Today was my first consultation with Maria Phillips, as I took the first step on my Obagi journey as Bank Aesthetics’ patient ambassador.
As you would expect from any healthcare practitioner, Maria first asked me to complete some forms to provide information including my personal details and my medical history. In addition, I was invited to describe what I saw as the issues with my skin and invited to set out what I hoped to achieve from the process.
What I discovered about Obagi and the benefits of working with Bank Aesthetics
As an independent organisation, Bank Aesthetics isn’t tied to any one particular product range so Maria can to draw on different product ranges in accordance with patients’ needs. However, Maria explained that Obagi had delivered consistently good results so it was definitely a firm favourite with the clinic.
I hadn’t appreciated that as a medical product, Obagi is not available over the counter, but Maria is a Registered General Nurse (RGN) and Independent Nurse Prescriber is able to prescribe Obagi products.
This all gave me a sense of excitement and anticipation. Here was a proven solution, delivered by a knowledgeable health professional in a friendly and supportive environment. I couldn’t wait to get started!
Here’s where we got technical. Using a 3-D model of the skin’s structure, Maria explained how cosmetic skincare products (the type we buy over the counter in a department store or chemist) are not licensed to penetrate the skin. Using Obagi would enable me to ‘reset’ the way I used skincare products, re-educating me in my approach.
The attributes of the products in the Obagi system were then explained to me in detail.
Did you know that moisturiser should be a firm ‘NO!? As a cosmetic product, a standard moisturiser would – at best – only sit on the surface of the skin. At worst, it would serve to clog pores. It would also reduce the functions of the lower layer of the skin, sending a signal that the skin was fully hydrated. This would put the dermis into what I call ‘hibernation mode’.
At this point, I remembered my childhood: I never used a facial moisturiser then so why should I need to do so now? By contrast, protecting the skin against UVA/UVB rays would be an essential part of my new routine.
My treatment plan
Maria identified the range she recommended for me (someone with oily-normal skin: Nu Derm Normal/Oily was selected as being most effective for my skin type. Using the products over 6 weeks would transform my skin and deal effectively with the issues I had identified: sun damage, open pores, blackheads, milia and a lack of consistent skin tone.
After a blue radiance peel, I would begin my treatment plan using the Nu Derm system that comprised of 8 products. Maria would see me at the mid-way point, 3 weeks in, then again at the end of the 6 weeks.
Reassuringly, Maria and her colleague, Guiliana, were also available at the end of the phone should I need advice or support.
A word of caution
Maria was clear: we would be looking for a reaction so be prepared! The ‘reaction stage’ would be up to 6 weeks, although some people were through this in 3/4 weeks. Was I going to anything special in the next 6 weeks? No, but my Dad’s 80th birthday was coming up in May so I’d have lovely skin by then. Let’s see!
One product Maria would include for me was Obagi’s Hydrate; if I needed a little relief, I could carry this in my handbag and spritz some onto my face on the odd occasion when I really needed it.
Although it would be possible to wear makeup during the treatment, Maria recommended using mineral make up which is made from naturally derived components and is the healthier make up choice for your skin.
So, what comes next? The chemical peel…
In Catherine’s spare time, she has developed a passion for de-cluttering and all things minimal – you can read her popular blog here – The Midlands Minimalist