Which Is Best for Your Skin: AHAs or BHAs?

Which Is Best for Your Skin: AHAs or BHAs?

When purchasing skin care products, you may notice that some of them contain AHAs or BHAs. What exactly are these ingredients and what can they do for your skin? Well, AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acids, while BHA stands for beta hydroxy acids. Both of these acids are effective exfoliants to help get rid of dead and dull skin cells. However, certain skin types may be able to benefit from different acids. Read on to learn more about which one is right for you.

If You Have Dry Skin…

You can benefit from AHAs. Some common AHAs include glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids. These acids are great for sun-damaged and dry skin because they help to exfoliate and moisturize. AHAs may cause sensitivity to the sun for some people, so it is recommended you use them at night and wear SPF during the day.

If You have Acne-Prone Skin…

You can benefit from BHAs. These acids work deep within your pores to help release the dirt and bacteria trapped inside. Those with oily and acne-prone skin can particularly benefit from this. The most common BHA used today is salicylic acid.

Both AHAs and BHAs offer many benefits for your skin. Choosing the right products for you will help to ensure maximum effectiveness of these acids. At our office, we offer ZO skin care products that contain AHAs and BHAs. We recommend the Glycogent™ Exfoliation Accelerator for dry skin, and the Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment for acne-prone skin.

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If you are interested in learning more about which products can best help your skin, contact our office today! We would be happy to help you find the right ZO product for you.

How to Get the Best Results from Your Chemical Peel

Chemical peels can be a great way to reveal a healthy, smooth, new layer of skin and can treat many skin problems in one easy procedure. A successful healing process after a chemical peel is essential, especially during the Spring and Summer seasons when you’re most prone to sun damage. Here are some tips to take care of your new skin for best results!

Sun Protection is a Must

Sun protection is important! One of the greatest causes of skin damage is the sun and UV rays. Using a sun protection cream every day will help you take care of your skin over the long term, and it can even be mixed in with your daily moisturizer. Wearing this will be extra important after your chemical peel because the outer layer of your skin will have been removed, so you’ll be extra sensitive to sunlight. Don’t skimp on sunscreen— use high-factor protection over the course of your recovery so you don’t reverse the positive results of your chemical peel. Depending on the depth of your peel, you may need to avoid sunlight altogether for a period of time.

Moisturize Religiously

After your chemical peel, your skin will feel flaky and sensitive, similar to a sunburn. Your skin will be dry during this time so you’ll need to make sure you moisturize it well. To keep your new skin healthy and soft, find an effective moisturizer and give it the proper hydration and nutrients it needs. A special retinoid cream or ointment called Tretinoin might also be prescribed to help speed the growth of skin cells. Your aesthetician can direct you to proper moisturizing instructions and products!

Keep it Clean

It might seem obvious, but a chemical peel creates something like a wound as it removes the outer skin cells. Your skin is your first defense against outside stuff getting into your immune system. With your skin in its healing process, you’ll need to be extra careful to keep outside irritants and debris away! Your skin care specialist can prescribe or recommend an effective wash to use regularly that will cleanse the skin without causing irritation.

Your healing process will depend on how deep your chemical peel is, but you should make sure you follow any instructions given to you by our staff to ensure you get the best possible results as your skin rejuvenates.

If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss a chemical peel, contact our office.

The Non-Surgical Facelift

If you’re not quite ready to commit to a surgical facelift, Dr. Carpenter now offers Cynosure Precision Tx Laser Contouring at Allegany Plastic Surgery. Patients can now experience a defined look of the neck and jawline without scars.

What is the PrecisionTx™ Treatment?

Now patients can avoid long recovery time and lots of bruising and swelling with the PrecisionTx Treatment. The PrecisionTx laser is a new facial contouring technology available as an alternative to facelifts and other facial contouring surgeries. This treatment uses laser energy to go deep into the skin and stimulate collagen production, improve elasticity, rejuvenate skin thickness, and texture.

This laser procedure is performed using a local anesthesia and takes approximately one hour. Only one session is needed and also requires no maintenance appointments. Instead of a series, the PrecisionTx is a quick, one-time treatment that provides long-lasting results.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of the PrecisionTx go beyond the convenience and comfort. Patients who opt for this procedure may experience the following benefits:

  • Increased skin firmness and thickness
  • A more defined jawline, chin, and neck
  • Tighter more youthful looking skin
  • Provides the most dramatic result in the least amount of time

You may notice results immediately, however, full results will continue to develop over the next 3-6 months. Over time, the stimulated collagen production will continue to provide an improvement in the quality of the skin by making it both thicker and firmer. If you are interested in learning more about the PrecisionTx laser treatments, contact Dr. Carpenter at Allegany Plastic Surgery today to schedule a consultation.

