Obagi Clenziderm

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.

Rating: 7/10


  1. Beatrice Margarita V. Lapa

    September 2, 2009 at 3:47 am

    1. Rowena (http://animetric.multiply.com/) says

    Nagulat ako nag-Onagi ka bigla. XD

    August 28th, 2007 at 11:20 am

    2. skysenshi says

    ako rin nagulat na nag-Obagi ako bigla. hahahahahaha!
    shet…ang sakit ng bulsa ko. kelangan ipagamot.

    and my gawsh. i saw that it was being sold for amazon for only $80+. taas patong dito.

    August 28th, 2007 at 11:26 am

    3. Vylett says

    Hi, i just read the blog u posted… nagspanish peeling ako yesterday, 1st session ko yn… ask ko lang kailangan ba talaga na 4 session yn? what if hindi ko tinuloy? what could possibly happen? also i noticed that there are brown spots .. parang nasunog.. di cya red, brown cya… ganun ba talaga yn? thanks..

    October 20th, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    4. Vylett says

    hi sis, email me naman more about the spanish peeling kasi im worried about my face… ang gaano ka-exagg na hindi cya pwedeng maarawan? as in yng direct sunlight? would it take years? months? thanks!

    October 20th, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    5. skysenshi says

    Hello! I’ll just leave my responses here so that other people who may have the same question can read them. 😀

    This Spanish peel you had is from Belo, correct? (I’m not so sure if it’s the same with other dermatologists.) You were made to sign a contract that stated all the changes you’ll notice, including burnt areas of your face. Yep, sis, when you do a Spanish peel, it is literally burning your face. You’ll notice a huge difference after all the skin falls off, though. It will feel like a baby’s.

    I think one session is enough because I didn’t really notice anything spectacular after the next three sessions.

    Generally, though, you really have to stay out of the sun, even without Spanish peels. Since you can’t really avoid that (I walk all the way from my condo to my workplace and there are no shaded areas), what you can do is wear sunblock with really high SPF, preferably 40 upwards. Also bring an umbrella. Once your face heals, the sunblock will do. Healing time is different with everyone. Mine took a week, which is considered long since they claim that the peeling should be done in 3 days.

    October 21st, 2007 at 7:36 am

    6. Vylett says

    Hi skysenshi, thank you for replying me in here.. but sadly, the spanish peel i had was not from belo, but from a trusted dermatologist too, but ill assume that the chemical solution they use are the same.. but my dermatologist told me that there could possibly a pigmentary rebound if the session was not completed… i have my 1st spanish peeling last friday night, and my face doesn’t peel until now… anyways, i was tryin to research with other experts if a pigmentary rebound is really true if not completed the 4 session?! also im worrieed because of the maintenance.. what maintenance could possibly follow after the spanish peeling?? because im going to sydney this december, and dont know when will come back.. and for vanity sake, im not sure if i can maintain my skin just using sunblock for the rest of the months. Thank you… and you really helped.

    October 21st, 2007 at 12:21 pm

  2. Beatrice Margarita V. Lapa

    September 2, 2009 at 3:47 am

    COMMENTS FROM THE OLD SITE (Continuation):
    7. skysenshi says

    Hi, Vylett!

    There’s one thing I noticed about the Spanish peel. It peels quicker if you wet your face once in a while. Do this indoors, though, so you won’t have to re-apply sunblock.

    I haven’t heard about pigmentary rebounds because it has never happened to me. Then again, I finished all four sessions because of the discount. Mostly because I didn’t think it would be that painful. You can moisturize after you’ve finished peeling. Don’t moisturize if you haven’t peeled or have not finished peeling yet.

    I went back to my regular regimen (cleanse, tone, moisturize) after the last strip of flesh fell off my face. That was around one week after my fourth session.

    I’ll never do Spanish peels again, though. It just hurts too much and the downtime (considering I do public speaking) is just inconvenient. Maybe I can opt for Powerl Peels or Jet Peels next time.

    October 21st, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    8. chacha says

    hi skysenshi ,
    i had my first session of spanish peel last saturday.. i just wana know if your skin had completely peeled off before you took your second session..bec i feel that it would take awhile for my skin to finish peeling…and also..have u also had power peel before spanish peel? thanks…Ü

    February 21st, 2008 at 5:32 am

    9. skysenshi says

    yep. i gave it two weeks before i had it peeled off. personally, i think it was better when i didn’t get the second peel.

    February 21st, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    10. beautechnologist says

    Hi! You mentioned the Clenziderm is only $80 in Amazon… how much were they selling it for at Belo?

    March 3rd, 2008 at 2:25 am

    11. skysenshi says


    I forgot already but it was definitely over $100. Prolly around $175.

    March 3rd, 2008 at 8:04 am

    12. Obagi Clenziderm (http://www.obagi-skincare.com/) says

    You can prolly get the whole set cheaper for around $100 bux at http://www.obagi-skincare.com using their coupon code.

    May 16th, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    13. Abigail says

    hi! I’m planning to do the spanish peel next thursday (may 14). I’m going to attend a wedding on the 23rd. Will all the peeling stop by then? So when you guys tried the spanish peel. the doctor wont allow you to cleanse, tone and medicate your face while your face was peeling? thanks

    May 9th, 2009 at 11:07 am

    14. skysenshi says

    If I remember correctly, yeah. I wasn’t allowed to use creams even when I was dying to. The peeling depends on your skin, I guess. Mine lasted for a long time.

    May 11th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    15. neeco.b says

    hello there, i’m gonna have a spanish peel with diamond peel (i’m not sure if at the same time or one at a time, but i think that it’s only one at a time because of the major peeling and dryness that you’ve mentioned. how did your face look like after having done the spanish peel? was in snake-like peeling and dryness, major peeling like it’s quite embarassing to show yourself to other people? how about the results? were your scars lightened? what did you see as improvements in your face? was it really effective as it seems to be?
    and the downtime, how long is it?

    i’d like to ask if you’ve tried diamond peel, is it effective for scar reduction? thank you and i wish myself luck!:)

    May 25th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    16. skysenshi says

    hello, neeco.b!

    the answers to your questions can be found at an earlier post i made:

    May 25th, 2009 at 10:36 am

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