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A Mom's Self-Care Sets an Example for her Children: Joanna's Obagi Journey


After Joanna became a mother, she decided to set an example for her kids and start really taking care of herself. One of her first stops? Finding help for her major skin concern—melasma she had developed during pregnancy. She wanted to gain back confidence in herself so she could be the energetic, self-assured mother she wanted to be for her kids. Here is her Obagi Story.

Name: Joanna Roddy

Obagi® Products Used:  Obagi Nu-Derm® System

About Joanna:
Joanna is a writer, teacher, and mom of two living in the Pacific Northwest. This year, she finished writing a middle grade fantasy novel that she had been working on since before her kids were born.

My Obagi Story:

Becoming a mom is one of life’s landmark experiences. And as much as you’re learning how to care for the new little people in your world, taking care of yourself becomes both harder and so much more important. There’s a reason the flight attendant says to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others.

When I became a new mom, I grappled with post-partum anxiety and depression, and by the time my second child came, it felt like I was a drowning person fighting for air. I got serious about taking care of myself so that I could have the stamina to care for my kids. I delved into nutritional remedies, blocked out the time I needed to recharge, and worked with my doctor to bring my hormones into balance. But even after I was feeling like myself again, there was one area that made me feel self-conscious and frustrated no matter how many juice cleanses I did or supplements I took: my skin. I had melasma, a condition brought on by the hormones of pregnancy that caused large brown patches on my upper lip and forehead.

I tried over-the-counter solutions, but even after months of faithful application and sun-protection, my hyperpigmentation was no better than when I’d started. I finally decided to talk with a dermatologist, and that’s when Obagi Nu-Derm came into the picture.

I’ve been using the Nu-Derm system for five weeks now, and I’m already seeing recession of the melasma. My doctor and I discussed laser treatment initially, but when she saw me 4 weeks after starting Obagi Nu-Derm, we both felt that the system was working so well, it alone could remedy my melasma. We decided to hold off on other treatments and follow up after another 8 weeks with just the Nu-Derm system.

There was a time when my melasma was so embarrassing that I couldn’t fathom ever leaving the house without makeup again. Just last week, I went 4 days without applying any makeup at all. I’m still on my Obagi journey right now, but the results I’ve already seen have given me confidence in the products and, ultimately, in myself again. I even teach writing at a local high school on occasion, and the nicest thing I hear there (often) is, “Oh, Mrs. Roddy! I thought you were one of the students!”

Being a mom doesn’t mean you have to accept a lesser version of yourself. Just the opposite—I want my children to see the importance I’m placing on self-care so that they learn to value and care for themselves, too, as they become more independent. I can only assume that having a mother who feels confident, free, and empowered sets an example that they will want to follow.


Important Safety Information for Obagi Nu-Derm Clear and Blender®

(contains 4% hydroquinone)

People with prior history of sensitivity or allergic reaction to this product or any of its ingredients should not use it. The safety of topical hydroquinone use during pregnancy or in children (12 years and under) has not been established.

Avoid contact with eyes, nose, mouth, or lips. In case of accidental contact, patient should rinse eyes, nose, mouth, or lips with water and contact physician.

Sunscreen use is an essential aspect of hydroquinone therapy because even minimal sunlight exposure sustains melanocytic activity.

Contains sodium metabisulfite, a sulfite that may cause allergic-type reactions including anaphylactic symptoms and life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes in certain susceptible people. The overall prevalence of sulfite sensitivity in the general population is unknown and probably low. Sulfite sensitivity is seen more frequently in asthmatic than in nonasthmatic people.

Treatment should be limited to relatively small areas of the body at one time since some patients experience a transient skin reddening and a mild burning sensation, which does not preclude treatment.

Pregnancy Category C: Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with topical hydroquinone. It is also not known whether hydroquinone can cause fetal harm when used topically on a pregnant woman or affect reproductive capacity. It is not known to what degree, if any, topical hydroquinone is absorbed systemically. Topical hydroquinone should be used on pregnant women only when clearly indicated.

Nursing Mothers: It is not known whether topical hydroquinone is absorbed or excreted in human milk. Caution is advised when topical hydroquinone is used by a nursing mother.

Pediatric Usage: Safety and effectiveness in children below the age of 12 years have not been established.

Use of the product should be discontinued if hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients is noted.

Please see full Prescribing Information for Obagi Nu-Derm Clear and Blender.


Not available in select states including MA, MT, NH, NY, and TX, due to state regulations regarding the ability of physicians to dispense prescription drug products in their offices. Obagi Nu-Derm Fx System, an effective, non-prescription alternative, is available for residents in these 5 states.

Except as otherwise indicated, all product names, slogans and other marks are trademarks of the Valeant family of companies. Distributed by OMP, Inc.

©2014 Obagi Medical Products Inc., a division of Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC. 08/14 DM/NUD/14/0011



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