Category Archives: Trends

Hydroquinone-Free Products Reign Supreme

According to leading cosmetics industry market research firm Kline & Company, “While hydroquinone (HQ) has been the gold standard ingredient in the physician dispense arena for the treatment of hyperpigmentation, this ingredient is surrounded with controversy due to some of its reported side effects. Europe has banned HQ in concentrations greater than 1% and in the United States it has been banned from five states – New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Montana, and Texas.” Kline also cites this trend as the reason for the rise of  hydroquinone-free or HQ-free skin brightening products featuring alternatives to HQ.

Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi has been at the forefront of reversing hyperpigmentation for 30 years. However, he has raised concerns about the abuse and overuse of hydroquinone without medical supervision that has arisen due to the Internet. “For many consumers, hydroquinone is like an old friend who inexplicably turns on you. They may have used it for years, trusting that their dermatologist – or, frequently, some Internet pharmacy – would never recommend a product that could harm them. But over time, some of these consumers commonly develop new pigment problems in the areas where they have faithfully applied hydroquinone. The product they bought to lighten sunspots, melasma, or other hyperpigmentation paradoxically leaves them with tough-to-treat issues such as severe rebound hyperpigmentation.”

Due to this plea for caution, Dr. Obagi has developed hydroquinone-free alternatives that work synergistically for visible skin brightening, without the side effects associated with long term use of hydroquinone. Through extensive research, the ZO Skin Health team has created the ZO Non-Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System for Skin Brightening  that contains 4 key products to help reverse discoloration, including

This breakthrough system reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation without the use of hydroquinone or retinol. It works to brighten your skin tone and lessen the appearance of discoloration and brown spots, for a more even complexion. Because the formulation is hydroquinone-free, it is gentle and easy to tolerate without irritation when used under your ZO doctor’s supervision.

The results are younger, brighter, healthier-looking skin and you will start to see results in 2-3 weeks with consistent application. Don’t forget that getting brighter skin means practicing safe sun.


Humidity and Your Skin

It’s been said that women don’t perspire, they glow. And when it’s humid outside, that glow gets ever so much stronger. But humidity is not all about streaked makeup and damp brows.

Here is the 411 on humidity: the good, the bad, the glow, and the oil.

The good: If you suffer from dry skin or eczema, your skin may find great relief during the humid summer months. The dampness in the air will help skin retain moisture and redness and itching will disappear. You can use a lighter moisturizer and even use soap rather than body wash. You can’t help but sweat in humid weather, but this is good for your skin too, clearing out pores and washing away toxins. All great benefits, unless you tend to be oily or break out.

The bad: For oily skin, humidity is not a walk in the park. The humidity causes your skin cells to turn over more quickly. Usually a good thing, but in this case, that just means more debris to clog pores and cause pimples and blackheads. Plus, with all that moisture on your skin, you can’t help but feel…and look…oilier. Your t-zone may be particularly slick in humid climates.

The solution: If humidity brings out an unwanted glow, you can fight back and prevent blemishes from ruining your summer. Try a product with 2% salicylic acid like ZO® Medical Cebratrol™ Oil Control Pads, which work to remove excess oil and dirt in blemish prone pores. Before applying makeup, use a light serum like Ossential® Daily Power Defense, which is formulated to keep skin naturally hydrated, without an oily feel. Carry blotting papers during the day to remove the slick before it can do any damage, and rest assured that the humidity won’t last forever. Before you know it, you will be complaining about the cold air.

Tips for the Perfect Pedi

Nothing says party like a strappy pair of sandals and the perfectly pedicured feet to go with them. “With a little time and the right tools, you can give yourself a colorful and relaxing pedi right in the comfort of your home, “ says Dr. Monika Kiripolsky. Read on for Dr. Kiripolsky’s 6 tips for the perfect pedi.

Soak It: After removing old polish, fill a large bowl, tub, or basin with warm water. Add bath salts, Epsom salts, or even a dash of your favorite aromatherapy oil. Soak feet for 10 minutes, longer if they are very calloused. An interesting twist is to throw in a quarter cup of milk instead of the salts. The lactic acid in milk naturally exfoliates and compensates for the water’s dehydrating effect.

