I suffered from an allergic reaction to antibiotics for more than a month. I had migraines and I broke out in hives. When I switched doctors and was given a milder form of treatment, I waited a week before I consulted a dermatologist for the rashes. I went to Belo in Rustan’s Makati but it wasn’t exactly my rashes that they treated…so I’m going to segue now. I’m ust telling how it all started.
Anyway, upon my second visit, the Belo doctor insisted that I buy the Obagi Clenziderm set. It’s supposed to be a therapeutic acne system. I did have qualms about having my face treated when the rest of my body was still itching like crazy. But I went ahead and bought the set anyway. The regimen consists of three steps: (1) wash with the Daily Care Foaming Cleanser, which contains 2% salicylic acid; (2) apply Pore Therapy, which contains another 2% salicylic acid, 10-15 minutes after washing; (3) apply the Serum Gel, which contains 5% benzoyl peroxide. The instructions were long and intimidating but after the first couple of nights, I already knew them by heart.
I just had what they call a Spanish peel (I’ll talk about the details in another post), my second, and combining that with the Clenziderm really hurt. I was not allowed to moisturize while the Clenziderm stripped my face of all its oil. With the Spanish peel, I could hardly speak. With the Spanish peel AND the Clenziderm, I was in hell. My skin was parched and I wanted to dip my face in a vat of boiling water. Mind you, I have combination skin so I balked when the dermatologist told me that I’m not supposed to moisturize. To top it off, the itchiness never really went away.
It wasn’t until five days after my third Spanish peel that I decided to disobey my derma and stop the Clenziderm altogether. I moisturized with my Origins White Tea and washed my face with my favorite pink Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil. My skin felt better. I noticed the results immediately. The sandpaper that replaced my skin disappeared and it was velvety soft once again. The oil production went haywire, though, so after three days, I bought THEFACESHOP gel moisturizer for combination skin and went back to Clenziderm. This was when I finally figured out what regimen worked for me. I still do need to moisturize, as the areas outside my T-zone tend to get bone dry. So instead of putting Serum Gel on my entire face, as stated in the instructions, I only put it where needed. I also put moisturizer on the areas that needed it.
The skin on my face is better now, but only because I had to go through some major trials and errors to get the combination right. Trust my stubborn skin to not follow the rules, eh?
Would I recommend Obagi? Yes and no. Let me just enumerate why.
- If you have acne-prone skin. (I had allergies; I am not acne-prone.) This is heavy duty stuff and you really must have the pain tolerance to go through it.
- If you have the budget. I could’ve sworn my Belo derma originally named two brands during my first visit. Obagi and something else. That something else became non-existent (at least in our conversation) on my second visit.
- If it’s okay with you to peel a lot. I noticed that when some of my pimples dry up, they peel.
- If you enjoy cleansers that have minty feel.
- The skin feels so tender that it strikes me as weak.
- If you love smiling. The skin looks and feels wonderful…if you’re not one to smile or talk animatedly. I saw how my cheeks visibly stretched when I did. Smiling is not something I’d like to forgo, thank you.
As for the itchiness? It’s a success story that I’m saving for another dermatologist that I’ll introduce in another post.