My First Week on Zo Medical

I had to stop using products that I bought from Philosophy because I noticed that the acne on my forehead was not going away. I had never had a struggle with acne before and for some reason my forehead is oilier now so this has really been a concern for me. Adult acne is a bitch.

I decided to finally see a proper dermatologist to help me with my adult acne problem and freckles that seem to get darker when I spend a few hours under the sun. My husband insisted that I go to a Belo clinic just to experience what all the fuss was about (LOL!).

Belo Clinic
5th Level, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
Phone: 4701992/9108330
Mobile: 0999-8857708

Their Megamall branch is the closest our place so that’s where I went. Doc Carlo made an assessment of my skin condition based on my answers on their questionnaire and his quick examination of my face. His solution to my concern is the use of Zo Medical and optional Revlite sessions to I guess hasten the results.

Zo MedicalThe Zo Medical line that he prescribed consisted of 7 different products and one cream by Belo. The entire set good for 3 months set me back about Php 21,000. Here is the list of products in the order in which they should be used/applied:

1. Oilacleanse – oil-free facial cleanser for morning and night
2. Cebatrol – anti-acne pads to exfoliate and smoothen
3. Melamin – with 4% hydroquinone for lightening hyperpigmentation, mornings
4. Glycogent – for smoothening, mornings
5. Melamix – 4% hydroquinone, bleaching cream for melasma, mixed with 6. Belo hydroquinone cream, nights
7. Sunblock – SPF 50 for day

Most of these are by prescription only and all of these are available via a dermatologist only.

ZO stands for Dr. Zein Obagi, the genius behind the famous Obagi line of skin care medicine in the 90s. He had since separated from Obagi Medical Products and put up his own Zo Medical line. More information can be found on their website.

I got a Revlite session and started on ZO 2 Mondays ago.

I instantly loved the Oilacleanse. The cleanser is transparent but after applying it on my face in circular motions, the red and white beads dissolve, creating a lather. The scent is wonderful too, like vanilla.

Cebatrol is cool to the face, although I am not sure if there is a wrong or right side to the pad because one side is a little rough. It does help a lot in controlling the oil though.

Melamin, Glycogent and Melamix stung a bit the first time I used them, and left my skin really red as if it were burning. The burning sensation is gone but my face feels really tight now.

The sunblock is the usual beige in color and the odor is the same. It’s SPF 50 though which I hope is more than enough. Thankfully I don’t go out in the sun a lot.

My face started peeling below my nose area on the 4th day, and it really went for it on the 5th. The peeling is gradual on my forehead, temple and cheeks but my entire face is a little itchy. Although it looks like the acne on my forehead has cleared, I am now getting pimples on parts of my face where I didn’t use to get them.

I had my first followup consultation with Doc Carlo last Tuesday and he assured me that the pimples are normal while the medication is bringing all the impurities out. Peeling is expected to stop after two weeks and that I should start seeing improvements in 4-6 weeks. I do see that my acne is being controlled, and the freckles on my cheeks seem to have lightened although it may be a little too early. The Revlite may also have helped although I didn’t notice any difference after the first session.

Doc Carlo advised me to go through all 6 sessions of Revlite to shrink my pores and smoothen my face, but it costs too much at Php 8k a pop and you’re supposed to have it every two weeks! I declined and would rather just wait out the final results of the Zo Medical.

What are your experiences?

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Freelancer. Jack-of-all-trades. Wife to the best man in the world. Mom to a Persian-Himalayan cat, a Yellow Lab and a Beagle. You can find me on Twitter and .

46 thoughts on “My First Week on Zo Medical”

    1. Hi guys. I started using Obagi and almost the same products as you. Right now I am
      hitting my 5th week and the redness caused by the products is fading, however I am noticing that i am breaking out where i haven’t before. Like i can say i have four pimples on cheek area right now. Is this normal? I am also on Accutane so that may be the reason for my break out too. What were your results being that it is now two years since this thread was posted.

    2. Hi Edgar! I was told that the breakouts are normal as your face is bringing out all impurities. Just give it a few more days and if they don’t fade, I suggest consulting your derma.

    1. Hello Sheryl! I was recently prescribed melamin from my dermatologist along with some sunblock for my hyperpigmentation. It’s only been four days and I’m really worried because 1) my skin was already extremely dry before this treatment, and 2) the melamin I was prescribed has dried out my skin even more. I cannot smile confidently at someone because I’m so embarrassed about the laugh lines and crows feet that I’ve developed due to this product.

