Would you believe that I tried ZO long before I ever carried it? It’s funny how things come full circle. My practice was created from my intrigue and desire to learn everything I could about injectables. While doing the injectables, I quickly discovered the importance of a healthy foundation in order to achieve the results my patients and I desired. So, I embarked on my search for a superior skin care line.  

Dr. Obagi and ZO kept surfacing! Because of my personal use before, I decided to call and meet with a representative. I came loaded with questions and wanted to know why I did not find success on my first try with ZO; however, everyone kept talking about ZO’s result statistics and achievements with all skin types. She blew my mind with her knowledge of the skin, her experience as an Aesthetician and, most of all, Dr. Obagi. I learned that on my first try with ZO I was missing several crucial aspects. One, I was mixing and matching ZO with other skin care lines. (ZO works best when you only use ZO with ZO.) Also, I was not remaining under the care of my provider with follow up visits and regular skin checks to adjust my skincare regimen as I achieved certain skincare goals. Lastly, I was oily and oil is bad! My oil was not being properly controlled; therefore, I continued to have acne and undesirable results. (This will be discussed more in another blog post.) 

As I learned more about ZO and witnessed the most astounding before and after skin care results by Dr. Obagi, I no longer wanted to carry various skin care lines… I knew ZO was all my patients and I ever needed to achieve any and all desired results!!!! From there, I incorporated the ZO Skin Health products, ZO Medical Peels, and ZO Medical Hydrafacials to my practice.

My Journey to ZO

Emily and Dr. Zein Obagi in Huntington Beach, CA.
Emily and Dr. Zein Obagi in Huntington Beach, CA.

Now, I was obsessed and wanted to learn everything about ZO! My mom gave me Dr. Obagi’s textbook as a Christmas present December of 2017. I was blown away by his cutting edge concepts and said to myself, “He has truly figured it out!!!” I needed to meet him, and it became my dream to study under him and learn what he had to teach! In April 2018, I traveled to Beverly Hills, California to the OBAGI Skin Health Institute. I was excited to take an advanced course on the principles of the Obagi Skin Health Restoration, ZO Controlled Depth Peel, and Artistic Injection Techniques with none other than the founder, Dr. Zein Obagi. And that was just the beginning of my ZO education. I studied and collaborated with Dr. Zein Obagi and talented staff for the next year.  

The following year, I was selected to be apart of Dr. Obagi’s #ZOCrew and Advisory Board. I flew to Huntington Beach, California where I joined a team of 23 dedicated ZO specialists whose mission is to promote the principles of ZO Skin Health and Dr. Obagi on a daily basis. 

Dr. Obagi is a wealth of knowledge, and I was so fortunate to be able to learn directly from him. If you’re not familiar with Obagi’s background, I’m about to give you a crash course, which will also explain why his skincare is so revolutionary.  

Meet Dr. Obagi  

Emily and Dr. Obagi.
Emily and Dr. Obagi.

For more than 35 years, Dr. Zein Obagi, Board-Certified Dermatologist, has pioneered advanced skincare solutions based on his philosophy of creating healthy skin as opposed to merely treating disease and damage. His approach to restoring skin health is considered the gold standard in skincare. Within 7 years of launching ZO Skin Health in 2007, his products were available in over 100 countries worldwide by 2014, ranked #4 in the United States and #1 in Europe by 2016!  

Why has he experienced this incredible success? Dr. Obagi was the first to conceive of skin care as a science. He holds 7 patents for methods for treating damaged skin. His dedication to the health of skin far surpasses many Dermatologists. Dr. Obagi has worked as an educator, training thousands of plastic surgeons and dermatologists at science forums worldwide. As if this is not enough, he continues to see patients on a daily basis at three of his Beverly Hills, CA offices. I am truly honored to have him as a mentor, teacher, and friend!   

My Favorite Memory of Training Under Dr. Obagi

When I was offered the opportunity to shadow Dr. Obagi at one of his practices, of course I strapped on my running shoes and sprinted!!!!  While shadowing, he asked a new patient, “ Are you ready to have healthy skin? Are you willing to be aggressive?” The patient answered, “Yes, of course!”  He confidently stated, with a warm smile, “Good! It took you 40 years to mess up your face… give me 6 weeks to fix it!”

Being aggressive with your skincare doesn’t mean applying any or many skincare products on your skin. These products will simply sit on the surface of your skin! You are excited for a bit…attentively looking for that change… and then realize you have just purchased another product that will remain in the pile with the others ranked…..not effective!

Being aggressive (the ZO way) means getting in there! Penetrating the epidermis and stimulating cell turn over. Effectively evening skin tone by properly functioning melanocytes. Freeing your skin from disease! These are only a few of the landmark achievements of many before and after photos achieved by ZO Skin Health. (Check out my Instagram to see real-life results.)    

What Is Healthy Skin & Why Restore It

Dr. Obagi and Emily.
Dr. Obagi and Emily.

Dr. Obagi defines healthy skin as baby skin – naturally smooth, strong, firm, even-toned, hydrated, and free of disease. When the cells within the body are functioning normally, then your skin looks healthy. In contrast, when the body’s cells are functioning abnormally that’s when you have skin issues. 

For a quick example. So, what are we told to do when we have dry skin? Apply moisturizer, right? But ZO cautions against it. He warns that by applying moisturizer you are going to create an addiction of the skin, causing your skin to become drier!  

At first you might be like huh? After all, it goes against everything we’ve been taught. But when you think about it, it makes sense. After all, the more you apply Chapstick, the more you find yourself reapplying, right? You have in essence told your body to stop producing moisture when you are mostly in need! 

So, why were we told to always apply moisturizer? Well, it goes back to the old way of thinking that skin is a wall, but Dr. Obagi explains skin is a living organ which requires treatments that control skin at the cellular level. You can’t apply an over the counter cream, you need to fix the hydration problem within the cells through stimulation, hydration, and renewal. These are the three major steps to amplify skin cell renewal. 

Ok! So, there you have it! I hope you have enjoyed reading about part of my journey as much as I have enjoyed experiencing it! This is just the beginning of my ZO education – I am excited to continue to share all my knowledge, stories, and tips through my weekly blog! Please share your skin questions with me below in the comments, and I will answer them in future blog posts!

  1. I need some advice on what to do for my skin! I have hormonal acne I think, I am 57 and just recently started some new products a friend suggested to get this under control and I believe it is helping, but I still have a couple bumps under the skin I cannot get out! I have used Obagi back in the day and ZO recently and ran out. What I need to know also is what do you suggest to use for texture, smoothness, under eye cream, and whatever else I might need! Thanks I’m advance!

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