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treatment of disease. My aim with ZO skin health, therefore, is to give the skin the tools it needs to renew itself while offering a high standard of skincare.'

as that of his own sister, who had been badly burned and scarred as a teenager. 'When I saw my sister going through

this I really felt that something should be done, and this started my interest in dermatology and pathology in the hope that someday I would be able to do something positive about this.'

Supporting healthy skin This hope for positivity is clearly apparent in the skincare line that ZO Health offers. After 25 years, the products are continuing evolving as science, too, evolves. For example, where hydroquinone might previously have been used, it is now known that 80% of patients can develop a resistance if used for more than a few months. 'So we corrected the mistakes and

added novel ideas to the protocol to enable doctors to treat patients in a more effective way,' says Dr Obagi. He further explains that its not enough

to focus on the disease, and reiterates the importance of cellular function and damage to it (owing to hormonal changes, sun exposure, ageing, etc.), for the upkeep of healthy skin. 'By definition, healthy skin should be

smooth, firm and tight, even in colour, hydrated and strong,' explains Dr Obagi. 'So it is paramount to treat the whole skin ® restore the health of the whole skin ® while treating the disease at the same time. By doing that you are allowing the skin to treat itself and repair itself. The skin alters with age, for example, because many of those qualities are not functioning properly as a result of dead cells.'

And this is essentially the ZO

philosophy for healthy skin; the shift from simply focusing on the surface of the skin, to providing the tools needed to rebuild cellular function. The effects of ageing can certainly be prevented if one begins to support the fibroblasts, collagen and elastin at an early age. 'It is a novel world in

which we are dealing with the maintenance of healthy skin,' says Dr Obagi. 'A lot of the products on the market do not focus on the broad spectrum needed for healthy skin. 'Many cosmetic products will simply

Developing best practice Dr Obagi is a very busy man. Between treating patients and continually researching and developing new product lines, he also has the time to run courses and lectures for his peers. His own event, The Ultimate Skin Health Symposium will take place in Beverly Hills this November, featuring lectures and workshops, as well as live demonstrations. There is certainly a lot of interest in the ZO concepts of treatment for the improvement of skin quality, and Dr Obagi is keen to pass on his own pearls of wisdom. 'I really think that good skin care is an

integral part of aesthetic medicine because if you inject a botulinum toxin or dermal filler on skin that is sensitive or damaged, the result will not be optimal,' he says.

'My feeling is that you The effects of

ageing can certainly be prevented if one

begins to support the fibroblasts, collagen

and elastin at an early age.

focus on moisturisation and have dubious anti-ageing benefits, while medical products will aim on the

should start with the foundations, and that is what I am reinforcing to physicians ® no matter what procedure you carry out, it is paramount to improve the skin first and then add the icing on the cake.' And these are rules that Dr Obagi believes

should by adopted by all physicians in aesthetic medicine, which can only be enhanced as a result. 'My advice is that a dermatologist or

plastic surgeon should really look at the skin, thinking about both disease and the overall quality, as well as what might be necessary to strengthen the skin without rushing into any procedures. 'To improve the skin and obtain the

best results for the patient, we should focus on the health of the skin ahead of monetary gain.'

 The Ultimate Skin Health Symposium takes place in Beverly Hills, 9–11 November 2012. For further information turn to page 49, or visit,, or | June 2012 ❚


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