In 1988, the noted skin care professional Dr. Zeine Obagi developed his innovative skin care system. Today, this potent anti-aging line is renowned throughout the industry for its approach towards fighting environmental pollutants. Dr. Obagi’s rationale was that it’s these pollutants that contribute to the skin damage which then leads to the signs of aging.
The Obagi skin care system is specifically intended to neutralize the effects of both sun damage and pollutants. The manufacturer’s claim for the product is that it will yield dramatic results and that a user’s “skin age” will noticeably decrease. Obagi’s approach towards anti-aging is fairly comprehensive, and the products focus on treating the entire face and neck area, rather than just targeting particular wrinkle “problem” spots. Since they are known for their strong formulas, most Obagi products are strictly prescription only. However, there are approximately 3,5000 physicians currently licensed to prescribe Obagi. While this seems like a large number, it is possible that you could have difficulty finding anyone to help you sample this product.
Obagi follows five strict steps when it comes to skin care. These steps are: prepare, improve, stimulate, protect and control. Any Obagi skin care regimen is intended to address all five elements in order to yield best results. Additionally, there are several product strengths for each category. While we appreciate that Obagi is attempting to customize a skin care regimen specifically for you, we found that the large number of products available could be a bit daunting.
We were unable to find any comprehensive ingredient lists for Obagi products on the manufacturer’s website. However, we can determine that all of the components seem to avoid the use of soap. Additionally, the protective components (“Improve” and “Protect”) seem to use high concentrations of Vitamin C, which has shown some potential as an antioxidant. Other featured ingredients include alum, which is a non-synthetic astringent and the exfoliants hydroxy acid and phytic acid. Both of these exfoliants are relatively harsh and can leave skin sensitive to sunlight.
- The Obagi website offers a helpful “physicians finder” so you can see how easy it is to get Obagi in your area.
- Once you do see a doctor, they will theoretically help you to sort through the large number of products available.
- Obagi products seem to contain all natural ingredients.
- Given the prescription-only nature of Obagi, it could be difficult to obtain.
- Hydroxy acid has been shown to cause severe sensitivity to sunlight, making it advisable to use sun screen when spending time outdoors.
- The five or more steps that make up any Obagi skin care regimen could be more time consuming than some users are ready for.
The Bottom Line
If you trust your physician and they have recommended Obagi to you then, obviously, they know your skin better than you do. What we can say for sure about Obagi is that it definitely isn’t for the casual skin care product user. The five or more steps required take time and dedication. Also, from what we could tell from the ingredient list, this is pretty potent stuff. If you are not suffering from a serious medical condition, you may also wish to look into your more casual, non-prescription anti-aging options as well.