Young, healthy skin that is smooth, clear, wrinkle-free and firm renews itself every 5-6 weeks through a process called “cellular turnover.” During this process, the top layer of dead skin cells (stratum corneum) is constantly being shed and replaced by new healthy cells.
The outer layer of skin (“epidermis”) which you see in the mirror is your protection from the environment and toxins. Its actually very thin; 3-4 sheets of paper thick. Cells called “keratinocytes” make-up 90% of the epidermis.
During cellular turnover, these cells migrate from the bottom layer of the epidermis to the top. Melanocytes protect the body from UV radiation. These cells are found in the bottom layer of the epidermis where they attach to keratinocytes and migrate upwards with them. In young healthy skin, keratinocytes and melanocytes work together to produce skin cells that are well-organized and uniform in size, shape, pigmentation, and structure.
Repeated exposure to radiation from sunlight and environmental toxins cause cells to function improperly. Abnormal keratincytes are produced, causing the epidermis structure to become disorganized. Melanocytes become overactive, which leads to brown spots, age spots, and freckling. Cellular turnover slows down, causing a thick buildup of dead skin cells on the skins surface. This gives your skin an uneven texture and makes fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable.
The dermis (inner layer) is up to 10 times thicker than the epidermis. If you think of the healthy epidermis as a smooth, fresh top sheet, the healthy dermis is the firm mattress that it supports. It provides collagen and elastin which give the skin suppleness, firmness, and elasticity.
It also provides nutrients and moisture to the epidermis. In the normal course of aging and during periods of stress, trauma, or hormonal changes, collagen and elastin production decreases, damaging their fibers. This weakens the dermis tissue, turning it into a flat, worn-out mattress. It can no longer support the epidermis. That smooth, fresh “sheet” on top becomes wrinkled.
What you see is sagging skin that has lost its “snap-back” quality and has fine lines and wrinkles. When the dermis is compromised, less blood and fewer nutrients flow to the epidermis, translating into dull, lifeless, sallow skin.
Obagi and their Nu-Derm System offers complete skin care designed for the purpose of delivering prescription ingredients to your skin on a cellular level. These ingredients correct the damage within your skin and increase cellular turnover. This means your skin will go through an amazing transformation on the outside which is the direct result of a deep cellular transformation on the inside.
This system is a leading, clinically-tested, FDA-approved, prescription-strength skin care system combining tretinoin (the most studied topical remedy for aging skin) and hydroquinone (which evens skin tone and reduces hyperpigmentation). The system consists of 7 different products to be used in conjunction with each other.
The Obagi Nu-Derm System is for patients who want to look younger, have smaller pores, have smoother skin, and reduce brown/sun spots. The appropriate patient for this system has moderate-to-severe photodamage, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, laxity, and/or acne. Patients must also be willing to commit to transformation and willing to undergo therapeutic effects.
Although most other products only work on the epidermis, the Obagi Nu-Derm System works by (1) increasing cellular turnover; (2) making cells uniform and healthy for a smooth, even texture; (3) reducing overactive melanocyte production to correct hyperpigmentation and distribute melanin evenly; (4) increasing collagen and elastin production for firmer, more supple skin; and (5) increasing blood flow and nutrients to the epidermis, giving skin a healthy glow.
The Obagi Nu-Derm System is also highly effective when used in conjunction with other cosmetic services like microdermabrasions, Botox, Perlane/Restylane, Juvederm, and chemical peels. Obagi also offers a line of vitamin C products (Obagi-C Rx System and Professional-C Serums) that can be used alone or with the Nu-Derm System to increase the success of your treatment.
If you have been eager to start your transformation to achieving healthier, younger-looking skin, you should seek the advice of your skin-care physician. Let the transformation begin, just in time for the summer months!