When Eileen of Obagi Phils. informed me that they were flying in an Obagi trainor in lieu of Obagi Philippines’ 11th Anniversary in the Philippines, I knew that it was my chance to ask everything I want about one of my most favorite skin care brands! I said yes, in a heartbeat, and even took a leave off work just to have an exclusive with Aimee Demarais!
Well, it was so evident that I was so excited that I was the first one to arrive. With that, I was able to score some one on one time with the lovely Aimee, who gladly answered all of my curious-cat questions!
So, here are some of my notes about what I’ve asked Aimee – these are questions that most of you have in your mind, specially if you know the brand Obagi, or are using it!
OBAGI is the leading, number one medical skin care brand in the world…
even bigger than the top #2, and #3 brands combined, as it enjoys a huge, huge lead from the rest. Did you know, that the Obagi Nu Derm System ( one of the product lines of Obagi ) has been such a progressive brand, as it was launched decades ago – 1988, to be exact, and it is still continues to be a growing brand until now? Amazing, right?
Dr. Zein Obagi’s idea of the perfect skin…
is like a baby’s skin. Just what chances are, or when did you see a baby that needed sunblock, or suffer from sun damage, or even need to wear makeup ? A baby’s skin is just purrfect. Dr. Zein Obagi’s main goal in formulating his skin care products, is to “reset” our skin to the way they once were –
Thick, heavy moisturizers are OUT. Serums are IN.
I already heard this twice, actually. My dermatologist was very supportive of my switching to serums, and turning my back to any kind of moisturizers out there , as she tells me that that’s what Dra. Vicky Belo believes in – that moisturizers act like a wall, but when mixed with oil and dirt, cause skin to break out as well. All boils down to moisturizers are just superficial, from what I’ve understood.
The OBAGI philosophy also discourages thick, heavy moisturizers ( which are superficial, to say the least, and acts as a temporary barrier against dryness ) from being used – what’s encouraged, at the least, are really light moisturizers, and even better, serums, that for sure, target the problem, give the necessary, long-lasting hydration to the skin, and health. Obagi has Vitamin C serums, that have different percentages, having as low as 5% that is gentle enough for the eye area ( for undereye brightening and targetting undereye circles ) and to bigger percentages that act as a strong antioxidant, skin conditioner, and sunblock booster ( yes, Vitamin C boosts sunblock’s effects! )
As for me, I have a whole lineup of serums here at home, with Vitamin C, Olive oil serums, and even the new Pond’s serum. I’m in love with serums!
The Buzz About Hydroquinone
There’s this news that’s been bugging me for the longest time, as I have mustered enough guts to ask Aimee, and that is all that buzz about hydroquinone, and the dangers of it.
Hydroquinone is the strongest skin lightener in the market. HQ exclusively works with “melanocytes” ( okay, science lesson coming up! ), a cell that produces pigments. It controls freckling, age spots, and melasma.
Aimee assures me that hydroquinone is indeed safe, but should definitely be used under the very strict supervision of dermatologists. In Singapore, Obagi is one of two registered companies that have hydroquinone content in their products, as it is legally used in 47 countries as well. But then, it is really important that this ingredient be used with care, and be under a strict supervision of a dermatologist. It’s not just some over-the-counter product, like tretinoin or retin-A ( which is completely different from HQ, as they target “fibroblasts” and “keratinocytes” – two different kinds of cells )
Now, I’m a bit enlightened and assured somewhat that what my dermatologist has been using on me is safe, as I saw her whip up a very small bottle with “HQ” in it. I’m not going to try to get a bottle for me that has it, without my dermatologist’s approval and supervision, that’s to be sure!
Okay, now that we’ve gotten some points cleared out, and some new information has been given to us, let me discuss more of Obagi’s star products. Amongst several product lines of Obagi, two for me really stand out -
OBAGI NU DERM SYSTEM
The Obagi Nu Derm System does, and promises the following :
*Pushes fresher cells to the surface faster, for smoother skin, reduced wrinkles and increased tolerance
*Reduces mottled pigmentation (freckles and age spots) and helps prevent the appearance of new pigmentation
*Promotes more uniform cells at the deepest layer for better skin structure and balanced, more even skin tone *Helps increase collagen and elastin for firmer, more resilient looking skin
*Increases nutrients natural hydration and circulation for supple, healthy-looking skin
Obagi Nu Derm is a system that is for those who have dark spots, pigments, or sun damage, adult acne, lines and wrinkles, or those who would want to try to “reset” their skin to how it as before – all even in color, clear, tight-pored, and smooth. It’s sort of an anti-aging line of Obagi.
With Obagi Nu Derm, the process is rough, but just like how a diamond is unveiled from the mining sites, the result is crystal clear – you get 6 weeks’ worth of peeling and dry skin, before unveiling clear, fine, beautiful new skin. It would take around 3-4 skin cycles ( a cycle is equivalent to 3 months ) to achieve the best results for this, and this is a dermatologist-supervised skin care line.
OBAGI CLENZIDERM SYSTEM
Most benzoyl peroxides are formulated with insoluble crystals that remain largely on the surface of the skin. Acne, however, starts below the surface of skin, deep within the hair follicles or pores.
The Obagi CLENZIderm M.D.™ includes a new, liquified form of benzoyl peroxide that is 1/10,000 the size of any other benzoyl peroxide available.
For those who are still young, and have problems with acne, the Obagi Clenziderm System is really, really effective. It steps up with a really, really potent spot treatment, that really saved my face from my acne-fest roughly a year ago ( really, life changing! ) For more info about Clenziderm, you can read about it here.
Aside from that, Obagi has a vitamin-C based skin care, Elastiderm for the eyes and decolletage, and so much more! They even have a cosmeceutical brand called ZO Health, in which I am so much lemming for their Oclipse Sunscreen ( will babble more about it later! *wink! )
Alternative to Obagi Nu Derm
For those still wary about hydroquinone, Nu Derm Obagi, the product line, is having another variant called NuDerm FX which is HQ-free, but will definitely address those who want to re-texturize and re-surface their skin , but will not address sun damage, as only HQ can do that. The star ingredient for Nu Derm Fx would be arbutin, which is another kind of skin lightener. With this, less peeling would occur.
As for me, I am a HUGE huge fan of Obagi. Obagi Clenziderm made my skin have a 180 degree turnaround, and I’ve risen above my acne dilemma because of it. I am slowly mustering the guts for skin-resetting, and trying to schedule when I will have my Nu Derm Obagi experience because admittedly, after those acne breakouts from the past, I still have some dark spots left from them. Well, one step at a time, maybe I’d try it next year as I’ll be busy for the remaining part of the year.
Well, I really owe how nice my skin is to Obagi Clenziderm. Though I am still on the fence about jumping in and trying the Obagi Nu Derm System ( I still have dark spots from my post-acne problems ), I look at this brand with high respect, and can definitely recommend Clenziderm to anyone who is suffering acne. I am looking forward to purchase their C-serums soon, and up for roadtest, is their Elastiderm Eye Cream.
So, have you ever tried Obagi? I’d love to hear from you!