The Obagi Medical line of products most definitely has made a name for itself and has been around for decades now. I think of Obagi as the one tried and true skin care line for Pigmentation concerns as well as for all over Anti-Aging.
Let’s talk about skin pigment… There are essentially two types of pigment. There are red pigments (think red skin tone and capillaries) as well as brown pigments which are attributed to darker skin typed individuals. Some people have a healthy combination of both red and brown pigments while others have more of one than the other which is typically credited to your genetic disposition. If you have more red pigments in your skin then Vitamin C products will aid with the strengthening of your capillaries and skin structure. If you have more brown pigments then you will want some potent skin lighteners within the products that you use on a daily basis and the Cadillac of ingredients for lightening brown pigmentation is Hydroquinone. The Obagi medical line is embedded with a wonderfully amazing dose of hydroquinone to get the job done.
Now to be clear, not everyone who is more red-based pigment or more brown-based pigment will have issues with their pigment. But when you do, it’s nice to know that you do have options available to help combat these skin concerns.
Treatment options for both types of pigmentation are typical via lasers and/or chemical peels. And while these treatments are quite effective for most skin types, they aren’t for all skin types. In skincare, we have what is known as a Fitzpatrick Scale. This scale essentially breaks down the entire population into a group of six different skin types. Let’s look at this now…
Fitz 1: Blonde/Strawberry Hair, Blue Eyes, Pasty White Skin, burns in the sun quickly
Fitz 2: Lighter Hair, Lighter Eye Color, Lighter Skin but not Pasty White Skin, burns in sun too but not as quickly as Fitz 1 and may be able to tan after.
Fitz 3: Darker than Fitz 2 in Hair Color, Eye Color, and Skin Color – rarely burns in sun; turns to tan.
Fitz 4: Think Asian, Hispanic, Native American – darker skin, hair, eyes, tans easily
Fitz 5: Think Middle Eastern and darker than Fitz 4 – dark skin, hair, eyes, no need to tan
Fitz 6: Darkest Skin (Black, Islander, African) – the darkest of the skin types, hair, and eyes.
This is how you get classified when coming in for an aesthetic skin-related appointment and it becomes our gauge for how we can and cannot treat your skin.
Looking to the Fitz scale again, you will see that Fitz 1-3 are the lighter skin types and therefore are candidates for almost any laser or skin peel, but when we are looking to Fitz 4-6, lasers and skin peels become a bit trickier as they can cause your skin to pigment even more so they have to be weighed carefully prior to using. This is why having good skincare products at your disposal can be so critical for beautiful skin.
Three critical products for pigment and anti-aging are Vitamin C, Hydroquinone, and Retinol. I like to put all Fitz skin types on all 3 of these products because they are so crucial to beautiful skin health.
Vitamin C is for strengthening capillaries and brightening skin tone. Hydroquinone is for brown pigment reduction before it arrives at the surface of your skin. And, the strongest and purest form of Retinol is Tretinoin. Tretinoin essentially has the philosophy of “out with the old skin and up with the new skin” to reduce pigment and wrinkling at the surface. At a minimum, a red-pigmented person needs Vit C and Tretinoin and a brown pigmented person needs Hydroquinone and Tretinoin.
Hopefully, this bit of education is helpful and always remember that while we can see you for an appointment every 30 days even and can make your skin look beautiful, it also matters what you are you doing with your skin the other 29 days of the month. And Obagi’s line of products will get the job done! This skincare line is a winner!
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