Obagi beats Rodan and Fields in Cost and Active Ingredients!

Many of my patients have been asking me about Rodan & Fields vs Obagi products. I do like the fact that R&Fs encourages good skin care routine, has active ingredients, was  formulated by 2 dermatologists but why would you pay more for less?!!

R&F vs Obagi

  • Both product lines are formulated by dermatologists: Drs Rodan and Fields. Dr Susan Obagi.
  • Both are sold by someone you trust. R&F by friend or family member. Obagi is sold by your doctor.
  • Both have active ingredients. R&F has the ‘over the counter version’/lower strength  vs Obagi has stronger and even prescription strength products.
  • R&F regimen costs more, Obagi costs less on average.


R&F Skin Lightening Regimen $190 System                                             Obagi Products to Replace

Reverse Deep Exfoliating wash                                                                  C-Cleansing Gel

Reverse Skin Lightening Toner                                                                   C Balancing Toner

Reverse Skin Lightening Treatment (2% HydroQuinone)                       Clear  (4% HydroQuinone)

Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (no mineral)                                                         Sunshield Matte SPF 50 with 10.5% Zinc 

COST/ONCE   $16.10                                                                                COST/ONCE   $13.70  (with 4% HC and Zinc in the sunscreen) 


  • Training.  A R&F “consultant” has no aesthetic or skin care  training. Authorized Obagi distributers are trained through Obagi seminars or one on one training. Only a physician can sell the Rx products.
  • R&F has Multilevel Marketing. Your consultant sells to you and recruits you sell to friends and family. Obagi would never ask you the client to sell! Obagi has a loyalty program “Primier Points” that rewards you with free product!
  • The science. Obagi collects data on their products to prove efficacy and safety. R&F –I could not find their data.

R&F can be bought online. Obagi is only sold through authorized offices/spas. Obagi should never be bought on line. Seeing a professional to determine the right regimen for you will result in the best results. Buying skincare products online put you at risk for counterfeit products, imitation or dangerous/illegal ingredients (think mercury and formaldehyde) and expired product.


Parkside OBGYN and Medical Spa is an Authorized Obagi Distributer. You can come by the office and speak to our trained staff or meet with our medical aesthetician Chris (no charge for consultations)  to discuss all Obagi products and we will help you select  the ones that are right for you!



Woman of Color? Beware of toxic beauty products!

A recent article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology(AJOG) found that compared to white women, women of color had higher levels of beauty product–related environmental chemicals in their bodies. “Racial discrimination based on European beauty norms can lead to internalized racism, body shame, and skin tone dissatisfaction, factors that can influence product use to achieve straighter hair or lighter skin” and use of vaginal hygiene products, researchers wrote in the study.  Theses chemicals included phthalates, mercury and parabans which can impact fertility, the endocrine system, unborn children and cause cancer.

Skin lightening agents:

Skin lightening agents may contain mercury which can cause central nervous system and kidney damage. They may also have “bootleg” ingredients not found on the label. Some contain high potency steroids like clobetasol that should never be used on the face. Steroids can cause stretch marks and if large amounts absorbed can cause elevated blood sugar and pressure. Other products have prescription hydroquinone that used incorrectly can cause a blue/black discoloration.

A new trend is IV ( yes, intravenous!)  glutathione to lighten skin tone. This therapy is popular in Asia and despite no large studies to prove effectiveness, is taking hold in the US. There have been reports of serious side effects including thyroid and kidney problems. In 2014 the US The treatments can cost as much as $400 and 10-30 treatments are often suggested.  If treatments are discontinued, the darker pigment returns.

Hair Straighteners/relaxers

These hair products can contain parabans and estrogenic chemicals from placentas. According to the study by AJOG, they can cause uterine fibroids, premature puberty, and endocrine disruption.



According to the article, advertisers used targeted marketing towards African American women with messages that encouraged self-consciousness of potential vaginal odors.

Douching is unnecessary. It increases the risk of bacterial vaginitis, pelvic inflammatory disease as well as exposes woman to phthalates that may adversely affect pregnancy and offspring.


Use of talc powder on the genitals is also more common for African American women. Talc-based powder used on the vulvar vaginal area may increase risk of ovarian cancer by 24%.


Be careful what you put in and on your body!

Reference: Zota,Ami ScD,MS, Shamasunder, Bhavna, PhD,MES. The environmental injustice of beauty: framing chemical exposures from beauty products as a health disparities concern. AJOG.2017

A Female Gynecologist’s Guide to Sexual Lubricants and Vaginal Moisturizers

Many woman need vaginal moisturizers or sexual lubricants regardless of age. Needing a lubricant does not mean you have a problem or inadequacy.  The need for lubricants or moisturizers increases with age especially after menopause.

Medications like antihistamines, oral contraceptive pills, chemotherapies can cause vaginal dryness as well as breast feeding and menopause.

Latex safe lubricants can help prevent breakage of condoms or dental dams for safer sex.

Which one is right for you?

Sexual lubricants are short acting. They come in many types.

