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MissTigerlilly,

I probably starting cleansing once a day well into my regimen, maybe 10-12 weeks in. I was noting my skin to be so dry. I had made my own decision to do this; I had gone to a skin specialist for the first 8 weeks or so, and after that made decisions on my own. At this point, I clean with Cetaphil in the AM, and Obagi in the PM (the Cetaphil has a little bit of oil/moiturizers and is not as drying, but my skin feels cleaner with the Obagi wash).

How are you doing so far into week 4/5? Remember, it takes at least 8 weeks to see results!!! I remember being somewhat frustrated at your point, and it took me even longer than most to see results! Keep at it, and let us know how it goes. We're all here to support one another!

I was just wondering about cleansing. Your routine says that you cleanse once a day at night, did you always cleanse just once a day or is this after a certian amount of time on the system? Also was this your own decision or was it recommended to you? Thanks for sharing your story. I'm on week 4 and need all the support I can get. Thanks again!
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Hi Weelassie,

It took a long time for the red/brown marks to fully fade. I'd say about 6 months or so. Looking back at those photos from my gallery, I'd actually say 8 months. At that point, I could dust some powder (I'm talking about a pretty minimal amount) to even my skin tone, but without makeup, there are still some marks, especially around my chin area. At this point, everything's pretty even (thankfully).

No indented scars, which is why I invested as much as I did for Obagi products (and honestly, all the pre-Obagi products, too!). My father and other family members had some pretty significant scarring (some have had success with peels, some haven't). That being said, I have some broken vessels on my face from picking. Ugh, if I could tell everyone in the world to never ever pick their face, I would!

What's your regimen, and how's it working for you?

Hi [email protected], your skin looks REALLY good, wow, flawless... How long did it take for your red marks to fully fade? And did you also have indented scars?
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I'm using Differin (4,5 months). I have less acne but a lot of red marks and even a few small indents... Also a lot of flakes. Do you think it's a good idea to use AHA 8% (Paula's Choice) in the morning and Differin at night? To help with the flakes and red marks?

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Thanks Cand,

your post is very reassuring. I am 2.5 weeks and feeling discouraged. I have used all these chemicals -- AHAs, Retin A, HQ at some point in my life, just not so intensively or for so long. I do see freckles on the sides of my face fading but I never minded those anyway. It's those darn persistent brown marks on my cheeks that have been hanging around for years that bug me. They haven't improved that much.

I will keep plugging on.

Nice of you to take the time to write such detailed and encouraging replies-- you're beautiful in and out :)

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The Exfoderm that I use during the day contains AHA, 6% glycolic and 4% lactic acid. I find the combination of AHA and Retin-A to be great at making sure my skin stays exfoliated (I'm not even using the hydroquinone anymore!) I know I'm pretty flaky if I go out before taking a shower and exfoliating with my microfiber cloth (I use Cargo HD polishing cloths, and love 'em!). And make sure not to overexfoliate, which may just make your skin irritated due the rubbing/abrasions. Just run the cloth over your face after you've been in the shower a while, the skin that would most likely flake will likely come off in the shower instead.

...Let us know what you choose and how it goes!! The flaking means that you're exfoliating nicely, just have to find a regimen that de-flakes your skin before you go out for the day :)

I'm using Differin (4,5 months). I have less acne but a lot of red marks and even a few small indents... Also a lot of flakes. Do you think it's a good idea to use AHA 8% (Paula's Choice) in the morning and Differin at night? To help with the flakes and red marks?
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Sally,

I think we're all here to find out if anyone ever feels as discouraged as we do at some point, or if someone else is experiencing the same problems in general! And most of the time, someone has had that same issue and someone is willing to share how they worked through it. That's why I love these message boards. It truly is a sense of community, like everyone is here for one another. :)

Keep at it... I hope we will all one day show on our skin outside just how beautiful we all are inside.

Thanks Cand,

your post is very reassuring. I am 2.5 weeks and feeling discouraged. I have used all these chemicals -- AHAs, Retin A, HQ at some point in my life, just not so intensively or for so long. I do see freckles on the sides of my face fading but I never minded those anyway. It's those darn persistent brown marks on my cheeks that have been hanging around for years that bug me. They haven't improved that much.

I will keep plugging on.

Nice of you to take the time to write such detailed and encouraging replies-- you're beautiful in and out :)

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MissTigerlilly,

I probably starting cleansing once a day well into my regimen, maybe 10-12 weeks in. I was noting my skin to be so dry. I had made my own decision to do this; I had gone to a skin specialist for the first 8 weeks or so, and after that made decisions on my own. At this point, I clean with Cetaphil in the AM, and Obagi in the PM (the Cetaphil has a little bit of oil/moiturizers and is not as drying, but my skin feels cleaner with the Obagi wash).

