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The dark, black eye bags are here...

12th September 2018

My skin is definitely not quite a youthful as it was, wouldn't you know it?

It seems that my tear trough has dropped (apparently it's coming to us all) and so it's created a deep well under my eyes as the skin heads south.  The result is that the skin under the eye, which is incredibly thin anyway, has now stretched even thinner creating those dark circles we start to see that make us look "tired".

I know all this as I've been to see a specialist who is working on my skin up until Christmas to see if I can look any better.  I'm not ruling out injectables, but I have ruled out surgery which was a bit of a blow to getting rid of my jowls.  Surgery is the best thing to get rid of these, allegedly.

Anyway, the first place to start when you are looking to improve your looks is with the skin itself.  You need to make it healthy, vibrant, glowing with a good turnover of skin cells as well as even colour, which means redness and age spots have to go.

So, enter Obagi, a skincare range without any of the luxe feel of the beauty counter, but with a price worthy of Harrods.  Obagi is a dermatologist recommended skincare range (although you can get it on Amazon, so not that exclusive) but has several tools that work to even out skin tone (redness, hyper pigmentation or sallowness), fade dark spots and wrinkles and reduce pore size.

It isn't a range where I can say "retinol's your thing here" or "Vit C is doing all the work today" because it seems to be more varied than that, but it does have a couple of products where the wording makes me slightly uncomfortable, which I'll come to.

Basically, I'm on a 12 week regime using all the products in the photo, some twice a day, some once a day, but I've been told to expect my skin to get worse before it gets better, but so far so good.  The £500 price tag for the above collection includes an initial dermatologist consultation, a two week and a twelve week follow up, but the price seems steep.  I suspect, however, if you purchased eight products from Clarins, Estee Lauder or Environ, it would probably be the same but it was a jolly big hit in one go.

So, back at the OK Corral I'm cleansing twice each day with the gel - no problem and it doesn't sting my eyes.  I've no idea if I'm meant to be removing eye make up with it but I am so that's all good.  The Toner's fine, just a blue liquid but I'm probably racing through this way faster than I should and then we get onto the tubes.

Every one of the tubes contains a white emollient that looks exactly the same.  They are just a nothing experience to use.  The developers have paid no attention to the joy some of us get with different applicators, different coloured liquids etc, nor the bathroom "selfie" appeal of a great looking bottle on the shelf, it's just white stuff coming out of a white tube.  Of course, there's no fragrance either and that dulls it further.

So, after the cleanse and tone I'm onto "Clear" which says it is a "Skin Lightener" and I struggle with the phrase.  A few years ago skin lighteners or even "skin bleaches" were sold to women of colour to Westernise their skin tone and they are still incredibly popular in different parts of the Globe.  I was uncomfortable with the concept then, but now I'm using them to decrease the redness in my skin.  I'm likely bleaching my skin, at a very low level, but this is probably what's happening.  I feel I'm betraying my principles with this product, but I'm clearly vain enough to do it.  Apparently, Alicia Keys is on Obagi and going make up free because of it on the red carpet.  It seems the skin "bleaching" bit doesn't worry her and she feels it's evened out her skin tone (see article HERE - it also explains Obagi better than me).

I've then got to apply "Exfoderm" which is a daily exfoliant that stays on the skin.  It's a low level acid peel that will turn the cells over faster than I can naturally.  It's fine, but it's now "acid" on top of the "bleach" and I'm just not sure my skin is going to thank me.

After this I apply the suncreen, which a dermatologist will tell you is the most essential daily product you can use to keep good skin.  It is a crime to go without but this one is a thick, creamy, zinc packed one which makes your skin whiter and drier than it should be.

Finally, I pack on the moisturiser in an effort to get my skin to move again, as by now it's pretty rock solid with product.

The whole process gets repeated at night with a new selection of products that includes "Blender" to remove dark spots.  I would imagine the night time products are stronger, as products usually penetrate better overnight.

So that's what I'm doing.  There are none of the beautiful fragrances of some ranges, no different textures to ring the changes and no lovely feel as you massage the products in.

It's almost a choice as you get older - go full on chemical with an expert or go natural and organic to do what you can.  Natural products can only do so much, but they are probably kinder to your skin and the environment.  Chemical based products are probably more effective, but are influencing the eco balance of your body's largest organ.

Does Obagi work?  Let's hope so at that price but I'll let you know!


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