Obagi Journey – My Skin Story

A client yesterday said “I know that every esthetician really believes in their skin care line – that is why they sell it.”  Well… to be flat out honest, that is not true.  I have worked with and sold many skin care lines that were ok- they would not hurt anyone or they fit the price point of the clients at the salon or spa.  I can say that every line I have sold does have features that are worthwhile.

Tanya Gioai before Obagi frontMy personal journey with skin care started many years ago.  My cystic acne began at age 12.  My long suffering mother took me to the dermatologist all through high school.  The doctor prescribed antibiotics (tetracycline, amoxicillian, sumicine & arthriamicine, sulfa drugs), then birth control at least 4-5 different types and finally a course of accutane.  I still remember how miserable the accutane made me feel.  It did however clear me up for senior year of high school. Yea!  Braces off and clear skin, it proved to be an amazing senior year with a very sweet boyfriend, but guess what came back in college.

In my late twenties, still battling acne, I went back to a new dermatologist in  another state just to see if anything new was on the market.  I left in tears after the doctor said I needed to start all over again with antibiotics and prescription topicals to see what would help. That is when I went home, cried for an hour hugging my boxer dog and then resolved to call Proactiv.   As many of you have experienced the Proactiv worked for a while and then my rebound acne exploded worse than before.  Back to the Clique counter for more make-up.  Hummph!

As my skin has changed with pregnancies, sun, acne and just plain age I began to look around for something more active that could actually make the changes I longed to see.  To be honest I was frustrated with the appearance of my skin.  If I was hiring a personal trainer- would I hire one that was over weight?

So many of my clients complain of acne and wrinkles.  After my second baby boy I found myself saying the same thing plus melasma ( a condition of the darkening of the skin due to hormones and/or sun).   After the birth of my beautiful baby boys, I wore a pregnancy mask ( darkening of skin under nose and chin from hormones), and had occasional eruptions of the skin, which caused post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.  My skin is not a great healer.  Any damage may leave me scarred or hyper-pigmented for 3-5 years.  Elijah, my youngest, just turned 5 yesterday and I am looking so much better than I did just 3 weeks ago.  Even after a fun, sunny day on a boat in Lake Granby.

As a seasoned esthetician, in private practice and resort spas, I have worked with multiple lines.  From the completely organic to the medical.  Both high dollar and low cost.  Peels and microderms help an enormous amount but cannot keep everything under control.  Even with all this knowledge and access to different lines I was still battling post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation and a few break outs plus left over sun damage, and now fine lines and wrinkles!  Ugggh!

At A la Mode Day Spa I began helping out a plastic surgeon once a month with fillers and botox.  Dr. Terry Murphy causally mentioned to me that if I wanted to try a new skin line he was willing to sponsor the line.  He thought Obagi would work for my clients and me.  An expensive medical line, I thought, this stuff would really have to perform to sell me on it.

A new skin care line?  Was it worth it?  I started talking with the Obagi Reps knowing as my client had said,”these folks believe in their line and are about sales”.  In addition, I knew enough to be jaded about actual results especially for my skin.  What could they offer me?


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