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Free Radicals Beyond the Hype: Everything You Need to Know

Free radicals are the busiest buzzwords in the beauty world, but do you know what exactly are these beauty “devils” are and why they are so harmful to your skin? Here’s everything you need to know:

So, what exactly are free radicals?

free radicals, oxidative stress

Free radicals are extra “packets” of energy, created through our natural metabolic process. We call them “free” because they are not dedicated to any particular biochemical reaction in the body. Free radicals have an unpaired electron in their outer orbital shell which makes them highly reactive and unstable molecules. They penetrate into the interior of other cells, trying to regain their missing electron, and damage whatever cell structure they strike.

Why free radicals are particularly bad for the skin?

free radicals, skin damage

More than 85% of all free radical damage in the body comes from the cells’ own metabolic process. However, the skin is extremely rich in lipids, proteins and DNA which makes it a major target for unstable radicals and especially susceptible to oxidative stress. It is also the body’s first line of defense against environmental factors and as such is exposed to various external sources of free radical damage in addition to cellular metabolism.

Major external sources of free radical damage include:

free radicals, smoking, skin damage

  • UV radiation: skin receives 80% of its free radical damage from sun radiation. The oxygen, contained in the lower levels of the epidermis, is a primary target for UV rays. When UV light waves penetrate the skin, they donate electrons to the oxygen within skin cells, creating a chain of unstable, aggressive free radical molecules.
  • Cigarette smoke: tobacco smoke is critically damaging to all cells and tissues. With every puff, you deliver to your body more than 4 000 toxic chemicals that lead to oxidative stress.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption: drinking alcohol increases your levels of cytokines, inflammatory molecules, responsible for excessive free radical production which leads to oxidative stress.
  • Exposure to air pollutants: industrial pollution and allergens increase oxidation in our bodies.

How can I protect my skin from free radicals and prevent oxidative stress?

free radicals protection, antioxidants

When it comes to fighting off free radicals and oxidative stress in the skin, antioxidants are our superheroes. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals before they touch the cell as well as stop ongoing cellular damage.

There is a tricky part though – only 1% of dietary antioxidants reach the surface of the skin. To effectively protect your skin from free radical damage, you need to apply topical antioxidants.

Choose antioxidants wisely for best results

Not all topical antioxidants are created equal. Effective topical antioxidants must be stable and come in the purest form, so they can penetrate the outermost barriers and reach the interior of the cell.

Ossential C-Bright Serum provides a potent dose of 10% pure, stabilised vitamin C that to brighten and re-texture the skin. Vitamin E and co-enzyme Q-10 protect the skin from environmental damage, while lipids and skin conditioners hydrate and support barrier restoration.

 

Ossential Daily Power Defense is formulated with vitamin E, enzymes and ceramides to speed up DNA repair in skin cells and protect against future oxidative damage.

daily power defense, free radicals, antioxidant protection

 

Reduce and Prevent Crow’s Feet Following These 3 Simple Steps

crow's feet, fine lines, wrinkle reduction and prevention

Crow’s feet AKA the fine lines around your eyes, that seem to develop overnight, are usually the first signs of ageing to show up on your face. The delicate eye area has the thinnest skin in our body – 40% thinner than the rest of our face – making it prone to wrinkles at an earlier stage. If crow’s feet have started to appear on your face, here is what you can do to slow them down and prevent deeper wrinkles:

#1 Wear Sunscreen Every Single Day

crow's feet, sun protection

Sun damage accounts for about 80% of visible signs of ageing. No matter how careless you’ve been with sun protection in the past, get religious about it right now to prevent fine lines and wrinkles from getting worse.

Oclipse Smart Tone SPF 50 provides a broad-spectrum protection against the harmful effects of UVB, UVA and HEV radiation. It’s formulated with customisable colour beads that blend seamlessly into most skin tones and provide a sheer matte finish.

