Obagi & Acne
If you have acne, you've likely heard of the over-the-counter treatment benzoyl peroxide, or perhaps even tried a product containing it as the active ingredient. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, benzoyl peroxide can treat mild acne effectively and has done so for decades. Obagi Medical Products has developed a patented form of benzoyl peroxide and includes it in its two acne treatment systems.
Teenagers commonly see an increase in their skin oil production as their hormones begin to mature, and this can lead to acne. In adults, especially adult women, normal fluctuations in hormones can have the same effect. If you have too much oil in your skin, the excess oil cannot move out of your pores and instead clogs them, allowing bacteria to grow more quickly and causing inflammation.
Benzoyl peroxide, a long-standing over-the-counter acne treatment, fights the skin condition by killing the bacteria that causes infected and inflamed pimples, according to the AAD. Benzoyl peroxide also helps to clear out dead skin cells that combine with the skin's oil to form plugs in your pores, the AAD says. Both of Obagi's Clenziderm MD acne systems include benzoyl peroxide.
Obagi Medical Products offers two separate systems to treat acne, one aimed at people with normal or oily skin, and the other aimed at people with normal or dry skin. Both systems contain three products. The kit for normal to dry skin contains a foaming cleanser, a therapeutic lotion with 5 percent benzoyl peroxide and a therapeutic moisturizer to reduce dryness. The kit designed for normal to oily skin contains a foaming cleanser, pore therapy with 2 percent salicylic acid, another acne-fighting ingredient, and serum gel with benzoyl peroxide.
A patented form of benzoyl peroxide forms the cornerstone of the Clenziderm MD acne-fighting systems, according to Obagi Medical Products. This form of benzoyl peroxide can penetrate more deeply into the skin, potentially creating a more potent effect against acne, Obagi says. In research presented at the 2007 AAD annual meeting, Dr. Mary Spellman and her colleague Jose Ramirez, Ph.D., looked at skin penetration of the benzoyl peroxide formulation through an electron microscope and found that it penetrated directly into the skin's follicles. Standard benzoyl peroxide, meanwhile, failed to penetrate the skin, Dr. Spellman said.
Obagi's Clenziderm MD kits cost more than most acne-fighting products with benzoyl peroxide: online retailers charge between $60 and $70 for a one-month supply. On the website Acne.org, reviewers complained about the price tag but generally gave the products themselves high reviews, saying they started to work within a month. Benzoyl peroxide can cause skin redness and dryness, and several reviewers mentioned these side effects. Some with sensitive skin said the Obagi acne products can sting.
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