Before and After: My Obagi Transformation

I think the Spring season gets a lot of credit for renewal and transformation, but Fall is really when I (and clients/patients alike) really get in the mood for change. The summer can be a time when we drop off of our strict regimens and become a bit lax... with schedules, eating, bedtime, skin care, and who-knows-what else. In my opinion, there seems to be something about the changing colors, the crispy air, and the earlier nightfall that seems to make us all think: 'OK, these summer freckles are bothering me. Time for a change', or 'Hey!! I'm suddenly interested in regimented self-care again'. I myself jumped back onto full time Obagi use a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I would share my slightly embarrassing before and after pictures from my first time using the Obagi Nu Derm system. (about 7 or 8 years ago)

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I had some issues, as you can see. It's especially tough to have skin trouble when you are a professional aesthetician. After all, how are you supposed to recommend treatments and products for your practice's patients when your own skin is terrible??

Notice the acne, the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (red spots left-over from acne), melasma (patchy-brown above my lip and on my forehead), freckles, and uneven tone.

I used the Nu Derm system with tretinoin .1% (hardcore!!) religiously for 18 weeks, followed by a maintenance regimen. What a life-changing transformation this was for me! I am so thankful for this line, and have many, many happy clients who would agree.

So if you are in the mood for change yourself, join me in fall transformation! Start using that night-time product instead of falling asleep on the couch at night, jump into that Zumba class, or finally organize your closet by color; whatever blows your hair back! :)

Check out Obagi Medical's website here to learn more about nu derm, and until next time: Stay Fabulous My Friends!

Product Review: Tensage SCA 3 Soothing Cream Moisturizer

Word on the Street/Company Claims: Cryptomphalus Aspersa, a type of snail which has evolved to heal itself with it's own secreted Glycoproteins and growth factors, is the source for the anti-aging element of this moisturizer. SCA is used both for post-procedure (when you REALLY have to kick up the healing process) and to heal sun-damaged or aged skin in a daily home-care regimen. This growth factor promotes healing and skin health.

This particular product is a light weight, yet potent moisturizer which contains SCA.

Nicely designed packaging makes you want to dive right in!Appropriate for who?:

Acne patients (or those who break out easily), those who are concerned with anti-aging or preventative maintenance, and/or who may be healing from a procedure. This product is great for dry skin, normal skin, combination, mature, and reactive/sensitive skin types. 

NOT so good for:

Very, Very, Dry skin, those who desire SPF in their moisturizer, or those who want a more decadent consistency. (These particular people would try the Tensage SCA 6)

Here's my attempt to demonstrate the light/medium-light consistencyTotally Fabuliz: (Favorite part):

This moisturizer has a non-greasy finish and seems to pack a serious punch of potent moisture. I have dry skin, but break out easily... so I am always paranoid of products that build up on the skin or cause congestion... this is not one of them. It also made me feel like my old breakouts were healing faster.

It absorbs completely, but if a creamier SPF is applied on top, (I applied PRESCRIBEDsolutions Up the Anti Oil free SPF 30 during the day) you'll retain a dewey, glowing look and feel, which I liked. Not unlike the Tensage Intensive Serum, it feels like it brightens and smoothes after using it once.

Just OK: Wishing it was in a pump. (it's in a nice-looking jar)

Needs work: n/a!

Star Rating:

★★★3 Stars:  Really nice product, I’d buy it

I'm dry! WAIT: I Break out! WAIT: I can be sensitive! This is for you guys, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde!Misc Notes/Other need-to-know's:

-A little goes a long way.

-If you plan to use this when healing from a procedure, ask your practitioner how they'd like to see you use it. Rumor: layering it on 'like cake frosting' after a chemical peel (or other procedure), allowing most to absorb, and then smoothing out the excess is a great way to calm and hydrate.

-Check out my Post on Biopelle's Tensage SCA technology here

Bottom Line:

Thank GOODNESS that those of us with adult acne (or prone to congestion) have an anti-aging moisturizer that won't cause breakouts! YES!

While I still love the technology behind the highly concentrated HUMAN growth factor in TNS Recovery Complex and TNS Essential Serum, this natural growth factor offers a different approach... with a fun-to-use, cosmetically elegant edge.

Well done, little snails! Once again, we thank you!


★1 Star: Might pass this one up

★★2 Stars: Okay for the money

★★★3 Stars: Really nice product, I’d buy it

★★★★4 Stars: Pretty much deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, want it/need it/ have to have it!

Product Review: Obagi Medical's Hydrate Facial Moisturizer

1.7 Ounces of Glorious Hydration: Obagis HYDRATEWord on the Street/Company Claims: “Hydromanil technology” delivers moisture in a 2 Part Action.

Part 1: There are Hydromanil matrix molecules that stay on the surface of the skin to reduce LOSS of moisture.

Part 2: A water-bearing 3D matrix captures and hold on to water within the skin, continuously releasing moisturizing compounds, increasing moisture for at least 8 hours after you put it on.

Appropriate for who?:

It’s designed for every skin type, and I would agree with that after using it.

It’s got a medium consistency that would please a dryer skin-type, but it dries mostly matte and does not feel heavy or look greasy, which oilier types would love. It is mild enough that I would recommend it to people who are post- chemical peel or using retinoids (or other treatment products) that could compromise the skin too!

Here's what it looks like right out of the bottle. Pretty, no?Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part): It didn’t make me break out (Just look at me wrong and I’ll break out!) but I really feel that it improved my dry skin.  I'm also not seeing an increase in pore congestion or any indicators of build-up. There is no scent, so I didn’t have to decide if I liked the smell or not. (no fragrance also usually means non-sensitizing and non-irritating, which is a score!)

Just OK: I suppose the packaging could be splashier? That’s getting picky though.

Needs work: Nothing!

Star Rating: 4 STARS!! ★★★★

★1 Star: Might pass this one up

★★2 Stars: Okay for the money

★★★3 Stars: Really nice product, I’d buy it

★★★★4 Stars: Pretty much deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, want it/need it/ have to have it!

Misc Notes/Other Need-to-Know's:

It's Non-comedogenic and allergy-tested. Obagi says that there is a 51% improvement in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) after 8 hours, and a 92% improvement in moisture content of the skin within 2 hours.

I would definitely buy that, since their clinical studies were performed using a Tewameter ® (funny name!) and a Corneometer… this wasn’t an interview of 3 of your best friends who thought they liked it ('3 out of 4 women agree')!

They used a Tewameter... yup, it's a real thing. :) The consistency is medium... not too heavy, not too light. The Goldilocks of Moisturizer??

Good work Obagi… I will be recommending this one for sure.