Category Archives: pigmentation

WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT DARK SPOTS?

Dark spots or hyperpigmentation can mar a complexion. They come in many forms and shades from sun spots and melasma to moles.

What is causing your discoloration? It could be advancing age, your hormonal activity, sun exposure and/or skin irritation.

According to Beverly Hills dermatologist Sameer Bashey, “In light-skinned individuals, sun damage is the usual culprit, while in darker-skinned people, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) or melasma (brown to gray-brown patches on the face) is often the cause. PIH can occur with acne, but it also can result from psoriasis, a burn, an injury or a skin rejuvenation treatment.”

Your best defense from sun spots is judicious use of sunscreen such as Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30, Sun Spray SPF 50 or Daily Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50.

If you already have dark spots, see your dermatologist. There are more options today than ever before to lighten dark spots, and they don’t all contain Hydroquinone. For example,  ZO® Non-Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System is a multi-product, skin therapy system designed for the treatment of hyperpigmentation without the use of hydroquinone.

The kit includes Retinol Skin Brightener 1%, Daily Power Defense,  Wrinkle + Texture Repair and Brightalive Skin Brightener. When used correctly, Hydroquinone is both safe and effective and remains the gold standard. ZO® Multi-Therapy Rx Hydroquinone System is an all-encompassing system formulated to help treat hyperpigmentation, severe texture damage, sun damage and general skin health restoration. It is comprised of Melamin™ Skin Bleaching & Correcting Crème, Exfoliation Accelerator, 10% Concentration, Melamix™ Skin Lightener & Blending Crème and Daily Power Defense.

Both of these systems contain retinol (an over-the-counter form of vitamin A) which is also highly effective for dark spots.

Sometimes, your dermatologist may need to bring in the bigger guns — superficial chemical peels containing salicylic acid and glycolic acid, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) devices and Q-switched lasers can be used alone or in combination with topicals in light-skinned individuals with dark spots. In darker skin types, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and non-ablative fractionated lasers or very low-level Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers may help, when used with caution by a pigment specialist.

You don’t have to live with dark spots anymore. Depending on the cause, there are multiple treatments to try and combine to lighten the spots and improve your complexion. The first step is to schedule an appointment with a ZO physician near you https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you

DEFYING THE GENETICS OF SKIN AGING

Here’s something else you can blame on your parents – your aging skin.

If your mom or dad had lots of wrinkles, brown spots and a double chin, you may be in for it too.

The good news? Genes aren’t destiny, they are just one part of the puzzle. If you are aware of your genetic predispositions, you’ve got a fighting chance to defy them.

Here’s how:

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Certain lifestyle factors namely sun tanning, smoking and stress can aggravate the signs of skin aging. Avoid the sun when its strongest and always use ZO® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF 50 whenever you are going outside during the Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Find something healthy that helps you de stress and do it every single day whether yoga, meditation or deep breathing.

Take your skincare to the next level

Choose and use a daily cleanser to remove dirt and debris such as Hydrating Cleanser, Exfoliating Cleanser or Gentle Foaming Cleanser. Don’t skip the toner. Toners such as Calming Toner helps invigorate dry, weak skin, removes impurities and balances the skin’s pH to optimize the penetration of other treatments. Maintaining an ideal Ph Balance on your skin is the best way to assure optimum skin health.

Check in with your dermatologist

Visit your ZO skincare specialist regularly to see what else you can be doing to put the brakes on aging skin – despite your genes. This may include laser skin resurfacing, Custom ZO® Peels, Hydrafacials powered by ZO- HydraFacial Brightalive® Booster Serum, Injectables and other aesthetic treatments including those that target skin laxity or fat in the chin area.

Locate a ZO skincare specialist near you at https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you

BLENDING IN: EXPERT TIPS ON HOW TO CAMOFLAGE UNTIMELY SKIN IMPERFECTIONS

It’s the night before your big event, and as luck would have it, your skin is not behaving properly.

Cancelling is not an option, but camouflaging the imperfections certainly is.

To the rescue: ZO Skin Health Offects® Correct & Conceal. This targeted spot treatment helps eradicate acne and is tinted for light or medium skin tone to conceal blemishes. It’s a win-win. Dr. Zein Obagi recommends cleaning the skin thoroughly before applying Correct & Conceal. Then, he says, cover the entire area with a thin layer of product one to three times per day. Start slowly with just one application a day as excessive dying of the skin may occur, he warns. “Gradually increase to two or three times daily if needed,” he says. “If bothersome dryness or peeling occurs, reduce application to once a day or every other day.”

Other ways to camouflage any blemishes or imperfections include:

Taking a Tip or Two From The Pros

Many professional make-up artists also have their own hacks on how to cover up a blemish, smooth skin tone and/or neutralize skin discolorations. Their secret: corrective color. For example, a green corrector neutralizes the redness of rosacea or broken blood vessels, while orange neutralizes dark brown spots or hyperpigmentation.

