Tag Archives: cleansing


We don’t have the time or bandwidth for overly complex 12-step skin care rituals anymore. Today’s skin care is all about multi-tasking and it must be low-maintenance to become a habit.

Glowing skin is as easy as 1-2-3 – or at least it should be according to Zein Obagi, MD.

1. Cleanse.

A cleanser to remove dirt and debris is the first step in your new ZO-approved super-simple skin care regimen. There are many options available to suit your skin type and needs including Offects® Hydrating Cleanser, Normacleanse™ Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin, Oilacleanse™ Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin and Foamacleanse™ Gentle Foaming Cleanser for All Skin Types. Follow instructions on the label for maximum cleansing benefits.

2. Exfoliate

Exfoliation is the best way to get rid of old, dead skin cells and make way for newer healthy ones. It also helps refresh dull skin tones, and evens dark spots on the skin. According to plastic surgeon Dr. Aaron Kosins in Newport Beach, CA, “Offects Exfoliating Polish is one of our most popular products, especially for southern Californians who live an active lifestyle. It also works great for keratosis pilaris, those little red bumps that form on the back of your arms and thighs. Use it in the shower daily for smooth skin year round.”

https://zoskinhealth.com/zoskinhealth/offects-exfoliating-polish uses ultra-fine magnesium crystals to exfoliate dead skin cells for all skin types, providing the benefits of microdermabrasion in the comfort of your own home.

3. Tone.

Toners help skin retain the perfect Ph balance. For example, Balatone™ Calming Toner, pH Balancer 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.

What can you expect? Following this simple regimen for just one week will result in glowing, dewy and youthful skin, even skin tone, and fewer blemishes. The longer you continue this skincare regimen, the greater and more long-lasting the improvements.

To locate a ZO skincare specialist near you, visit https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you.


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.


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.

How To Wash Your Face The Right Way

Cleansing should be the simplest part of your daily skin care routine. But, you may not realize that some all too common bad habits can cause a whole list of skin problems, including dry patches, irritation, oiliness, redness, clogged pores, and breakouts.

Cleansing before you go to bed is an essential part of keeping your skin healthy. During the day the oils on your skin oxidize, which collects dirt and debris on cells from pollutants, bacteria, perspiration and smoke. Cleanse skin at night to remove these toxins that can age your skin and contribute to clogged pores. Cleansing your skin in the morning is important to reduce oil and drops of perspiration that may have formed overnight. Beware that overwashing or harsh scrubbing can also exacerbate your skin’s oil production, leading to acne.

If you’ve got sensitive skin, you’ll want to use clean hands or a soft washcloth to avoid irritation. ZO Offects Hydrating Cleanser is the one for you. It gently hydrates and rejuvenates without disrupting the moisture barrier. Using panthenol and allantoin to soothe, repair, and restore skin, it sweeps away all the dead skin cells and supports cellular renewal.

If you have an oily complexion, cleansing your skin with the right product is vital to control breakouts. ZO Offects Exfoliating Cleanser is ideal to gently exfoliate and cleanse skin, reduce excess oil and neutralize free radicals from the environment. This bestseller also contains encapsulated vitamin E that provide antioxidant protection and hydration for healthy oily and acne prone skin. The foaming surfactants to remove oil and impurities from the skin, and micro-beads help to remove dead skin cells to unclog pores and stimulate healthy cell turnover. An added dose of beta hydroxy acid (BHA) also help to stimulate the exfoliation process dead skin cells. Plus, this multi-tasking formula helps to boost your skin’s natural production of collagen.

Generally, it is best to use warm water. Both hot and cold water can be harsh on your skin. After washing, gently pat skin dry and leave skin slightly damp.

Skin Care in Your 20s

Your 20s is the time to set up a good foundation for basic skin care and age prevention. In your 20s, your skin is still building enough collagen to keep it supple and resilient. Breakouts are often the biggest concern, especially caused by stress, hormonal flux, late nights out, and general bad habits.

Start by using the right cleanser for your skin type, twice daily. If your skin is normal, a gentle cleanser will do the trick while not drying out skin too much. If you skin tends to be oily or combination (some oily areas, and some drier parts), use a gentle cleanser with salicylic acid to keep clogged pores and breakouts at bay. Our most popular cleanser is ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Cleanser that has microbeads for sloughing away debris and is suitable for all skin types.

If you learn to practice safe sun early, you can keep sun damage and wrinkles at bay.  Use a broad spectrum SPF30-50 daily for daily protection. If you are tend to be more oily, look for an oil-free formulation so as not to cause clogged pores and acne. The NEW ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sun Spray SPF50 is a great choice because it comes in an easy to use spray formula and is non-greasy and feels weightless on your skin.

