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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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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Out of the Dark – Reversing Sun Spots

In addition to lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, dark spots, and discoloration can add years to your complexion. Studies have shown that hyperpigmentation can significantly contribute to the overall appearance of skin aging, increasing your perceived age by as much as 10 years. But discoloration doesn’t have to be a fact of life. If you want to keep your skin clear of discoloration, STAY OUT OF THE SUN! Our skin tone is determined by the amount of melanin contained in the epidermis. With UV exposure, cells called melanocytes are stimulated to create additional melanin, resulting…

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Fear of Aging Motivates Teens to Use an SPF

It turns out that fear of looking old motivates teens to apply sunscreen much more than the possibility of developing skin cancer. A recent study from the University of Colorado in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that educating teens about the aging and appearance-related effects of sun exposure is more effective than showing them the relationship between UV exposure and skin cancer when it comes to getting them to use sunscreen. Fifty students from a Northern California high school were divided into two groups and shown one of the following videos: A health-based…

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Coping with the Redness of Rosacea

Rosacea is a common but largely misunderstood inflammatory skin condition that affects more than 16 million Americans, according to the National Rosacea Association. Early symptoms include flushing and persistent redness, but for more severe cases, redness, pustules, and thickened rough skin can play havoc with one’s self esteem and confidence. Rosacea outbreaks come and go in a cyclic manner, and flare-ups may last for weeks to months and then disappear for a long time. Unfortunately, what causes this cascade of inflammation is not completely understood. Hormonal fluctuations, genetics, and hyperactive oil glands most likely play a…

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The Benefits of Retinol

We are constantly being bombarded with glossy ads and wild claims about products that will “reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles,” and “rejuvenate sun damaged skin,” and “take years off your skin.” It is enough to give you more wrinkles, just trying to figure it all out and sort through the hype. Dr. Obagi is a huge proponent of using retinol in your daily skincare regimen. “To evaluate whether an ingredient or formulation can deliver what it promises, we have to look at the science.” Retinol is one skin care ingredient that is frequently touted…

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