Refocusing the Eyes

If a pimple has taken up residence your forehead, apply bright red lipstick to divert eyes to your lips. It never fails!

Protecting While Covering

While covering up imperfections is important, never sacrifice sun protection. Many sunscreens do double duty – protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and evening out skin tone. For example, Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30 features a universal tint, serving as both a sunscreen and a primer.

All of these trouble-shooting tips can help your skin look its best on your big day or night, but if your skin is breaking out repeatedly, your rosacea is flaring more often or your sun spots or age spots become bothersome, see a dermatologist to discuss all of your treatment options. To locate a ZO skincare specialist near you, visit https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you

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 Skin Health Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection from free radical damage that causes premature aging. The most dangerous environmental factors for skin are sun, pollution and oxygen that compromise your skin’s health every day.

The benefits of vitamin C include the benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, heart disease, eye disease, stress reduction, wards off colds, improves bones and teeth, and much more. While we cannot always get the required amount just from a healthy diet, doctors often recommend Vitamin C supplements year round.

In addition to Vitamin C working wonders for your body, other benefits of vitamin C include its ability to induce younger, firmer skin, fading sun damage, reducing discoloration, and preventing new damage from showing up.

Enter ZO® Medical C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum, a potent formula that provides a high dose of pure vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) that is stabilized to brighten and retexturize the skin. This water-free formula instantly self-activates upon contact with skin’s natural water content to reveal more radiant, even-toned skin. ZO® Medical C-Bright uses the power of pure vitamin C to rapidly exfoliate the skin’s surface. Advanced vitamin C ester goes one step further below the skin surface to prevent new melanin pigment from forming. The addition of coenzyme Q10, another powerful antioxidant, helps to defend against environmental triggers that cause inflammation. Natural occurring lipid hydrates and supports skin barrier restoration. It also minimizes the appearance of wrinkles.

“C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum delivers exfoliating and brightening benefits while inhibiting the formation of new pigmentation. The result is a brighter skin tone and reduction in lines and wrinkles,” said Dr. Zein Obagi.

The Brightening Brigade

Although prescription hydroquinone is still considered the gold standard in skin lightening by many physicians and skincare professionals, Beverly Hills Dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi warns that it comes at a price.

It fades many spots when used consistently and blocks the enzyme needed for creating new ones. Paired with a prescription retinoid or potent retinol, it can begin to lighten dark spots in four to six weeks, sometimes sooner. However, prolonged use of hydroquinone comes with some risks.

But today, there are some potent alternatives to hydroquinone that do not come with the side effects and potential irritation. “Skin becomes immune to the effects of hydroquinone after prolonged use,” says Dr. Obagi. “Alternative treatment options can reduce discoloration with powerful agents that are gentle on skin.”

Dr. Obagi believes that non-hydroquinone alternatives can be ideal for the treatment of skin conditions either when hydroquinone treatment is completed or contraindicated, or as a healthy maintenance system long term. He often recommends use after completing a course of hydroquinone for 4-5 months, or when skin lightening is not needed or desired. These novel treatments are also effective when an even skin tone is the main objective, and when texture and anti-aging benefits are part of restoring even color tone.

In the ZO family of products and treatments, the ZO® Non-Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System For Restoring Even Skin Tone includes 5 key products. These potent products will not cause the level of irritation and side effects commonly associated with hydroquinone, but are effective at improving skin tone and texture and reduces the signs of pigmentation.

  • BRIGHTENEX
    Skin Brightener & Correcting Crème, Non-Hydroquinone
  • RESTORACALM
    Soothing Recovery Crème
  • RETAMAX
    Active Vitamin A Micro Emulsion
  • Ossential® Daily Power Defense
  • Oclipse-C Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50

Of course, Dr. Obagi strongly recommends daily liberal use of a broad spectrum SPF50 to guard against further UV damage that causes discoloration.

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 30s

The thirties are the time when your skin starts to show visible signs of aging. At around age 35, cells get lazy and slow down so they don’t turnover as easily without a little help. Fine lines and wrinkles appear, and skin tone becomes more uneven from daily UV exposure, even if you are diligent about wearing your SPF. Brown spots and wrinkles start to develop, especially for smokers and sun worshippers, and those who have not taken good care of their skin until now.

If you are prone to acne breakouts, you may find that your skin is less oily and therefore, you have fewer pimples, cysts and blackheads. In some cases, acne can continue into the 30s and beyond.  Many women are also starting a family in their 30s, which may bring on another set of skin concerns, including rosacea and melasma due to hormonal changes.

