Professional-C Serum 10% contains vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in a glycol base with water, solvent, and fragrance. Just like the 5% version for the Eye Area, the pH of this means that the vitamin C isn’t likely to remain stable during use.
Note: This serum is dispensed via a dropper applicator. Although not the ideal method to dispense a serum that contains light- and air-sensitive ingredients, sometimes this type of packaging is necessary due to formulary requirements. When that’s the case, the goal is to keep the bottle opening as small as possible, the bottle should be opaque or specially coated to protect the contents from light, and you should use the serum up within three months of opening.
Obagi C Serum is a Vitamin C treatment aimed at reversing the process of aging by penetrating different layers of skin to prevent and repair cell damage. The manufacturer, Obagi Medical (a skin care company owned by Valeant Pharmaceuticals), has made this treatment available in three strengths to suit people with different types of skin. The company markets the Obagi C Serum as part of the Obagi-C skin care kit, which includes a number of other products, such as a facial exfoliator and a therapeutic night cream. Unfortunately, Obagi C reviews are not available on the company website because the products are available by prescription only, as they contain hydroquinone; a skin lightening agent. Through the combination of various face exfoliators, vitamin C, and hydroquinone, the product line aims to get rid of wrinkles, lighten dark spots on face, and provide an overall sensation of smoother skin. Obagi C Serum and related products are said to produce healthy skin with daily use, but potential for skin damage exists because these are prescription-strength products that change skin chemistry from within.
Obagi C Serum contains L-ascorbic acid, a type of Vitamin C that is known to neutralize free radicals through different layers of the skin, thereby preventing skin damage at the cellular level and slowing down the process of aging. The formula acts as an antioxidant protecting the skin from ultraviolet rays of the sun. The vitamin is also said to fight inflammation, reduce wrinkle formation and fine lines, retain sufficient moisture to keep the skin healthy, and stimulate the growth of collagen fibers.
The serum also contains hydroquinone, which brightens skin by slowing the function of melanocytes in the skin. This causes less melanin pigment to be produced, thus decreasing the appearance of dark spots on face with regular use of Obagi C serum. However, hydroquinone has been linked to cancer in some studies. Melanin is the body’s natural defense against UV radiation, and by diminishing the body’s ability to produce it, the skin cells have fewer options to fight off free radicals.
Other ingredients in Obagi C Serum include propylene glycol, sodium hyaluronate, and sorbitol, which are moisturizing agents added to keep the skin soft. Zinc Chloride, another ingredient, is thought to tighten skin, and reduce the chances of infection. Sodium hydroxide aims to maintain healthy pH levels and prevents acidic effects on the skin.
If you ask your dermatologist about Obagi C serum, keep in mind that it’s available in three strengths, 10%, 15%, and 20; all meant for different skin types. For example:
- The company website lists Obagi C Serum 10% concentration as being suitable for sensitive and dry skin.
- At 15% concentration, performance is said to improve and aims to satisfy most skin types, but could be too irritating to sensitive skin.
- The highest concentration, at 20%, is meant for normal and oily skin.
How to Use Obagi C Serum
You can take 5 to 7 drops of Obagi C Serum and apply it daily to the face, neck, and chest. It can be done with your fingertips, and should only be applied to cleansed skin. The company recommends using other Vitamin C products from their extended line; including Professional-C Suncare SPF 30, for protection against UVA and UVB rays of the sun; Professional-C Peptide Complex, for skin with better tone and firmness; and Professional-C Eye Brightener to remove dark circles and crow’s feet.
About Obagi Medical
Obagi Medical Products, Inc. was founded in 1988 by skin care specialists, and has since been taken over by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. The company’s products aim to minimize the appearance of aging skin with formulations usually available only by prescription from skin care specialists and in some high end spas. Obagi C Serum is now available in over 55 countries across the globe, including Australia, United States, and Egypt.