Obagi Nu Derm and Vi Peel - Seattle, WA

Approximately 4 months ago I had a Vi Peel. It was...

Approximately 4 months ago I had a Vi Peel. It was not painful, my skin peeled off all over my face, but I didn't notice any really marked improvement.

My husband is a physician, and his partner is a plastic surgeon. One of the surgeons in our practice recommended Obagi Nu Derm.

I have had really good results, thus far. Given that I had a Vi Peel not that long ago my skin has not, yet, started peeling, and may not peel due to the other recent Vi Peel. I've used non-prescription strength Retin A's for years, and wondered if Obagi would even work for me.

This is now day four, and I have slight redness, and no peeling. I also had Xeomin, and have been very pleased with the results. I will say that the Obagi system has already begun to fade my brown spots, and my skin feels incredibly soft. Given the short time I've been on Obagi Nu Derm, (Treinoin .05%), it seems to be working quite well. The Plastic Surgeon that recommended Obagi had severe melasma, and it was completely resolved with the use of Obagi, and her skin looked fantastic.

Given that I could get any plastic surgery I wanted for free I've chosen to avoid surgery at all cost. I have chosen to maintain my face through the use of injectables, one Vi Peel and good products with proven records such as Obagi. Of note, the injectables that I have used such as Radiesse, Botox, Restalyne. etc. - have all proved to be wonderful, and have kept me young looking. The only problem I had was that my skin was looking dull,had minor small wrinkles, and had a few brown spots. I hope this information has helped some of you to see that plastic surgery is not always the answer. Additionally, aging skin I believe, can be managed with minimally invasive procedures. I try at all costs to avoid any type of procedure that could scar my skin as I'm of Italian descent, and might not have good results with some types of lasers.

I'll post a pre-peel/Obagi picture, and will add a post after a six-eight week course of Obagi - only time will tell if this will really work as well as many have claimed. FYI - I'm 54 years old, and have avoided all sun exposure for 23 years after "frying" myself in my teens, and early twenties, in the sun. Good luck to all in the search for the "fountain of youth." P.S. Yoga has also helped me keep my figure, and young "attitude."

Quick update on Obagi, brown spots, skin texture...

Quick update on Obagi, brown spots, skin texture and fine wrinkles. So, I started Obagi at the beginning of March and it's now the end of April. Initially I didn't think that my skin would peel that much, but it flaked and peeled a lot around my chin for quite some time. I've not had any serious peeling on my cheeks, or forehead, although brown spots have literally come off. I've now been on Obagi for about a month and 3 weeks. My brown spots are definitely fading, and the initial extreme dryness of my skin (from the Obagi creams) is getting better. On Real Self I read about many women that developed sores, cracks, etc., from Obagi - that would have been caused from the Tretinoin. When my skin got too sensitive/sore I backed off the Tretinoin for a day, or two, and then resumed using it. I found this common sense approach worked great and I never really had any raw areas of skin. My skin is still dryer than usual, but I do tend to have very dry post menopausal skin. The dry skin is a side-effect of using Retin A's, Tretinoin, etc., and will improve, and actually get much better when you complete the regime. So...here's my half way update to completion. Thus far, my skin despite the dryness looks much better - brown spots are fading, texture is improving and fine wrinkles are disappearing. I'll let you know when I complete the 12-18 weeks that it takes to finish this regime. Just remember beauty is from within...

Please see most recent post as I explain my...

Please see most recent post as I explain my feelings about Obagi. I've since changed my mind and it has made my skin look beautiful. BTW - I wrote this long review to 3 different women that asked me various questions about peels, Obagi and maintenance. Forgive the grammatical errors as I'm extremely tired and didn't proof read - lol.

Michele

I'm now giving you my final and third "formal"...

I'm now giving you my final and third "formal" update since I started using Obagi. On my second update I was more than half-way through the first system, and was not sure that I was that impressed with the routine. Since than my mind has completely changed, and my skin has never looked better. I was recommended the use of the Obagi system by a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon (female and Asian) that had terrible melasma, and when I saw her I was amazed as all of her skin discoloration was completely gone, and her skin looked impeccable. She explained to me that Obagi had done this for her skin. So...I was convinced and agreed to give it a try. She gave me the complete Obagi system to include washing gel, toner, clear (hydroquinone - to get rid of brown spots/melasma), Exforderm Forte ( an alpha hydroxy acid consisting of 6% glycolic acid and 4% lactic acid), blender and Tretinoin (.05% (prescription strength Retin A which comes in .02%, .05% and .1%), and lastly sunscreen. So...the many aforementioned products are what constitute the whole Obagi system.

