Dr. Zein Obagi is a world-renowned skincare expert, a board-certified dermatologist, award winning inventor, author and educator. He is an Arab American who conquered the field of dermatology and coined the term Science of Skin Health, which defines skincare to create and maintain healthy skin. Dr Obagi was born and raised in the city of Aleppo in Syria. He graduated with a degree in medicine at the University of Damascus before embarking on a new career path in the United States.

With hard work and a passion for his profession, he developed one of the world’s most notorious Skin Health Institutes and became one of the world’s biggest leaders in the international medical field. After becoming one of the best known dermatologists in professional circles, he created a state-of-the-art line of skincare products which are used by medical professionals all over the globe. 

In this article we will be discussing Zein Obagi’s Skin Health range and how he has developed the products to tackle the most common skin conditions faced by many of us. Within each range we will highlight one product to tackle the specific skin condition in question and describe how it works to create the desired outcome. 

Getting Skin Ready

The Getting Skin Ready system is the perfect first step in your skin care protocol. It was designed as a pre-treatment course to help you optimise the effectiveness of your ZO treatment program. 

The system uses 3 products, a cleanser, scrub and oil control pads, that work synergistically for optimal results.

Step 1: Cleanse, Exfoliating Cleanser

This light clear gel cleanser is to be used twice a day to remove impurities, revive and refresh skin. It contains blue microparticles that gently exfoliate the epidermis. (the surface layer of the skin)

Step 2: Scrub, Exfoliating Polish

One of the most popular products in the range is the Exfoliating Polish, turquoise in colour that smells delicious, scrubs away any dirt and debris, whilst allowing the pores to remain open and clean. Use this scrub 2-3 times a week to remove build up dirt and activate skin cells. 

Step 3: Oil Control, TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment

Zein Obagi believes managing oil control is one of the best ways to fight aging, acne breakouts, the keep skin healthy and vital. The TE-Pads work to keep the skin clean and remove surface oil and dirt without causing dryness or irritation. These pads work well for all skin types and not just recommended for acne prone skin.

Anti-Aging 

The best way to avoid the aging process and the development of wrinkles is to actively treat what is causing them. There are a few factors that contribute to the formation of wrinkles and aging. 

Firstly, age. Of course, we are unable to stop the clock or turn back time. But we can prevent the way in which the way our skin ages. Collagen is the protein found in the skin that begins to deplete around the age of 25, causing us to notice our first wrinkles. We can prevent the breakdown of collagen and encourage it to increase production in many ways.

The growing list includes, laser treatments that build up collagen supply, the silhouette instalift which uses sutures and cones made up of Glycolide. L-lactide which stimulate collagen production and injectables which volumise by enhancing collagen production. 

Secondly, genetics. If your one of your parents is prone to early signs of wrinkles, the chances are you will too unless steps are taken to protect your skin from the suns UV rays and other causes of wrinkles. UV light breaks down the skins connective tissues, including collagen and elastin in the deep layers of the skin. This allows the skin to sag and wrinkle. 

Zein Obagi has a fantastic range to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. One of them being the Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30. It is a non-greasy, fast drying sunscreen with a beautiful sheer matte finish, offering broad-spectrum protection against UVA, UVB rays. The natural melanin found in your skin shields the skin from aging effects of high energy visible light. The tint and silky matte finish help the skin glow and reduce skin imperfections. It can be used alone or worn under make up as a primer for a more even long-lasting application. Engineered with a 12-hour time release complex, ZO’s sunscreens helps shield the skin from dangerous infrared rays. 

Smoking creates free radicals in the body, this contributes to premature aging and causes those vertical lip lines known as smokers’ lines. Antioxidants like vitamin C absorb damaging free radicals and the C-Bright Serum 10% Vitamin C is packed full of Vitamin C. This serum provides a forceful dose of Vitamin C, which brightens and revivifies skin, promoting an even skin tone and minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles when used as instructed. The serum helps to remove surface discolouration and it defends against environmental triggers. The repetitive compressing of the lips when smoking also causes wrinkles. The best solution, of course, is to stop smoking, especially as it contributes to a list of other medical issues.  

Finally, pollution. Pollution ages the skin and compensates its ability to repair itself from damage. As its not as easy to move or switch occupations, the antioxidant serum, mentioned previously, provides a great dose of stabilised Vitamin C to combat the effects of pollution on the skin. Another powerful antioxidant within this serum helps shield against other environmental triggers that can instigate inflammation. 

Brightening

Hyperpigmentation can come in many forms and shades, sunspots, acne scars, brown spots and melasma. This discolouration is caused by our advancing age, changes in hormonal activity, sun exposure and skin irritation. 

