Obagi Review: A Review of The 10 Best Obagi Skin Care Products – The Dermatology Review

founded by board certified dermatologist dr. Zein Obagi in 1988, the Obagi skincare line includes professional, medical-grade products that are designed to “unleash your skin’s full potential.” The brand offers the obagi medical line with products formulated to treat concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, while the obagi clinical line includes products to prevent these early signs of skin aging.

In this review, we’ll cover the top 10 obagi skin care products, formulation details, key ingredients, and the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skin care. We’ll also be sharing some obagi reviews so you can get an idea of ​​what customers really think of these products.

Reading: Obagi skin care review

is obagi skin care worth it?

A common question about this brand is whether the products are worth their money. Obagi’s skin care products are expensive, for example, Blue Glow Triple Acid Peel is $145.

in our opinion, obagi skin care products are not worth the money, simply because there are other skin care brands that offer similar products that are less expensive.

one brand is carrot & stick, a clean skincare brand that perfectly balances the gentle care of plants with the powerful results of innovative science.

carrot & Stick’s intro packs offer great value for money because you can bundle 3 full-size products worth up to $240 for $88.

what are the top 10 obagi skin care products?

obagi skin care products are designed to help minimize the appearance of premature skin aging, skin damage, hyperpigmentation, acne, and sun damage. here’s a breakdown of obagi’s top 10 skin care products.

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obagi vitamin c serum

There are three strengths of obagi vitamin c serum available: 10%, 15% and 20%. the form of vitamin c in all of these serums is l-ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is ideal for those battling skin discoloration, uneven skin tone, and signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. while obagi’s vitamin c serum provides your skin with a potent dose of l-ascorbic acid, all three formulations contain a mix of synthetic fragrances, which doesn’t do your skin any good!

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obagi elastiderm eye contour

obagi elastiderm eye cream has a light and silky texture due to the high concentrations of emollients, humectants and silicones in this formula.

Emollients, such as ethylhexyl palmitate and glyceryl stearate, will help soften the skin and may help relieve dry skin.

Glycerin, a humectant, works by drawing moisture away from the skin to increase hydration. The added hydration also temporarily plumps the skin and makes lines and wrinkles less noticeable. however, this effect is temporary: as soon as the skin’s moisture content decreases, lines and wrinkles will return to their normal size.

The silicones in this obagi eye cream will form a thin, invisible film on the skin’s surface that provides a silky-smooth skin feel and helps lock in moisture. this film also allows the silicones to fill in and temporarily hide wrinkles. but again, this effect is purely cosmetic and once the product washes out, fine lines and wrinkles will return.

Unfortunately, obagi elastiderm eye cream contains low concentrations of key ingredients that would actually provide long-term benefits. for example, licorice root extract, seaweed extract, and cranberry extract are all way down the list of ingredients.

One more thing to keep in mind before buying obagi elastiderm eye cream is that the formula contains five different parabens as preservatives.

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obagi nu derm systems

There are three obagi nu derm systems: blender, clear and sunfader. all three require a prescription due to the inclusion of 4% hydroquinone (2% is the maximum allowed in an over-the-counter product). hydroquinone is considered the gold standard for treating hyperpigmentation.

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according to the american osteopathic college of dermatology, hydroquinone causes reversible skin lightening by interfering with melanin production by melanocytes. Ultimately, this causes a decrease in the number of melanocytes and less melanin transfer, leading to lighter skin. while the obagi nu derm systems are formulated with an effective strength of hydroquinone to produce significant skin lightening, it should be noted that all three formulations contain parabens as preservatives.

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obagi nu derm healthy skin protection broad spectrum spf 35

This obagi nu derm sunscreen combines zinc oxide from the mineral sunscreen with octinoxate from the chemical sunscreen to provide broad spectrum spf 35 protection. broad spectrum means this sunscreen protects against both uva and uvb rays. Unfortunately, this is another obagi skin care product that contains parabens as preservatives.