How are you doing so far into week 4/5? Remember, it takes at least 8 weeks to see results!!! I remember being somewhat frustrated at your point, and it took me even longer than most to see results! Keep at it, and let us know how it goes. We're all here to support one another!

I was just wondering about cleansing. Your routine says that you cleanse once a day at night, did you always cleanse just once a day or is this after a certian amount of time on the system? Also was this your own decision or was it recommended to you? Thanks for sharing your story. I'm on week 4 and need all the support I can get. Thanks again!

Cand,

Thanks for your response! I have tried to ask other Obagi users some questions but have not had much help. I am just a little bummed because I am still experiencing some acne along the jaw line and am still quite red. I also am experiencing a bit of peeling as well. Along with my regimen I use a micro-needling tool to help with the scar damage my acne has left me. I have to say I am qutie impressed with the combo. I definitely have my good days and bad days but I am staying loyal to my regimen even when I'm dead tired and don't feel like it.

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MissTigerlilly,

I have to admit, not much experience with micro-needling, but know many others have posted on these message boards, and I'm sure many of them have been on Retin-A. Overall, is your acne improving? And as for the peeling, it will continue but that's the goal-- major exfoliation of many layers of skin!

I hear commitment in your statement, and I like it! "I am staying loyal to my regimen even when I'm dead tired and don't feel like it." Remember, it gets better day by day, week by week. And don't forget, you can always do your nighttime regimen a bit early, like when you get home from work/school/whatever. My schedule is insane, so I have to modify when I am doing my AM and PM regimens. One thing I keep in mind is, if I know I am truly exhausted for the day, the first thing I do when I get home is wash my face and do my regimen. Then, no matter what happens for the rest of the night, it's all taken care of.

Keep us posted :)

Cand,

Thanks for your response! I have tried to ask other Obagi users some questions but have not had much help. I am just a little bummed because I am still experiencing some acne along the jaw line and am still quite red. I also am experiencing a bit of peeling as well. Along with my regimen I use a micro-needling tool to help with the scar damage my acne has left me. I have to say I am qutie impressed with the combo. I definitely have my good days and bad days but I am staying loyal to my regimen even when I'm dead tired and don't feel like it.

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MissTigerlilly,

I have to admit, not much experience with micro-needling, but know many others have posted on these message boards, and I'm sure many of them have been on Retin-A. Overall, is your acne improving? And as for the peeling, it will continue but that's the goal-- major exfoliation of many layers of skin!

I hear commitment in your statement, and I like it! "I am staying loyal to my regimen even when I'm dead tired and don't feel like it." Remember, it gets better day by day, week by week. And don't forget, you can always do your nighttime regimen a bit early, like when you get home from work/school/whatever. My schedule is insane, so I have to modify when I am doing my AM and PM regimens. One thing I keep in mind is, if I know I am truly exhausted for the day, the first thing I do when I get home is wash my face and do my regimen. Then, no matter what happens for the rest of the night, it's all taken care of.

Keep us posted :)

Cand,

Thanks for your response! I have tried to ask other Obagi users some questions but have not had much help. I am just a little bummed because I am still experiencing some acne along the jaw line and am still quite red. I also am experiencing a bit of peeling as well. Along with my regimen I use a micro-needling tool to help with the scar damage my acne has left me. I have to say I am qutie impressed with the combo. I definitely have my good days and bad days but I am staying loyal to my regimen even when I'm dead tired and don't feel like it.

Cand,

Thank you so much for your support! I am committed to this regimen because I do feel it is working. My acne is getting better but I am having issues along my jawline. I have stubborn acne there that is taking way too long to go away. For the past few nights I have been zinc topical on my problem area and that seems to help.

I was wondering why you aren't using the maintinence program with Obagi?

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So, when I had started this whole journey with Obagi, I had been seeing an anesthetist at a medical spa. She had mentioned some clients who loved the results so much, they had continued being on Obagi; but seemed to indicate that it wasn't typical. When I purchased the set, it had a brochure that talked about using the products for 8-12 weeks (not completely sure about the duration of the cycle since I've tossed that brochure out long ago); and repeating the cycle if necessary. After reading about Zein Obagi, I also read, that his newest line, ZO Skin Health, was made because he was surprised how many individuals modified NuDerm to make it their maintenance regimen. In essence, NuDerm wasn't made to be used as a maintenance regimen; it was used to "reset" your skin, and make it respond to other products and skin treatments better.

