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Welcome to the first installment of Beauty Breakdown! I’ve decided to do this because ever since I started consulting for Rodan + Fields, I’ve learned a lot about ingredients and the similarities in many products out there. One of the most often talked about/asked about is, “What is the difference between R+F REVERSE and Obagi?” Other than both products having hydroquinone, a popular ingredient used to lighten the tone of discolored skin, I didn’t know much else. So I looked into it a little more, and here’s what I found.

A little background on Obagi: Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Obagi Medical Products, Inc., is a global, specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, markets, and sells proprietary skin care systems in the physician-dispensed skin care market.

Since its founding in 1988 with the creation of the Obagi Nu-Derm® System by leading skin care experts, Obagi has continued to grow, and in 1997 the company officially began operations as Obagi Medical Products.

Obagi offers several products, but their most popular is their Condition and Enhance system. It’s a 7-step system that is only available through skin care professionals such as dermatologists or plastic surgeons. The 7 steps with top ingredients are:

  • Foaming gel clenser (6.7oz) - Purified water, sodium lauroyl oat amino acids, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium laureth sulfate, Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice
  • Toner (6.7 oz) - Purified water, Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice, Hamamelis Virginiana (witch hazel) distillate, potassium alum
  • Clear (2 oz.) - 4% hydroquinone
  • Exfoderm® Forte (2 oz.) - An alpha-hydroxy acid (6% glycolic acid, 4% lactic acid) 
  • Blender®  (2 oz.) - 4% hydroquinone
  • Sunfader (2 oz.) - 4% hydroquinone SPF 15
  • SPF 35 (2 oz.) - 9% micronized zinc oxide and 7.5% octinoxate
Note: a moisturizer is not included but can be added for $44. Nu Derm Action Moisturizer (2 oz.) - Purified water, glycerin, glyceryl stearate, cetyl alcohol, stearic acid, Aloe Barbadensis extract

The fine print: the biggest warning pertaining to this product which was found in a downloadable product information PDF was that this should only be used under the care of a doctor, and exposure to the sun or UV rays can change the appearance of bleached or highlighted areas of the face. AKA sunscreen is CRUCIAL!!!

The price point: averages from $370-415 ($459 -$408 with moisturizer)

A little background on Rodan + Fields Dermatologists:

Rodan + Fields® Dermatologists is changing skin and changing lives by partnering with independent business owners across the United States to bring innovations in anti-aging skincare to everyone. Founded by world-renowned dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, the creators of Proactiv®Solution, Rodan + Fields’ patent-pending AMP MD™ System* makes real results possible at home without injections or other invasive procedures.

They have four popular regimens, but we’re focusing on REVERSE today. All of their products are only available through consultants that can be found across the United States. (*cough cough, me!*) : )

It’s a 4-step regimen including top ingredients outlined below:

  • Deep exfoliating wash (4.2 oz.) - Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Polyethylene, Diethylhexyl Sebacate
  • Skin lightning toner (4.2 oz.) - Hydroquinone 2%, Water, Ethoxydiglycol, Witch Hazel Water, Methylpropanediol
  • Skin lightning treatment (1.7 oz.) - Hydroquinone 2%, Retinol, Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ethoxydiglycol
  • Spectrum 50+ SPF Moisturizing Sunscreen (1.7 oz.) - Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Avobenzone 3%, Octocrylene 2.6% 
Note: A product recommend with REVERSE, since exfoliants and hydroquinone can be harsh on certain skin types, is the Soothe Sensitive Skin Treatment (1.7 oz.) - Dimethicone 2.9% and Allantoin 0.5% 

The fine print: Since this product is available without a prescription or doctor’s visit, there are nurses available 24/7 to advise you if you have a reaction or question about the products you’re using. There’s also a 60-day, empty bottle satisfaction guarantee. They also advise that you USE SUNSCREEN since hydroquinone can react unfavorably in sunlight.

The price: A REVERSE kit can range from $160-$144, and if you add the Soothe Sensitive Skin Treatment cream it’s $240-$216.

And there you have it folks. : ) Of course I’m going to plug R+F because I use the products, I’ve seen them work, (I LOVE THEM), and I sell them. But you can see as clearly as I can above that Obagi isn’t in everyone’s price range, using several steps that each has 4% hydroquinone can be very harsh on your skin (AKA makes you peel) and is easily twice as expensive! For the record, REVERSE and Obagi are both created to make your skin peel and encourage regrowth of new skin, and what that is worth to you is completely up to you!

For me, I like wearing my money on more than my face. ; ) If you’re interested in trying REVERSE, hearing about other products or even the business, please email me at If I can’t answer your questions, I’ll find someone who can. 

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