Internationally acclaimed Dr. Zein Obagi, Beverly Hills dermatologist and founder of ZOÂ® Skin Health, prides himself on taking a radical approach to skincare. He believes that skincare should focus on making skin healthy, rather than just treating the various conditions that compromise our complexions, such as pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. In fact, he classifies these conditions diseases of the skin, in addition to the more obvious problems like rosacea and acne.
â€œMy approach is much more broad spectrum than just focusing on the disease alone,â€ Dr. Obagi told a room full of beauty editors and bloggers gathered at The London NYC to learn about the ZOÂ® Skin Health brand. â€œYou must address the cellular function of the skin to make it healthy.â€
A trailblazer in dermatology, Dr. Obagi first talked about healthy skin back in 1983. He continues to refine and develop the concept, defining healthy skin as smooth, firm, tight, having even color, free of disease, hydrated and strong.
If skin is healthy, it can defend itself against disease as well as repair itself. But as we age, our skin cells begin to function less well and aging creeps in. At this point, people start using creams that Dr. Obagi believes may not be tolerated well. Instead, â€œwe must address skin by stabilizing it,â€ he said â€œThe first thing we have to do is normalize your skin. If your skin is oily, we treat the sebum. If you skin is dry, we restore pH.â€
Enter ZOÂ® Skin Health, the 15 product collection created by Dr. Obagi to get our skin in line and up to par. The lineup includes products for oily skin and others for dry skin. He believes that moisturizers have become an addiction in our society and does not include them in the lineup. Instead he features hydrators that repair the skin moisture barrier.
Both oily and dry regimens start with cleansing, using either the OffectsÂ® Exfoliating Cleanser ($45) or OffectsÂ® Hydrating Cleanser ($45). The next step is exfoliation via OffectsÂ® Exfoliating Polish ($75).
The third step is the brandâ€™s hero product OssentialÂ® Daily Power Defense ($175), which contains time-released retinol, antioxidants and specialized DNA repairing enzymes to minimize UV oxidative damage and uneven pigmentation, while restoring skin function and elasticity.
â€œZO Skin Health Daily Power Defense is the best cream you can put on your face â€“ it is most effective for all skin types,â€ said Dr. Obagi.
The final step in his preferred basic regimen is a generous application of the award-winningÂ OclipseÂ® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30 ($65).
Additions are included in the regimen depending on your skinâ€™s specific needs. For example, OffectsÂ® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment ($45) , which contains salicylic acid, is recommended for prevention and treatment of breakouts. The lineâ€™s power booster is OssentialÂ® Radical Night Repair Plus ($195), which contains 1% retinol concentration, the highest strength available. Formulated to stimulate new cell activity and collagen formation in aged and UV damaged skin, Radical Night Repair can also be used as a peel if applied regularly morning and night. However, Dr. Obagi warns that your skin’s tolerance to this product must be developed over time, so you can expect a little redness until your skin gets acclimated to it.
Far too many women believe that they have sensitive or dry skin. Dr. Obagi views these complaints as symptoms of weakened skin that will abate once the skin is stabilized and healthy.
â€œMany people donâ€™t understand that their skin feels dry because they are using products that their skin cannot tolerate well,â€ he said. â€œSkin needs special steps to take care of it â€“ an individually tailored approach to get results.â€
Customizable and focused, ZOÂ® Skin Health offers a new way to fight signs of aging by stabilizing the skin and addressing the cellular structure at a different level. â€œMy approach with ZO Skin Health is to treat every skin type â€“ from very fair to skin of color â€“ safely and effectively,â€ Dr. Obagi said.
Available at selected Nordstrom locations throughout the US, ZOÂ® Skin Health products also can be purchased at www.zoskinhealth.com.