Recover in Time for the Holidays with One of These Procedures

It might be too late to start planning a bigger surgery like a breast augmentation or tummy tuck if you want to recover in time for the holidays, but there are plenty of nonsurgical treatments that can give you effective results! Some of our most popular nonsurgical options include:


A SAFE lift or, suture assisted facial elevation, is like a less invasive facelift! Using techniques such as liposuction, conservative skin excision, and suspension sutures, this procedure can treat mild to moderate sagging in the face. Because the skin is not lifted off of the tissue like it is in a traditional facelift, the recovery is much quicker with less discomfort. Most patients can return to normal activity within one to two days with a full recovery time of five to seven days.


If you want to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles without an invasive surgery, you might consider Botox. Botox is an injectable treatment that temporarily limits muscle contractions that are causing wrinkles. The treatment process only takes about ten minutes and can give effective, lasting results after just one session.

Cellulaze Cellulite Treatment

Virtually all women report having some degree of cellulite. Many individuals make the mistake of thinking cellulite is a result of excess fat, however, cellulite is actually a structural problem with the tissue beneath the skin. Cellulaze targets cellulite at the source using laser energy. The energy is delivered to the dermis to produce stronger skin and increase elasticity. After treatment with Cellulaze, you might experience some mild symptoms like bruising and swelling, but you will be able to return to all normal activity within a day or two. Get the result you want in time for the holidays with one of these treatments! To schedule an appointment and find out what you are a candidate for, contact our office today.

How Juvederm Volbella XC Can Help You

Over time, your face can lose volume, resulting in thin lips and vertical lip lines that can make you look older than you feel! Now you can achieve fuller lips and improve facial lines with Juvederm Volbella for a more youthful looking face.

What is Juvederm Volbella XC?

Juvederm Volbella XC is an injectable hyaluronic acid facial filler that can add volume in and around the lips. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the skin that adds moisture and maintains structure for smooth texture and volume. The formula also includes a lidocaine gel to improve comfort during placement.

Who can Use it

Juvederm Volbella XC is approved for adults 21 and over. If your lips have thinned over time, or if you just have naturally thin lips, you can benefit from added volume with Volbella. The fillers can also be placed above the lips to smooth perioral lines or “lipstick lines.” If you’re tired of defining your lips with lipstick and lip liner, you might choose to achieve subtle volume with Volbella.

The Benefits

Many patients choose Volbella because the results can last for up to a year with optimal treatment. With Volbella, volume is added but your lips remain natural looking. The result of volbella are also instant, so you won’t have to wait around for noticeable changes. Because it’s nonsurgical, there is no downtime required. Any side effects of treatment such as swelling, tenderness, and redness are usually mild and improve very quickly. If you want to achieve fuller lips and smooth the appearance of upper lip lines, you could benefit from Juvederm Volbella XC. Contact our office today for more information or to schedule your initial consultation.

3Procedures to Fall in Love with your Facial Profile

Facial aging may make you dread taking pictures, or feel like your facial profile makes you look older or heavier than you are. Here at Allegany Plastic Surgery, we offer a variety of facial procedures that can help improve your facial profile and create a firmer, more youthful appearance. Depending on your unique concerns, you may opt for a specific procedure that is targeted to your concern.


If you are noticing sagging starting from the upper face and cheeks, you can opt for a facelift to help pull up these deep layers to a higher position that is more youthful looking and firm. This is done in a way that not only creates a natural firmer look to the skin, but also supports the deeper layers for a long-lasting result.

Neck Lift

Sagging jowls and loose neck skin can be attributed to a number of factors. The most common factors include gaining, weight loss, and genetics. According to aesthetic professionals, your neck tends to show aging earlier than your face. Unfortunately, no amount of dieting or exercise can change your necks appearance. However, a neck lift can rid you of the excess skin and pull it tighter, eliminating jowls, folds, and winkles.

Chin Augmentation

When looking at your profile in a mirror, your chin should project forward as far as the lower lip. If that is not the case, you may benefit from a chin augmentation. Chin augmentation is done using a small implant that increase projection of the chin, creating more balance in the face. If you are interested in learning more about how you can create better facial symmetry and balance, contact Allegany Plastic Surgery today to find out more!

Repair your Skin with Chemical Peels

After a long summer in the sun, your skin will often show some signs of wear or damage. Now that the weather is growing cooler and your time in the sun will be reduced, this is the perfect time to consider chemical peels to help you achieve a clearer, more youthful complexion.