      What’s worse is that when my skin pealed on the fourth day the skin underneath was very rough and freaked me out because I have various spots on my face that are hyper pigmented and I wouldn’t want my whole face to be like this. I was curious if your experience was similar and eventual got better? Please let me know and what other products helped most with the tightness due to the ZO Melamin product. Thanks in advance !!

    2. Hi Rachelle, thanks for your message! The peeling that I experienced was minimal and only lasted a couple of days. I have combination skin. I was using the entire ZO line (at least 7 of them per my post) but I think you should also be using Glycogent for smoothening. Don’t take my word for it though! If what you are experiencing now is unexpected, I suggest getting in touch with your derma again immediately.

  1. Hi there! Do you have any updates or follow-up posts on how it went with your ZO Routine? Curious as I was recommended this and wanted to check reviews before taking the plunge.

    1. Hi Lexy! I hadn’t realized that I haven’t posted any updates to this – sorry about that. I’ll post an update soon but to sum it up – Go for it! The ZO package lasted for more than 3 months for me except for the Cebatrol but ZO really did wonders for me. It addressed my two main concerns – my melasma which faded, and some adult acne on my forehead which vanished. I particularly liked the Cebatrol for oil-control, and the smoothening treatment, Glycogent. Hope this helps you out. Thanks for visiting my blog!

    1. Hi Anjelica, I’m sorry that I hadn’t posted any updates as I promised to a previous commenter. Please see my reply to her below. If you have any questions that you want to ask me personally, you may send me an email via my contact page. I’d be happy to answer them. 🙂

  2. Are you still using the zo medical products?

    If yes, do you like it?

    Just wondering coz I am using it too but I kinda stopped for awhile coz i’m getting some fine lines in my forehead.

    Are you using any moisturizer as well?

    1. Hi Angel. I have finished up my supply of ZO medical and didn’t continue because of the cost and my melasma also went away at the end of my treatment period anyway. I didn’t use any other product while I used ZO, so no I wasn’t on any moisturizer. I will probably get back on Cebatrol though because t-zone is just so oily.

  3. Hi, Sheryl.

    I also bought the ZO kit and have been using it for 2 weeks. My main concern is that the color of my face is darker than my hands/body.

    My face is still red and peeling as of now. Did it whiten the color of your face after 3 months of using?

    Thanks in advance for your response. 🙂

    1. Hi Sara, thanks for dropping by! I did not specifically aim for whiter skin on my face, and I’m not sure that these products will address that concern. Although it will help even out your face color so there are no dark spots. It did not whiten my face – just made it smoother and removed my melasma as that was the reason I used it in the first place. You may need a different product for whitening. I suggest you ask your Belo MD about it. 🙂

  4. hi…i am using this product for post inflammatory hyperpigmentation following laser..i m on day 7…i hav only very slight peeling around my mouth..nowhere othan that..does this mean that the product is not working on me..plz help me out

    1. Hi Mathu – I’d like to help but I am not in a position to be giving medical advice. I suggest consulting your dermatologist about your concern. I was told though to avoid using the products on the areas of the face where the skin is very thin like the areas around the mouth, under the eyes and the sides of the nose.

  5. I’m on the ZO medical system for hyperpigmentation…it includes hydroquinone and tretinoin (aka retin-a), all together it is VERY effective and VERY harsh. I suggest anyone intersted try it if you can afford it, but you have to be VERY CAREFUL, follow the directions flawless (or else you will have serious issues) and START SLOOOOOW. Faster is not better, more is not more. You gotta go easy or you will be miserable. That said, it does work – mostly because of the tretinoin, and strong hydroquione, retinol, glycolic and suncreen… If you do your research and are smart and careful, you could acheive similar results with a different program or combination of products (assuming you get the prescription strength products from a doctor – don’t buy fakes on the internet – your face and health are worth more). Anyway… I’m curious if you recall any hiccups when you started the Glycogent? Or have any special tips for using it? I’ve been very slowly acclimating my skin to the tretinoin and hydroquinone (after making the mistake of using them wrong and too strong because i was eager to get on it with it) and it has finally calmed down from the initial irritation. I want to start the glycogent but I’m afraid my skin will go crazy…or even burn. Did anything like that happen to you? Did you put the gylcogent on wet or dry skin? Thanks, and glad you enjoyed your results.

    1. Hi Mona! Sorry for the late reply and thanks for sharing your experience with ZO Medical. I only felt a stinging sensation with Glyocent during the first few uses but that was it. One pump of it, and on air-dried skin. Of course, I stayed away from the sun the entire time I was using the products. You’re right, just take it slow. The effect is different for everyone as we all have different types of skin. And update your Derma too. I hope this helps!

