I'm a novice to the Obagi system and have never been happier with any skin product as I am the Nu-derm system.. I started my journey with Obagi Clear and Tretinoin a month ago (I wrote a more extensive review about my skin issues under Obagi Clear). Basically it worked on lightening my melasma after only 3 weeks. Nothing, I mean :nothing had ever worked before.So I decided to order the Blender to add to my PM routine - I put it on all over my face mixed with the Tretinoin after the spot treatment of Clear. The blender leaves my skin so soft and dewy and moist and beautiful. Now I understand that by using all Obagi a moisturizer truly becomes obsolete. This morning my skin still felt beautifully soft and I looked radiant. MY SKIN HAS NEVER EVER FELT SO NATURALLY HEALTHY AND. DEWY! " Living in Denver CO is murder on skin since its so very dry here. So, Wow I'm really amazed. For years I've been seeking that "holy grail" skin care routine that did it all....i think I've found it. Seriously, I'm building collagen with the Retin A and clearing my skin PLUS I'm gaining an Awesome moisturizer affect simply by using this product. Fyi - I'm finding that a "thin layer" as stated on directions is a lot less then the 1/2 gram they suggest -- for me a little is going a long way so considering my Skinceuticals or Clinique products lasted a month these are lasting 3 times longer. So for me it's not as pricey as it seems. Ok, so now I ordered the Obagi Vit. C 20% serum to help.with Sun protection .and skin texture as well.as the toner and Obagi 50 Sun block. I'll continue to update. Obagi recommends 3-4 skin cycles of treatment to gain maximum benefit (each skin cycle is 6 weeks long) - 24 weeks.
Obagi Blender vs. Obagi Clear
I have used the Obagi Blender and Clear (alternatvely) for about 1.5 years. I suffered from acne for most of my adolescent and adult life. It was only about 1.5 years ago that my face truly cleared up after my first visit to the dermatologist. He prescribed me Retin-A (tretinoin) .025%. For my hyperpigmentation, he told me I should begin using Obagi Clear. At that time, I purchased the product (from his office) at $89.00. His PA told me that I could purchase it for much cheaper online, which I have since then.
I really LOVE both products, and do not notice a difference between them. Both the Clear and Blender can be mixed with the Retin-A for more expedient results. I am currently purchasing the Blender because it is cheaper. I do not use the product every day because I have acheived the result I was aiming for (cler, even skin tone). However, occasionally with sun damage (prompting uneveness) I will use the Blender for about 2 weeks (with sunscreen). You will definitely see a difference within a few days if used once in the morning (with a sunscreen) and in the evening/night. I have been back "on" Obagi for about 5 days, and my skin is so much more even (a friend noticed that my skin looked more refreshed.
If you suffer from an uneven skin-tone/hyperpigmentation, I would suggest you try this product.
The stress from three years of intense schooling, two kids and going through personal turmoil left my skin with endless acne and clogged pores. I had always battled zit or tow but nothing like this. And every single pimple left a scar. I couldn't look at my face in daylight without MU because it was just awful. Just awful. My lovely boss suggested that I look into Obagi. A few hours of web searching and reading reviews here on MUA and I knew I wanted to buy the Blender. Using 4-5 products with hydroquinone seemed a bit redundant and I wanted to incorporate some other things like C and Niacinamide in my routine.
I figured out my own regimen. Details in my notepad.
I already had the highest strength Retin A (0.1%) prescription. I was good to go. I washed my face with water. Used witch hazel to remove residue. I pat a diy Niacinamide toner. Wait for a few minutes and pat a diy Vit C serum on top. Then I'd mix a glop of Blender with a large pea size glop of RA and rub it in circular motion until it all sunk in. I added AHA during the daytime.
Let me make this clear first. This regimen is not for the faint of heart. I peeled n peeled like a snake. My face was red, It hurt to smile. The seepage on my lips made my lips peel and bleed too. People stared my face, gave the wteff look and all that. For 4-6 weeks skin was miserable. Also, putting AHA on peeling face caused extreme discomfort. So I suggest proceed with caution on that one.
At the end of 8 weeks I had the most beautiful, clear skin that I had in years. It was not perfect but it was a significant gain. It took 20 years of acne to do the damage but only 8 weeks of Obagi to recover from it. I think that is pretty remarkable.
