Throw Away My Moisturizer?!

If I told you to throw away your moisturizer, you’d think I’ve finally lost my mind! Estheticians are supposed to encourage you to moisturize, right? Well, I haven’t lost my mind. In fact, my mind is blown! After attending the Regional ZO Medical & Skin Health Training this weekend, I couldn’t wait to get back to my patients to share the information! Times, they are a-changin’ and I’m here to keep my patients in the loop! Time to throw away your moisturizer and stock up on products that make your skin work, work, work, work!

For those who don’t frequent Timeless Rx, let me give you a little back story. We retailed Obagi & a few other pharmaceutical lines for almost 5 years. Obagi has been on the market for 35 years. And in those 35 years, the formula for the Obagi product line has never changed. This industry is always evolving. We are learning about ingredients, delivery systems, pros & cons of extended Rx use, and how these things impact the skin long term. Obagi wasn’t a bad line. The problem was that it was inconsistent and it was out-dated. Some patients had results, some patients broke out, some patients couldn’t handle the peeling, some patients had no change, and some refused to commit to a system of 6 steps. And more importantly, the prescription, hydroquinone, used in the line is not intended for long term use and shouldn’t be stopped abruptly. Obagi offered nothing for a non-hydroquinone line or options to titrate off of the products. As an esthetician, this was difficult. I was offering patients a very expensive “maybe” and the possibility of their skin getting worse if they stopped the products. That wasn’t good enough for me or my patients. Meanwhile, Dr. Zein Obagi was proposing formula changes, clinical trials, and changes to the line that would revolutionize skin care. But, the other hands in the company would not agree to the improvements. So, Dr. Obagi lawyered up and started his own line called ZO Medical & Skin Health. (thank you, thank you, thank you!) This line offers a Hydroquinone line (ZO Medical) & a non-hydroquinone line (ZO Skin Health). Timeless Rx has offered ZO products to our patients since May 2016. And in such a short time, our patients have never been so responsive to a product! Our patients are seeing CONSISTANT results! I have educated myself on the line in order to prescribe the correct products to my patients. To advance in ingredients and product specifics, I attended the Regional Training. All I can say is…MIND. BLOWN. Dr. Obagi is a genius. He is a board-certified practicing Dermatologist, world-renowned skincare expert, award-winning inventor, educator and author. If you are the slightest bit interested in skin health, I encourage you to attend a seminar or read his books. His passion for skin care and knowledge on skin health is remarkable. Ok, enough of my fan-girl obsessing. Point being, he knows his stuff!

If you have checked out the products in the ZO lines, you’ll notice something missing…a moisturizer! This has caused quite the controversy in the skin care world. We have been trained since the beginning of time to moisturize. We all have the grandma who swore her Ponds Cold Cream was her fountain of youth! Men & women who use moisturizer could never imagine life without it. But, hear me out. I was just as skeptical. It is my hope that after I share this information, you will appreciate Dr. Obagi’s genius just as much as I do!

Why shouldn’t we moisturize? When you consider how cells work, the answer is very clear and makes total sense! When skin is healthy and functioning correctly, the dermis collects water from the food we eat and the water we drink. The dermis then delivers the water to the epidermis at the surface of the skin and keeps us hydrated. But, if you interrupt the process by slathering moisturizer on the skin, the cells in the epidermis send a message to the cells in the dermis to chill out. Why? Because the cells feel fat, happy, & hydrated from the moisturizer. This causes the cells in the dermis to become lazy…why work when they don’t have to? When the cells go dormant, the skin gets dry, thin, & loses its elasticity. At that point, the skin becomes fully dependent on a moisturizer. To fix the problem, you need to detox your skin from the moisturizer.

How can we detox from a moisturizer? The ZO lines are formulated to stimulate skin cells and get them working! These products are not meant to fluff you up and make you feel warm and cozy. The products are designed to get your skin healthy! Just like the crossfit coach you love to hate, ZO products are the kick in the butt your cells need to get back in shape!

Will it be uncomfortable to make the change? Your skin may go through a transition period for a couple of weeks. Because most of the ZO products contain a tolerable amount of retinol, you may experience mild redness or dryness as an anticipated reaction. Dr. Obagi believes that just as our body needs to stay active to remain healthy, so does our skin. As we age, our skin cell turn over slows down. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that causes the skin cells to speed up & keep the cells active. But, just like you have to stick it out in the gym, you have to stick it out with your skin! You won’t be left hanging! I’ll be right there to recommend the products and cheer you along! Once your skin is functioning as it should, you’ll have the youthful glow that you’ve been hiding under gobs of Olay! Hooray!

When is it necessary to use a moisturizer? Although we want our cells & body to function at optimal levels, Dr. Obagi knows that there will be times that a moisturizer is inevitable. If you are experiencing extreme dryness from a retinoic acid, (Retin A, Tretnoin, Tazorac) a little extra moisture will help your skin restore to its normal pH and soothe the skin. If you have received laser treatments or chemical peels, moisturizer will help the healing process. And traveling can deplete your skin of moisture. Dry climates or airplanes can dehydrate your skin and moisturizer will have to be used. For this reason, Dr. Obagi offers 2 options, Daily Renewal Crème and Overnight Recovery Crème. These products are NOT moisturizers (that would be an insult to their capabilities)! The cremes have moisturizing properties, but they do much more than hydrate the surface. These products work at the cellular level to hydrate, combat aging, and contain retinol for cell turnover. You have options to moisturize AS NEEDED, not daily use.

I could literally share my excitement for ZO products and Dr. Obagi all night, but I respect your time. I hope this blog was helpful and mind blowing! If you have questions or concerns about this blog or have suggestions for my next blog, email me at! I love your feedback! ‘Til next time…

Your Esthetician,