#2 Add Vitamin A to your skincare routine

Active vitamin A supports the healthy function of skin’s protective barrier and encourages collagen production to restore and maintain skin elasticity.

Hydrafirm Eye Brightening Repair Creme, crow's feet

Hydrafirm™ is a potent repair eye cream that addresses all signs of ageing in the delicate eye area. It’s packed with active vitamin A, hyaluronic acid and enzymatic vasodilators to smooth fine lines around the eyes, soften the appearance of dark circles and reduce puffiness.

#3 Protect Your Skin from Free Radicals

crow's feet, antioxidants, free radicals

You can’t see it, but your skin is constantly under attack by unstable, reactive molecules called free radicals. Environmental factors such as UV radiation, air pollution, cigarette smoke can spawn free radicals, but they can also form through natural physiological processes. Unchecked, free radicals attack proteins like collagen, lipids and elastin fibres which causes your skin to lose firmness and elasticity. So, how can you protect your complexion from the harmful effects free radical damage?

Antioxidants, vitamins C and E in particular, are your most powerful allies in the fight against free radicals. Vitamin E binds with free radical to create stable molecules and neutralises their damaging effects. Vitamin C boosts collagen  production and helps your skin heal itself faster. Ossential C-Bright Serum provides a potent dose of 10% vitamin C, combined with vitamin E and co-enzyme Q-10, to protect your skin from environmental damage and minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  

Recommended Autumn Skincare Essentials

For those who want to give their skin a boost for the autumn, here are a few of our favourite skincare essentials that we believe will make a visible improvement to your complexion.

autumn skincare essentials

Cleanser

It’s essential to cleanse your skin both morning and night to ensure you remove all the impurities and dead skin cells to promote cell turnover and thus have a fresher, younger looking skin.

For Normal to Dry skin we recommend: Offects® Hydrating Cleanser

Dry skin requires a gentle cleanser that will not disrupt sebum which is why Offects® Hydrating Cleanser is perfect. It hydrates by helping to retaining moisture during the cleansing process and rejuvenates with it’s calming properties such as panthenol, which soothes, repairs and restores skin. In addition, this cleanser stimulates collagen production and contains allantoin, which cleans away dead skin cells and supports cellular renewal. All on top of it removing dirt, oil and makeup without leaving any residue. Washing your face never felt so good.

For Normal to Oily Skin we recommend: Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser

Cleansing is an important first step for all skin types, but for oily, acne-prone skin, it’s critical. The key to managing oily skin is gently exfoliating dull, dry skin cells that trap bacteria; reducing excess oil; and neutralising free radicals. Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser does all of that and goes one step further, by providing encapsulated Vitamin E, the most important antioxidant for healthy skin.

Nourishing Hydrator

No matter what your skin type, one of our skincare essentials is a good hydrating crème for both day and night. Even those with oily skin need to hydrate as without the proper hydration your skin will produce even more excessive oils as an overcompensation for the lack of hydration.

For the day we recommend: Ommerse® Renewal Crème 
This crème is packed with pure retinol, powerful anti-oxidants and a soothing agent to repair the skin barrier and rejuvenate the skin. Oh, and one more thing. It’s a great all-day hydrator, too.

For the night we recommend: Ommerse® Overnight Recovery Crème
While you sleep, your skin becomes more active, repairing and regenerating skin cells. This is the most important time to strengthen and nourish your skin. Ommerse® Overnight Recovery Crème is the natural counterpoint to an active day–a little bit of R and R to calm and nourish the skin. It’s not sheer indulgence, though. While you sleep, retinol works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, ceramides nourish and calming agents protect against inflammation.

Peel

Peels are always a firm recommendation from dermatologists and one of our favourite skincare essentials. As it lifts off the rough, dull surface layer of dead skin cells to help give skin the reflective glow that only comes from a smooth, even surface.