When I first started out, as stated in my earlier posts, I had a hard time with the harsher chemicals in the Tretinoin as they caused peeling, some small sores and general skin irritation especially around my chin and lower area by my nose/upper lip. In reading many women's experiences on this site I tended to notice that despite these "warning" signs of over irritation the women continued to use the Tretinoin everyday without ever taking a break causing their irritation to get worse and worse. After calling my doctor she advised me to use common sense and back off the Tretinoin to every 2-3 days until my skin became acclimated to the product, and by all means to stay out of the sun.

Following her advice I soon noticed that my skin became less irritated, and that I could use all of the products as prescribed on a daily basis. Then the opportunity came up for a trip to Hawaii. I knew that I would not be getting my face in the sun as these products are strongly contraindicated with sun exposure; that said, I decided to not use the Exfoderm Forte and Tretinoin whatsoever while I was in Hawaii - this seemed to work out fine. When I returned home from my 2 week trip I thought that I could just pick up where I left off, and that was not the case. My skin, was yet again, super sensitive to the Tretinoin, and I had to use it very sparingly only a couple of times a week.

Well, since that last review I've returned to see my doctor, bought another round of the aforementioned Obagi system, and I can't tell you how beautiful my skin now looks. Even my doctor was shocked at the marked improvement in my 55 year old skin. The picture that you see posted of me in a bathing suit was before I ever started using Obagi. Obagi has removed at least 10 years of aging off of my face. I had brown sun damage spots - one located in my eyebrow; thereby, making it almost impossible to remove, two others on my left cheek that were rather large, and other's on my temple areas. My skin texture was somewhat course with enlarged pores, and uneven skin texture and color, and I had all of these problems after NOT laying in the sun for over 20 years.

I'm now into the early to middle use of my second Obagi treatment session and my skin just keeps getting better and better. I wanted to note after reading some reviews on this site that some women stated that they had uneven discoloration from the hydroquinone (Clear) and still had dark patches, etc. I have not had this problem, and it may be due to the fact that I apply the Clear rather liberally to all parts of my face to include my neck twice a day as directed. My skin is a lovely, even tone with not a single brown spot in sight. The brown spots were the strangest things of all as one day they just started peeling off, and I could take a tweezer and very, very gently remove these small brown layers of skin (mind you not digging, or causing bleeding, but just gently scraping off the old brown skin that had been sitting on the top of nice healthy skin for years). Needless to say, I no longer have any brown spots!!!!

My pores have minimized in size, and my skin hasn't been this soft since the day I was born. I have no breakouts of any kind, and my fine wrinkles are almost all gone. Should I continue - virtually everyday someone will stop me on the street and ask me what I do to take care of my skin, and that is with absolutely no make-up on whatsoever!!!

I don't think that the firm that is selling Obagi came up with some miracle cure, but what they did that has made them so effective and successful is that they have packaged all the new advances for ,aging women/men's skin care in one simple to use package which has been proven to make the patients more compliant; thereby giving the patient a better result because all the products you need are in one place, numbered, with simple directions to follow to give you the best skin possible. The fact that all the products that you need for the best skin possible are numbered, at your fingertips sitting on your sink morning and evening make it easy for you to keep up the regime - ease of use equals compliance, and that's smart marketing. It is possible to go and buy all of these products separately, but the compliance issue then becomes a problem, and the amazing results don't seem to happen ( this comes from statistical studies done by other's with no financial backing in Obagi). Doing the math given that the Obagi system costs around $460-$500 for a 3 month supply, used twice a day, the cost comes out to $5.11 a day to have beautiful youthful looking skin, and that my friends is quite a bargain in more ways than one. I hope this final review will encourage other's to try what I consider to be money well spent. Remember you probably spend more on your money latte than you would with Obagi to have beautiful and youthful skin. Best of luck...