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obagi professional c-peptide complex

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Peptides, also known as the building blocks of important skin proteins like collagen and elastin, are the key ingredients in obagi professional c-peptide complex. For example, this formula includes acetyloctapeptide-3, a peptide that influences the muscle contraction process and relaxes facial muscles, thus reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Obagi Professional C Peptide Complex also includes antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, to help brighten skin while defending against free radicals.

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blue obagi shell

obagi blue peel is a homemade peel that combines three acids (salicylic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid) in a denatured alcohol base. while these exfoliating acids provide many benefits to the skin, denatured alcohol does not.

The problem with this type of alcohol is that, at first, it seems to benefit the skin. Initially, the alcohol helps reduce excess oil while tightening the skin. but not in a healthy way!

The immediate degreasing effects of alcohol-based products can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, making skin look even shinier and oilier than it once was, possibly even leading to breakouts.

In addition, denatured alcohol can even disrupt the skin barrier. According to a publication in the bba biomembranes magazine, alcohol alters the lipids that make up the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin). While alcohol may provide short-term benefits, it doesn’t do your skin any good in the long run.

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obagi retinol serum

If you’re trying to prevent or reduce the signs of skin aging, you’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to add a retinol serum to your nighttime routine. Retinol is clinically proven to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and reduce the appearance of large pores.

the only drawback? retinol can often lead to side effects such as skin dryness, flaking, and irritation. that’s why it’s best to start with a low concentration retinol product and work your way up to higher levels. obagi retinol serums let you do this because the brand offers a 0.5% retinol serum and a 1% retinol serum.

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obagi revival

obagi retivance contains retinaldehyde, a derivative of vitamin a, as a key ingredient. For any vitamin A derivative to be effective, it must first be converted to retinoic acid. for example, pure retinol must be converted to retinaldehyde and then to retinoic acid. the use of retinaldehyde offers more efficacy than retinol because it is one step closer to retinoic acid. And, like retinol, retinaldehyde provides benefits like reducing fine lines and wrinkles, improving uneven skin tone, restoring skin firmness, reducing pore size, and more.

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obagi matte sunscreen broad spectrum spf 50

This obagi sunscreen combines zinc oxide with two chemical sunscreen ingredients (octisalate and homosalate) to provide broad spectrum SPF 50 protection. It has a lightweight texture that absorbs well without feeling heavy or greasy, providing a sleek finish. mate.

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obagi professional c microdermabrasion polish + mask

A 2-in-1 skin polishing mask that exfoliates and delivers 30% vitamin c to promote smoother, brighter, more youthful-looking skin. The formula contains ultra-fine crystals that effectively help remove the most superficial layers of the epidermis, removing accumulated surface debris and promoting healthy-looking skin.

what are the key ingredients in obagi skin care products?

obagi skin care products are formulated with a variety of evidence-based ingredients such as , glycolic acid, and retinol. Let’s take a closer look at these ingredients and how they can benefit your skin.

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vitamin c

l-ascorbic acid, or pure vitamin c, is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin from environmental free radical damage. Vitamin C also helps fade dark spots, evens out skin tone, and boosts radiance.

As if that wasn’t enough, research suggests that when vitamin c is applied to the skin, it significantly reverses aging-related structural changes by influencing collagen and elastin synthesis. A vitamin c serum, such as obagi vitamin c serum, is the best way to deliver this active ingredient to the deeper layers of the skin.

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glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is a member of the alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) family. Like AHA, Glycolic Acid has the ability to exfoliate the skin, stimulate the skin’s natural regeneration process, and help the skin retain moisture. It exfoliates the skin by attacking corneocytes (dead skin cells) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing its breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, it increases the rate of cell turnover, leading to smoother, more radiant skin.

glycolic acid is used in the blue obagi peel, but keep in mind that this peel contains a high concentration of denatured alcohol. Since we don’t recommend the obagi blue peel, check out our curated list of the best glycolic acid peels.

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after being absorbed into the skin, retinol (also known as vitamin a) is converted to its active form, retinoic acid. Retinoic Acid works deep within the skin where it increases collagen synthesis, increases elasticity, and repairs connective tissue. it also increases cell turnover, which helps prevent pore clogging and promotes smoother, healthier-looking skin.

