young skin that produces too much oil needs more aggressive treatments to reduce the presence of p.acnes bacteria and dry up all that oil that causes the areas around nose and cheeks to shine. Adult skin is more fragile, delicate and sensitive, so it tends to dry out more quickly. The best treatments are more gentle and easier to tolerate. In addition, adult women want to be able to wear foundation, so acne therapy needs to allow them to have a smooth surface to apply daily makeup without flaking and peeling.

Fortunately, the ZO® Skin Health and ZO® Medical ranges offer formulations that are suited to treat all types of acne for women and men of all ages, from blackheads to bacne.

For more advice on managing your acne, ask your ZO® doctor who can recommend the right ZO® Acne Solutions for you.

ARE YOU SABOTAGING YOUR SKIN CARE?

Follow these tips from the ZO® team of skin care experts for how to avoid the most common skin saboteurs.

Choosing the wrong products

If you’re looking for visible skin improvements, sticking with a routine customized for you by a skin care professional is where you should start. ZO® Skin Health develops clinically advanced products that work synergistically. Your ZO® doctor will recommend when to use each product, what order your products should be applied, and how much of each to use. They can make the process simple so you will see results.

Skipping vital steps

If you’re getting started on a skin care routine with active ingredients like retinol and glycolic acids, start slowly with only a few products at a time. This will allow your skin to adjust to new products. Once your skin begins to normalize and can tolerate more intensity in the active ingredients, your ZO® doctor may upgrade your regimen. Skipping steps, like not cleansing properly at bedtime or forgetting to use your sunscreen, or not being consistent is going to slow down your progress. Follow the plan designed for you and return to see your ZO® doctor periodically to check on how you are doing.

Not using sun protection properly

Sun protection is needed 365 days of the year, even in winter and when the sun isn’t shining. Most of us don’t use nearly enough sunscreen to get adequate coverage. Don’t get lazy about sun protection or you will reverse some of the benefits you have achieved by using ZO® Skin Health and ZO® Medical products. Sun exposure causes DNA damage that shows up as premature aging. Over time this damage leads to more lines and wrinkles and mottled pigmentation that will make you look older.

Missing out on the benefits of retinol

Beverly Hills dermatologist Zein Obagi is a huge proponent of adding retinol to your skin care routine. He believes that retinol is the cornerstone of every effective skin care program. Ask your ZO® doctor to recommend the retinol that is best for your skin type and concerns. You may start with ZO® Ossential Advanced Night Repair and move up to using ZO® Medical Retamax Active Vitamin A Micro Emulsion as your skin gets acclimated to it.

Giving up before you see results

If you get lazy or give up after a few weeks of consistent use of your ZO® plan, you will miss out on the real benefits. Stick with your regimen for 6-8 weeks and you will see your skin improve. Good skin care formulations are an investment in your skin’s future, and it takes time to reap the rewards. But it will be worth it when you experience the difference ZO® can make for your skin.

WHY YOUR SKIN NEEDS ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidants are vital to a healthy skin care regimen.  The major antioxidants found in the skin are Vitamin C and E, which we should get from our diet, and coenzyme Q10, glutathione and lipoic acid, which are produced by our bodies.  Free radicals cause chronic damage to your skin cells, and antioxidants can neutralize these dangerous molecules.

Increasing these antioxidants with supplements can replenish your natural reservoir, but you need pretty large amounts to get only a modest effect.

Many antioxidants are basically unstable compounds, so their ability to get delivered into the skin in topical preparations is not always a guarantee.  But there are health benefits and anti-aging benefits to getting more Vitamin C, for example. Ask your doctor if you should increase your oral intake of antioxidant vitamins, and use topical Vitamin C therapy. Vitamin C is Ascorbic Acid and is essential for the production of collagen, the strong connective tissue that holds the skin together. Think of it as your skin’s glue.  Because Vitamin C can theoretically both prevent free radical damage to the skin and promote new collagen production in the skin, it is ideal for topical therapy using a serum that helps it penetrate through the superficial layers of the skin.

ZO® Medical C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum provides a potent, pure dose of stabilized vitamin C that brightens and re-texturizes skin. Containing a full 10% of ascorbic acid, C-Bright exfoliates surface pigmentation for a more even tone and brighter complexion. The addition of tocopheryl acetate & coenzyme-Q10 provides multiple antioxidant protection and squalane mimics your body’s own natural moisturizer factor for added hydration.

