First Fraxel session - conflicting info on use of Obagi and Retin-A after Fraxel

  • kim2chee
  • 2 years ago

Hi everyone, I am Asian with some acne scars and melasma. I decided to get a 3- session package for Fraxel with Obagi products. The doc said I had some melasma and Obagi will help decrease the redness along with Fraxel. For 2 weeks before the Fraxel session, I started using Obagi Clear, Exoderm, Vit C serum, Blender daily, adding Retin-A 0.025% 3x a week. I had asked if I need to stop anything before the Fraxel session and they said no. So I kept on the Obagi until the night of the session. It was painful, despite the numbing cream and saran wrap and a 1000 mg Tylenol pill. Nothing screamworthy but I flinched quite a few times during the last 3 or 5 minutes.

MY QUESTION IS: The doctor instructed me to use Obagi products the following day, and the Retin-A after 3 days because I have thick skin. I keep reading here to wait on it so now I'm not sure.

I used Obagi this morning. But after reading this site tonight, I washed it all off, and kept it to the cleanser, the toner and the moisturizer. So what is the correct thing to do? I don't want to make worse what I just started. I'm now worried I may have caused damage by using Obagi products so soon. It has been 30 hours after my treatment. My face is red and swollen. The cheeks where my acne scars are feel grainy and dry with just the slighest tinge of itchiness.   Products used: Neutrogena Naturals cleanser, Neutrogena non-alcohol toner, Yes to Blueberries moisturizer, Yes to Blueberries SPF 30 sunscreen and moisturizer, and Jane Iredale mineral powder. Also bought Solbar SPA 50 sunscreen Directed to use Obagi Clear, Obagi Exfoderm, Obagi Vit C 15% serum and Obagi Blender 24 hours after Fraxel session. Retin-A to start after 3 days. Thanks for any insights.      

Comments (4)

Thanks Elvellon! I am being super careful. I'm in 40s. I called the doctor on Monday and they said to start Retin-A. However, I have not. I did peel, which was nice after it had washed off. And still red on my cheeks. So I'm taking my time to think about Retin-A. I"ll post more pics soon.
Wonderful! I started using my A based product today. My skin is more pink than red so I figured it would be safe. I'm starting with a very small amount and will work up to the normal dose over the next few days.

If you want to start Retin-A, which is stronger than my product, I would pop a thin amount on but don't rub it in, just pat it in so you don't aggrivate your skin.

I'm excited for you! I hope you see wonderful results!
Hiya! I wish you all the very best with your Fraxel and I hope you see great results. As I type I am sitting here 8 days after my last Fraxel Restore (out of 5 sessions over two years). I use the Obagi system but I use the acne range. I was instructed to stop using anything on my skin that could irritate it. So my regime I've kept simple.

1. Obagi Gentle Glenser
2. Vitamin B serum (by Aspect, but Obagi have a range too I think).
3. Pigment serum (so I hopefully don't get hyperpigmentation).
4. Obagi sunscreen.

All the same minus the sunscreen.

Personally, I would be really careful with Retinol, Retin-A or any other vitamin A based product. Different products contain different strengths of this. I have a bottle of A Serum by Aspect that my Fraxel doctor sold me but am not going to use it for another two days, as per his advice. Retin-A etc is an exfoliant and, as your skin is yet to shed naturally (usually after you stop swelling) I wouldn't aggrivate your skin with A based products. You may cause more harm than good if you whack A based products on now. Your skin is so sensitive right now.

The most important thing for me though, is not to let your skin dry out! A saving grace for me, if your face starts to itch etc, was to use vinegar washes every 3 hours or so. All it is is two cups water (boil it first then let it cool to around luke warm) to two teaspoons of white vinegar. Grab a sterile cloth (or cotton wool balls) and soak it in your solution then apply to your face. It feels great and helps to keep bacteria at bay as you heal. Just make sure you keep that sunscreen on! Especially if it's got zinc in it. Zinc is great to help your skin heal. Having said that, make sure you're getting enough in your diet too. If not, rectify that quickly. You'll be amazed with what Zinc can do for your skin. It's even nature's sunscreen. Do a bit of research on it and you'll see.

Also, don't freak out if your skin gets really rough after you peel. It's normal and is your sebaceous glands' reaction to the laser. Don't pick, don't scratch, just be gentle with your skin while it heals. Just so you know, I am a 26 year old girl with very, very white skin. My scars are from acne and I would class them as mild/moderate. Fraxel has been a hard journey but I am seeing results. Just be realistic about what to expect is all. Fraxel will never improve your skin to 100%, but who truly has 100% perfect skin in this world? Nobody.

I broke out with an acne flare after each treatment too, so don't be surprised if it happens to you. Just keep it clean, simple and gentle and give it time to heal.

Please note though that I am no doctor. This is just my personal experience. If you don't feel comfortable with what your doctor is telling you to do post Fraxel then grab a second opinion. Main thing though, across the board, is to not aggrivate your skin with harsh products. Your skin needs weeks to heal now and will need your help to make sure it goes smoothly.

All the very best for you!

I would rely on what your doctor told you, unless you feel your skin isn't reacting well. If that is the case I would encourage you to call them to discuss if you should change the regiment they gave you.

Here is a Q&A that you might find helpful:

How Long After Fraxel Repair Can I Start Using Retin-A