August 23 2014

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Dr. Obagi On Moisturizer Myths


This column features weekly tips and advice from a revolving cast of industry leaders, on hand to discuss your beauty dilemmas, from blemishes to Botox. To submit a question, e-mail

Is there any truth to recent claims that excessive moisturizing can accelerate aging?

Yes, it’s true. Many moisturizers cause skin to be weak, lazy, and sensitive, and instead of rejuvenating your skin, will actually cause it to age faster. Here’s why: Normally, skin cells in the dermis collect water from the food and beverages that we consume, and supply that water to the surface of the skin. That’s what keeps skin cells active, vital, and producing collagen and elastin. But when moisturizers are the source for hydration, they satiate the superficial skin cells and send a message to the cells in the dermis to slow their production and supply of water. When that happens, the skin cells get lazy, retire, and eventually stop functioning. Not only do they not supply water, they slow the cellular regeneration process, and don’t produce sufficient amounts of collagen and elastin. All of that accelerates skin aging—wrinkles, dullness, hyperpigmentation, and loss of elasticity. As a precautionary measure, once you turn 30 it’s important to keep your skin cells active with products that contain retinol, like ZO Skin Health Daily Power Defense.

A board-certified member of the American Board of Dermatology and a leading expert in skin health restoration and rejuvenation, Dr. Zein Obagi is an internationally renowned dermatologist and educator who is known for his ability to successfully correct a wide range of skin conditions—often after other traditional treatments have failed. He is also the founder of the Obagi Medical Product line, the number one brand of physician-dispensed antiaging skincare products in the world, as well as the Obagi Skin Health Institute in Beverly Hills, where he currently practices.

The Doctor Is In