Everything You Need To Know About Obagi Nu Derm

Everything You Need To Know About Obagi Nu Derm

Disclaimer: Face the Future are no longer stockists of Obagi Nu Derm. You can get in touch with one of our skin experts for personalised product recommendations. You can also shop ZO Skin Health products here. 

We recently went on a refresher course at Obagi Medical HQ. An important part of our role here in clinic is to be up to date with any new product lines, research and information that could affect you, your skin and the products you are using. We have treated skins with the Obagi Nu-Derm system for years and the results speak for themselves. Obagi Nu-Derm is a unique skincare kit to be used at home. It targets pigmentation by blocking melanocyte activity, removing dead cellular build up and strengthening the epidermis to prevent further damage.

The Good

So first up, Obagi didn't become our most popular depigmentation system by default. This skincare management kit wins the popular vote year after year and follows up success stories from famous faces adding credibility to its name. Alicia Keys famously performed with no make up following her Obagi treatment and sings loud and proud about the confidence a clear skin gave her. There's no doubt about it, this system works and ultimately will improve the quality and condition of your skin.

The Bad

With every up there's always a down. Obagi is a commitment. It takes time, money and patience to achieve the results. The Nu-Derm system should last for 16 weeks. In certain cases your practitioner may require you to stay on the system for 18 or even 24 weeks. It's important to remember skin doesn't become damaged overnight, often we are trying to correct years of neglect. Anything labelled as an instant quick fix is normally only a temporary solution. It takes time for the skin function to return to normal and retrain itself. That being said, its not the cheapest skincare system on the market but you are getting at 4 months worth of skincare that is performance-based, clinically tested, medically distributed and at a prescription strength. When you invest in Obagi, you make an investment in yourself.

The Ugly

As much as we don't like sugar, we don't like sugar coating either. Obagi is not for the faint hearted. Your Obagi days will be less than pleasant and you certainly wont appear at your best. The skin is likely to appear dry and flaky for at least the first few weeks. The amount of 'shed' you experience will vary from skin to skin. The more dehydrated the skin is, the stronger the shed; however, young and oily skins are not exempt. If there's one thing for certain Obagi will make you 'peel' and you will spend some of your experience questioning your motives. I assure you this is normal and will subside. Wearing make up normally only makes the situation worse and although mineral based cosmetics can be used, I would recommend going bare for at least the first week. Applying foundation or powders over dry, flaking skin can highlight your shed instead of concealing it.Yes, it may have a lot of down time, but don't let any of these negatives put you off as the results are worth it in the end. Don't believe me? Just take a look at these impressive before and after images:casestudy3

The Products


The cleanser will depend on the Obagi system your practitioner has prescribed.Gentle Cleanser (Normal to dry): Cleansing is the golden rule of skincare. You should never skip a cleanse. This gentle wash removes impurities and makeup, leaving the skin feeling fresh and clean.Foaming Gel (Normal to oily): The Foaming Gel cleanser works in the same way as the gentle cleanser, strong enough to remove makeup but kind enough to avoid stripping it dry. The foaming action makes it a favourite for oily or congested skin types for that ultra-clean feel.


We know we need one but do we know why? This balancing toner helps adjust the pH level of your skin, which is important to maintain a healthy skin function. To work at its best the skin's pH should be at 5.5 making it slightly acidic. Too much alkaline and the skin becomes dry, sensitive and irritable.


This product does what it says on the bottle. Clear is one of the prescription strength products in your kit that contains Hydroquinone. This helps to correct and diminish pigmentation, age spots and discolouration.

Exfoderm or Exfoderm Forte (Product varies depends on the kit prescribed)

A very important step in the regime is the exfoliant lotion that removes the top layer of dead cellular build up revealing young, new and freshly made baby skin underneath. This will keep your skin from looking dull during your shed.


This is the second prescription strength product that contains hydroquinone to help lighten the skin and reduce the appearance of the problematic pigmentation.


I make no apologies in introducing you to this wonderful skin saviour. You and your skin will develop an unbreakable love affair with Obagi Hydrate. This unique moisturising lotion will alleviate the symptoms and ease the flaking. It can be applied throughout the day as and when needed and is the perfect pocket size formula.

Sun Shield SPF 50

When using high strength products it is vital you are protecting your skin and preventing it from further damage. Obagi Sun Shield SPF 50 is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that combines both UVA and UVB protection. Sunblock is your skin's new best friend and goes hand in hand with your Obagi treatment but should also be continued as part of your maintenance routine after your treatment is complete.If you're looking to transform your skin using the Obagi Nu-Derm system, you will require a consultation with our nurse beforehand.

You can book a consultation in our Leeds-based clinic by calling 0113 282 3300.

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