I'm always reading about skin care, on this site and many others. So I'm always looking if I can make my skin regimen better. I started BP since it is effective for blackheads; salicylic acid is another option but my skin has never been agreeable to it. I've also tried some different supplements (zinc, vitamin C and antioxidants, fish oil and other antiiflammatories).

*BTW, I haven't tried topical zinc, have only used oral zinc, how is it working for you?

I'm always re-evaluating what my skin needs; its dynamic, it changes, it responds. After I felt there was even tone, I stopped using hydroquinone. It can cause irritation, and irritation/inflammation lead to more breakouts. So after stopping 'Clear' and 'Blend', my skin was less red and irritated. (Note, I would not hesitate to re-start a course of hydroquinone if I felt that my skin tone was becoming more uneven again; or if I felt my Retin-A needed a boost). I tried stopping AHA for a while, but felt like my skin wasn't exfoliating, and I love the combo of AHA, and Retin-A for keeping your skin fresh. A decision on a daily basis that needs to be made is how dry or oily my skin is, so sometimes I add jojoba oil or a mixture of oils (Kiehl's nighttime recovery). If there is an area that feels inflamed or irritated, I'll spot treat with tea tree oil or BP.

Wow that's a long answer! Sorry if I talked your ear off (or if you fell asleep reading all that!) Hope that answers your question about thinking through maintenance regimens :)

Cand,

Thank you so much for your support! I am committed to this regimen because I do feel it is working. My acne is getting better but I am having issues along my jawline. I have stubborn acne there that is taking way too long to go away. For the past few nights I have been zinc topical on my problem area and that seems to help.

I was wondering why you aren't using the maintinence program with Obagi?

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So, when I had started this whole journey with Obagi, I had been seeing an anesthetist at a medical spa. She had mentioned some clients who loved the results so much, they had continued being on Obagi; but seemed to indicate that it wasn't typical. When I purchased the set, it had a brochure that talked about using the products for 8-12 weeks (not completely sure about the duration of the cycle since I've tossed that brochure out long ago); and repeating the cycle if necessary. After reading about Zein Obagi, I also read, that his newest line, ZO Skin Health, was made because he was surprised how many individuals modified NuDerm to make it their maintenance regimen. In essence, NuDerm wasn't made to be used as a maintenance regimen; it was used to "reset" your skin, and make it respond to other products and skin treatments better.

I'm always reading about skin care, on this site and many others. So I'm always looking if I can make my skin regimen better. I started BP since it is effective for blackheads; salicylic acid is another option but my skin has never been agreeable to it. I've also tried some different supplements (zinc, vitamin C and antioxidants, fish oil and other antiiflammatories).

*BTW, I haven't tried topical zinc, have only used oral zinc, how is it working for you?

I'm always re-evaluating what my skin needs; its dynamic, it changes, it responds. After I felt there was even tone, I stopped using hydroquinone. It can cause irritation, and irritation/inflammation lead to more breakouts. So after stopping 'Clear' and 'Blend', my skin was less red and irritated. (Note, I would not hesitate to re-start a course of hydroquinone if I felt that my skin tone was becoming more uneven again; or if I felt my Retin-A needed a boost). I tried stopping AHA for a while, but felt like my skin wasn't exfoliating, and I love the combo of AHA, and Retin-A for keeping your skin fresh. A decision on a daily basis that needs to be made is how dry or oily my skin is, so sometimes I add jojoba oil or a mixture of oils (Kiehl's nighttime recovery). If there is an area that feels inflamed or irritated, I'll spot treat with tea tree oil or BP.

Wow that's a long answer! Sorry if I talked your ear off (or if you fell asleep reading all that!) Hope that answers your question about thinking through maintenance regimens :)

Cand,

Thank you so much for your support! I am committed to this regimen because I do feel it is working. My acne is getting better but I am having issues along my jawline. I have stubborn acne there that is taking way too long to go away. For the past few nights I have been zinc topical on my problem area and that seems to help.

I was wondering why you aren't using the maintinence program with Obagi?

I really appreciate all that you share! I have been struggling with acne for the past 6 years and never really had to deal with it on a constant basis before then. I can't believe how bad my skin has gotten and the damage that acne has caused, but I feel Nu Derm is really helping.

I too am obsessed with reading about skin care and different things that you can do with your routine. I realize that the entire Nu Derm system is not for all the time use, but I read that you can use the main steps as a maintinence system. My dermatoligist is not the best so I didn't get much of a plan. I guess I will just have to wait and see how my skin responds.