Chemical Peels

Here at Allegany Plastic Surgery, we offer two types of chemical peels: ZO 3-Step Peel and the controlled depth chemical. Chemical peels are great for the reversing of skin aging and sun damage. The acids in the chemical peels increase cell turnover in the skin, revealing a fresher complexion.

ZO 3-Step Peel

This peel is a simple peel that can be used for unwanted pigmentation and minor skin aging. This peel may be perfect for the younger patient or someone with a more sensitive skin type. Like most peels, your skin care practitioner will be able to customize your treatment to your skin by adjusting the application time before the solution is neutralized.

Controlled Depth Chemical Peel

The Controlled Depth Chemical Peel is medium depth peel that addresses both the epidermis and dermis. This peel is more advanced in comparison to superficial peels that do not penetrate any deeper than the epidermis. This type of peel is better for the more dramatic signs of aging due to its potential for a deeper reach. If you are interested in learning more about chemical peels and which one might be best for your skin, contact our skin care experts at Allegany Plastic Surgery!

The Importance of Sun Protection

Sun protection is very important for people of all ages, and all skin tones. Exposure to UV radiation is the leading cause of skin cancer. There are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. UVA rays cause skin wrinkling and aging, and can cause skin cancer, such as melanoma. UVA rays can pass though glass, and make up the majority of our sun exposure. UVB rays do not penetrate through glass, but do cause sunburns, and are more closely linked with the development of skin cancer and melanoma. It is important to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB radiation. At Allegany Plastic Surgery, we offer ZO skin care products to help you with your skin protection needs. ZO Skin Health offers an array of products to help to protect your skin, which provide a broad spectrum UVA/UVB defense. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30, which provides UVA/UVB defense with a tint and matte finish.
  • Oclipse-C™ Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50, which helps to minimize the damage of UVA, UVB, and HEV light.
  • Oclipse® Smart Tone SPF 50, which offers UVA/UVB protection, as well as a sheer tinted primer.
  • Oclipse® Sun Spray SPF 50, which provides UVA/UVB protection using an all-angle spray system.

As the weather gets warmer and spring break approaches, it is important to remember to take steps to protect your skin. Even on cloudy days, you should always wear an SPF to protect your skin from the harmful rays. To learn more about these products, visit www.zoskinhealth.com, or discuss your skincare options with the professionals at Allegany Plastic Surgery.

“ZO” You Know: February 2015

As the aging process continues, we have a tendency to be critical of our appearance, (it doesn’t help to use a mirror with a magnifier 5x). The eyes are the focal point of the face and tend to be the first place to show aging. Age is contributing factor of bags, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and the breakdown of collagen.

Caring for the skin around the eyes is a delicate process. Therefore, extra care should be taken when choosing a skin care product. Dr. Zein Obagi has an innovation to aid with this concern.

Our ZO Skin Care Product of the Month!

HYDRAFIRM – Eye Brightening Repair Cream

Hydrafirm will correct and prevent signs of aging. Elasticity will be restored, dark circles and puffiness diminished, skins appearance is instantly improved.

Let us help you to achieve and maintain a younger you with our ZO line.

Kim Foster

What does the sun do to skin?

Ultraviolet light (or UV) is a part of the light spectrum associated with damaging human tissue. Unlike other light rays, UV rays penetrate deep into your skin and can cause skin cells to mutate. The rays come from the sun, the single largest natural source of light. Even if the sun is covered by clouds, these light rays stream through and pose a threat to your skin cells. Another source of UV rays includes fluorescent lights used in work places. Ultimately, these rays can cause damage to your skin.

How can I protect myself from UV rays?

To protect your skin, it is recommended to apply sunscreen daily. Although many apply sunscreen during the summer months, it is important to apply it during winter months as well. A variety of conditions can benefit from its application. Sunscreen is for every day, every weather, and every place (both indoors and out!).

How can Allegany Plastic Surgery help?

Allegany Plastic Surgery offers a line of over 20 products to rejuvenate and protect skin. These products include Oclipse Sunscreen Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and Oclipse-C Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50. These products can be applied during any season and on all skin types. Oclipse Sunscreen Primer SPF 30 is a unique formula that uses natural melanin, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide protecting you from broad spectrum UVA/UVB rays. It also smooths and primes skin for a more even makeup application. Oclipse-C Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 is an innovative sunscreen formula that goes beyond conventional UVA and UVB protection. It can be applied to the body as well as the face.

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