Jodi’s Journey to Healthy Skin
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to use this the opportunity to honor and shine a spotlight on the most amazing woman in my life: my mom, Jodi Keller!
Not only is Jodi my incredible mother, she is also my best friend, biggest supporter, and absolute skincare inspiration. When it comes to anti-aging, Jodi is the ultimate Benjamin Button — her skin looks younger as each day passes! This did not come easily; Jodi immersed herself in advanced skincare education and displayed the grit and determination necessary to tackle the consequences of poor skin habits of the past (prolonged sun exposure lathered in baby oil, anyone?!)
Jodi achieved her own incredible before and after results, so who better to share an unbelievable skin transformation, complete with anecdotes, tips, and tricks — than Jodi herself!
Jodi’s Skin Story
As a teen, Jodi was a full-time “Sun Goddess”, which was the norm in the 1970s. When she started to experience breakouts, acne, and oily skin, she turned to tanning in attempts to camouflage these issues. When she became a swim instructor and lifeguard, she loved the idea of getting paid to be in the sun! Jodi would tan excessively under layers of baby oil and aluminum foil shades, and this of course led to sunburn on top of sunburn. Tanning made her feel better about herself as it concealed her blemishes and gave her the bronzed glow she desired. In reality, tanning dried out her skin, caused redness, increased oil production, and this in turn triggered additional issues.
Jodi states, “My mother suffered from too much sun in her earlier days and desperately tried to persuade me to avoid the sun, but I couldn’t stay away. I was obsessed with being tan which started in my teens, and unfortunately didn’t end until my forties.”
As You Age
By the time she was 40, Jodi’s skin was weathered and sun-damaged, making her appear much older than her actual age. She started wearing a baseball cap at this time as a means of sun protection, but it was too late and only protected her forehead. “The majority of the photos I took in my forties were in a baseball cap which makes me chuckle — but I thought I was doing the right thing by trying to protect my face from any additional sun damage!” Jodi did use sunscreen, however never reapplying, and hoped that the SPF in her makeup would do the trick (we all know it doesn’t!). She despised wearing sunscreen, even though she knew the importance of protecting her face from UV rays, because it felt greasy, made her skin more oily, and thought it caused more breakouts. She was frustrated and just could not win.
“What many of us did not realize in the 1970s was the extensive sun-damaged skin we would be left with in our 60s!”, says Jodi. All those hours in the sun exposed Jodi’s skin to severe sun damage, which put her skin at risk for premature aging, skin cancer, melasma, sun spots, and uneven pigmentation. In addition to the sun damage, aging skin experiences extensive loss of collagen and elasticity.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “UV exposure may account for up to 80% of visible signs of aging including dry appearance, scalping, wrinkling, impaired pigmentation, and photoaging correlates with cancer risk.” And the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that, “collagen production decreases 1% per year starting in your early 20’s.” This means the older you are and the more UV exposure you’ve had, the greater chance for aging skin issues and decreased collagen production. This may sound like a doozy if you’re a woman over 50, but it doesn’t have to be. It is manageable and fixable with the correct customized skincare routine and treatment plan.
ZO Changed Jodi’s Life
Over the years, Jodi has tried a variety of skincare options from “natural products” to “miracle serums”, even purchases of late-night infomercial magic potions! She has tried numerous facials, peels, and lasers with minimal improvements — nothing providing the results she has achieved today. Why? She learned the foundation of her skin needed to be repaired first. Jodi adds, “It took 40 years to damage my skin and 4 years to fix it! You just have to be willing, adaptable, and open to the process.”
After opening my practice and training under my skin mentor Dr. Zein Obagi, I started to realize that Jodi could greatly benefit from the ZO Skin Health products — the results I was seeing with my own patients were incredible. We discussed her goals to restore healthy skin and I created a customized ZO regimen to tackle her skin concerns of excessive oil, enlarged pores, rough texture, fine lines and wrinkles, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and loss of skin laxity. I started her on a morning and evening routinethat would eventually be adjustable to meet her lifestyle needs without starting off too aggressively. It was important to first build up her skin barrier to create a solid foundation for which to treat. Jodi was determined and consistent, never skipping a day.
Within 3 weeks, she began to see noticeable improvements in her skin! This early progress was very encouraging and was excellent motivation to continue the course. After several more months on this regimen, I determined she was ready for a more aggressive protocol to tackle her severe sun damage in addition to other concerns preventing her from achieving optimal skin!
