Tag Archives: brightening

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.

EYE MAKEOVER

The skin around your eyelids is the thinnest on your body, and as such is most subject to daily and relentless damage from ultraviolet exposure. Choosing and using the right protective eye cream can delay the visible signs of aging around your eyes and keep this delicate skin supple and hydrated

Michigan plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, MD, recommends ZO® Medical Hydra firm Eye Brightening Repair Crème. Designed specifically for the under-eye area, the dream cream helps minimize the multiple signs of aging around the eyes, including puffiness, dark circles and fine lines.

“Puffiness under the eyes can be caused by several issues, including fatigue, fluid retention, seasonal allergies, excess salt intake, and of course, heredity,” Youn says. “The cause of dark circles can include darkening of the skin from chronic rubbing or a genetic predisposition. Additionally, some people with thin under eye skin can have darkening from underlying blood vessels that are visible,” he says.  “Volume loss or hollowing under the eyes can cause shadowing that can create a dark appearance.”

Hydrafirm contains caffeine, enzymatic vasodilators and coenzyme A, which rapidly reduce the appearance of puffiness around your eyes. Active Vitamin A and biomimetic proteins encourage natural collagen production to help restore skin’s elasticity. Collagen is the skin’s main structural protein.

All you need is a pea-sized amount for the entire under-eye area. Apply it in the morning and before bed starting as early as your 20s. Blend the cream gently with your fingertips, and be careful to ever pull or tug on the skin around the eyes. With continued use, your delicate eyelid skin will become firmer for a more youthful look.

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.

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.

 

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.