Light skinned individuals typically suffer sun damage from UV exposure due to their inherent reduced concentration of natural melanin in the skin. In contrast, darker skin types tend to suffer with post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (acne scarring, psoriasis, burns, or injury) or melasma. The best defence for UV damage is a use of sunscreen such as Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30, Sun Spray SPF 50 or Daily Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF 50.

There are more skincare options today than ever before to resolve hyperpigmentation and not all of them contain hydroquinone, such as ZO Non-Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System. Hydroquinone is a skin bleaching agent. It’s used to lighten dark skin discolouration, which is not always favoured by all, especially those with sensitive skin as it may cause dryness or redness.

The ZO Non-Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System is a multi-product package designed to treat hyperpigmentation without the use of Hydroquinone. 

The kit includes Retinol Skin Brightener 1%, Daily Power Defence, Wrinkle + Texture Repair and Brightalive Skin Brightener. It’s the perfect poduct for those who have had a hydroquinone treatment or those in whom skin bleaching is not the desired treatment outcome. It helps to even skin tone and is ideal if skin texture and anti-aging benefits are part of the user’s skin concern. 

Hydroquinone is safe and effective and remains the gold standard. ZO also has a multi-product package called ZO Multi- Therapy Rx Hydroquinone System which is formulated to treat hyperpigmentation, sun damage, severe texture burns and general skin restoration. This package contains Melamin Skin Bleaching & Correcting Crème, Exfoliation Accelerator, 10% Concentration, Melamix Skin Lightener & Blending Crema and Daily Power Defence. 

Both of these systems contain Retinol (vitamin A) which is highly effective for treating dark spots. Your skin care specialist will be able to guide you to the right system best for your skin and your skin concerns. They may even suggest the route of a chemical skin peel containing salicylic acid and glycolic acid, Intense Pulsed Light laser treatments or microdermabrasion. 

Acne

Acne occurs when a pore becomes blocked. Dead skin cells begin to accumulate and instead of shedding these cells, the overproduction of sebum oil in the body makes it easier for the dead skin cells to congregate together in the pore, where they become trapped. When this clogged pore becomes colonised with acne causing bacteria (P.Acnes), it can multiply rapidly. The net result of this is inflammation and the formation of those all too familiar acne cysts on the skin surface. 

The reasons for developing acne can differ by ages and stages of life. Acne in your teenage years is commonly caused by overactive oil glands. Whereas, adult acne is typically caused by fluctuating hormones. Other factors such as diet, sleep pattern, age, hygiene, exercise, lifestyle and stress can worsen breakouts.

It’s important to take time out of your busy schedule and allow yourself time to look after your skin and health. The ZO Skin Health Acne Prevention and Treatment Program contains highly effective products to treat all types of acne. The kit includes Exfoliating Cleanser, Exfoliating Polish, Complexion Renewal Pads and a Sulfur Masque. If used as instructed these products work to slow down the production of sebum, exfoliate the skin cells and encourage the pores to unclog. If you notice a pattern with hormonal fluctuations leading to acne breakouts, then it is possible that taking birth control pills may help improve your skin. This is something that can be discussed with your GP. 

Redness

The latest epidemiological data suggests that around 415 million people are known to be suffering with rosacea. Rosacea symptoms involve facial redness/flushing, swollen red bumps, eye problems and enlarged noses. Many mistake this skin condition with acne and attempt to treat it accordingly. Whilst rosacea is part of the acne family, and there are certain similarities in terms of presentation, effective treatment is very different. Accurate diagnosis of both conditions should be sought from your skincare specialist. 

Rosacea symptoms can be exacerbated by many different factors. It could be extreme heat or cold, sun exposure, spicy food or alcohol. It can be useful to keep a diary to log and identify your rosacea triggers and avoid these when possible. 

Taking good care of your skin can keep rosacea flares at bay. ZO has a range of products to treat rosacea and related symptoms. Restoracalm Soothing Recovery Crème and Rozatrol serum work to normalise the skin and reduce excess surface oil. Rozatrol also combines an ultra-mild exfoliation to prevent premature aging, help smooth skin texture and tone. Antioxidants found in the serum helps minimise the appearance of inflammation and damage caused by daily oxidative stress. It also helps to replenish hydration and support a healthy skin barrier function. 

Protect

You may have heard of UVA or UVB when talking about sun protection. But the new buzzword in sun protection is HEV (high energy visible light). It’s known as an enemy of healthy skin due to its ability to damage cells. 

Every day we are exposed to powerful forms of light as we surround ourselves with an increasing variety of artificial light sources such as computers, digital devices, LED sources and fluorescent lights. These are considered unnatural forms of light and known to emit large amounts of powerful radiation known as High Energy Visible light. HEV light is similar to Ultra-Violet (UV) light and carries familiar physical characteristics. UV rays can cause sunburn, tissue damage and eye disease. HEV has been known to cause similar damage. 