We recommend: ZO Medical’s Invisapeel™

This formulation uses a unique process to renew the epidermis, providing enhanced exfoliation without any flaking or peeling, leaving skin noticeably smoother, firmer and brighter. Specialized enzymes and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) promote exfoliation to improve the texture and help even skin tone in addition to enhancing and accelerating the repair of most epidermal problems such as discoloration, flaky skin and roughness. What’s more this product is excellent for both facial and non-facial skin such as hands, arms and legs!

Product Spotlight: SPF

Photoageing is one of the biggest causes of premature ageing leading to an increase in fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and pigmentation. Sun damage is cumulative, the damage over the years from daily exposure to UV rays is not always externally visible. Early pigmentation damage occurs within the deeper layers of the skin and becomes more apparent on the surface as we age. The skin loses its ability to repair itself, prohibiting the breakdown and production of collagen, as well as the elasticity of the skin weakening, resulting in leathery and wrinkled skin.

With options for every skin type and lifestyle, ZO Skin Health’s sunscreens provide protection from the harmful effects of the sun while also improving the health of your skin.

Oclipse® Smart Tone SPF 50

  • The combination of UVA and UVB sunscreens offer broad spectrum, photostable sun protection
  • Fractionated melanin goes an extra step to shield against damaging high energy visible (HEV) light
  • Fractionated Melanin provides 6-8 hours of protection rather than the regular 1hr 45 minutes.
  • Fortified with vitamin C to inhibit pigment formation
  • Sheer tint that can be worn alone or as a makeup primer
  • Patented colour bursting beads release a subtle hint of customisable colour and radiance for a healthy glow that compliments any skin tone
  • Anti-redness inhibitors
  • Restores hydration with skin conditioners and skin barrier replenishers to skin stays youthful, soft and smooth

Key Ingredients

  • Avobenzone 3%: Provides UVA protection
  • Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 10%: Provide primarily UVB protection
  • Fractionated Melanin: Designed to shield the skin from high energy visible (HEV) light
  • Iron Oxides and Mica: Pressure-release colour system for customisable skin tone
  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: Pigmentation inhibition
  • Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate: 12-hour time release antioxidant complex fights against free radical damage

Oclipse® Sun Spray SPF 50 

  • Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 for Face & Body. Protects the skin from UVB, UVA and HEV exposure
  • Retains SPF for up to 80 minutes of water exposure
  • Exclusive 12-hour time release antioxidant system helps protect the skin from reactive oxidative species
  • Provides anti-irritant and soothing benefits to help reduce redness and discomfort
  • Helps restore hydration and enhance the natural skin barrier to prevent dehydration from daily environmental exposure
  • Breakthrough one touch, all angle spray system provides uniform, even coverage for the entire face and boy with a non-greasy, weightless feel

Key ingredients

  • Octocrylene 10% (UVB), Octisalates 5% (UVB), Homosalate 15% (UVB), Avobenzone 3%(UVA): Provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • Fractionated Melanin: Designed to shield the skin from high-energy visible light (HEV)
  • Panthenyl Triacetate, Ethyl Linoleate, Tocopherol: Provides DNA protection

Oclipse® Sunscreen Primer SPF 30

  • Provides daily multi-defence protection from UVA, UVB and high-energy visible (HEV) light
  • Exclusive 12-hour time release vitamin antioxidant system guards against photo-damage
  • DNA protection and repair
  • Helps minimise inflammation
  • Restores hydration and enhances skin barrier
  • Provides additional support to restore lipids and enhances skin barrier function
  • Helps to smooth the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines

oclipse-sunscreen-primer-spf30Key Ingredients

  • Titanium Dioxide (8.2%): Broad spectrum sunscreen (UVA/UVB) protection
  • Fractionated Melanin: Designed to shield the skin from high-energy visible light (HEV)
  • Helianthus Annus Seed Oil, Ethyl Ferulate, Rosmarinus Officinalis Lef Extract, Disodium Urine Phosphate: Helps provide DNA protection

Secret anti aging solutions

Over the years, your skin starts to change at both its cellular and structural level. Resulting in a gradual and slow change of its appearance. External conditions affect the skin more than any other organs. Sun exposure, pollution, temperature fluctuations, stress and hormonal changes are just a few of the factors that can impact the skin. The initial modification happens at the dermis level, with a gradual degeneration elastin and collagen production. This then causing visible changes on the surface such as dryness, dehydration, wrinkles and sagging skin. So what is the solution to dealing with ageing skin?

