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Dr Obagi on Antiaging Skin Care

Dr. Obagi: Moisturizers Make You Age

When it comes to skin, we're all aging — whether we like it or not. Recently, I interviewed dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi of ZO Skin Health. I asked him a few questions regarding his specialty, anti-aging skin care, and he had plenty to say. Here's a bit; more to come!

How is it that pimples and wrinkles can occur at the same time? Talk about a double whammy!
The two problems may occur at the same time, but they have different causes. Pimples are related to oil gland activity, the amount of sebum produced, and pores. Oil glands are hyperactive in some individuals (hormones, genetic factors), resulting in acne and rosacea when pores become clogged. Acne has nothing to do with age. Wrinkles are due to loss and destruction of collagen without replacement, due to cell inactivity. Both problems can and do, sometimes, occur at the same time.

What products/techniques can actually do the reverse, causing premature aging and/or wrinkling?
Moisturizers, when used daily as part of a skin care program, will accelerate aging and wrinkling of the skin, as they reduce cellular activity, causing the cells to become lazy and sensitive. Repeated AHA use, IPL [Intense Pulsed Light], and photo-rejuvenation treatments without cell stimulation, will reduce the skin's ability to regenerate healthy functioning cells.

Come back later this week for more of Dr. Obagi's thoughts on healthy aging and skin care.

