Tag Archives: uneven skin tone

EAT YOUR OMEGA-3 FATS

Healthy skin needs the basics like plenty of H20, key vitamins and minerals, and specific nutrients like essential fatty acids that keep skin supple.

Your body’s organs, including the skin, which is the largest organ, need these fatty acids to function optimally. Omega-3 is called an essential fatty acid because it is essential to your health.  Because the human body doesn’t produce it, it is also essential in your diet. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats, which are vital nutrients. Omega-3 is used to regulate blood clotting, build cell membranes and support cell health.

Omega-3 fatty acids are an important component of a healthy skin diet. Two crucial ones, EPA and DHA, are mainly found in fish including salmon and tuna. Another vital omega-3 fatty acid, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), can be found in plant sources such as nuts like walnuts, and seeds such as wheat germ. Edamame, pinto, or kidney beans are great sources to boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Look for oils that are high in omega-3s for sautéing, baking, and dressing salads include canola, soybean, and walnut oils.

It is important to note that Omega-3 is easily damaged by oxygen, light and heat, so eating foods that contain them raw is the best way to get them into your system. If you can’t eat them raw, baking or broiling will cause less nutrient loss than frying or boiling. So if you are eating Omega-3 enriched eggs for example, eating them scrambled in a pan or in an omelet may be more beneficial than frying them up. And throwing in some spinach or kale is a great idea because leafy greens are loaded with Omega-3 too.

If you can’t get enough Omega-3 in your daily diet, fish oil supplements are a last resort. Eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to get the nutrients your body and skin need.

HOW TO COPE WITH ECZEMA

Itchy, red, inflamed patches, blisters and cracking…these could be signs of eczema or atopic dermatitis, a very skin common problem. Depending on the cause, eczema can flare up with severe symptoms at times. It can also be a chronic problem for many people with less intense symptoms and less frequent flares. Eczema means different things to different people.

Up to 20 percent of children and one to three percent of adults develop atopic dermatitis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Some of the most common causes and irritants are detergents, soap, synthetic fabrics, sweating, household chemicals, certain foods, dust mites, fragrance, pets, plants and other allergy triggers. If you tend to have many allergies, hayfever and other conditions, you may be more prone to eczema or atopic dermatitis.

Avoid things that may trigger outbreaks is the first step to take. The worst thing you can do is to scratch. Scratching the skin can cause it to become thickened and red. It can also create wounds that may become infected if left untreated. You should avoid using potent skin care products, scrubs with large particles, and rubbing your skin with a loofah or anything rough that can increase irritation and cause the problem to spread.

If you think you may have dermatitis, see your Dermatologist who can make a diagnosis and prescribe the right medications if needed. Treatments range from simply avoiding the allergic triggers that cause flare-ups, to antihistamines, antibiotics and steroid drugs applied to the skin or taken in a pill form.

Find a dermatologist near you at aad.org or visit the ZO®DoctorFinder.

 5 LOVELY WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS

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.

SMART SUN PROTECTION

The new buzzword in sun protection isn’t UVA or UVB. It’s HEV – high-energy visible light. HEV is an enemy of healthy skin due to its ability to damage cells.

Exposure to powerful forms of light can be a safety hazard. This hazard concerns doctors more and more as people are continuously surrounded by an increasing variety of artificial light sources, such as computers, digital devices, fluorescent lights and LED sources. These unnatural forms of light release large amounts of powerful radiation known as High-Energy Visible Light.

High-Energy Visible (HEV) Light is made up of certain colors that you can see.  When you look at a rainbow, these particular colors are visible as a thin edge of deep purple and blue on the one side.  HEV light is very closely related to Ultra-Violet (UV) light and has similar physical characteristics.  Invisible ultra-violet (UV) rays cause sunburn, tissue damage and eye disease.  HEV light has been shown to cause similar damage.

Developed by Beverly Hills dermatologist Zein Obagi, the newest sun protection technology from ZO® Skin Health is Oclipse® Smart Tone, that offers a powerful dose of UVA and UVB all day sun protection, while also helping to shield the skin from HEV light. The multi-tasking formula helps to skin support its own natural repair process to helping tackle irritation and pigmentation, while softening and soothing skin with rich conditioners. ZO® Oclipse® Smart Tone SPF 50 (SPF) is also formulated with patented color-bursting beads that match any skin tone. These micro-beads burst when rubbed into skin to create customizable color on any skin tone, creating a perfect tint to be worn alone or as a primer under foundation.

“I developed this sunscreen to protect the skin, restore the skin, and maintain skin health,” says Dr. Zein Obagi. “Now everyone can reap the benefits of this science.”

This advanced formula is also super-charged with soothing extracts of Petasites Japonicus Root Extract and Beta Glucan to minimize irritants that can cause redness. Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil also moisturizes and aids in lipid repair, as well as Vitamin C to protect against the formation of pigmentation and sunspots.

THE TRUTH ABOUT LASER SKIN RESURFACING

The CO2 laser is widely considered to be the most versatile laser system because it can be used to treat multiple degrees of scarring and visible signs of aging and will give a more dramatic response in a single treatment. However, because there is usually significant downtime and higher risks associated with ablative or deep resurfacing, not everyone can tolerate the treatment.

The adverse events vary based on the treatment modality chosen. With any injury to the skin you must be concerned about initiating an infectious process. Ablative resurfacing is more likely to cause changes in the pigmentation of the skin that is less frequent with a non-ablative treatment.

Many dermatologists and plastic surgeons have chosen to offer non-ablative laser skin resurfacing for this reason. Non-ablative devices can be very effective and over time, you may achieve the same results as with deeper treatments if you have several sessions.

For example, one very popular technology is Fraxel® for non-ablative skin resurfacing. Among the many benefits are the significant improvements in skin tone and texture that can be achieved. The dual wavelength of the Fraxel technology can also be used to treat dark blotches and sunspots.

When undergoing fractionated CO2 laser treatment, you can expect to have about five days of downtime. Most doctors will recommend using an occlusive ointment for the first several days while they are peeling. The ZO® Post Procedure Recovery System can greatly improve the post-laser experience. It contains three key products formulated to synergistically deliver the most advanced technology to protect and soothe skin.  The products were designed to help prevent scabbing and restore the skin’s barrier to speed up the skin’s natural regenerative process.

Around day five after Fraxel, you will have completed the peeling and your doctor may allow you to apply camouflage makeup.  Your skin will be slightly pink which gradually fades. Some fair skinned individuals may be pink for several weeks or longer, depending on how aggressively the treatment was performed.

Wrinkle-reducing results can be dramatic with Fraxel after a series of 3 – 5 treatments based on your skin type and concerns.

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.

Beautiful Bride Bootcamp

You found the perfect dress, but there’s still so much do before you walk down the aisle and say “I do.” Your big day is coming and it will be all eyes on you. So how can you make sure that your skin is ready for prime time? Start six weeks ahead on an intensive skin care regimen to purge pores, smooth lines and creases, and reverse pigmentation for a flawless look.

Try this simple and effective home regimen to look positively gorgeous from the rehearsal dinner to the honeymoon. Start at least 6 weeks ahead.

 

For normal to dry skin, start with this basic plan:

 

For oily or acne prone skin, add these important steps:

  • Use ZO Skin Health Offects TE Pads Acne Pore Treatment twice daily to prevent breakouts and clogged pores
  • Avoid all skin care and cosmetic products that are not oil-free and non-comedogenic
  • Cleanse and exfoliate diligently on your decollete and back to guard against pimples that may show in your dress from the front and the back
  • See your ZO doctor if your acne increases due to the stress and hormonal flux of being a new bride

 

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