Michele

This will be my last review of Obagi, but I will have some new ones coming up on "safe" lasers, and injectables that hopefully you'll find interesting. I must say this the most bang for my buck, and the best non-invasive skin care products that truly met my high standards, and the guarantees of the manufacturer, is the Obagi System. The Obagi System has fulfilled their claims and made me look much younger, and better, than I ever could have imagined. I will be recommending this regime to all women I know - young, or old, as it is a product worth it's weight in gold, and you're never too young to start taking care of your skin.
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

My husband is a physician, and his partner is a plastic surgeon. One of the surgeons in our practice recommended Obagi Nu Derm. Dr. Wong is an excellent plastic surgeon, and extremely knowledgeable about all available options for looking your best. From surgery, to injectable, to lasers and skin care systems like Obagi Dr. Wong has all her bases covered. She is very conservative, and you will never leave her office looking like a woman with "duck lips."

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (111)

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Hydroquinone is banned in many countries. It can create a contra effect of skin darkening and there is a carcinogenic concern. ***removed link***
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Hydroquinone is effective but can create a darkening of skin, precisely the opposite of what is wanted. As well, the carcinogen concern is real.***removed link***
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hi all which range is best for pigment? does it still have hydroquinone? if it doesnt is it still as effective without it?
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I'm now on Obagi Nu Derm maintenance and have been using Obagi for 2 years. My skin is clear of the Hyperpigmentaion I once had, tighter (Nasolabial folds reduced) and forehead lines are no more. I use the clear and Exfoderm about 3 times per week, although an Obagi specialist said clear wasn't really necessary in maintenance. I use the Blender with Tretinoin 2-3 times per week. I can't see myself using any other products, even Obagi were so impressed with my results, they used my photos and story in their blog and thanked me by sending me lots of products. Very please all round.
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Hey guys, I cant understand how to use HQ 4% and Tretinoin 0.05%. Right now I am alternating the two, using HQ only on forehead where I have some pigmentation. Do you guys layer them daily, or blend them together (mix them) and use them every night , or every other night? thanks!! Essieb
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Thank you. So just cleanse, tone, Blender with Tretinoin then moisturiser and sunscreen? I love the 20% Vit C too and use that daily.
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You are supposed to mix the Blender and Tretinoin together, I just add both to palm of my hand and mix together. Initially when you're going through the 18 week transformation you use every night. During maintenance it can be every other night or maybe twice weekly. Ideally you should use the whole system not just a couple of products in order to see best results. Always use sunscreen daily regardless of the weather.
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I was told by my clinic not to use moisturiser. The thing with Obagi, if you use it properly and use all the steps in the system, so cleanse, tone, clear, Exfoderm and sunscreen during the day and then the nightly steps of cleanse, tone, clear, blender and Tretinoin, your skin moisturises itself and you shouldn't need additional moisture. The only time I use moisturiser is when I'm not using any of the active products, but even then find I don't really need it. You don't need to use Professional C with the HQ products, just cleanse, tone and apply Prof C. If you use Obagi's eye cream don't apply Prof C in that area on to of the eye cream.
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'What is a Blender ?? is it the HQ? Sorry I do not use Obagi I have an HQ and a Tretinoin 0.05. I alternate them every night. Morning I always use vit C 15%. But so far no peeling with tretinoin, I have been using it like this for 3 months... no peeling at all. Is it maybe cos it just expired? Thank you.
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Blender does contain 4% Hydroquinone and when Blender & Tetinoin are mixed together they work at a deeper level. I think peeling occurs more if you are also using Obagi Exfoderm. It's like an exfoliant which accelerated production of new skin cells. If all the products are used together you will definitely peel. I started peeling after 3 days and looked like a snake shedding skin at one point. It was really interesting as when the old skin came away, the skin underneath felt babylike, very moist and hydrated. I use 0.1% Tretinoin and was told it was best to go with highest concentration, usually if you start on a low percentage, over the course of 18 weeks you would aim to increase the strength. I don't know what happens if you don't use all Obagi products together, you possibly wouldn't get much peeling and not sure how successful results would be.
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Oh I see... well at least when I decide to go on Obagi.. then I would already have had experience with tretinoin, especially when it comes to your skin getting used to it. Tolerating it. Do you guys also used this in summer? how about in summer without sunbathing, with 20% zinc sunscreen and a hat? do you stop using tretinoin anyway? Thanks..
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I don't need to sunbathe as I am a woman of colour. I would never sunbathe anyway as exposing yourself to UV is permanent sun damage and causes premature ageing. In the UK we don't get much in the way of hot summers and many women have spray tans and no longer sunbathe. The Department of Health are always doing mass campaigns against use of sun beds or prolonged exposure to the sun.