Using just AHA and Retin A is just not going to cut it for some with extreme acne scars so this is a bit of a shortcut, kinda like a bootcamp for your skin. Let's call it a P90X for skin. I think Blender is an exceptional product with 4% hq and lactic acid to drive it deeper into the skin. I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking. Click on continued-->
I have been using this nightly for 6 weeks with Obagi Tretinoin 0.5%. I had some light peeling and little redness the first week and ocassionally will have a spot of peeling, but nothing that would cause me to discontinue use. It goes on easily and disappears. I use a Buff Puff to exfoliate twice a week, and got one microdermabrasion 10 days in, which may help with the dryness. I am also religious about avoiding the sun or wearing a hat and lotion. In terms of results, my skin is markedly smoother and it seems to be making a big difference with milia (no new ones since the visible ones were removed by an aesthetician 10 days in). So far I haven't noticed it reducing the few brown spots I have from old sun damage.
This product works fast. I have been using for 2 weeks and notice a difference already. I did have a slight amount of peeling in the first 2 days but a good nighttime moisturizer fixed that and I have not had any other side effects yet. I use this with Obagi Tretinoin 0.5%.
Will update as things progress.
Let me start by saying this is an excellent product. It definitely does live up to the hype. If you have melasma, this will significantly reduce, if not completely eliminate it. However, the course of treatment will take you to some very unattractive places--redness, flaking, peeling. Days where you shudder at the thought of being out in public. Hang in there, it's totally worth it. The other side of all that is even, clear, melasma-free skin. However, as someone else mentioned, if you are olive skinned or a person of color, watch out. With continued use, this product will give you "ghost face" or an unnaturally light cast to your face that does not match your neck--not a good look. This is what caused me to back off the product and use another great melasma product (Caudalie Vinoperfect) to maintain the results while I got my "color" back. So now I only use this product when traces of melasma begin to return and only long enough to get it to fade out. I will continue to buy because it is so effective, but I am disappointed--this isn't the holy grail for me, so I can't give it the highest rating. If you are on the fence, all I can tell you is try it, it may very well be your holy grail.
Update April 2011: I am very happy with the results from this product, it really cleared up my melasma patches beftter then anything else I've tried. Highly recommended IF you can tolerate it...:) Update: Feb. 2011 - Still using this as a spot treatment 3x a week, I am happy with the results, it's working - but do to the redness where used, will be happy when I can discontinue it's use. So I started using this product mid-september of this year. For reference I am 42, with acne-prone sensitive skin. I had several melasma patches on my upper lip and on both cheekbones from many years on bcp and being in the sun. Since I discontinued bcp, I decided to seriously tackle my melasma. I had tried other hydroquinone products over the the years none with much success, and if this didn't work was going to try laser. Let me start my saying this product is NOT for the faint of heart. You will experience redness, irritation and peeling, but if you go slow, and back down when the irritation gets to much, it can work for you. You must be patient and be willing to see it through. I am commited to using this product until mid-december then I will re-evaluate whether I need to continue or not. I only use this product 3x a week and spot treat the necessary areas only. I mix it with my RAM 0.1%. Why put myself through this you ask? It working - period. I ran into a co-worker the other day I haven't seen in sometime, she said I'm looking younger - (and she's not the type to hand out compliments) I believe this product may be the reason..:)
This was not a fun product for me. I had a bad reaction to it - - red hives and tender skin exactly in the pattern I had applied it. The rash lasted for about a week. Hydrocortisone helped a little to calm it down, but my La Mer Moisturizing Cream samples seemed to do the trick. La Mer smoothed down the hives and the redness dissipated. I daren't ever try Blender again.
I have been using this product mixed with Tretinion for nearly 3 months and it have eliminated that subtle raisin texture that was beginning to creep up on my almost 40 skin. I saw slight reduction to age lines but I would not recommend the product for that, you won't be satisfied if the results are as subtle as mine are. In addition to eliminating by raisin skin it reduced the reddish in my checks giving me a very smooth overall color tone.
I love this product! Only now did I have bright clear skin. I have acne-prone skin and my dermatologist made me use this together with a Tretinoin cream. After around 4 months of using this, my face cleared up, no more acne-scars! It also made my skin whiter due to all the peeling that happened. The stubborn sun spot on my cheekbone also disappeared after longer use. Definitely will buy again!