What Exactly Is OBAGI Skin Care?
OBAGI is a physician grade product line for skin rejuvenation, designed by world famous Dr. OBAGI from Beverly Hills. Dr. OBAGI's skin care line changes skin at a cellular level unlike most skin care products. These results obtained with OBAGI are amazing and have been reproduced by others in many scientific studies.
But what is there really to the OBAGI line?
As we age, our skin is damaged by daily living, environmental causes and natural cell turnover. This means that new cells take longer to form and reach the outer most layer of the skin. As this happens, the top layer of skin gets thicker and dull. The collagen and elastin in skin starts to break down and we start to notice all the fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, uneven skin tone, and loss of the natural skin hydration.
The OBAGI Nu-Derm skin care line boosts cellular function of the skin to help it look and act younger and healthier! Nu-Derm triggers the natural body therapeutic cascade and in so doing forces newer cells to the surface, reduces wrinkles and increases tolerance. It also helps to eliminate sun damage and age spots. Additionally, OBAGI Nu-Derm suppresses melanocyte activity and further minimizes sun damage. The Tretinoin that is used in this system helps stimulate collagen and elastin which will give the patient a fresher younger look.
But why is OBAGI different than other skin care lines on the market?
OBAGI skin care products are prescription strength formulations regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and can only be sold through a physician office. This could be either a Dermatologist or a Plastic Surgeon. These products are formulated to reach all layers of the skin resulting in healthier skin. In stark contrast, products sold in department stores are "cosmecutical" products. When applied, these products do not effectively correct the skin or slow down the aging process. Instead, these products "mask" the damaged skin only. They penetrate the skin only superficially and do little to correct the actual skin damage. They only offer a short term fix. That is not the case with OBAGI.
This is total commitment on the patient's part because our skin reacts for about 6-8 weeks. There are only a few simple steps to be done to transform your skin. In the first phase, "Out with the OLD," the system accelerates dead cell exfoliation. Expect moderate flaking, revealing the fresher, smoother, new skin. The second phase, "In with the NEW," your skin will begin to build tolerance to peeling and flaking. During this time Obagi is working at the cellular level continually transforming those cells. In the third phase, "Healthy Glow," collagen and elastin are increasing and your skin will feel supple and resilient. Uneven pigmentation begins to even out. Lastly, during the fourth phase, "The New YOU," you keep your skin looking and acting younger and healthier. The whole transformation process is a minimum of eighteen weeks.
Information about the Obagi Nu Derm and most frequently asked questions by my patients:
How does the Nu Derm system really work?
Hydroquinone (HQ) is the main active ingredient in the system. HQ is used to block the over production of the melanin (which causes melasma and hyperpigmentation) and at 4%, the product is a prescription. Other products in the system include alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) such as lactic, phytic and glycolic acids.
The combination of hyroquinone and tretinoin products such as Retin A, Renova, or Retin A Micro, your skin's natural exfoliation process is sped up-often peeling several times a day. The HQ keeps you from forming hyperpigmentation and the tretinoin resurfaces the skin.
What to expect during your treatment?
The first few weeks will be the absolute worst. It IS worth it, I promise you. It requires total commitment on the patient's part. You will peel, you will be red, you will experience dryness and discomfort at times. Healthy skin doesn't come easy.
You will shed several sheets of skin. This is part of the process and is encouraged. The places that you will see the most peeling is around your mouth, chin, eyes and nasolabial folds. Your skin is thicker on your cheeks and forehead therefore you will not experience as much peeling in those areas. I always advise my patients not to use a wash rag or pick the areas to help exfoliate because you can over exfoliate. Should you over exfoliate the products will burn because of deeper penetration. This could cause bleeding, red marks and possible hyperpigmentation. If the dryness is bothersome there is a product called Action to help sooth the dryness.
How long do have to stay on the system?
You will never get off the Obagi Nu-Derm system! The transformation is about eighteen weeks but it also depends on the condition and health of your skin when you start! You will back off the four corrective products to just twice a week if you desire after the eighteen week transformation.
Can I mix other products?
No you can not. The active ingredients in the Obagi Nu-Derm system are physician strength and there is no way of knowing how the other ingredients are going to react.
Can I wax my eyebrows and my face while I am on the Obagi Nu-Derm system?
Absolutely not. You are accelerating your cell turn over which is going to leave your outer most layer of skin very thin and when you put hot wax on the skin and then rip it off you will get burned. Tweeze, Tweeze, Tweeze! Healthier for your skin too!
Why is there so much hydroquinone in the Obagi Nu-Derm products?
Hydroquinone is a lightening agent and Dr. Obagi has formulated three different products to treat different layers of skin. It is a cascade effect.
What are the risk, complications and contraindication of Obagi Nu Derm?
Risks are usually attributed to the ingredients, Hydroquinone and tretinoin. HQ when used in very high strengths (much higher than what is in the Obagi Nu-Derm system) has been connected with ochronosis. Ochronosis is the condition when black spots form in the epidermis. It is mostly seen in persons of ethnicity (Africans and Asians have used this to lighten their skin, hence its banned in Africa and Asia).
Tretinoin initiates exfoliation of the outer most layer of skin, yet thickens the epidermis overtime and reportedly the upper layers of the dermis. However, very aggressive use can temporarily thin the epidermis. Aggressive use can also cause intense irritation, sores, and blister-especially near the corners of eyes and mouth and around nose.
Obagi and tretinoin use is contraindicated in persons who are not willing to use sun protection products, stay out of the tanning bed, avoid long term sun exposure, pregnant or lactating as well as those who are prone to keloids.