In yours 20s, you should also start slowly with anti-aging products such a retinol. According to Dr. Zein Obagi, you are never too young to start an age prevention regimen. He always recommends retinol to not only smooth fine lines, but to help turnover dead cells and keep pores open and clean. Try our best selling ZO Skin Health Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair Plus.

Never go to sleep with your makeup on, no matter how tired you may be. the oils in your cosmetics can clog pores and make breakouts worse.

Getting Skin Ready – 3 Steps to Gorgeous

The perefect first step in your skin care protocol is the ZO® GSR™: Getting Skin Ready system. It was designed to help you optimize the effectiveness of your ZO® treatment program.

This basic system includes 3 key products; a cleanser, scrub and our best selling oil control pads, that work synergistically for maximum results.  You’re just 3 steps away from gorgeous skin!


Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser

This light clear gel cleanser comes in a generous sized tube for daily cleansing that will last you well. It contains blue microparticles to gently exfoliate your epidermis – the outermost layer of the skin. Cleanse your face twice a day to remove impurities, and refresh and revive skin.


Offects® Exfoliating Polish

One of our most popular products, Exfoliating Polish is a turquoise blue paste that smells delicious and scrubs away dirt and debris, while keeping pores open and clean.  Scrub your skin 2-3 times a week to remove buildup and activate skin cells. Your skin will feel smooth as silk – like you just had a luxurious facial.


Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment

According to Dr. Zein Obagi, Oil Control is one of the best ways to fight aging, acne breakouts, and keep skin healthy and vital. Our TE-Pads work wonders to keep skin squeaky clean and remove surface oil and dirt, without causing irritation or dryness. Works well for all skin types, not only acne prone skin.

Battle of the Blemish

Acne can mar a beautiful complexion at almost any age. Most prevalent in teens and young adults, it can plague women well into their 50s. The causes of acne may include genetics, hormones, excess oil production, diet, sleeping habits, hygiene, and stress. Therefore a successful acne treatment needs to be customized to your specific kind of acne condition.

“Drug store and prescription treatments that claim to treat acne can actually perpetuate the condition,” says Dr. ZeinObagi. “From the synthetic oils in so-called ‘oil-free’ cleansers to the pore-clogging agents in moisturizers, unnecessary ingredients can aggravate acne, leaving people afflicted with acne and blemishes to assume that their skin issues are incurable. With the right regimen, many people can clear up their skin without a prescription.”

Despite the cause, the mechanism of acne is similar. When skin does not exfoliate properly, dead cells build up on the skin surface and inside pores. The dead cells mix with trapped oil and cause pores to become clogged, resulting in blackheads and whiteheads. Through bacteria into the mix, and you’ve got inflamed and irritated skin.

ZO® Skin Health by Zein Obagi MD offers a targeted regimen designed to heal and prevent blemishes, effectively breaking the cycle of acne. With the Acne Prevention +Treatment Program, ZO® Skin Health combines three key acne-fighting products as well as an exclusive Bio Sulfur-Masque to deliver the ultimate acne solution.


Cleansing is an important step in any skincare regimen, but when treating acne, it is critical. ZO® Skin Health Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser targets the dead skin cells that trap bacteria, reduces excess oil, and neutralizes free radicals. “Skin must be cleansed for one full minute,” according to Dr. Obagi. “That is the time required to adequately reduce surface sebum and remove dirt and debris.” The exfoliating action in the Offects® cleanser comes from smoothing micro beads that leave skin clear and soft.


Even with diligent cleansing, dead skin cells, a key acne trigger, can still build up. ZO® Skin Health Offects® Exfoliating Polish used twice a week will help to remove the build up and promote the healing process. “Exfoliating is a crucial step in fighting acne,” says Dr. Obagi. “Unclogging pores and clearing away debris also prevents new blemishes from forming.” Offects® Exfoliating Polish uses round magnesium crystals to gently, yet effectively, remove dead skin cells, increase epidermal turnover, and create a clearer, smoother, more even-toned complexion.


In addition to exfoliation, reducing sebum—the oil on the skin’s surface—is paramount. ZO® Skin Health Offects® TE-Pads used twice daily sweeps away any excess oil and dead skin cells left behind after cleansing. The multi-tasking pads are soaked in 2% salicylic acid—the highest over-the-counter concentration—to gently exfoliate and control breakouts by reducing oiliness. “These one-of-a-kind pads also prep skin for future treatments,” says Dr. Obagi. “The treatment actually increases the benefits of other therapies used in conjunction with salicylic acid.”


The fourth product in the ZO® Skin Health acne regimen is available only in the ZO® Skin Health Acne Prevention + Treatment Program. The ZO® Skin Health Bio-Sulfur Masque continues the system’s attack on excess sebum, but also calms acne prone skin. Use it once per week, applying the paste evenly to face and neck and leaving it on for 15 minutes. It can also help spot treat pimples overnight.

