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.

Is Your Smart Phone Ruining Your Skin?

Did you know that the average American spends nearly half of a day staring at a screen? The Nielsen Company audience report reveals that adults spend about 10 hours each day consuming media. And many of us use our phone to consume media, as it’s portable and always available.

There has been a lot of research done about the damaging effects of blue light, or high-energy visible (HEV) light that is emitted from our devices, and it can take a toll on our vision and sleep patterns. It may also lead to pigment changes and accelerate the development of wrinkles and lines.

Exposure to HEV light damages the skin by impairing the skin’s natural barrier function. It reaches into the deeper layers of the skin to affect our collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid stores. This light also targets pigmentation, which may lead to unwanted uneven pigmentation  or spots.

How to Protect Your Skin

Many skin care companies are now working to incorporate HEV blockers into their sunscreens so that they prevent both skin cancer and early signs of aging. ZO Skin Health is one of these companies, offering a complete line of both UV and HEV- blocking sunscreens. Some of our favorites include:

  • Oclipse-CTM Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen- This sunscreen has an SPF of 50, so you can be sure your skin is protected. It is great for sensitive skin, and protects skin from HEV, UV, and IR-A.
  • Oclipse Sun Spray- This sunscreen comes in spray form with an SPF 50. It protects the skin from HEV, UV, and IR-A and offers full coverage with an angles spray system.
  • Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer- This sunscreen protects and smoothes the skin minimizing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It also offers a tint and provides a great base for makeup and an SPF of 30.

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If you are worried about HEV light, be sure to wear HEV-blocking sunscreen every day! If you would like to learn more about ZO Skin health, contact our office today!

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.

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.

“ZO” You Know: November 2014

Allegany Plastic Surgery carries a line of ZO products by Dr. Zein OBagi. These amazing skincare products can produce a younger, more radiant you!

“ZO” You Know

November Featured ZO Products:

  • Oclipse Sunscreen Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
  • Oclipse-C Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50

Ultraviolet light (or UV) is a part of the light spectrum associated with damaging human tissue. UV rays penetrate your skin deeper than other light rays. This makes it possible to cause mutation of skin cells.

The sun is the single largest natural source of UV light. Even on cloudy days UV penetrates cloud cover and poses a threat. Another source can be fluorescent lights in our work place.

Using sunscreen daily is recommended. Some have a misconception that sunscreen is for the summer months, but, its use is just as important during the winter. Sunscreen is for every day of the varying weather, indoors or out.

Two Great Choices:

  • Oclipse Sunscreen Primer SPF 30

This unique formula uses natural melanin, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. It also smooths and primes skin for a more even makeup application.

  • Oclipse-C Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50

This innovative sunscreen formulation goes beyond conventional UVA and UVB protection. This product is great for both the face and body.

*Both choices can be used on all skin types for all seasons.*

Here at Allegany Plastic Surgery, we can accommodate all of your skin care needs. You can contact me at 301-724-5885 or 301-268-3065.

Kim Foster, Aesthetician, Allegany Plastic Surgery

“ZO” You Know: March 2015

The effects of sun exposure may result in facial discoloration, melasma, and rosacea. For some, our goal is to have a radiant complexion.

Our ZO Skin Care Product of the Month!


This is a non-hydroquinone skin brightening and correcting cream. The new alternative to hydroquinone formulated to even skin color and tone. This multi-action formula with a blend of retinol and antioxidants rapidly minimizes skin redness, brightens the skin, and helps restore and maintain skin tones. Smooth, even skin tone greatly contributes to a youthful appearance.

Kim Foster

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