  6. Hi sheryl im also using the cebatrol and the cheeks of my face is peeling. How long again the peeling process until it returns to normal? 🙂

    1. Hi Robert, thanks for dropping by! My skin did not really peel when I started using Cebatrol – it peeled from the other products. I still use Cebatrol now – that’s the only one from the line that I continue using because it really helps bring down the oiliness. Maybe you’re having a reaction to it if that’s the only one you’re using? I’d consult my derma if I were you. Just make sure you lightly brush the pad over your face not more than twice per area. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Maria! Thanks for visiting my blog. No, I was told by my dermatologist to never apply these products around the eyes, and in other sensitive areas like the sides of the nostrils.

  7. Hello Sheryl! I am currently using Oilacleanse, Melamix + DLC. If you are to choose which product to buy next, Glycogent or Melamin? What is Glycogent’s effect on you?

    1. Hi Peach! I used them all at the same time eh but I probably would get Glycogent again just because it has a smoothening effect. I do recommend asking your derma though!

  8. Hi Sheryl,

    Happy to have read your review! I started using the same ZO Medical Anti-acne product line just two weeks ago. Got it from Belo Med, Alabang Branch. Let me share my experience with you and everybody else who will visit this site.

    On my first week, my skin became shiny and tight; and it looked like it’s gonna peel. It did – but only under my nose. After a full week of using it, my skin became healthier, redness at the corners of my nose and chin was significantly reduced, no more rough skin and skin tone evened out. The change was fantastic!

    However, on my second week, I had lots of cystic ance where I never had them before. =( I am unsure if this is an effect of the ZO product line; or because of the glycolic facial I had which was really painful, perhaps my skin reacted to too much pressure?

    I am crossing my fingers and I am hoping the same thing happens – that breakouts disappear after a few weeks of using it. Having read your post gives me hope that my skin breaking out will eventually stop.

  9. Thanks for dropping by, Jessica! I’m happy that my post helped you with your experience on the ZO line. I was told that all the impurities will come out before it gets better, so hang in there. Of course, much better if you consult again with your derma just to be sure these are expected effects. Good luck! Let us know how things turn out.

  10. Hi Sheryl,

    Iam from India, as iam getting married in June, the doc has recommended the following:

    Zo Melamin (AM)
    Zo Melamix + Retinol A 0.05% (PM)
    Zo Daily Power Defense (AM)
    LP Toleriane 150Ml Face wash (Wash whenever i feel like )
    AR Rich Texture (PM) – Moisturizer.
    Anthelios XI 50ML (AM – 3times)
    Zo 3-Step Peel
    Chemical peel — (Glyco, every 15 days)

    Its very expensive and Iam still contemplating whether to go ahead with this treatment plan.
    Is it safe for Asian skin. [ Iam medium coloured skin who is suffering from Highperpigmentation , Pores, Acne and chicken pox scars and Facial hair)

    I will be very grateful and keen to know your opinion on this.
    Please reply me ASAP. Desperately awaiting.

    1. Hi sheryl,

      I’m deepali from India,I’m using zo medical products that is melamin,glycogent,ZO ossential daily power defense,ZO oclipse sunscreen and melamix with tretinoin microsphere gel 0.1%.

      All these products I’m using past one n half year,I m huving pigmentation on my chicks area.

      So I visited skin dr one n half year before,so first dr did some peel or something like solution on my full face.

      Because of that solution my full face looking like burnt,dr did this because he said aft that he will start ZO treatment.

      So because of solution I got pigmentation on which area of my face whr earlier it was not their.

      So I asked dr so he said I huv done this,because I want to take out ur inner n hidden pigmentation before starting ZO treatment.

      Thn dr told me to start all ZO products which I written.

      So I keep on using last one n half year,but still I huv pigmentation on my chicks,it’s less visible thn earlier but still not gone fully.n all products very costly n if I stop using for 2 days also,again pigmentation is heavily visible.

      So I just want to know hw many more days I huv to use these products,because that is very costly products n I can not afford to use long life n still if I stop using just 2 days also thn pigmentation is heavily visible.

      So,pls guide me wht to do?im very much confused n I already spend so much money but still not getting required results.

      Nw I want to stop using this products because I’m tired using because in this kit that is total 6 creams n one face wash.n I huv travelling job so everywhere carrying this much products is very difficult.

      N aft spending so much money I’m unable to get required results because as I stops my chicks pigmentation is again visible,so pls guide me hw can I stop using these products?

      Pls reply me as soon as possible,eagerly waiting for ur reply.

      N one thing,is this harmful for my skin because I used all this products since long time.

