There are many different products on the market that cater for melasma. Melasma occurs when the melanocytes are not working correctly and they can over produce melanin, this can lead to areas of pigmentation. Melasma can also be a side effect of some contraceptive pills and of pregnanct. At cosmetic Doctor we are big fans of treating melasma with the Obagi Nuderm range. We have achieved great results using these products. There is a lot of confusion on the use of Nuderm and if it is safe. Basically the way we use the products for treatment here is the safest way. We will tailor the regime to your specific needs and you will only stay on the active ingredients as long as they are working for you.

What is the regime?

You will use a variety of different products, at first the amount of products that you will use may seem overwhelming, but you will soon get used to them! We are going to give you an overview of the products and how to use them:

Obagi Foaming gel

The is a gentle yet effective cleanser you only need to use a small amount, you wash your face for one minute using this wash. It will remove make up and impurities and leave your skin fresh and healthy. This product is used morning and night.

Obagi Nuderm Toner

Unlike other toners, this toner is alcohol free; it also preps the skin for the best absorption of the products in your regime. You can apply this product using a cotton pad or using the fingers- it leaves the skin with a lovely fresh feeling. This product is used morning and night.

Obagi Nuderm clear

Clear is a prescriptive product containing hydroquinone, Hydroquinone targets the melanocytes (the cells responsible for producing melanin). In the case of melasma suffers, they are working incorrectly, hydroquinone targets these cells and ‘puts them to sleep’ essentially stopping the over production of melanin. When this has occurred then the skin will become even and healthier. This product is used twice a day in the morning and at night. You will apply the product all over the face evenly and blend the product into the neck.

Obagi Blender and Tretinoin cream

Also containing Hydroquinone, the function of the blender is to effectively deliver Tretinoin down to the lower layers of the skin, without the use of blender. Tretinoin will sit on the surface of the skin and cause redness. Tretinoin helps to speed up the turnover of cells and helps with melasma by proliferating up the damaged skin cells. These products are mixed together and used every night.

Exfoderm Forte

Exfoderm exfoliates the upper layers of the skin removing dull skin and revealing bright healthier skin underneath. This product is used every morning after cleanser, toner and clear.


This sunshield works to protect your skin during the use of your Hydroquinone programme; the products used will make your skin sensitive to the sun, so it is important that this product is used throughout the day.

What should I expect during the regime?

When you first start the Nuderm programme, you can expect your skin to feel:

  • Hot
  • Dry
  • Itchy
  • Red
  • laking
  • Expect peeling
  • Some discomfort

During the first six weeks the above symptoms are to be expected, as you become more used to the regime you will find that your skin stabilises a bit and starts to respond. The amount of peeling experienced will vary from person to person, but it will eventually stop over time.

If you are finding the symptoms are becoming bothersome or uncomfortable then there is an additional product that we can introduce to your regime. This product is known as Hydrate – It is a natural product that works to moisturise the skin and prevent trans epidermal water loss. It makes using the programme so much more comfortable..

How long should I stay on the regime?

You should use your products for about 12-18 weeks at the most, then we would suggest that you switch to a non-hydroquinone programme which will continue to treat the skin, and prevent the melasma from coming back. Your doctor will give you the information based on each individual case.

Can I wear make- up?

It is best to use Obagi Nuderm with mineral make up, Something like GloMinerals would be very effective and would offer good cover for any redness or peeling you may have. You can continue to wear your make up as you normally wood

How soon should I see results?

It can take up to one skin cycle to see results, although we have seen improvement in pigmentation in as little as ten days.

If you would like to book in for an Obagi Consultation call 01 685 3100. See the results for yourself!