I have extremely oily acne prone skin. I am a medium brown African American woman. I can honestly say I have tried and used everything under the sun. My esthetician recommended the Obagi clear along with another tretonin product I am using combined with montly skin peels. Its been 2 months of peels, and about 3 weeks using the Obagi. My skin looks really good. Its not quite flawless but it is getting very close. Its hard to say that the evenness and lightening that I am seeing is solely devoted to the Obagi, since I am using that along with the Tretonin product and the chemical peels. But the obagi seems to be speeding up the process. I have terribly ugly and noticeable scarring from cystic acne that seems to scar whether or not I touch my face. My skin is blemish prone and I have marks all over my face and body from acne breakout. The Obagi has made a major difference in my skin tone. The right side of my face literally has about 20 marks on it, and those marks are so much lighter now. When I wear makeup I dont need concealer anymore; the foundation and powder give me enough coverage. That is a rarity! This product is not cheap but IMO its worth the expense, especially for those of us who wear make up often, struggle with bad skin and marks or uneven skin tone. As a 30 something year old woman, I dont want to look like I have a teenager's hormonal acne face. I will be using this product daily. This is a must have. No complaints at all.
Awful customer service for such a high end product!
Don't think you will get help if you had an issue with their product!
I like many other users have suffered permanent burns to my face due to the system I was prescribed. I even contacted their head office and do you know not one person contacted me. I also had a user on makeup alley message me and we both found out that we tried to post to their blog but the mediator takes all ' negative ' stories down- it doesn't even make it to posting. Buyer beware. If you purchase ensure you get a validation that after 2 to 6 months you can return for fill reimbursement. Since they say you have yo wait out the term of the system then they should support when you do it over a long period and you see that the healing it promised ( clear ) is scarring that keeps getting worse! My email is csammie@ hotmail. Com if you want to see my before and afters. I had better skin before!
Seriously burnt- do not purchase !!!!
Was prescribed system
Followed prescription after being shown by medical practitioner at clinic
Camouflage concealer does not even cover the scars I have been left with
I can show photos of the condition
My face had been left with
I love the reviews here on Makeup Alley. It's nice to know there's other women out there who LOVE skin care like I do. I have melasma on my cheeks which has been treatment resistant for 15 years. It's been really distressing because it makes me look older and feel bad about my face. As a light skinned black women laser and micro-abrasion can lend awful results. I have tried EVERYTHING - including a dermatologist prescription for Triluma (which faded it by 30%) - plus expensive and inexpensive lightening creams to no avail. However I continued with a good Sun screen/block 35 or higher and did my best to cover with Dermablend. On March 1st I started Obagi Clear in am and pm on melasma only and Obagi Tretinoin .05% all over face at night only. 22 days later my melasma has faded by 60%!!!! I am now using Tarte tinted primer (without Dermablend) and you can't see the melasma at all and my face looks 20 years younger all over as well. Lastly, the product description states that Obagi Clear targets the melasma and not the surrounding skin - well I was more then skeptical (like that would truly be a miracle, right?!) But it's true! Somehow due to the product delivery system it's lightening my melasma and very little of the surrounding skin unlike Triluma where I had that distinct light circle coloring outline to my skin. Wow! I just purchased the Obagi Blender and Obagi RX C serum to maximize and continue my transformation. I'm more then happy with the results! Everyone telling me how pretty I look is music to my ears. I was surprised that I could buy the genuine article online and without a prescription at Skinheaven.com at a discount plus they give reward points for discounts on my next purchase. Also as far as layering of product my research suggested that in am wash with mild soap, tone for ph balance, apply Obagi Clear with Q-tip to melasma, wait a few minutes to dry, apply 1/2 teaspoon of sunscreen (at least 20 minutes before Sun exposure - I'm using Neutregena 70) and then add any serem, moisturizers, eye cream, primers and makeup in that order. At night I remove eye makeup, use the same mild face wash, same toner, apply eye cream while face dries, use a pea size amount of Tretinoin all over face, avoiding eyes and corners of nose and mouth and then apply Obagi Clear with Q-tip to melasma. Lastly I add moisturizer over face except the melasma area. DON'T USE SERUMS or VITAMIN C OR E AT NIGHT WITH THIS ROUTINE. Once I get the Obagi RX C serum I'll add that to my am routine as the very first thing I use after toning. I'll use the blender at night since it works with the Tretinoin best and the clear in am.
