Guide to the Obagi C System

Treat Mild to Moderate Skin Ageing, Hyperpigmentation & Melasma

The Obagi C System primarily harnesses the power of Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that plays a crucial role in maintaining skin health as well as pigment suppressing agents. The system not only aids in skin brightening but also helps combat free radical damage, stimulate collagen production, and improve overall skin texture and tone. With two variants available, the Obagi C Rx System and Obagi C Fx System, this guide will help you understand these skincare systems better.

What is the Obagi C System Used For?

The Obagi C System is a complete skincare regime specifically designed to help reduce the visible signs of aging and maintain healthy and radiant skin. Like its more famous sibling, Obagi Nu Derm, it was designed to tackle sun damage related skin ageing. This system is particularly good for those with fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, mild hyperpigmentation or melasma and age spots. Obagi C system is great for those with mild to moderate signs of photo-ageing and hyperpigmentation who want to brighten their skin and achieve a more youthful glow.

What Does the Obagi C System Contain?

The Obagi C System is a comprehensive skincare regimen encompassing five key products. It is available in a formulation for normal-dry skin or normal-oily skin. However, we tend to prefer the normal-dry skin formulation for everyone as it contains the exfoliating lotion. The kit for normal-dry skin contains:

  1. C-Cleansing Gel: Helps in preparing your skin for the next steps of the regimen by removing makeup, excess oils, and impurities.
  2. C-Clarifying Serum: This potent serum is designed to brighten the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. It contains a pigment suppressing agent. in the normal-oily skin this is replaced by a toner.
  3. C-Exfoliating Day Lotion: A smooth, lightweight moisturiser with exfoliating acids that helps to exfoliate and hydrate your skin.
  4. Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50: A high-protection sunscreen to shield your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
  5. C-Therapy Night Cream: Contains a melanocyte suppressing agent that works overnight to rejuvenate your skin and promote a more youthful complexion.

What’s the Difference Between Obagi C Rx and Obagi C Fx?

The Obagi C System is available in the Obagi C Rx and Obagi C Fx variants. The difference between these two is the inclusion of Hydroquinone as the pigment suppressing agent in the Rx system. The Obagi C Rx System is a prescription-strength skincare regimen that combines the benefits of Vitamin C with Hydroquinone, a powerful skin-lightening agent. In contrast, the Obagi C Fx System is a Hydroquinone-free formula. Instead, it uses a gentler natural skin-brightening compound called Arbutin.

Which Version Should You Choose?

The choice between the Obagi C Rx System and the Obagi C Fx System comes down to personal preferences and skin needs. The Rx System, with Hydroquinone, can yield more pronounced results for those battling more extensive hyperpigmentation. It is also works better for people with medium to deep skin tones. However, those with sensitive skin or who prefer to avoid Hydroquinone may opt for the Fx System.

Your doctor or health provider will advise you on which of the systems is best to treat your skin concerns. They will also create a treatment protocol to help you achieve your goals.

How Long Does it Take to See Results?

Whilst individual results may vary, users of the Obagi C System usually begin to notice improvements in their skin’s appearance within 4 to 6 weeks of regular use. For optimal results, it is best to follow the complete regimen for at least 12 to 18 weeks. We also recommend using a retinoid like Retinol or Tretinoin alongside the system to further enhance the results and to maintain these afterwards.

How to Use the Obagi C System

The best way to use this system is to follow a personalised skincare protocol designed by your skincare doctor. They will help you use the products in a way that boosts their benefits but tailored to your skin needs and type. This will also avoid irritation and reduce the risk of side effects. In general, here is a typical daily protocol for using the kit before customisation:

Morning Routine:

  • Step 1: Begin your day by cleansing your skin with the C-Cleansing Gel. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
  • Step 2: Apply a few drops of the C-Clarifying Serum (Rx) or C-Clarifying Serum Fx (Fx), depending on your system, evenly over your face.
  • Step 3: Apply the C-Exfoliating Day Lotion to the face for hydration and exfoliation. If using the normal to oily kit then swipe the toner over your face.
  • Step 4: Finish your morning routine by using the Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50 to protect your skin from harmful sun rays.

Evening Routine:

  • Step 1: Cleanse your skin again with the C-Cleansing Gel, and pat dry.
  • Step 2: Apply the C-Therapy Night Cream (Rx) or C-Therapy Night Cream Fx (Fx).
  • Step 3: Apply your chosen Retinoid.

Consistency is the key to seeing the maximum benefits from the Obagi C System. Remember, it’s normal to experience mild redness or dryness when starting a new skincare regimen. Always consult your doctor or medical professional if you have any concerns.

How We Can Help You 

You can connect with our aesthetic doctors through our online prescription skincare clinic. Our doctors will design a personalised protocol for you to use the Obagi C system based on your skin concerns and goals. The products are then delivered to your home so you can get started straight away! Your doctor will continue to provide you with support and monitoring throughout your treatment journey. Head over to our booking page to arrange your consultation.  

Frequently asked questions

Yes, the Obagi C System is designed for all skin types and skin tones. However, it is always recommended to consult with a professional to ensure it suits your specific skin needs and conditions.

The Obagi C Fx System, which is Hydroquinone-free, is generally more suitable for those with sensitive skin. However, it's always best to do a patch test or consult with a doctor or skincare professional before starting any new skincare regimen.

While individual results may vary, most users typically begin to notice improvements in their skin's appearance within 4 to 6 weeks of regular use. Optimal results usually occur after 12 to 18 weeks of continuous use.

The Obagi C System is designed to be a comprehensive skincare regimen. However, it works particularly well with retinoids like Retinol or Tretinoin. If you wish to incorporate any other skincare products, it's best to consult with your doctor or skincare professional to ensure they won't interfere with the effectiveness of the Obagi C System.

Some redness or irritation is normal when starting a new skincare regimen. However, if these symptoms persist or worsen, stop using the products and consult with your treating skincare professional.

The primary difference lies in the active ingredients. The Obagi C Rx System combines Vitamin C with Hydroquinone, a potent skin-lightening agent, while the Obagi C Fx System replaces Hydroquinone with a natural skin-brightening compound, Arbutin.

Both these systems are designed to treat sun-damage related skin ageing and hyperpigmentation. The Obagi C system is less intensive than the Nu Derm system and has fewer products and steps. We often use it for mild to moderate hyperpigmentation. For more severe hyperpigmentation and photo-ageing, we prefer Obagi Nu Derm.


Authored by:

Dr Amel Ibrahim
Aesthetic Doctor & Medical Director
Founder City Skin Clinic
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Associate Member of British Association of Body Sculpting GMC Registered - 7049611

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