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I don't plan to sunbathe, but sometimes walking around in the sun, with sunscreen... you are also exposing your face to the UV. The UV rays will still penetrate, hence why I asked whether Retin A will still be dangerous..
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Retin A does make skin more sensitive to UV and you probably can't completely avoid it in very sunny weather, all you can do is protect the skin as best as you can. I use SPF 50 everyday, but as I have naturally darker skin I will have more natural protection. I would say if you are concerned about the risks then it's probably best not to use Retin A.
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I usually have most of my patients use Nu Derm before the Vi peel for best results. Its a good idea to pre treat the skin for about 4 weeks or so. I love Obagi. There is one other product on the market that is a distant second for Hyperpigmentation . Its called Lytera by Skin medica, for those of you that are apprehensive about HQ. I personally will never stop using HQ. There is more HQ in Almonds, blueberrys and beer than in the Nu derm system. If the Vi peel downtime is an issue, I recommend a series of lighter peels used with RX topicals. Check out this site to get better informed on HQ www.hydroquinonefacts.com. Hope this helps :)
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Thanks so much! I have just started using the RxC 4% HQ on the back of my hands and in After only 7 days, I can start to see the way it REALLY works! Right before my eyes! Not even IPL helped. This is fabulous and after having read that it IS safe to continue to use, to keep the sun spots at bay, it seems like a good idea. Just another question re the NuDerm if I may. Once I am happy with the results, (and I am sure that I will be) what do you use as a maintenance system? Thanks :)
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Great posts from everyone here but does anyone know about the safety of Hydroquinone? It should only be used for short amounts of time? I have used the RXC system and my skin has looked FABULOUS! I DID looked photoshopped in real life and have just ordered the NuDerm system to give it a try. I will also use 20% Vitamin C (after the toner) for extra nourishment. Also, what is the maintenance program after using NuDerm?
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Hello Michelez ! I also use the Obagi Nu Derm, and I have had incredible results, I couldn't imagine being with out it
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sorry i posted my comment above in the wrong place ........... Michelle, you have been using obagi nuderm clear for an year but have you read the articles about Hydroquinone can cause cancer after long term use.i am thinking to buy obagi line but the news about hydroquinone causing cancer and FDA has banned this priduct in various countries , put me into confusion.if someone even uses this system for a short period will never ever be able to stop hydroquinone usage as the dark spots and melasma can return? Reply
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please excuse the typographic and grammatical errors :)
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You can continue with the non HQ version Obagi also sells.
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I think it was banned for sale over the counter because cheaper products often found in Ethnic stores contain 10% Hydroquinone or more. The important thing when using Hydroquinone is to use a high factor sunblock everyday and not expose the face to too much sunlight. I would imagine the FDA only had jurisdiction to ban the product in the US and not anywhere else in the world. There was a huge Campaign in the UK several years ago regarding West African women over using Hydroquinone without understanding the implications, however, high dose HQ can still be purchased in shops even though they were banned. I don't really think our Department of health would be too concerned as the products are only used by a small minority of people. I have used Obagi Nu derm for 2 years and have had breaks in between, whilst I don't have Melasma, but did have hyperpigmentation (I'm of Afro Caribbean skintone) I haven't seen any return of dark spots. It's not just the bleaching factor as in the system contains an exfoliant which does cause old skin to peel, eventually the deeper layers will peel away too. I don't think this is the case with Melasma as it's a condition, not a result of scarring so the discolouration would reappear if the products were stopped.
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I don't know that Hydroquinone causes cancer, but more likely users who buy cheap over the counter products which contain over 10% Hydroquinone, aren't aware they must use high factor sunblock. Exposure to sun whilst using HQ can make skin more sensitive to ultra violet and skin cancer can occur. Obagi contains only 4% Hydroquinone in two of the products and should only be used under medical supervision, the HQ products are prescription only. Obagi do also make the pigment lightening products without HQ, they contain Arbutin instead. Results would probably be slower but less harsh.
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Hydroquinone is banned in Australia so I couldnt use it even if I wanted to. Apparently there are too many negative side affects. Hmmmm thanks for getting back to me, I might reach out to them!
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Michelle do you have any pictures of your face and neck that you would be willing to share? I'm getting married in March and want to put "my best face forward" so to speak. Your review of Obagi is great and pictures would be so helpful! Thanks for being a part of RS and helping us novices figure all this stuff out.
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