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Water-soluble acids found in nature or synthesized in a laboratory. The most common AHAs used in the cosmetics industry are glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid and tartaric acid. AHAs work on skin's surface to remove dead skin cells and reveal brighter, smoother + softer skin. Over time, they also support healthy collagen production to minimize the appearance of fine lines.

AHAs can increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun and to the possibility of sunburn. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using products with AHAs and for a week after ceasing usage.

Substances that neutralize free radicals and prevent cellular and DNA damage in the body. Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” and help diminish damage that could lead to aging and disease. The human body naturally contains antioxidants, but external aggressors can overwhelm its protective antioxidant capacity.

The pure acid form of vitamin C, known for its antioxidant properties and brightening effect. Ascorbic acid improves discoloration + more even skin tone specifically by interupting skin's pigment producing process.


Sourced from the seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia (also known as the babchi or babuchi plant), which has been widely used in Indian and Chinese medicine to treat a variety of diseases. It is a natural antioxidant and skin soother that amplifies brightening while improving skin’s resiliency against discoloration aggressors.

Also known as salicylic acid. An oil-soluble exfoliant ideal for oily, acne-prone skin. BHAs work deeper in skin to clear congestion from pores and minimize breakouts.

A sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.


Chemical sunscreen filters absorb harmful ultra-violet rays released from the sun. These rays are converted into heat and harmlessly released from the body.


Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common inflammatory skin condition that causes symptoms such as itchiness, redness, dryness, rashes, scaly patches and infections.

A skin softening + smoothing ingredient used in moisturizers and hydrators. Examples of emollients include shea butter, plant oils, capric/capric tricglyerides and petrolatum.


A system of six skin types, ranging from very fair (type 1) to very dark (type VI), that classifies skin on its ability to burn or tan with sun exposure.

An atom or group of atoms with an unpaired electron. Unstable and highly reactive, free radicals can damage cells and are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer and many diseases as well as contribute to signs of skin aging. Free radicals can be produced by sunlight, cigarette smoke, air pollution and stress.


Natural substances produced by cells that manage essential tasks like cellular proliferation, soothing redness and supporting collagen + elastin production. ZO's plant and enzymatically derived growth factor technology helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles + restore the look of facial volume.

Getting Skin Ready®, or GSR®, is the foundation of healthy skin. It is a simple system of cleansing, exfoliating and toning that prepares skin for Prevent + Correct products.


Commonly known as blue light. HEV is a form of light believed to cause long-term skin damage as significant as UVA and UVB combined. While there may be no immediate signs such as redness or swelling, repeated exposure over time can lead to premature aging and even cancer. Sources of HEV light are the sun, electronics and fluroescent lights indoors.

A skin-bleaching agent that inhibits the production of melanin. It is used for lightening melasma, freckles, age spots and other skin hyperpigmentation concerns.

At ZO, clinically proven functional hydrators are used in place of traditional moisturizers. Functional hydrators accelerate hydration from within, soothe reactivity + redness and increase skin’s tolerance to more aggressive products like high-potency retinoids.

On the contrary, traditional moisturizers often offer only temporary, surface hydration and can weaken skin barrier function long-term, creating moisturizer dependency.

Darkening of an area of skin caused by increased melanin production. Hyperpigmentation presents as dark spots or sun spots, brown patches and red-brown marks after acne.


Chronic inflammation that damages cells and tissues over time, causing signs of premature aging such as uneven skin tone, dehydration, dullness and pronounced fine lines and wrinkles.


Group of pigments produced by cells in the skin, known as melanocytes. It gives color to hair, skin and iris of the eyes. It also helps protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. Eumelanin produces dark brown to black pigment and pheomelanin produces yellow to red pigment.

Delivery system that provides a rapid, effective delivery of active ingredients such as high-potency retinol into the skin.


Also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, niacinamide is a highly effective ingredient for enhancing skin health and combating skin-aging factors. Niacinamide has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin, minimize water loss and boost microcirculation. It is also noted for its ability to brighten uneven skin tone, including post-acne marks.


A delivery system that provides a slow, controlled delivery of an ingredient, such as high-potency retinol, to allow for a higher concentration while minimizing reactions.

An imbalance between free radicals and antioxidant defenses that can lead to premature signs of skin aging such as dryness, fine lines + wrinkles and uneven skin tone.


Chains of amino acids that are the building blocks of certain proteins needed by the skin such as collagen, elastin and keratin. They are crucial to the function and appearance of skin and can serve as messangers to promote specific cellular activity.

Potential hydrogen (pH). The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with lower numbers being more acidic and higher numbers being more alkaline. A healthy skin pH is slightly acidic -- about 4.5 to 5.5.

Extreme skin sensitivity or an unusual reactions when skin is overexposed to UV radiation from sunlight, tanning beds or other light sources.

Physical sunscreen filters sit on top of the skin, creating a physical barrier to reflects the sun's rays. The two physical, or mineral, sunscreen filters are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Skin that has undergone a procedure in a physician office such as laser resurfacing, microneedling or an aggressive chemical peel.


One of several forms of vitamin A. When applied topically, retinol is converted in the skin into retinaldehyde then into retinoic acid, the biologically usable form of vitamin A. Retinol promotes epidermal renewal + skin barrier function, supports collagen synthesis and helps even skin tone.


An oily secretion of the sebaceous gland. While naturally produced by the body, sebum is an inflammatory substance. It induces a significant immune response contributing to clogged pores, acne, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and scarring.

Skin that has been weakened by external or internal factors, ranging from harsh products to indoor winter heat. At ZO®, we believe that "sensitive skin" is sensitized, weak skin that needs to be strenghened with the right products.

A key sign of skin health, as skin with a compromised barrier will become dehydrated and function less effectively. Skin with a healthy barrier experiences a reduced rate of surface moisture loss, or transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

Skin brightening refers to visibly improving a more even skin tone and glow, as opposed to skin lighting or whitening, which works to inhibit skin's natural pigment production.


All ZO® sunscreens contain ingredients that protect your skin against damage from 3 types of rays:

  1. 1. UVA + UVA rays
  2. 2. High-Energy Visible (HEV) blue light from the sun + electronics
  3. 3. Infrared-A rays


Ultraviolet rays responsible for causing visible signs of aging. Their longer wavelength, 320 to 400 nm, allows them to reach skin's deeper layer, damaging important structural components such as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. UVA rays are able to penetrate cloud cover and glass as well.

UVB rays responsible for sunburns. These burning rays are most linked to the formation of skin cancer. Wavelength of UVB rays is 280–320 nm.


A ZO® Skin Health exclusive technology, ZCORE™ is a targeting firming complex that improves the visible appearance of skin sagging, including neck skin.

A ZO® Skin Health exclusive technology, ZO-RRS2® is a redness reducing plant stem cell complex that helps to powerfully neutralize aging free radicals while soothing visible redness.

A ZO® Skin Health exclusive technology, ZOX12® is an exclusive antioxidant complex that slowly releases vitamins A, C and E into skin to deliver 12 hours of free radical protection.

A ZO® Skin Health exclusive technology, ZPOLY™ is a plant-derived polysaccharide complex that minimizes signs of premature aging while infusing extended hydration + strengthening skin’s barrier.

A ZO® Skin Health exclusive technology, ZPRO® is a biomimetic sericin protein complex that minimizes the look of fine lines while enhancing skin plumpness + hydration from within.

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