  • Water Based: least irritation, latex safe may dry out with extended time

     Good Clean Love, K-Y, Sylk (all natural) , Yes

  • Silicone based: longer lasting, staining, usually non irritating, waterproof, do not use with silicone dilators, toys or gynecologic products like pessaries

     AstroglideX, Pjur, Silky, Uberlube

  • Oil Based: staining, non irritating, latex safe. Some people can be allergic and there are concerns that they can cause bacterial or yeast infections so I do not recommend

     avocado, olive, peanut, corn or coconut(best)

  • Hoping to conceive? lubricants can decrease sperm mobility but there are several safe products

       Pre-Seed, Conceive Plus,Yes Baby, Astroglide TTC


Moisturizers: longer acting to help with daily dryness, chafing and may decrease risk recurrent infections. Used 1-3 times per week.

    Replens, Refresh,Yes VM

Hybrids: lubricant plus moisturizer, a combo of water based plus silicone product. Good for people with sensitivities or allergies.

    Lubrigyn (great for menopausal woman), Luvena


Stay away from petroleum based products (mineral oil, baby oil, petroleum jelly) they are not latex safe and should not be used with condoms, dental dams or diaphragms and can cause irritation.  Also avoid parabens or glycerin. Glycerin(often found in water soluble lube) may cause yeast infections and parabens (to extend self life)  may have estrogen like properties so best to avoid especially if you have had breast or other hormone sensitive cancer.


Want to try some out? sells a low cost sampler!

Menopausal women, or women with low estrogen levels, may need more than a topical lubricant or moisturizer. If the over the counter products don’t seem to be enough, see your gynecologist as you may want to try  prescription vaginal estrogen or steroid.


Krychman M, Dweck A,Kingsberg S, Larkin L,OBG Manag, 2017 (special section SS2-10)




Our Brains On Hormones: Period/Pregnancy brain debunked but cravings may be fact of life !

In OBGYN news around the web this month:

Study disproves the concept of  “pregnancy brain fog” or “period brain“.  In 88 women studied, cognition was not decreased in pregnancy or during menstruation (articles run in Time

In another article “Is it me or my hormones?”, J Clin Endocrinology Metab, women’s brains did respond differently to visual food cues during the premenstrual or luteal phase of their cycle versus the beginning half of the cycle. But hey we knew that already!

Concussions shown to cause irregular menstrual cycles in 24% of women for 2 or more abnormal bleeding cycles suggesting brain injuries may affect hormonal regulation, Jama Pediatrics.


Are You Willing To Give Up Alcohol For More Sex?

Flibanserin (Addyi)  is the first medication approved by the FDA to treat low libido (sex drive) or hypoactive sexual desire in premenopausal woman. Although dubbed the “female Viagra” low libido is hard to treat. Many things cause low libido including stress, relationship issues, how one views their partner or themselves. Medical/mental health issues and medications can also affect libido.

When other reasons for low libido have been excluded flibanserin can be considered. Flibanserin, first approved in 2015, has been shown to  improve sex drive in 50% of women with an increase of 2.5 to 4 sexual encounters per month. Twenty five percent of woman saw an increase of 6 sexual encounters per month .

Downsides and risks:

YOU CAN NOT DRINK ALCOHOL WHILE USING  FLIBANSERIN: alcohol use may cause dangerously low blood pressure and fainting

MULTIPLE DRUG INTERACTIONS: many medications, including, but not limited to, some antibiotics, antifungals (yeast treatments), heart medications can also cause low blood pressure and fainting with flibanserin use.

Must be used daily and long term

Most common side effects are sleepiness and dizziness

Can lower blood pressure

Must see a flibanserin certified gynecologist or other provider for prescription

Interested in trying?

You can see me, Dr Beth Roland, as I am a certified prescriber since 2016

Ask your pharmacist about drug interactions.

Taking at night may decrease side effects

Although approved for premenopausal women, postmenopausal women may benefit too (off label use).

If no response by 8 weeks discontinue use.






420 ALERT! Marijuana Not Safe in Pregnancy or While Breast Feeding

Marijuana is not safe for use in pregnancy or while breast feeding!

THC, the chemical in marijuana, crosses the placenta and is also found in breast milk. Smoking marijuana has the added risk from harmful smoke but all forms of marijuana expose your baby to harmful THC .  THC exposure at this early stage of life has been shown to decreased academic ability/cognitive function and increase attention deficits.  There is no safe time or levels regarding marijuana in pregnancy.

Is it illegal to use marijuana in pregnancy in CO?

Perhaps! Some hospitals test babies after birth for drugs including marijuana. If your baby tests positive for THC child protective services must be notified.

What about medical marijuana? Use for Nausea in pregnancy?

Please talk to your doctor to see if safer options are available.

Marijuana is not a safe choice for nausea in pregnancy!

Is it safe to use marijuana while breast feeding?

The answer is NO!

THC crosses into breast milk.

THC is stored in body fat. Infants brains and bodies have a lot of fat so THC can be stored in their bodies for a long time.

Can I pump and dump?

