Category Archives: ZO Medical

HOW CAN I AVOID WRINKLES?

As the saying goes, every wrinkle tells a story, but you may want to keep all those stories to yourself…

We don’t blame you!

The best way to avoid wrinkles is to get ahead of what causes them – much of which is in your control, including:

Your age

OK, we can’t really change our age, but wrinkles are another thing we can blame on our depleting supply of collagen. The building block of elastic youthful skin, our collagen supply dwindles with advancing age. The good news: There are a bonafide ways to prevent the break down of collagen and boost its production. The growing list includes certain energy-based therapies that build up our collagen supply as well as the Silhouette Instalift which used sutures and cones to lift sagging facial tissue. The sutures and cones are made of glycolide / L-lactide (PLLA/PLGA) which stimulates collagen production over time. Some injectables also volumize by enhancing collagen production.

Your genes

OK, we can’t change our genes…yet. If your mom had furrows, chances are you will too unless you take steps to protect your skin from the sun’s rays and other known causes of wrinkles.

Exposure to UV light breaks down your skin’s connective tissue including collagen and elastin in the deeper layer of skin. When this occurs, your skin begins to sag and wrinkle. Stop this process in its tracks by using Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30, Sun Spray SPF 50 or Daily Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50  all year round.

Smoking

Those vertical lip lines are called smoker’s lines for a reason. Smoking produces free radicals in the body, which contribute to premature aging. Antioxidants like vitamin C sop up damaging free radicals, and C-Bright Serum 10% Vitamin C is chock full of vitamin C. This serum helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles when used as directed. The repetitive pursing of lips that occurs when you smoke also causes wrinkles. If you smoke, the best thing you can do is quit, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start. Wrinkling is but one of a laundry list of problems and diseases that are caused and worsened by smoking.

Pollution

Oxidative stress from pollution ages the skin and damages its ability to repair itself from damage. If moving or switching occupations isn’t an option, an antioxidant serum such as C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum will provide a high dose of stabilized pure vitamin C to reduce the effects of pollution on the skin.  The addition of coenzyme Q10, another powerful antioxidant, helps to defend against other environmental triggers that cause inflammation.

Find a ZO physician near you https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you

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

WHAT’S THAT GROWING ON YOUR SKIN?

Lumps and bumps can appear on your skin – seemingly out of nowhere. Before you hit the panic button, take a deep breath and remember that not all skin lesions are dangerous.

Trinidad-based dermatologist Rachael Eckel, MD, the principal trainer for ZO® Skin Health in Europe, sheds some new light on a few of the more common benign skin lumps and bumps.

Sebaceous Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of oil on the skin.  They usually feel like large peas and can develop as a result of infection or clogging of sebaceous (oil) glands. Sebaceous cysts typically grow slowly, are usually painless, and have a smooth appearance. If a sebaceous cyst is bothersome, it can be removed surgically. Occasionally, cysts become infected and require medical care. How can you tell? When a cyst becomes infected it usually grows rapidly, hurts, and the skin surrounding the area can become very warm to the touch and red. In these cases, your dermatologist may drain the cyst and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Sometimes steroid injections are also needed to cool inflammation.

Lentigines (liver spots) are freckles or age spots that occur on the arms, legs, and face or any sun-exposed area of the skin. They are various shades of brown and have a clearly-defined edge surrounded by normal-appearing skin and a flat surface. There are lasers and many bleaching creams available to help eliminate lentigos, but they are harmless. If you have a lentigo that starts to rapidly grow, change color, itch, or bleed see your doctor for evaluation. This may signal lentigo maligna, a form of the potentially fatal skin cancer melanoma.

Seborrheic Keratosis has a waxy brown, black, red or white appearance. These are rough lumps that can grow rapidly anywhere on the body. A Seborrheic Keratosis can appear suddenly, grow rapidly, be multi-colored and itch. They are harmless, but if bothersome, there are many ways to remove Seborrheic Keratosis. Most removal treatments involve lasers or excision. There is, however, much hope being pinned on an investigational topical product called A-101. It works by penetrating into the lesion and causing oxidative damage, which can ultimately result in the sloughing of the cells. Stay tuned.

Warts are viral-caused painless growths typically caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They can be disfiguring and embarrassing and they can sometimes itch or become irritated. Your dermatologist has a whole tool box to address warts including “painting” them with cantharidin to cause a blister to form under the wart, killing it and cryotherapy (freezing) among others.