I take a great multi-vitamin, omega 3 and intake as much antioxidants as possible. The oral zinc I use on my problem areas is actually an ointment that is used for diaper rash. It works really well. The kind I use is Boudreaux's Butt Paste haha, but I heard the Differin is the best because it has a higher level of zinc in it. After I finish with my tube I am going to switch over.

Recently I discovered a new brand of products called Osmosis. They make skin care products and water called harmonized water. I haven't tried it yet but it sounds really interesting. A friend of mine uses some of the products and has been taking the water called clear skin. Apparently it is taken as a supplement and you are supposed to take like a teaspoon a day. They also make a mineral make up that is supposed to be excellent. I use bare minerals but am always willing to try something new. Anyways, just thought I would share that with you :)

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The topical zinc, even if it is in a butt paste (!), is something I will keep in mind! As for the zinc content in Differin, I'm not so sure-- from what I can tell from reading the label, there isn't any zinc in it. I haven't heard of the Osmosis line, but it definitely sounds interesting, you'll have to let us know how it goes.

As for mineral makeup, I'm not such a huge fan of Bare Escentuals anymore (though I do LOVE their Buxom lip gloss, I've used it for years now!). It made me look very white/chalky, especially in photos. I switched over to CoverFX mineral pressed powder, then tried Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer, then went back to CoverFX powder. I love tinted moisturizers and liquids, I think they provide beautiful, sheer coverage, but it's just a pain to deal with in the morning, and think powder foundations are easier to manage. The CoverFX line is great, and I would still recommend it to others; but of course, as always, I wanted to try something different. I just started using Smashbox Halo powder as of last week; looking beautiful so far! Gives me more of a glow than the CoverFX powder did. You'll have to let us know how the Osmosis mineral line is as well!

GOOD LUCK! It sounds like your skin is improving day by day. Your jawline will catch up to the rest of your face-- it took months for my cheeks and then my chin to even out. :)

I really appreciate all that you share! I have been struggling with acne for the past 6 years and never really had to deal with it on a constant basis before then. I can't believe how bad my skin has gotten and the damage that acne has caused, but I feel Nu Derm is really helping.

I too am obsessed with reading about skin care and different things that you can do with your routine. I realize that the entire Nu Derm system is not for all the time use, but I read that you can use the main steps as a maintinence system. My dermatoligist is not the best so I didn't get much of a plan. I guess I will just have to wait and see how my skin responds.

I take a great multi-vitamin, omega 3 and intake as much antioxidants as possible. The oral zinc I use on my problem areas is actually an ointment that is used for diaper rash. It works really well. The kind I use is Boudreaux's Butt Paste haha, but I heard the Differin is the best because it has a higher level of zinc in it. After I finish with my tube I am going to switch over.

Recently I discovered a new brand of products called Osmosis. They make skin care products and water called harmonized water. I haven't tried it yet but it sounds really interesting. A friend of mine uses some of the products and has been taking the water called clear skin. Apparently it is taken as a supplement and you are supposed to take like a teaspoon a day. They also make a mineral make up that is supposed to be excellent. I use bare minerals but am always willing to try something new. Anyways, just thought I would share that with you :)

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I know that I was talking about the product Differin, but what I actually meant to say was Desitin lol. It is another type of diaper rash cream that works extremely well. Sorry for the mix up! I also ordered the Osmosis mineral make-up and the harmonized face mist today so I will keep you updated on my progress and share my review on the products.

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My current skincare & makeup must-haves!

Even as my skin tone and acne have improved, I am always looking for great products out on the market. I am always looking for great drugstore buys, but am also willing to pay an extra penny (or two) for great products. I thought I'd share what I'm currently using with others (and also document this, so that I can read this years from now to remember what I loved, and didn't love so much).

Cleansers

-Obagi Nu-Derm cleanser: I still use this, it seems to last forever! Great cleanser, feels like it takes everything off, and I've never felt that it was too drying.

-Cetaphil: love the layer of moisture it leaves behind, but if I feel my face is really greasy or really needs to be cleaned, I'll use my Obagi cleanser instead.

-BodyShop Tea Tree cleanser: I've made a mental note to re-purchase this, because I really liked it. Haven't used in a while, though.

Exfoliators

-Cargo HD Polishing cloths: I haven't really needed to use any other sponges, washcloths, or facial exfoliators since starting to use these microfiber cloths more than a year ago. I bought a box of them, and still not halfway through them. I toss the sheet out when they are looking used, and grab a new one.

Moisturizers

-Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Moisturizer has been my favorite. Calming and soothing, perfectly moisturizing.