Zein Obagi’s newest sun protection technology is the ZO Oclipse Smart Tone. It offers a powerful dose of UVA and UBV protection, whilst also helping to shield the skin from HEV light. The multi-tasking formula aids the skin to support its own natural repair process to help tackle irritation and pigmentation, whilst rich conditioners soften and sooth the skin. The ZO Oclipse Smart Tone SPF50 (SPF) is engineered with patented colour-bursting beads that match any skin tone. These tiny microbeads burst when massaged into the skin, they create customisable colour on all skin tones allowing it to be worn as a primer under foundation or an offering a glowing tint to the skin when worn alone. 

The advanced formula is packed full of soothing extracts of Petasites Japonicus Root Extract and Beta Glucan which minimises irritants that can cause redness to the skin. Argania Spinosa Kernal Oil also moisturises and helps in lipid repair, as well as Vitamin C to protect against the development of pigmentation and sunspots. 

Eye

As the skin around our eyes is the thinnest on our body, it is most subject to daily relentless damage to UV exposure. It’s important to protect the skin by choosing and using a protective eye cream by keeping the delicate skin hydrated and delaying the visible signs of aging around the eyes. 

ZO Medical Hydra Firm Eye Brightening Repair Crème is designed specifically for under the eye area. The cream helps minimise the multiple signs of aging, reduces puffiness, dark circles and fine lines. Hydrafirm contains caffeine, enzymatic vasodilators and coenzyme A, which rapidly shrinks the appearance of puffy eyes. Active Vitamin A and biomimetic proteins boost natural collagen to help rebuild the skins elasticity. 

Applying a pea sized amount of Hydrafirm for the under-eye area, as early as your 20’s will allow the eyelid skin to become firmer and prolong a youthful look. Apply it in the morning and before going to bed. Blend the cream between your fingertips and apply under the eyes. Be careful not to pull or stretch the skin during application.

Hydrating and Calming

For some of us cold weather means dry, flaky itchy skin. Winter winds and cold temperatures leaves our skin red, rough, and flaky. Extremely dry skin (xerosis) can develop on your hands, arms, lower legs, ankles and even your scalp. 

Dry skin needs plenty of moisture and also a barrier protection, so the skins natural moisture is locked in and does not escape. 

There are a few ways to reverse dry skin and restore its moisture:

Shorter showers: Limit your shower or bath time to 5-10 minutes a day. The more time you spend in the water can often leave your skin less hydrated than before you started. 

Cooler water: Always opt for warm or cool water. Hot water strips the essential oils from your skin causing it to dry out. 

Load on the lotion: Right after your shower or bath, apply body lotion when your skin is still moist. Read the labels and check for certain ingredients. Naturally occurring or synthetic ceramides help the skin retain water and help to sooth dry skin. Dimethicone and glycerin attracts water to the skin and keeps it there. Hyaluronic acid is similar to ceramides and also aids the skin to retain moisture. Lanolin, mineral and petroleum jelly helps the skin grasp onto the water absorbed during bathing. 

Zein Obagi recommends Ommerse Overnight Recovery Crème. Its applied as an overnight cream and works to repair and regenerate severely dry and irritated skin. Apply one or two pumps onto your fingertips and gently massage around the face and neck for 30 minutes before bedtime for best results. 

Choosing and using gentle products: When looking for products to overcome your dry and irritated skin, opt for an unscented, soap free, or mild soap cleaners. These will be less likely to exacerbate and aggravate dry skin flare ups.

Body

There’s nothing we wouldn’t try to get rid of cellulite, that lumpy, dimply skin on the thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen. It’s still not known exactly what causes cellulite, but it’s thought to involve fibrous connective cords that chain the skin to the underlying muscle with fat in-between. Fat cells accumulate and push up against the skin, while the long, tough cords tug down and form the dimpling effect, also known as cellulite. Cellulite is a condition that is more common in females and is exacerbated by advancing age as the skin loses its elasticity. 

There are many laser treatments on the market today which are known to produce reliable and desirable results but come with a high price tag. However, ZO Skin Health’s new Oraser Cellulite Control Body Smoothing Crème may do the trick. 

The key ingredients: plankton extract, caffeine, saccharide isomerate coenzyme A, carnitine, phosphatidylcholine and carrageenan extract, all work synergistically to recover the skins texture and minimise the appearance of cellulite. In addition, the crème also helps advance microcirculation, reduce skin contour, boost the production of collagen for firmer skin and restore hydration to support a healthy skin barrier function. 

Dr. Zein Obagi recommends using the crème twice daily, once in the morning and once at night on clean, dry skin. Apply it generously to any part of the body with cellulite, especially hips, thighs and buttocks. In addition to using the crème, exercise can also help breakdown the fat and boost circulation and consequently give your skin a smoother appearance.