Skin Tags (acrochordon) are soft, skin-colored growths that hang from the surface of the skin on a thin piece of tissue. They typically appear the skin folds of the neck, armpits, and torso, beneath the breasts or in the genital area. They are harmless, but can become irritated if clothing or jewelry rubs against them. They are permanent unless you have them removed. There are many ways for a dermatologist to remove skin tags that become bothersome.

This is just a guide.  There is no substitute for a visit with your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to diagnose any skin condition. When in doubt, always check it out. If something on your skin is bothering you, there is no downside to scheduling a visit with your doctor to find out what you need to know.

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.

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.

THE NON-SUGAR-COATED GUIDE TO SAVING YOUR SKIN

A recent New York Times article alleged that the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and instead, throw shade on fat.

With the sugar-heart disease connection in the spotlight today, sugar’s effects on the skin is also getting some much-needed attention and fat is getting a bit of a reprieve.

Sugar has always been on the “most-wanted” list when it comes to skin saboteurs. Sugar contributes to chronic inflammation, and that can age our skin more rapidly. Put another way, sugar equals wrinkles.

Here’s the deal: Sugar and high glycemic ingredients, which are also found in refined grains such as pasta and bagels, convert to sugar which causes blood sugar to spike. This in turn raises insulin levels and puts a burden on your body to handle the food you ingested. This leads to an inflammatory response that produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles. Collagen and elastin are the building blocks of healthy, youthful and resilient skin. They give young skin its bounce factor.

There’s more: undigested sugar attaches to the collagen in your skin through glycation, forming harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). This process can accelerate aging and exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea. This is another good reason to minimize your sugar intake, aside from just managing your waistline and cellulite.

Among the worst skin offenders are all of the simple carbohydrates (and there are a lot of these), including candy, fried foods, ice cream, fruit juice, pasta, sugary jams and jellies, pizza, processed foods like packaged snacks, cookies and chips, and sodas. There is also a long list of foods that may contain hidden sugars that you aren’t even aware of, like ketchup and cream cheese.

3 Ways To Save Your Skin

  1. Go for complex carbohydrates. Switch over to whole grains like brown rice and wheat bread alternatives to their less healthy white rice and bread counterparts. These break down at a slower rate (and won’t cause a blood sugar surge).
  1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet replete with healthy fats like olive oil, avocados and salmon. Healthy fats keep your skin aglow.
  1. Choose and use products regularly that contain potent retinoids such as our hero anti-aging products: ZO® Skin Health’s Ossential® Advanced Radical Night Repair and ZO® Medical Retamax Vitamin A Micro Emulsion. Retinoids have been clinically proven to help build new collagen to undo the negative effects of sugar from the inside out.

LOVE YOUR PORES AGAIN

Are you obsessed with your pores?

If the answer is a resounding yes, you are not alone. Many of us would do just about anything to shrink our pores.

Pores actually slack off with age as they get lazy. Therefore, they look larger or more open. Sun damage also contributes to the shape your pores are in and how visible they are. Chronic oil production and clogging from daily debris and dead skin is also a major culprit. You may find that the pores that bother you most tend to be in the oilier areas of your face, such as the forehead, around the nose and cheeks and the chin.

The good news is smaller-appearing fine pores are within reach.

Dr. Zein Obagi recommends these four steps for pores you will love.

  1. Cleanse. Your pores look larger when they are clogged.
    Use a gentle cleanser to clean your face in the AM and PM. Make sure to remove all make-up as it can clog pores along with dirt and oil.
  1. Exfoliate. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, which mix with dirt and sweat and clog your pores, making them look like they are under a magnifying glass. Dr. Obagi recommends ZO® Skin Health Offects® Exfoliating Polish and ZO® Skin Health Offects® TE-Pads to remove dead skin cells efficiently and effectively.
  1. Prevent. Avoid all skin care and cosmetic products that are not oil-free and non-comedogenic as they can clog your newly unclogged pores. Don’t touch your skin throughout the day as this can also add to the dirt and oil load in pores.
  1. Protect. Daily sun protection is also key to keeping pores in check. Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF30 is a perfect final step to your daily AM skin care regimen. The silky texture keeps skin smooth and protected while minimizing fine lines and pores under makeup.