 

Slowing Down Ageing Skin

In order to slow down the signs of ageing, it is necessary to lead a healthy and balanced life. This means everything from no smoking to engaging in regular exercise. Alongside a healthy lifestyle, the use of anti-ageing skincare plays an important role in protecting the skin from aggressive external factors. Having a solid daily skincare routine is crucial. Learn what products you should be using for your skin type on a daily basis here.   

Anti-Ageing Power Product ageing skin

ZO Skin Health and Medical offer a range of products that keep the skin healthy, preventing premature ageing and avoiding future skin damage. However, one of our favourite products for battling ageing skin has to be the Ossential® Advanced Radical Night Repair. When it comes to anti-ageing, Dr Obagi doesn’t mess around and this product proves it.

Retinol is the most effective topical ingredient for ageing skin but for it to be truly effective, it has to reach a concentration in the skin of at least 0.6-0.7%. Typical over-the-counter retinol products only contain about 0.15% which is not enough to make a difference to the skin. Which is why Dr Obagi was formulated a truly effective over-the-counter anti-ageing product.

Ossential® Advanced Radical Night Repair has a 1% concentration of retinol. This can effectively activate and stimulate your skin cells. It repairs and rebuilds collagen, brightens the skin, minimises redness and defends against future damage, to name a few benefits. If you pick one product for ageing skin, let it be this one.

Eye rejuvenation treatment

The skin around your eyes is the most delicate area of your face and the first place to show signs of ageing. Pigmentation, sagging, fine lines and wrinkles are among the most common age-related changes that affect the eye area.

eye repairSigns of Ageing

In addition, in your 30s, you’re likely to see ‘dynamic wrinkles’ appear. These are the parallel vertical lines that form between the eyebrows, fine lines at the corners of the eyes (aka crow’s feet), and horizontal lines that run across the forehead. They are caused by repetitive facial movements and general skin ageing. Nonetheless, very deep lines and wrinkles can be avoided if people are more careful in regards to sun exposure. Wrinkles are exacerbated by sun damage.

Similarly, for those in their mid-30s, pigmentation and skin discolouration start to form just below the eyes. This is often caused by prolonged periods of sun exposure.

Another consequence of ageing is the loosening and protruding fat in the under eye area. This is commonly referred to as an under eye bag. Under eye bags occur when the muscles in your lower eyelids begin to weaken. Skin becomes slack and fatty deposit starts to store under the eye, causing the skin to swell and become more visible. In addition, dark shadows which appear under the eyes are due to hollow grooves developing under the eyes in the tear troughs.

How to Treat the Eye Area?eye repair

There are a variety of treatment options available for eye repair. From toxin injections to soften fines lines and wrinkles to dermal fillers which can plump out the hollows of the skin. Peels, lasers and light-based treatments can help to resurface the skin, improving skin laxity and discolouration. Older patients can also benefit from upper and lower blepharoplasty to remove excess skin and fat as well as tighten loose muscles.

Selecting a treatment plan must also include topical agents to ensure you maintain a youthful and healthy skin condition. We have developed two essential eye repair treatments in the ZO range to target the key components of eyelid ageing; the ZO Skin Health Olluminate® Intense Eye Repair and the ZO Medical Hydrafirm™.