There is limited data on how long it takes THC to clear from breast milk so pumping and dumping is not recommended.




Save Money & the Environment Every Time You Have Your Period with a Cup!

Want to be eco friendly and save money too? Then maybe the non disposable menstrual cup is for you!

Why the reusable cup?

  • Reusable and eco friendly
  • Saves money
  • Less odor
  • Can not feel once placed
  • Many come free of  chemicals, dyes, latex or plastic
  • Many 100% health grade silicone
  • 12 hours leak free protection for most women
  • Can be used for all sports & activities including swimming
  • Can be left in place overnight
  • Remove and wash with plain soap and water
  • Sits low in vagina so fits nearly all women (held in place by vaginal muscles)
  • Can be used with an IUD–make sure your string has not been left very long first
  • Collects blood vs absorbing- does not dry out vagina
  • Does not change vaginal pH as some tampons can nor kill normal vaginal bacteria


  • Learning curve for placement and removal
  • May not fit everyone and may need to try more than one to find your perfect fit
  • Must dispose of  blood, rinse and replace. Can be done shower or toilet–hard to do in public restroom!
  • Some manufactures recommend sterilizing after each cycle
  • Does not increase risk of infection but should not be used if you suspect a vaginal infection.


The cup is fine for woman and girls of all ages. Comes in different sizes, shapes, and firmness. Manufacturers will make recommendations  based on your age and if you’ve  delivered any children. The firmer ones tend to open more easily once placed in the vagina but may be harder to place.

Can  be worn during intercourse but is not a contraceptive nor does it protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Placement is similar to a tampon.

The cup is folded, slipped inside vagina and rotated to ensure opens and properly placed.  Pull downward on stem to remove.






More questions? We now have ‘demo’ Diva Cups  at the office if you want to see one. I can help teach you how to place and remove especially if you bring in your Cup.

Make appointment or call 303 758 0072

Warning: Medications or Supplements can reduce effectiveness of Plan B

The British equivalent of our FDA, the MHRA, issued a warning that some medications can decrease the effectiveness of emergency contraception like Plan B (levonorgestrel) and ELLA (ulipristal) .

These medications can speed up the liver’s  breakdown of hormones and can also effect oral contraceptive pills.

These medications include treatments for :

  • fungal infections
  • Epilepsy
  • TB
  • HIV
  • St Johns Wart


Although the warning does no yet exist  in the US, speak to your  gynecologist or pharmacist  medications  listed above you have taken in the 4 weeks prior to use of emergency contraception as a ‘double dose’ may be appropriate.

Emergency contraception always works best if used as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse.

Emergency contraception is available over the counter for all women all ages.

Information from WebMD Health news for gynecologists.

Red cheeks, bumps, pimples, sensitive skin? Could be Rosacea


Ever wonder why your cheeks are so red? Acne medication doesn’t help your break outs?  Visible blood vessels around your nose and on cheeks?

You could be one of 14 million women suffering  from Rosacea.

The cause of rosacea is unknown (genetic? environmental? microscopic skin mites?) but the risk factors are:

  • Female aged 30-60
  • fair complexion
  • family members with rosacea
  • northern europeans

There are 4 types of Rosacea,the first 2 are the most common:screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-8-13-14-pm

  • erythematotlangiectatic- redness,flushing,visible blood vessels
  • acneform- red bumps, papules or pustules. Unlike acne there are no blackheads
  • rhinophyma- thickened skin of nose and surrounding area
  • eye/ocular-burning,redness,inflammation of inner lid


First avoid triggers:

  • Sun, wind and extremes in temperature
  • hot tub/baths and saunas
  • Alcohol
  • Hot drinks
  • Spicy food
  • Topical irritants found in many cosmetics and sunscreens especially alcohol
  • H. Pylori found in the gut

Prescription  medication is available for more serious cases. Topical agents include metronidazole, azelaic acid, and now brimonidine (Mirvasco). Oral antibiotics or isotretinoin (Accutaine) used for acne may help as well.

Careful use of laser to treat red vessels.

Yellow or green tints in rosacea safe products can help cover the red.


In addition to evaluation, diagnosis and medical therapy we carry Rosacea Safe Products:


Elta MD Clear Sunscreen SPF46 is lightweight and sensitivity free. It contains niacinamide that helps reduce blemishes,discoloration and photo damage. Now comes in Tinted.

Colorescience ‘Skin Calming About Face’ Primer SPF 20 calms and hydrates. Packed with antioxidants helps diminish redness and irritation.

Obagi Gentle Rejuvenation Line: Skin Calming Cream, Gentle Rejuvenation Serum,Advanced Night Repair. . Finally a rejuvenation line for sensitive skin. Theses combine natural growth factors Kinetin and Zeatin clinically proven to improve the appearance of sun damaged skin. Good for all sensitive skin types and backed by Obagi’s money back guarantee.

Always be gentle with your skin if you have rosacea and avoid rubbing and touching your skin. As sun is a major irritant never go out without your sunscreen,hat and sunglasses.