The first thing to do is to step up your skin care regimen and add some more intensive formulations to combat the signs of aging. ZO SkinHealth Oclipse Sunscreen-Primer SPF30 is a great place to begin. This best selling multi-tasker acts as a primer under makeup, and has a sheer, light tint that can make it your every day go to skin saver. Packed with SPF30, it also protects from sun damage whether you are walking outside or sitting in your office all day by a window.

Another handy kit to try in your 30s is the ZO GSR (Getting Skin Ready) System. This trio of essentials will help optimize the effectiveness of your ZO® treatment program. As the first basic step in your anti-aging skin care protocol, three key products are included: Offects Exfoliating Cleanser, to be followed by the Offects Exfoliating Polish, and your new BFF – ZO Skin Health Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment to control excess oil and keep skin smooth and clear.

Take on your 30s armed with a super advanced customized skin care regimen to maintain your youthful, healthy skin well into your 40s.

 

Ditch the Dark Spots

Discoloration is a fact of life. The sooner you see dark spots and brown patches has a lot to do with heredity and lifestyle, but by a certain age, we all get some. There are several factors that cause skin to become darker (hyperpigmentation), starting with an increase in melanin, the substance which regulates pigment. Primarily, hyperpigmentation is caused by exposure to the damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. But dark spots can also appear due to melasma and after acne or other skin trauma. Of course, the worst culprit is cumulative sun exposure, says Dr. Zein Obagi, Beverly Hills Dermatologist.

Causes of Melasma

Hormonal changes during pregnancy lead to melasma, also called the “the mask of pregnancy.” About 70% of pregnant women develop some brown patches on their face, upper lips, cheeks and forehead, as well as their bellies. Melasma frequently clears up after you give birth, but this is not always the case. Unfortunately, you are not advised to use potent topical formulations containing retinoids or beta hydroxy acids while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. NOTE: Ask your obstetrician or dermatologist what products or ingredients are safe to use during pregnancy.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Dark marks from acne can often develop in areas where blemishes have been. The same is true for insect stings, cuts, bruises, kitchen burns, and other skin traumas. These marks often take months to fade and some never fade much at all. And PIH is more common in darker skin types. The first course of action is to avoid direct sunlight during the healing process.

Zein Obagi, MD specially developed the ZO Non Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System to treat skin discoloration without the potential risks and side effects of using hydroquinone. This potent system has 5 effective products that work together to even skin tone, improve texture and rejuvenate the skin.

  • BRIGHTENEX
    Skin Brightener & Correcting Crème, Non-Hydroquinone
  • RESTORACALM
    Soothing Recovery Crème
  • RETAMAX
    Active Vitamin A Micro Emulsion
  • Ossential® Daily Power Defense
    Time-released retinol, antioxidants and specialized DNA-repairing enzymes
  • Oclipse-C Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50

 

 Spotting Sun Damage

Fortunately, early diagnosis and early treatment can prevent and reduce the appearance of dark spots, brown patches and other signs of pigment changes and sun damage. Uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation will also make you look older earlier. Apply sunscreen every 2 hours if you will be outdoors in direct sunlight as a first course of action.

Talk with your ZO skin care professional about your specific condition and concerns.

What is Healthy Skin?

Dr. Zein Obagi first introduced the definition of skin health in 1983 and expanded it in 2008. His definition provides specific, easily recognized physiological, histological, and clinical attributes that can be represented by the skin of a baby as a model for healthy skin. According to the author, skin treatments must correct any abnormality in skin health that deviates from the definition so that it attains the desirable attributes.

“Currently skin health does not have a widely accepted definition or model, as it means different things to different people throughout the world. Healthy skin is frequently described as beautiful, flawless, glowing, and young, but these terms are imprecise and reflect subjective and non-quantifiable characteristics,” says Dr. Obagi.

HEALTHY SKIN IS NATURALLY:
•    Smooth
•    Even in color tone
•    Firm and tight
•    Hydrated
•    Tolerant
•    Contour rich
•    Free of disease

Dr. Obagi’s goals to achieve optimum skin health include the following 4 steps:

  1. Restore skin smoothness, tolerance, and even color tone
  2. Provide uniform hydration
  3. Improve circulation
  4. Regulate skin cellular functions

 

“Most of us begin life with healthy, unflawed skin, but environmental, internal, and hereditary factors and the normal process of aging proceed to undo what was ours at birth. Over time, activities promoting skin health decrease and deterioration begin. Intrinsic aging and/or photoaging (sun damage) cause anatomical, physiological, and clinical changes. These range from a sensation of dryness and dull, weathered skin to wrinkling, jowling, laxity, skin thinning, and easy bruising. Although these changes may not be detectable in youth, they are occurring and will become visible with age,” Dr. Obagi says.

 

To reverse the signs of aging skin and restore skin to a healthy state, consult with a ZO Authorized Physician