 ZO Skin Health Olluminate® Intense Eye Repair

Olluminate® Intense Eye Repair has stabilised retinol and advanced peptides to fortify the skin around the eye area and thus decrease fine lines and wrinkles. It also promotes collagen production and includes optical diffusers to reduce dark circles. What’s more, it contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to help protect the skin against free radical damage.

ZO Medical Hydrafirm™

Hydrafirm™ is specifically designed to help diminish fine lines and wrinkles and restore skin’s elasticity by encouraging natural collagen production. It helps to rapidly reduce the appearance of puffiness as well as targeting the appearance of dark circles. Hydrafirm™ increases suppleness and hydration to replenish the skin’s barriers. Additionally, it provides antioxidant protection to prevent future damage.


Source: Body Language

The Nontraditional Skin Health Restoration For All Skin Types

skin health restorationTraditional dermatologic treatments typically address the skin surface and symptoms without improving cellular function or overall skin condition. While this may enhance the skin’s appearance, results vary widely and are usually short-lived since the source of the problem is never addressed. Reasons for this may include the physician’s personal approach, patient noncompliance, product efficacy (penetration, amount of application), patient skin type (thick, thin, oily, dry) or development of resistance to certain products. Dr. Obagi’s new skin health restoration program eliminates most – if not all – of these variables with a standard treatment approach to any skin problem. By taking this approach, program results are consistent, reproducible by any physician and achievable by any patient.

Skin Health Restoration Overview

  • Overcome skin resistance to medical topical agents by limiting their use since skin can acquire tolerance and resistance to many topical agents, leading to  treatment failure and complications.
  • Incorporate non-medical products into the maintenance phase that can be used indefinitely.
  • Adopt an early, effective, daily and preventative program using non-medical products that work to keep skin looking and acting healthy.
  • Normalize barrier function, as compromised barrier function is the most common cause of persistent sensitivity, chronic dryness and susceptibility to inflammation and treatment intolerance.
  • Protect and repair DNA since damaged DNA is responsible for cellular dysfunction, inadequate renewal, mutation and skin cancer.
  • Eliminate chronic skin inflammation, which is a common cause of treatment intolerance, failure and sensitivity.
  • Stabilise the skin by increasing its tolerance and resistance to damaging factors.

shutterstock_114536890skin health restoration solutions

Skin Health Restoration Solutions

ZO® products and programs offer comprehensive and continuous skin health solutions for every skin type, gender, age and skin condition.

ZO® Medical Therapeutic Solutions

Treatment programs for medical skin problems with a time-restricted treatment phase to prevent resistance and reduce complications.

ZO® Skin Health Daily and Preventative Skincare Solutions

Maintenance programs with non-medical products that patients can use indefinitely after the treatment phase; also daily and preventative programs for patients who do not have medical skin problems but need to keep their skin healthy, prevent premature aging and avoid future skin damage.

ZO® Product Properties

ZO® products contain innovative ingredients that provide specific beneficial properties not found in many other skincare products on the market. These added properties are based on Dr. Obagi’s years of clinical observation and research, and support his new objectives in skin health science.

  • Anti-irritant benefits
  • DNA protection and repairing agents
  • Skin barrier function, strengthening and repair
  • Cellular activation and stabilization
  • Unique ability to hydrate and calm without the damage caused by regular moisturizers
  • Multiple antioxidants used in combination for best effect

ZO Skin Health For Beginners

1 Daily Skincare ProgramZO Skin Health was created by the renowned Beverly Hills doctor Dr Zein Obagi. As Medical director of ZO Skin Health, Dr. Obagi has created products with technologically advanced ingredients and even more effective formulations, designated into two categories: ZO® Skin Health and ZO® Medical. ZO® Skin Health products maintain the results of therapeutic treatments and provide effective daily skincare and protection from the environment while ZO® Medical products have been optimized to treat a range of skin disorders and chronic conditions.