4% hydroquinone is a proven solution to fading pigmentation problems & the Obagi Clear does just that. My melasma on my cheeks has lightened dramatically over the last 2 months of daily morning & night use. I also purchased the Obagi-C RX therapy night cream (also 4% hydroq.) which I'm sure works just the same as Clear but its a tad stinky. I purchased from lovelyskin.com who sells authentic Obagi products through dermatologist office. Will repurchase any Obagi 4% hydroq. product when mine runs out.
I was beginning to think that I would have to get used to and accept my discoloration/melasma and age spots. It is all over my forehead, cheeks, and I got the ugly melasma mustache! I have age spots on my upper cheekbones. I am in my mid 30s and was not good to my skin when I was younger. At. All. I've tried heavy makep and it only sort of covered it. Very frustrating! I finally stumbled upon this online and decided to give it a try. I figured its cheaper than a visit to the dermatologist. I bought it on Amazon for about $40 I think. Anyway, after only about four days I started seeing an improvement. At first I thought it was probably wishful thinking, but after about a month of diligent use, the discoloration, melasma, and age spots are nearly gone!! I am thrilled with the results to say the least! I have been using this day and night. At night I use it with a retinol cream that I got from Puritan vitamins website, and during the day I have been using Obagi SPF 50. I did not experience any red flaky skin. Maybe some very mild redness and occasional flakes. But I had been using the retinol cream for about a month prior to the Obagi (but still w/o redness or flaking) so maybe that prepped my skin. I don't know. I did read about the risks of hydroquinone, so am not planning to use this long term. I don't think I'll need it much longer, anyway, and will continue to diligently protect my skin from sun exposure. I know that the discoloration can come back, so I am considering using this periodically for maintenance. But I am so thrilled with the results! It worked magic for me!
I've used the Clear/Blender combo with Retin-A before and loved the result. I decided to try again and I'm not disappointed. I went with a milder strength of Retin-A and do every other day as I'm trying to avoid the severe peeling and I find that I have yet to suffer. I did have a month of peels at a dermatologist before which may have something to do with the lack of peeling. Yes, normally you will be red and peeling like mad and you will be embarrassed at work for weeks, but keep it going because it is amazing. Yes, there have been claims that hydroquinone is not safe. Use at your own risk. It's still available so I will continue to use it until they outright ban it.
Want perfect skin? The hydroquinone in Obagi clear (with retin-a) will work. I used it for 2 years and loved the way I looked. BUT...
1. Are you willing to risk cancer? Hydroquinone has been shown to cause cancer in rats when applied consistently.
2. Are you willing to risk weird skin lightening or darkening? I've read enough online to see people did have those skin effects, el7elwa80 on this board who reviewed this product did.
3. Are you willing to use a product that's banned due to toxicity in Europe?
4. Are you willing to tax your liver to rid your body of the chemical? The reason you can't stay on obagi for more than 3 months is because it stays in your body -- your liver can't rid itself of the product easily. Probably why it's linked to kidney, liver, and thyroid tumors (as the thyroid controls metabolism, probably ask if you're willing to get fat as well).