Shape It: Remove your feet from the water and pat dry. Softened from the water, toenails are now easy to trim and shape. Start with a pair of nail clippers and cut your toenails just short enough to see a bit of white at the tips. Use the natural topline of your toes as a guide to create a slightly squared shape. Avoid a rounded shape as this can promote ingrown nails. Finish with an emery board to buff down the sharp edges created by the clippers.

Push It: Next apply a cuticle oil or remover to the base of your nails. After a few minutes, push the cuticle back with an orangewood stick using a gentle circular motion. Just push the cuticle, not the skin of the toe. To avoid hangnails and potential infection, don’t cut your cuticles.

Scrub It: Next, tackle those callouses and spots of dry skin with a good foot scrub. You can use a wet pumice stone or foot file, or apply an exfoliating scrub. Look for scrubs that contain lactic or glycolic acid to help remove the dead skin cells. You’ll want to scrub the balls of your feet, bottoms and sides of your heels, and around the toes. The goal is to smooth, not remove; the tough skin is there for a reason.

5. Massage it: Ease any tension left after your soak by massaging in a moisture rich cream. Products with shea butter will go far to lock in moisture and keep those tootsies smooth. ZO® Skin Health Oraser® Body Emulsion Plus promotes smoothness and overall health of your skin.

6. Polish It: Pick an eye-catching color to fit the season. Red is always a winner. Dip the brush into your polish, and wipe off any excess. Place brush in the middle of your nail at the cuticle line, and pull it toward the tip. Repeat on the sides, adding more polish, if needed. Remember, to apply a topcoat to preserve your pedi and prevent chipping.

Now – kick up those heels!

What Your Brows Say About You

If eyes are the windows to the soul than your eyebrows are the window dressing, and like heavy drapes vs. sleek wooden shades, your brows say a lot about you.

Sporting thick bold, but groomed eyebrows, like those spotted on runways and in glossy magazines, says this woman is a risk taking fashionista. Thin, highly arched brows may be a throw back to the 90s, but also express a sense of subtle chic.

Whatever your style, brows are an important part of your face that deserve frequent grooming to keep them neat, trimmed, and symmetrical.

Here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your brow shape.

Oval Shaped: Longer than wide, oval faces will do best with a brow that draws attention away from the chin and forehead. A strong, defined brow will bring focus to your eyes and a bit of width to your face.

Heart Shaped: Charmingly romantic, beauties with heart shaped faces have narrower chins and foreheads and cheekbones of equal width. Soften the point of the chin and balance your face with a softer arch.

Square Shaped: Forehead, cheekbones, and jaw line are about equal in width with square faces. Draw attention away from your jaw by sporting a well-defined angular arch with a sharp peak.

Round Shaped: The objective here is break up the roundness and bring some definition to your bone structure. A well-defined brow with a high arch will create angles in your cherubic visage.

Small Eyes: Counter balance your smaller peepers with a fuller brow that has a natural arch to make your eyes look bigger.

Large Eyes: Lucky you, just enhance those attention getters with a bold brow that follows your natural arch.

Close Set Eyes: Open your face by starting your brows farther away from your nose.

Fear of Aging Motivates Teens to Use an SPF

It turns out that fear of looking old motivates teens to apply sunscreen much more than the possibility of developing skin cancer.

A recent study from the University of Colorado in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that educating teens about the aging and appearance-related effects of sun exposure is more effective than showing them the relationship between UV exposure and skin cancer when it comes to getting them to use sunscreen.

Fifty students from a Northern California high school were divided into two groups and shown one of the following videos:

  • A health-based video that “discussed the growing incidence of melanoma among young people and the link between skin cancer and UV radiation.”
  • An appearance-based video that “discussed the contribution of UV light to premature cutaneous aging and how sunscreen use could help delay signs of skin aging.”

According to researchers, they sought to compare the effectiveness of appearance-based video education with that of health-based video education in improving sunscreen use and knowledge. They were inspired by previous studies showing that appearance-based education was successful in getting teens to apply sunscreen, but costly. Videos are much more cost effective.

The results confirmed that appearance-based video education appears to be effective in promoting sunscreen use and knowledge in adolescents.

Knowledge about the risks of sun exposure increased in both groups, but the appearance-based group demonstrated a statistically significant increase in sunscreen use.