Name Your Skin Type

Before jumping into a skin care program or having an aesthetic procedure like a peel or laser treatment, you need to know your skin type. Typically, physicians use the Fitzpatrick skin typing system to categorize skin tone on a continuum from very fair (type I) to very dark (type VI). But Dr. Zein Obagi believes this system doesn’t provide all of the necessary information for predicting how your skin will react to a specific treatment. For that you need to consider your ethnic background, particularly when trying to correct or avoid hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and dark spots….

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Operation: Banish Blackheads

Blackheads are an accumulation of oil and oxidized dead skin cells, which is why they appear black in color. They form in hair follicles where sebum and dead skin collect. Whiteheads are similar clogs, but the oil and dead skin cells do not touch the air, so they appear white. Along with pimples, blackheads and whiteheads are the typical symptoms of acne. As Dr. Zein Obagi says, “The first line of defense against blackheads is to use a good exfoliating cleanser. This will loosen debris, bringing it to the surface where it can be washed away.”…

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Skin Enemy #1

The sun presents a great conundrum for dermatologists and skin care professionals. On the one hand, it is the life-giving source of all natural living things. On the other hand, UV exposure is the cause of premature aging and, even worse, skin cancer. It was once believed that only UVB was damaging because it causes the epidermis to burn and turn red. But now we know that UVA is equally damaging, if not more dangerous. UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. They cause skin cancer…

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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…

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Tips for the Perfect Pedi

Nothing says summer 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…

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There Is No Such Thing as a Safe Tan

You can’t dispute the science. The UVA and UVB rays from the sun as well as tanning beds and lamps lead to premature photo-aging at best, and skin cancer, including deadly melanoma, at worst. As beauty magazines and dermatologists advise, “The only safe tan is a fake tan.” According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “A tan, whether you get it on the beach, in a bed, or through incidental exposure, is bad news, any way you acquire it.” And tanning salons may pose the biggest risk. People who use indoor tanning devices are 74% more likely…

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Complexion Correction

What do you want to correct about your skin? Are you concerned with uneven skin tone, dark spots, fine lines or redness? The good news is that the most effective anti-aging ingredients—prescription retinoids and retinol, both vitamin A derivatives—target skin texture, hyperpigmentation, and lines and wrinkles for younger and healthier looking skin. Retinoids and sunscreen offer a one-two punch in fighting signs of aging. But sometimes this duo is not sufficient to diminish discoloration or hyperpigmentation that has resulted from sun exposure. Used for the past 50 years to treat pigmentary concerns, hydroquinone remains the gold…

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Preventing Acne Scars

According to Dr. Obagi, the best way to avoid acne scars is to seek treatment early and stick with the right regimen. Acne sufferers should never pick or pop a pimple. Picking or popping a blemish is a sure way to develop a scar and aggravate the infection. If you have an unsightly pimple that just has to go, visit a dermatologist. If you have cystic acne, your doctor may inject the cyst with cortisone to minimize inflammation and scarring. Dr. Obagi has developed an effective treatment regimen—ZO® Skin Health Acne Prevention and Treatment Program—which includes…

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Eat Your Way to More Beautiful Skin

The best healthy-skin plan encompasses a solid daily skin care approach, lifestyle, and diet, so it’s no surprise that good eating habits—or lack thereof—can affect the health and appearance of your skin. Certain foods go above and beyond, offering antioxidant benefits that cannot be achieved through skin care alone. “More studies are finding links between certain nutrients and wrinkle reduction, radiance, and acne prevention,” says Dr. ZeinObagi.  “Eating a diet rich in whole grains, amino acids, and antioxidant rich foods makes your cell membranes healthier. Skin should be protected from the outside as well, so daily…

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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…

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