HOW TO COPE WITH ECZEMA

Itchy, red, inflamed patches, blisters and cracking…these could be signs of eczema or atopic dermatitis, a very skin common problem. Depending on the cause, eczema can flare up with severe symptoms at times. It can also be a chronic problem for many people with less intense symptoms and less frequent flares. Eczema means different things to different people.

Up to 20 percent of children and one to three percent of adults develop atopic dermatitis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Some of the most common causes and irritants are detergents, soap, synthetic fabrics, sweating, household chemicals, certain foods, dust mites, fragrance, pets, plants and other allergy triggers. If you tend to have many allergies, hayfever and other conditions, you may be more prone to eczema or atopic dermatitis.

Avoid things that may trigger outbreaks is the first step to take. The worst thing you can do is to scratch. Scratching the skin can cause it to become thickened and red. It can also create wounds that may become infected if left untreated. You should avoid using potent skin care products, scrubs with large particles, and rubbing your skin with a loofah or anything rough that can increase irritation and cause the problem to spread.

If you think you may have dermatitis, see your Dermatologist who can make a diagnosis and prescribe the right medications if needed. Treatments range from simply avoiding the allergic triggers that cause flare-ups, to antihistamines, antibiotics and steroid drugs applied to the skin or taken in a pill form.

Find a dermatologist near you at aad.org or visit the ZO®DoctorFinder.

 5 LOVELY WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS

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 induces wrinkles.

  • Take good care of yourself by eating a healthy diet loaded with antioxidant-rich fruits, veggies, and good-for-your-skin foods.
  • Try to get enough sleep so your body can rest and your skin has time to renew itself. Thirty minutes before bedtime, apply a retinol. We recommended ZO® Skin Health Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair Nighttime is the best time to repair your skin. You’ll look and feel better–and wake with more youthful-looking skin in the morning.
  • Consuming too many glasses of wine and cups of coffee and not enough water can dehydrate your skin. Drink water throughout the day and reduce the amount of caffeinated beverages you drink, including coffee, tea and cola drinks. Increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, including juicy fruits like pears, apples, oranges, and vegetables high in water content, such as lettuce, celery and mushrooms.
  • Get plenty of exercise and work up a sweat at least three times a week. Take a brisk 30-minute walk during your lunch hour whenever possible, or go to a Yoga or Pilates class after work to stretch and tone your muscles. When you work up a sweat, you are also moisturizing your skin from the inside out.
  • Treat yourself with a visit to a spa for relaxation and to keep your skin in optimum condition. Massages can work wonders to soothe sore muscles and moisturize the skin of your back, shoulders, arms and legs. Facials are ideal for deep cleansing and taking a break from your electronic devices to enjoy an hour of solitude and tranquility. Avoid the temptation of saunas and steam rooms as they can actually dehydrate your skin.

SMART SUN PROTECTION

The new buzzword in sun protection isn’t UVA or UVB. It’s HEV – high-energy visible light. HEV is an enemy of healthy skin due to its ability to damage cells.

Exposure to powerful forms of light can be a safety hazard. This hazard concerns doctors more and more as people are continuously surrounded by an increasing variety of artificial light sources, such as computers, digital devices, fluorescent lights and LED sources. These unnatural forms of light release large amounts of powerful radiation known as High-Energy Visible Light.

High-Energy Visible (HEV) Light is made up of certain colors that you can see.  When you look at a rainbow, these particular colors are visible as a thin edge of deep purple and blue on the one side.  HEV light is very closely related to Ultra-Violet (UV) light and has similar physical characteristics.  Invisible ultra-violet (UV) rays cause sunburn, tissue damage and eye disease.  HEV light has been shown to cause similar damage.

Developed by Beverly Hills dermatologist Zein Obagi, the newest sun protection technology from ZO® Skin Health is Oclipse® Smart Tone, that offers a powerful dose of UVA and UVB all day sun protection, while also helping to shield the skin from HEV light. The multi-tasking formula helps to skin support its own natural repair process to helping tackle irritation and pigmentation, while softening and soothing skin with rich conditioners. ZO® Oclipse® Smart Tone SPF 50 (SPF) is also formulated with patented color-bursting beads that match any skin tone. These micro-beads burst when rubbed into skin to create customizable color on any skin tone, creating a perfect tint to be worn alone or as a primer under foundation.

“I developed this sunscreen to protect the skin, restore the skin, and maintain skin health,” says Dr. Zein Obagi. “Now everyone can reap the benefits of this science.”

This advanced formula is also super-charged with soothing extracts of Petasites Japonicus Root Extract and Beta Glucan to minimize irritants that can cause redness. Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil also moisturizes and aids in lipid repair, as well as Vitamin C to protect against the formation of pigmentation and sunspots.