You’re busy. You take care of your family, your loved ones, maybe a pet or two. You take care of yourself by exercising regularly and eating well, for the most part. You work hard at school or in your career. You start everyday cleansing then moisturizing your skin and end every night cleansing then moisturizing your skin. You’re not lazy, but taking care of your skin with moisturizers is making your skin lazy. You think you are doing the right thing by protecting the surface of your skin. Moisturizers are loaded with soothing calming ingredients which can feel wonderful on the skin. But unfortunately, it’s like passing over the sugar cookies for the carrot cake loaded with cream cheese icing and thinking you made a good choice. Icing on the cake should only be an indulgence, not a daily splurge.
Dr. Obagi explains “Moisturizers lead to real skin dryness, but because they provide a temporary calming effect, people become dependent, creating a vicious cycle. Frequent application also puts a halt to natural exfoliation.”
Unlike lightweight serums and products with ingredients formulated to go deeper into the skin, moisturizers are formulated to only reach the top layer of skin, the epidermis. When the epidermis is regularly moisturized, it sends a message to the deeper layers of the skin signaling that it is well hydrated. In just a few weeks the dermis and lower layers of the skin become lazy and stop functionally optimally. The lazy skin translates into dehydration, dullness and even spots. So you reach for the moisturizer and perpetuate the circle. For skin to look its best, it needs to be functioning optimally and the epidermis needs to act efficiently as a barrier. The fibroblast cells in the dermis produce collagen, elastin and natural moisturizing factors that help regulate the epidermis. This just doesn’t happen in heavily moisturized skin. Even worse, once the epidermis becomes dehydrated, it will start to produce more sebum (oil) instead, which is inflammatory. This, coupled with a sluggish dermis, affects the skin’s natural ability to exfoliate itself. This can lead to conditions including acne and rosacea, along with a dull, lackluster complexion.
So stop being a serial moisturizer. Take a moisturizer fast for the next three weeks. That’s about how long it will take for your skin to normalize and go through a complete renewal cycle. Don’t skip the SPF though. And you don’t need to go cold turkey. Dr. Obagi has engineered advanced skin health restoration products that provide functional skin repair and provide long lasting, biologically relevant skin health restoration, far beyond what your regular moisturizer could do. Stop by a ZO Skin Centre® by Zein Obagi MD to learn about ZO Skin Health®’s hydrating creams which are more suitable for repetitive usage because they are better at correcting inflammation and providing added calming effects while stimulating and repairing the skin. Medical professionals, personally trained by Dr. Obagi are available at ZO Skin Centres to give you a complimentary skin evaluation, teach you more about skin health, and create a personal skin regimen for you.