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Obagi-C Clarifying Serum Review

Obagi-C Clarifying Serum is part of the Obagi-C Rx System™ sold by Obagi Medical™. According to the Obagi Medical™ website, the Obagi-C Clarifying Serum™ is suited for people with a range of skin types from dry to oily. Obagi-C Clarifying Serum™ contains vitamin C and 4% hydroquinone. Vitamin C is necessary to create one of the three main components of collagen. It is a naturally occurring nutrient in many fruits and vegetables. Hydroquinone was developed to bleach skin. This chemical has a mixed safety record. Look into the most current research before trying Obagi-C Clarifying Serum.


Important Obagi-C Clarifying Serum™ Components

Vitamin C

A nutrient that the body needs for many reactions


A chemical for bleaching skin

Vitamin C in Obagi-C Clarifying Serum
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin that is found in green peppers, red peppers, citrus fruits, citrus juices, tomatoes, strawberries, papaya, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, watermelon, mango, cauliflower, winter squash, raspberries, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, pineapples, broccoli, cantaloupe, and leafy greens. Because vitamin C is water soluble, it is important to replace the vitamin C that is lost through urine every day.

A vitamin C deficiency has been linked to dry and splitting hair, weakened tooth enamel, tender gums, scaly skin, easy bruising,   and joint discomfort.  Some researchers believe the conditions associated with a vitamin C deficiency result because the body has difficulty producing collagen. Collagen is made primarily from glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. The body makes hydroxyproline from proline in a reaction that involves vitamin C. Without vitamin C, hydroxproline production slows and new collagen production grinds to a halt.

Hydroquinone in Obagi-C Clarifying Serum

Many manufacturers put hydroquinone in their skin topicals to help lighten  skin. Although the evidence is not conclusive, there is reason for some researchers are concerned about hydroquinone. A pilot study on the effects of hydroquinone on rodents did not find issues when hydroquinone was applied to rodent skin; however, studies on rodents that were fed hydroquinone did point to a concerning health link. These results from the feeding experiments led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to call for a more thorough investigation into long term application of hydroquinone onto skin.

Scientific research often gives uncertain results rather than a definite "yes" or "no". It can take years for a clearer picture to emerge. Extensive research has shown that vitamin C promotes good health. The scientific evidence on hydroquinone is not as clear cut.  Do your homework or consult a doctor if you have questions about the ingredients in Obagi-C Clarifying Serum


1. Obagi-C Rx Systems. Obagi Medical

2. Hydroquinone Studies under the National Toxicology Program (NTP). US Food and Drug Administration

3. Abstract for TR-366 - Hydroquinone (CASRN 123-31-9). National Toxicology Program
Department of Health and Human Services

4. Topical Treatment for Age Spots. Harvard Health Publications
Harvard Medical School

5. Collagen. RCSB Protein Data Bank

6. Vitamin C. MedlinePlus