If you answered yes to all of these questions, hydroquinone (clear) is for you. But don't say you weren't warned. Watch the video: http://dralex.hubpages.com/hub/What-Ingredients-are-in-Skin-Whitening-Products
First, I want to say that I do not use the entire Obagi system. I have a dermatologist friend who told me that everything else in it is a waste of money (except for the Blender, more on that later). All you need is a gentle cleanser to go along with it (I use Cetaphil or CeraVe - please don't use anything too harsh or too generic, as I believe this is a very important step in the process), a toner (I use witch hazel), a good sunscreen (I use the SPF 50 from Ole Henrikson), and a good moisturizer. I had been using RetinA for about 6 months prior to starting Clear, so my skin was already a bit accustomed to the harshness I was about to experience with Clear. However, for the first two weeks, my face was red, flaky, dry, and just irritated. Covering it with makeup was almost pointless.I also used RetinA in conjunction with it (although I no longer use it) and after about a week I started to also use my Olay version of the Clarisonic, which helps with the flaky skin and dryness. I used this all over my face and a bit on my neck (to avoid the whiteface look) and I am finally getting to a place where I'm happy with my skin. I have only had about 2 pimples since I started using Clear in January, and my acne scars/sunspots have reduced by about 60%. My skin wasn't severe or anything before I started Clear, but I did have acne scars and my face seemed too dark since it didn't really match my neck and the rest of my body (where I've always used sunscreen). My skin is back to the color it's supposed to be, which was my goal with this product. The only area where I notice needs more improvement is my nose, but I think I just need to keep using it diligently like I have been. I did not purchase the blender, but my derm friend said it would help speed up the process basically (when used with RetinA).
In short, yes - expect your face to look like crap for a few weeks in the beginning. But if you stick with it, and use sunscreen and moisturize, it truly works. I have been a member of MUA for several years, but only started writing reviews today because I really felt like I needed to come on here and tell other people about my experience (I certainly came on here and other sites looking for other people's stories) so I felt it was my duty to share mine since other people shared theirs. Hope this helps.
First of all, this is review for Obagi Clear FX, not Obagi Clear.
Obagi Clear FX contains 7% Arbutin (confirmed by Obagi.com), instead of the 4% hydroquinone in the conventional Clear. To avoid confusion, I'll use the term Clear FX to describe this product and Clear HQ when pertaining to Clear with hydroquinone.
Arbutin is not a prescription product; it's derived from the leaves of bearberry and cranberry, and to all intense purposes, is a naturally derived form of hydroquinone. In terms of it's molecular structure, it IS hydroquinone with a sugar molecule attached. This additional molecule does make it a significantly different brightener. It is not as potent, nor is it reported to have some of side-effects that [can] accompany hydroquinone use. From my research, Arbutin cannot be called a lightener, only a skin brightener. OK-so that's the science over.
So, having used the whole Obagi system (minus the Tretinoin) I experienced incredibly clear, even toned and smooth skin for 5 months . However, five and half months into the treatment, my skin became incredibly inflamed and began darkening due to hydroquinone. This was INCREDIBLY distressing I have to say. Having struggled ALL my adult life with uneven skin and hyper-pigmentation, I really thought I'd found THE answer to my skin issues. Undeterred, my dermatologist suggested that I take a break from Clear HQ, and use Clear FX instead. Buoyed by his assurances that Clear FX would help, I purchased this.
I did a patch test, waited for 24 hrs and experienced no irritation. Essentially, Clear FX fits straight into your evening and daytime Obagi routine. To avoid further irritation, I chose not to layer this with Exoferm. I also chose to use this product for 6 weeks minimum; as I know from experience that it takes a while for my skin to adjust to a new product. Upon usage, I felt fairly quickly that this product was not suitable for my skin. My face felt incredibly dry and irritated within 3 hours of first use. Nonetheless, I persisted, adding a gentle moisturiser to counter-act this. The dryness eventually subsided after 7 days, but my face felt constantly irritated with this product. After 6 weeks of religious usage, there was no improvement in the tone or evenness of my skin. In fact, I'd be more inclined to say that due to the irritation, this product worsened by condition. I'd given it a good attempt, but it was clearly not suitable or fit for purpose [in my case].
If you're looking for a product to even out your skin tone; are not allergic to hydroquinone; nor concerned by the risks in its usage, I would say use Clear HQ. Don't waste your money on this product! If you're using Clear HQ and want to use an alternative brightener to give your skin a break from hydroquinone, I would advise you to stay clear this product. Since using this, I did some research on Arbutin, and discovered that one of the main concerns with its usage is.............. irritation. No s***!
7% Arbutin is actually a high percentage for a facial cosmetic product, which may be Obagi's justification for the hefty price. In any case, high percentage or not, this product does not work fro me.