    2. Hi Deepali! I apologize for not replying sooner. Please consult your dermatologist if you are having adverse reactions to the products. And never, ever stay under the sun while you’re undergoing these treatments. Good luck!

    3. Hi Priyanka! I apologize for not replying sooner. If your derma recommended these, I suggest to follow the regimen to the letter. I myself used it only for the 3 months and stopped, and you can always consult your doctor if there really is a need to continue using it. I believe it is safe for all skin types.

  11. why there is no distributor or customer service where we can email and ask some questions? I am using Obagi retamax, melamin and for the eye wrinkle/anti aging. I have a prescription from a doctor here in the Philippines. Can I just order it online since I am using this product? I have my daughter in USA maybe she could purchase it for me? The price from the doctor here in the Philippines is really very very expensive

    1. Hi Cielo! The customer service number on the ZO Medical site is 888.893.1375. I don’t think you will be able to just order it online directly because these are controlled treatments and can only be availed from your dermatologist. If your daughter in the USA can purchase it from a dermatologist there, I would suggest you try that. If you are a Belo member, I believe you get 20% off the purchase price.

  12. Hi,I tried zo medical skin lighter for dark spots,I seen results within one week, it’s the best I ever used

  13. Hi Sheryl. Thank you so much for this it is really helpful. I just started using Zo melamin, melamix, complex A solution along with the daily creams (cleanse, exfoliating polish, tpads, daily power defense and sunblock ). I have horrible discoloration over my face so the doctor prescribed these. My question is when I start peeling how long does it last ? Is it very obvious or does the scrub reduce the dead skin? When do you think I will start seeing an improvement ? Also, regarding the sun , the dermatologist told me that once I have peeled I can sit in the sun if I am completely covered in sunblock but I cannot swim in the sea. What do you think about that ?

    Basically, my wedding is planned for end of August. So I am considering whether if I start now there will be an improvement by then or if it will be worse by then.

    Sorry for the long post but I really appreciate it.

    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Farah! I never stayed under the sun while I was under treatment so that was about 3 months – even with sunblock on. The peeling went on for only the first two weeks for me but not too much, but the stinging sensation was constant throughout the 3 months especially right after applying Cebatrol. You will be fine by August – just don’t apply them to sensitive areas like under your eyes, around your mouth, the sides of your nose. Congratulations on your wedding!

  14. Hi Sheryl,
    Good day! I am also using this ZO by belo like yours and I would want to ask you how
    Many weeks probably could i seen improvements? How long will i used this product? Because doctor said this will last 3-4 months. I am experiencing burning sensation when i applied the cebatrol and other products but after a seconds it goes away, what i did is just i have a small fan i took it infront of my face because it is so burning sensation like that. I also notice that when i put a baby powder on my face i could see the peeling, and a lil bit itchy. When i smile it feels like there is something painful below the nose area. I have some redness also but not too much. Are all of these normal?

    1. Hi Michelle! I saw improvements within the prescribed period. Just make sure you do not apply any of the stuff on your sensitive areas (where the skin is very thin) like under your eyes, the sides of your nostrils, around your lips. Hope this helps!

  15. hi sheryl,
    i just jad my first treatment at belo greenhills this morning, my main concern was my large pores and a bit of roughness in my skin. i went through the glycolic facial and the power peel and they suggested the revlite treatment and for medication the zo obagi.

    both are very pricey.
    i dont have much skin problem…so im a bit hesitant abouy it. please help…

    1. Hi Ems, you might not need Revlite or ZO if your skin now doesn’t really bother you. I suggest to just keep having the facials and exfoliant – the microderm abrasion ones – they work wonders on making skin smooth. Good luck!

  16. Hi Sheryl,

    Appreciate your comprehensive review about the product. I just wanted to check if you are still using these until now? Was it effective removing acne permanently? I was also provided with same set except that I had an additional belo acne astringent day and night right after cebatrol. I am on my fourth week of using the product and i noticed that my face got whiter than the rest. Did you have the same? Also I finished 3 sessions of spanish peel and waiting for the last on the 17th. Hoping to get rid of adult acne. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi there, Charles! I stopped using it after I finished up the set. The only product I kept using for about another year was Cebatrol because it really kept my oiliness down. I have been off it for more than a year now though and I must say the results are fantastic! Except for the occasional pimple here and there, I have never had any problem since. My t-zone is not oily at all, and although some of my freckles seem to have returned, I just try to stay out of the sun as much as I can or use sunblock when I have to be. The only thing I use on my face now is Clinique gel moisturizer. And no, I did not notice that my face got whiter. I am very happy that I completed the ZO treatment. I hope this helps you too!

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