According to a publication in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, retinoic acid can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and reduce the appearance of large pores.

what are the best skin care products of 2022?

how much do obagi skin care products cost?

Obagi skin care products are expensive, for example, Obagi Vitamin C Serum 20% is $133 for 1 ounce, and Obagi Elastiderm Eye Cream is $115.50 per just a half ounce jar.

in our opinion, obagi skin care products are not worth the high prices, especially since there are other brands that offer similar products for a fraction of the cost.

For example, instead of paying $133 for obagi’s vitamin c serum, you could pay just $5.80 for ordinary vitamin c suspension, which combines 23% pure l-ascorbic acid with hyaluronic acid. Seems like a no-brainer to us!

where to buy obagi skin care products?

You can buy obagi skin care products on the brand’s website, as well as through doctors, medical spas, and other skin care professionals. The brand’s website has a locator so you can enter your zip code to find skin care professionals selling Obagi skin care products near you. In addition, Sephora and DermStore are authorized online sellers of Obagi skin care products.

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what is obagi’s return policy?

obagi’s return policy states that “if you are not satisfied with any purchase you have made through this site, you have the option of returning any unopened product for a refund within 30 days of the date indicated on the invoice”.

is obagi cruelty free?

obagi is not cruelty free. The brand states on its website, “Unless directed by the FDA for drug safety purposes, Obagi does not test its products on animals. obagi non-prescription products have not been tested on animals.”

Are obagi skin care products vegan?

the brand’s website states that “we cannot guarantee that any of our products are vegan.”

obagi reviews

reviews for obagi on the brand’s website are generally very positive. However, there aren’t many reviews, so we turned to to see what customers have to say about obagi’s skin care products.

one product that has been very well received is the obagi vitamin c 20% serum, which has obtained an average score of 4.76 out of 5 stars after more than 500 customer reviews.

The positive reviews for the obagi vitamin c serum come from customers confirming that this serum really does help with hyperpigmentation. It is said to help fade dark spots and acne scars, as well as brighten the skin.

For example, one review says, “Since using this product I’ve been getting compliments on how radiant my skin looks. I’ve noticed my skin tone has evened out and my acne scars are starting to fade. I’ve stopped using this product.” wear foundation since i used this.”

and another very positive review says: “I love this serum. It instantly brightened my skin, it smells wonderful and absorbs quickly. It didn’t wash me out.”

Although there aren’t many negative reviews of obagi’s vitamin c serum, it’s still a good idea to take a look at what these reviews are saying to see why customers didn’t like this serum. most of the negative reviews we found were from customers who did not see the results they expected even after months of using the obagi c serum.

For example, one review says, “This has been very disappointing. I have a couple of sun spots, one that I’ve been trying to fade for quite some time. I had high hopes for this serum because of the great reviews. I have been.” using as directed i use spf and avoid sun i have been using this serum every day for at least 8 weeks and yes my skin feels good but this has not lightened my skin tone or faded any blemishes. a little goes a long way and I still have quite a bit of product left in. however since this didn’t actually do anything visibly on my face I won’t be buying again.didn’t work for me.”

and a similar review says, “this vitamin c was fine, applied well and absorbed easily. however, i didn’t notice any difference using this product and for the price i expected more.”

our verdict

In general, we believe that some obagi skin care products are better than others and recommend avoiding products that contain fragrances and parabens.


  • products contain evidence-based ingredients (ahas, salicylic acid, vitamin c, retinol, etc.)
  • lots of positive obagi reviews
  • cons

    • obagi is not cruelty free
    • some obagi skin care products contain parabens
    • some obagi skin care products contain fragrance
    • what are some alternatives to obagi skin care products?

      If you are looking for skin care products that address the signs of aging, we recommend carrot & stick. carrot & stick maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in advanced skin care solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin.

      references:nutrients. August 2017; 9(8): 866. american osteopathic college of dermatology “hydroquinone” bba biomembranes, May 2012, pages 1410-1419clin interv aging. December 2006; 1(4): 327-348.

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