All Cleansers Are Not The Same

There are a wide range of ingredients used to formulate facial cleansers, so it is important to understand how cleansers work. Facial cleansers function in three basic ways:

  1. To remove surface debris, make-up and oil.
  2. To dissolve the bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface of the skin.
  3. To prepare the skin to better absorb treatment and moisturizing products.

Most drug-store cleansers remove surface dirt and oil, but they do little to promote cell turnover and prepare the skin for the benefits of the products that follow. In fact, many cleansers leave the skin feeling either tight and dry or like a film of oil has been left on the skin, counteracting the effects of applying additional products. Additionally, they typically include fragrances, dyes, or oils that can irritate skin, leaving it red or sensitized.

A good facial cleanser is usually very lightweight, most likely a gel-based formula rather than a cream-based formula, and contains some concentration of either salicylic acid for oilier skin, or hyaluronic acid for drier skin. Cleansing is an important first step for all skin types, but for oily, acne-prone skin, it’s critical. The key to managing oily skin is gently exfoliating dull, dry skin cells that trap bacteria, reducing excess oil with salicylic acid, and neutralizing free radicals.

ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Cleanser does all of that and goes one step further by boosting collagen production. It uses encapsulated beads with Vitamin E—the most important anti-oxidant for healthy skin. For dry skin types, you’ll want a gentle cleanser that will not disrupt the moisture barrier. ZO Skin Health Hydrating Cleanser hydrates, rejuvenates, and uses panthenol to soothe, repair, and restore skin, allantoin to clean away dead skin cells and support cellular renewal, and hyaluronic acid for additional hydration support. Dirt, make-up, and premature aging down the drain—washing your face never felt so good.

Do Cleansing Brushes Really Work?

Anything that makes your life easier and your skin healthier gets four stars around here—that’s why we like the Clarisonic cleansing brushes. The best part is that they’re programmed to operate for one full minute. This is the amount of time required to break down sebum, which Dr. Obagi calls “the enemy of healthy skin.”

Many ZO users like to use the Clarisonic with our Hydrating Cleanser. Used in combination, the two get 5 or 6x as much dirt, cosmetics, and oils off of your skin. For fighting acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and large pores, that’s powerful.

The Clarisonic is pricey—about $150-$225. If you want to save some money, make it a habit to cleanse with your fingertips for one full minute—both in the morning and at night. Be sure to rub your face vigorously as this works to stimulate the skin cells.

If sebum and dirt are the enemy of healthy skin, Clarisonic (or a self-timer) and our Hydrating Cleanser may very well be your best friends.

Best Facials for Acne

Sometimes, despite your best intentions, at-home care for acne just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the advice and treatments of an aesthetician or a dermatologist. A facial may be a good idea, but always make sure that you’re getting the right kind of facial as some acne facials can actually make the problem worse. Here’s what to look for—and what to look out for.

    • A good acne facial requires four steps: cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, and sunscreen. The exfoliation can be mechanical—a good scrub, like ZO’s Exfoliating Polish—or a device such as a crystal-free microdermabrasion. Particle-based microdermabrasion, like aluminum oxide, can inflame acne, nick the skin, spread bacteria, and cause contamination.
    • Crystal-free microdermabrasion is an effective treatment to rejuvenate skin, shrink pores, and most importantly, stimulate the regeneration of healthy skin cells via the removal of dead skin cells. Here’s how it works: the dead or damaged top layer of the skin is gently exfoliated, while the dead skin cells are vacuumed away in a sterile, controlled environment. This procedure not only improves extractions, it makes the whole process much easier to tolerate and less painful. Hydra-Facial® utilizes a diamond tip wand and avoid particles.
    • Steam is relaxing and makes extractions easier, but it’s horrible for your skin, especially if you have acne or rosacea. Steam enlarges the glands and can actually cause acne.
    • Both the Blue LED light or Red LED light can be valuable. Blue wavelengths are very effective in killing the p-acnes bacteria, the major source of acne. You should see a noticeable reduction in acne lesions 2-3 days after treatment. The wavelength is critical to success; devices that are purchased over-the-counter are not going to penetrate as deep as devices used by your aesthetician or dermatologist. Red lights reduce inflammation, but should be used in conjunction with blue wavelengths.
    • Tea-tree masks help tighten pores, reduce oiliness, and can be a good addition to an acne facial.

Successful treatment for acne, however, starts at home. Be sure to use a cleanser designed for oily skin, cleanse for at least one minute, amd use an exfoliating polish as well as an anti-bacterial topical. Occasional facials are not a good substitute for proper at-home daily care.