Pros: You'll need a second job just to stay on it.
Cons: Potential trauma to your skin (please read)
My Obagi Nu-Derm System Experience:
Age at time of use: 36
My skin bio: Lifelong excessive oiliness, prone to clogged pores, minimal acne (usually self-inflicted by messing with clogged pores). Moderate to severe melasma beginning in my late 20's
I chose to do the system because I didn't want the melasma in my wedding photos. I haven't been able to control or lessen it by religiously avoiding sun exposure or by using OTC products (no pregnancies or hormonal treatments, such as birth control pills, to attribute to my having it), so after much research online and the recommendation of a friend, I opted for Obagi. At that point, the benfefit of it clearing up clogged pores and breakouts was just icing on the cake.
In a nutshell, my skin was infinately better after the major peeling stopped. People commented on my looking better than ever and even asked me specifically what I was doing to look so good. I would say the fading hit its peak at about 4 weeks into treatment, but it didn't seem to improve past that point-even with the peel. The melasma was much better, but it hit a
wall and stayed at level that was still noticeable but that I was satisfied with. My pores would still become clogged, but they were easy to unclog and didn't turn into acne. As soon as the Rx products ran out (some of which turned rancid before their expiration date), my skin began its revolt. It was thick, ruddy, splotchy and broken out. I went back to the plastic surgeon to purchase additional products-the doctor put me on tetracycline/minocycline after seeing my skin and recommended another peel. I completed 2 weeks of the prescribed 30 day round of meds-I couldn't tolerate it-the side effects were terrible (especially the extreme dizziness). I never returned for the peel.
I'm certainly not saying that Obagi doesn't work for everyone, but for me, I believe I ruined my skin with it. I take responsibilty because I chose this route, not even considering that when you inflict any kind of trauma to the body, it can react any number of negative ways. The Nu-derm was so aggressive for such an extended period of time, that I believe my body treated it as trauma. My facial and neck skin is now like a layer of scar tissue. Nothing can permeate it, and in turn, nothing can come out of it. I get deeper, cystic-like acne now and my clogged pores become oil pockets that I have to puncture with sterile hypo needles and express. I have white, patchy scarring all over my face. My skin looks very thick and unhealthy and sadly older than it should. The second worst of it was that as soon as I stopped the peeling products combined with the hydroquinone, my melasma returned just as dark as before. Of course, I realize that my body is creating it, and I'm not blaming the product for that. It was just extremely dishearteneing to spend that much time and money to have my melasma return. I really do have the worst skin of my life, thus far. I can no longer afford to maintain the regimine or the peels, an honestly, I don't know if I would continue to subject my skin to it, even if I could afford it!
If you're not sure of how your skin will treat the trauma of this system, I strongly recommend that you pass on it. Also, keep in mind the amount of money it could end up costing you to stay on that "hamster wheel"-not to mention the disappointment:-(