If you are interested in learning more about the brand it is recommended that you start with the Level 1 Daily Skincare Programme which provides the essential tools to help achieve healthier skin using retinol, specialized enzymes, and antioxidants to promote cellular function and restore and maintain youthful, healthy-looking skin.


What is included in this kit?

Offects™ Exfoliating Cleanser

Offects Exfoliating CleanserCleansing is an important first step for all skin types, but for oily, acne-prone skin, it’s critical. The key to managing oily skin is gently exfoliating dull, dry skin cells that trap bacteria; reducing excess oil; and neutralising free radicals. Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser does all of that and goes one step further–it includes encapsulated Vitamin E–the most important anti-oxidant for healthy skin.

Key Ingredients

  • Micro-beads: Exfoliate dead skin cells
  • Encapsulated Vitamin E: Antioxidant
  • Salicylic Acid: Promotes chemical exfoliation to keep pores clear
  • Lipopeptide Myristoyl Pentapeptide-8: Stimulates collagen production
  • Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) Extract: Antioxidant and anti-irritant benefits

Offects™ Exfoliating Polish

Round magnesium crystals exfoliate dead skin cells, increase epidermal turnover and create a clearer, smoother, more even-toned complexion. But the benefits go deeper than that. Vitamins A, C, C-Esters and E provide powerful antioxidant protection. Then active Offects Exfolliating Polishingredients can penetrate your skin and work much more effectively.

Key ingredients

  • Ultra-Fine Magnesium Crystals: Removes dead skin cells, improves skin texture, promotes healthy circulation and cell turn-over.
  • Vitamins A, C, C-Ester and E: Deliver antioxidant protection

Ossential® Daily Power Defense

Ossential® Daily Power Defense uses DNA repair enzymes to enhance your skin’s recovery capabilities. These special enzymes attach directly to your own DNA molecules and repair oxidative damage caused by UV exposure. It works all day with time-release retinol, enzymes, and antioxidants to repair damaged cells and protect against future damage.Ossential Daily Power Defense

Key Ingredients:

  • Ultrasomes (UV-endonuslease) and Roxisomes (glycosylase): Enzymes that initiate and speed up the repair of DNA
  • Vitamin E: Provides antioxidant properties
  • Retinol (Vitaine): Stimulates epidermal renewal and collagen production, and helps even skin tone
  • Ceramide 6: Helps restore barrier function
  • Matrixyl 3000 (Palmitoyl Oligopeptide and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7): Stimulates collagen production

Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30

Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer was named the #1 best sunscreen by the online beauty authority. Not just because it has broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection; not just because it multi-tasks as a makeup primer; and not just because it’s tinted (bye-bye white and pasty sunscreen!). The best part: it’s something you’ll want to wear every day. Have you ever said that about a sunscreen? It’s the smart sunscreen because it features natural Oclipse Sunscreen+Primer SPF30melanin. If you’re going to do just one nice thing for your skin this is it.

 Key Ingredients

  • Titanium Dioxide (8.2%): Broad spectrum sunscreen (UVA/UVB) protection
  • Fractionated Melanin: Designed to shield the skin from high energy visible light (HEV)
  • Helinathus Annus Seed Oil, Ethyl Ferulate, Rosmarinus Officinalis Lef Extract, Disodium Urine Phosphate: Helps provide DNA protection

Ossential Daily Power Defense – INFOGRAPHIC

Ossential® Daily Power Defense is a lightweight lotion designed to protect and correct. Speeds up DNA repair, provides anti-ageing benefits and antioxidant protection.

For all skin types and ages.

ZO® ANTI-AGEING RETINOL SOLUTIONS

Under the Skin: Effects of HEV Light – Dr Eccleston

Interview with Dr. David Eccleston, Medizen Clinic, about the harmful effects of High Energy Visible (HEV) Light.
Under the Skin is a one-to-one interview that addresses different skin issues and concerns, providing the latest information about ZO Skin Health protocols and treatments for the consumer clients.