kscali kscali 8 years
Maybe he has a point, why do men (older men) have less wrinkles than woman, i look at so many men my age (mid 40's) and their skin looks great and most men i know don't moisturize, maybe our skin does get use to us preping so much.
melanieilona melanieilona 8 years
strangely, my naturopath actually told me the same thing but for different reasons. the idea that the body/skin absorbs whatever we put on it. lotions and moisturizers are full of "crap" and chemicals, even creams listed as "unscented/sensitve" and even "natural". she does not support the use of SPF for the fact that we do need some sun every day for vitamin D and that has of course been proven. she simply doesn't think one should spend hours bathing in sun - if you have to be outside (i.e. sports) then wear a hat. in terms of people with dry skin, she believes this can be reversed by hydrating more, or using cream only where you need it. if you reduce the amount, your skin will make up the difference in oil, for example. she also supports vitamin supplements - certain combinations for certain problems (i.e. acne and zinc). it's all so complicated i think and frankly, i love my moisturizer.
luvluvg luvluvg 8 years
Should I stop using moisturizer now? What about sunscreen on the face?
pixelhaze pixelhaze 8 years
I have wondered about this before, actually, because I always had good skin and never really took care of it (taking it for granted) and I feel like now that I use a moisturizer everyday my skin is much more dry. That is what addiction is, your body gets used to getting something (in this case, moisture) from the outside and becomes dependent on it because it stops producing its own. Thanks for that post, flyingroo, that makes a lot of sense. So I guess the key is to exfoliate before moisturizing?
AmberHoney AmberHoney 8 years
I just visited his site - don't use other moisturizers daily but use my Daily Renewal Creme instead. Gotta go Dr. Feelgood is calling me.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 8 years
I'll trust my mirror. What's next carrots cause blindness. Coffee causes constipation. Where's the spell checker? I'm not sure constipation is spelled right. I don't wanna confuse anyone with my rant.
Evalicious Evalicious 8 years
What the Heck kind of an article is that? So what are we to do? Use moisturizers every other day, once a week, monthly, etc.?
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Bella, I am dying to hear more!!! When is the next installment?
Cheri-Sims Cheri-Sims 8 years
Obagi has his own HIGH priced skin care line and it's sold mostly in Plastic surgeon's offices... Of course he's going to tell you not to use less costly off the shelf skin care remedies... Don't listen to him... Do what works best for you...
laurenlanzaosias laurenlanzaosias 8 years
if he says moisturizers slow cell re-growth...which i am pretty sure is not widely believed among dermatologists, i do know that antioxidants, such as vitamin c, applied to the skin and products like retin-a actually help speed up cell turnover, which is fantastic for acne prone skin and wrinkles. plus don't forget spf daily!
1955nurse 1955nurse 8 years
OK, so NOW WHAT?!?!? And if Skin care - creams, etc. are BAD for us, why is there a whole "OBAGI" skin care line, w/MOISTURIZERS, etc ----sold in Dermatologists offices, no less. And VERY expensive, I might add!!!
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Allytta, just send me a PM and tell me what you've been missing. I'm happy to work with you!
flyingroo flyingroo 8 years
Have a look at this girls: "Are Moisturizers Beneficial? Moisturizers are useful for dry skin. The mechanism of action is to prevent the natural oils and water within the skin from escaping ; they do not put moisture into the skin. They give the skin a smooth, soft texture and, plumps up the fine wrinkles making them less obvious. Chances are you will require a moisturizer at one time or another. Unless you have unusually dry skin, however, the use of a moisturizer should not necessarily become part of your daily routine. If moisturizers are used too often they can prevent the normal sloughing off of the top layer of dead skin cells. This gives the appearance of dryness and falsely induces the individual to use more moisturizer. This moisturizer induced dryness is called cosmetic seborrhea. If the problem persists, the skin becomes inflamed, and scaly patches form."
Allytta Allytta 8 years
Bella, you say "more to come" a lot, but it happen rarely. So please do remember to elaborate and soooooon...
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
Whatever crazy doctor guy, I'm still going to use my facial moisturizer. I'd rather not look like an alligator with dry skin.
Manoukia Manoukia 8 years
# 39: If you do something the scientific way, you should give Google scholar a try (, and while there's not much, this guy has published with Blackwell and Springer. He holds a patent on healing damaged skin. As the USPTO also grants patents on things similar places in other parts of the world reject, like pieces of software code, or on human DNA, it's not an indication of quality or if his process is actually effective. This doesn't say anything about his qualifications, and I'm always skeptical if someone sells stuff on his own premises, but just because someone is in the minority, it doesn't necessarily mean he's a total quack. I'll wait and see what Bella comes up with next, although I do hope we'll get the whole story then, and not just several more installments of snippets.
Antimony Antimony 8 years
Everything I've read/watched over the past few months has talked about the benefits of moisturizers, so this seems odd and out of nowhere... is there any proof/studies to his claims? (I didnt know much at all about skincare until like last december honestly!! so everything ive read is recent stuff)
porkypocky porkypocky 8 years
Wuuuuuh?? Let's do this the scientific way. Pubmed, go! This guy has no publications btw, and finding anything related to moisturizers causing aging hasn't had any results.
chiquita29 chiquita29 8 years
ckeller825: My grandma used Ponds too and everyone thinks she's my mom. She's really beautiful and I'll follow her advise before this guys any day!
cordata cordata 8 years
yah, what? Why would your skin get "lazy"? Cells grow, replicate and die. They don't think, go on vacation or sit around watching soap operas.
Mojo-Jojo Mojo-Jojo 8 years
ummm, my skin is already lazy and if I don't moisturize after washing, it will be dry tight and flaky. Am I supposed to walk around looking crusty all day or should I just stop washing my face?
sourcherry sourcherry 8 years
I think what he means is that people shouldn't use moisturizers in excess. Most people don't need it everyday, so the cells might become "lazy" because they don't have to do any work. I have good skin without doing practicly anything, and dermatologists always recomend keeping it that way. If you don't need it don't use it.
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
Ok well way to leave us hanging. how else am i suppose keep my skin soft?
bluestitch bluestitch 8 years
This sounds very interesting! He may have a point. If he is saying that our skin gets used to these treatments and starts to become less active than it normally is that could be a possibility. But environmental factors, UV rays, free radicals, and stress tend to leave their imprint on the skin. What does he suggest that we should do to stop these factors from aging our skin? More evidence is needed in order to make his study concrete. And unless the FDA or a public recall of all skin moisturizers and treatments are underway I'll continue using my moisturizer.
milkradio milkradio 8 years
I don't believe that at all.
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