-Kiehl's moisturizer: doesn't agree with my skin :(

-Philosophy hope in a jar: doesn't agree with my skin :(

Eye cream *haven't found a great one, and definitely taking suggestions for dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines.

-Super by Dr. Perricone: okay, not spectacular.

-Strivectin eye cream: was pretty decent, but thought I could still find something better.

-Skyn: not worth the money

-CVS: good moisturizer, but not much else.

-Nutrisse Garnier: has color, which I'm not used to! The packinging (roller ball) isn't really helpful.

Primers:

*Just tried a whole bunch of samples in the search of the perfect primer! My biggest pet peeve with primers is that they clump up on my face after using the AHA's and benzoyl peroxide. I have been trying to find one that goes on smoothly and cooperates with my other current products.

-Currently liking Smashbox PhotoFinish. I had used Smashbox primers before, and liked their green one for a while when my face was uber-red from initiation of Retin-A, but it clumped up on my face. Their clear formulation seems to have less silicone, and applies very smoothly!

-Makeup Forever: like lotion, applies smoothly, but I wanted to use something I could see more results with.

-Philosophy makeup optional: Great primer, and I learned how to apply it so that it would go on smoothly, but definitely prone to clumping up. However, once it was on, I felt that my face was sooo smooth.

-Korres: smells great, formulation is like Makeup Forever, lotion-y without silicone.

-Sephora: clumped up.

-Veil: thought this would be excellent, but clumped up.

Foundation

-My favorite powder (everyday) foundation is currently Halo by Smashbox: Gives my skin a glow, evens out skin tone, love the soft texture, doesn't look too powdery or chalky (ie Bare Escentuals). Has some extra minerals like gold that are beneficial for the skin.

-Previously used Bare Escentuals, and I think that was a great powder before, but think there are so many newer and better formulations out there now. Also used Cover FX, less chalky than Bare Escentuals, and liked it until I found Halo!

-Liquid foundation (for when I'm going out or getting done up!): My favorite it Makeup Forever HD Liquid Foundation. Gives great coverage and a nice glow. I think liquid foundations are just more timely to apply in the AM for daily use.

Lipstick/Lipgloss

-I have been a lipgloss fanatic ever since I was a teenager. I've tried other glosses, but I always return to my absolute favorite, Buxom Lipgloss by Bare Escentuals. Perfectly minty, fantastic lip moisturizer, not too sticky, perfect amount of pigment.

-My current lipstick is a combo between Korres lipstick in natural pink (with guava and mango butter, yum!) and Revlon in a pale, powdery nude color.

-I'm always trying out random drugstore glosses. Nothing beats Buxom, though.

Mascara/Lashes

-I've tried bimatoprost (Latisse), and it works! But I haven't used it in a while, just because I haven't gotten another prescription, and get tired of applying it everyday.

-I've used Dior mascara, and I think it's great, but some drugstore brands I think are pretty comparable. I particularly like Rimmel mascaras.

Blush

-Nars Orgasm is my favorite

-Previously used Ulta blushes and they were pretty decent

-Prefer powder over creams.

Eyeshadows

-Urban decay shadows are the smoothest and most pigmented. Favorite shades are shakedown for my eyebrows, ABC gum as an eyelid base, YDK as an everyday crease shadow, Blaze for inner eye shimmer when going out.

-MAC shadows, gotta love these, too, for the color selection!!

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I've most recently purchased Obagi products from Amazon. Try looking up Obagi Clear Nu-Derm system and I think you'd be able to find the individual product.

Hope that helps! :)

[email protected], Hi your skin is looking really good. I was wondering if you know any good hydroquinone product to fade dark spots quickly. Do they sell just the HQ product from Obagi seperately?
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It has been a couple of stressful months! My face *started* breaking out again, especially over my left cheek and chin. I'm occasionally throwing on some hydroquinone to make sure my Retin-A 0.25% is really sinking in. It's all getting better, those nasty hyperpigmented marks are fading. Still loving the basics of the Obagi regimen...

AM: Cetaphil daily facial cleanser for normal to oily skin, exfoliate (still using HD polishing cloths), Exfoderm Forte, Dan's BP, Clinique Redness Solutions or Korres Yogurt gel (using it as a moisturizer, esp in summer), primer with SPF. Foundation is Smashbox halo. Finish off with SPF powder.

PM: Cetaphil daily facial cleanser, eye cream, Retin-A with/without Blender (depends). And Carmex.

Link to photos: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/gallery/album/9474-obagi-nu-derm-progress/

(No recent good pics-- all seem to have pretty terrible lighting).

Sorry took so long to reply jdmeg, thought that this thread was pretty much long gone... But I'm always around for anyone who has questions!

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