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Obagi Blender vs Clear (The Definitive Guide)

If you’ve ever spent “too much” time in the sun or popped a zit (let’s be honest—we’ve all done both), you’re likely familiar with the damage that either can inflict on your dermis. Excessive UVA and UVB exposure can result in sunspots, freckles, age spots, and so on. Meanwhile, acne can leave behind pesky dark spots that take eons to heal.

Enter: Obagi Nu-Derm Blender and Obagi Nu-Derm Clear, the answer(s) to your hyperpigmentation woes.

But before we explain why this pair is about to be your skin’s savior, we’d be remiss to not mention that Obagi has been in the skincare game for over 30 years. That said, they’ve managed to perfect both their medical and clinical formulations for optimal results. (And if you’re unsure which Obagi products might be best for you, they have a skin analyzer quiz to lead you in the right direction.)

Now, let’s take a closer look at Obagi’s Clear and Blender.

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Obagi Blender vs Clear


To state the obvious, both items are from the same brand, but more specifically, they’re from the same skincare management system. Further, Obagi has a seven-step set, Obagi Nu-Derm System – Normal to Dry, where the Obagi Blender and Obagi Clear play a significant role in brightening and improving uneven complexions. When used together—especially with the rest of the Normal to Dry system—they balance your skin’s pH level for second-to-none results.

The superstar ingredient for both products is hydroquinone (4%), which lightens skin by halting melanin production. Thus, it works to correct hyperpigmentation-related issues like dark spots, sunspots, and melasma.

Moreover, although hydroquinone is also known as a skin bleaching treatment, this duo appears to be safe to use on darker skin tones. (But consult your physician first, of course!)

Beyond hydroquinone, there’s a slight deviation in the ingredient list for both. Though their makeup is nearly identical, Obagi Clear includes an ingredient called butylparaben, which Obagi Blender doesn’t have. This paraben acts as a preservative—but it’s unclear why butylparaben is needed in Clear, and not Blender.

Another key difference between the two is that Clear is meant for morning and evening use, but Blender is specified as an evening treatment only.

Lastly, Obagi’s site doesn’t list the price for either product since they’re both prescription-level products. But other sites have listed Obagi Clear as being around $110 while Obagi Blender may cost you $125.


If hyperpigmentation or unevenness are two of your main skin concerns, both Obagi Nu-Derm Clear and Obagi Nu-Derm Blender should be added to your skincare arsenal ASAP. Obagi’s site may not include consumer ratings for either formula, but the before and after photos speak for themselves.

Regarding Obagi’s business ethics, though, claims Obagi is not a cruelty-free company, nor are all their products vegan—but they do have vegan options. Also, if you happen to have a sodium metabisulfite allergy, then you should steer clear of both products.

So, if you’re looking for more ethical and sensitive formulas to fade hyperpigmentation, they do exist. But if you do choose Obagi, we think you’ll be thrilled with the results.

Other Obagi Best-Sellers

For a deep cleanse:
Try the Foaming Gel Cleanser

For hydration:
Try the Hydrate Facial Moisturizer

For a full routine:
Try the Nu-Derm System

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