When it comes to getting to the root of sun damage, retinoids and skin brightening products are considered the gold standard of care. These products increase the rate of cell turnover and are the most effective as they diminish sun spots, normalize oil production, and increase collagen production for a more youthful appearance. A few of Jodi’s favorites include tretinoin, ZO Pigment Control products, ZO Radical Night Repair, and ZO Wrinkle + Texture Repair. Anticipated reactions from these products include redness, dryness, flaking, and irritation because these products are penetrating to the deeper cellular level of the skin, which is why it is imperative to prep the skin for a few months prior with milder products.
After 5 months, Jodi was ready to add in other facial treatments for maintenance to stabilize the skin and keep it healthy. Every 3-5 months, I make minor adjustments to her routine, whether it’s adding in a treatment or a product in order for her skin to stay on top of its game.
Jodi exclaims, “I watched Emily’s patients’ skin become smoother, tighter, even-toned, hydrated, and ultimately strong. All I could say is, ‘I’ll have what they are having!’ That’s when we really took the time to map out my skin plan, incorporating treatments throughout the rest of the year. I absolutely love the 3 Step Peel and the Vampire Facial — these are my go-to anti-aging treatments.”
After Jodi spent ample time working on her facial skincare regimen, she was ready to tackle her décolletage, arms, and legs. Just like the face, it takes baby steps to repair the skin on the remainder of the body. That’s where ZO Body Emulsion came in! It effectively exfoliates the skin for a soft, smooth texture, restores hydration, tightens, and reduces the appearance of sun spots. Since the Body Emulsion contains a retinol, there is a high likelihood of mild redness and peeling — which is absolutely normal! She started using Body Emulsion for several months and then we adjusted her regimen as her skin barrier strengthened. The skin on our décolletage and arms is thinner and has less oil glands and as a result, the anticipated reactions are more noticeable. I equipped Jodi with ZO hydrating and calming products to reduce the severity of anticipated reactions while increasing and accelerating hydration from within, without diminishing treatment benefits.
The Vampire Facial is one of Jodi’s go-to treatments! After getting her on a skincare regimen, Jodi started with a series of four treatments. Incorporating PRP with Microneedling, the Vampire Facial is a natural anti-aging treatment that restores the skin’s natural healing process and stimulates collagen production. It reduces dark spots and acne scars, tightens the skin, and gives the skin a smooth texture. It is a great way to enhance the work you’re already doing on your skin with your ZO routine, especially as you age. Jodi now gets the Vampire Facial quarterly as ongoing maintenance. Jodi calls this her “pore minimizing” treatment!
3 Step Peel
Jodi cannot get enough of the 3 Step Peel! It was one of the first treatments we tried after her skin was conditioned. What’s so great about this treatment is that it works to exfoliate the skin and generate cellular stimulation while tackling sun damage, treating fine lines and wrinkles, rough texture, and dullness. Typically, your skin will start to peel on day three through day six — that’s how you know it’s working — exposing brighter, tighter, and smoother skin. 3 Step Peels can be done three times a year for ultimate anti-aging benefits. Jodi calls this her “face smoothing and tightening” treatment!
Jodi’s Top Tips
Jodi reveals, “For years, I accepted the fact I wasn’t blessed with beautiful skin and there was nothing I could do about it, but I’m here to tell you there is hope. At 61, my skin has never looked better. Having Emily provide me with the knowledge and understanding about skin health has given me the confidence I always wanted.”
Since her first time using ZO products and witnessing her skin transform, Jodi has realized that gorgeous skin is possible. You just have to be ready, willing, and able to put in the time to do it. It’s not about a quick fix solution. By practicing good skin habits like a customized regimen and supplemental treatments, your skin will look and feel healthy. If Jodi could offer any words of skincare wisdom, she would say:
- When you are young, you are willing to forego long-term benefits for short-term pleasures. Unfortunately, you will pay for it later. Thank goodness for ZO Skin Health!
- Do your research and find an educated health care provider who can advise you and be your skincare coach.
- There is no one magical skincare product. I can’t over-emphasize the importance of The ZO GSR — Getting Skin Ready. It is the essential first step to achieving healthy skin. It is a simple system to cleanse, exfoliate, and tone the skin that works together to normalize skin functions and optimize the effectiveness of the Prevent and Correct Products.
- Sebum and hydration are not synonymous. Excess sebum is detrimental to healthy skin as it is a cause of inflammation. ZO Skin Health offers functional hydrators to reduce the severity of anticipated reactions and irritation and accelerate hydration from within.
- You need a detailed plan of attack and you need to be consistent!
- SPF is one, if not the most, important thing you can do for your skin! SPF in makeup is not adequate sun protection! SPF must be reapplied every 90 minutes!
- Perfection does not exist. There is beauty in everyone. Look for it in others and help them to see it. Beauty isn’t only about the physical – it’s about how you care for others and how you make them feel.
- Listen to your mother! Her words are from her heart and she will not steer you wrong!