Obagi Skincare Review

About Obagi Skincare

Obagi Skincare Review

Obagi takes a transformative approach to skincare. Rather than fighting the past, they use their high-quality serums, acids, and washes to help people create a better future.

To them, it isn’t just about healing, it’s about bringing out the best in your skin with treatments that are commonly doctor or physician-prescribed.

This mantra from the brand itself is well-backed by Allure, MakeupAlley, Women’s Health, New You Magazine, New Beauty, and RealSelf. Plus, the brand recently announced Priyanka Chopra will be their very first spokesperson.

To back up their claims, it is worth noting that Obagi claimed 2 awards at the Beauty Choice Awards by NewBeauty Magazine, including Best Overall Brand Sold at a Doctor’s Office and Best Overall Dark Spot Eraser for their Obagi Nu-Derm® Clear™.

This Obagi skincare review will go over in extensive detail the way their scientifically proven products work in action, the risks and benefits that come with them, guidelines, and so much more to help you decide whether the brand is worth the buy. 

Overview of Obagi

Obagi Skincare Review

Obagi has a long history, dating back to 1988. Dermatologist, Dr. Zein Obagi wanted to help those suffering from tired, aging skin by creating prescription-based skincare products that did the job and did it well.

Even though a lot has changed for the brand, they still uphold their same goal to greatly slow the appearance of aging skin, heal scars, root out acne, even out tone, and shield from sun damage. Who knew there was a brand that did all that!?

All in all, this Long Beach, California-based brand has 30 years of experience which has given them a patient, sophisticated, and scientific view of paraben-free skincare that has helped many accomplish their skin goals.

As the brand has said since its inception, “skin care is more than ‘correcting’ or even ‘preventing,’ it’s about unleashing your skin’s full potential.”

The brand’s clinical-quality care is a promise that is backed by a vast majority of their customers and many publications worldwide, as well as their innovation through 2 types of skincare practice: Obagi Medical and Obagi Clinical.

Whether you are looking for something that helps with premature aging, or you need something tougher for hyperpigmentation and scarring, you are bound to find it in one of these categories from Obagi.

To get into this Obagi skincare review, let’s go over some pros and cons of the brand. 


  • A wide range of skincare products that decrease the signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and more
  • 2 categories of skincare to choose from allows for a more specific sense of the skincare needed
  • Products are clinically proven to provide anti-aging benefits
  • Tretinoin gives skin benefits in a visible, tangible way that other people notice
  • Products resolve a large set of skin issues
  • Fragrance and paraben-free products available
  • Offers a quiz that assesses skin conditions and suggests remedies
  • High customer approval rating with many positive reviews on multiple online sources
  • International brand and easy to buy
  • Pre-paid shipping labels provided for 30-day returns


  • Expensive compared to other brands and many prices are unlisted
  • Many products need a prescription to purchase
  • Only 3 products per order, with a maximum purchase price of $750
  • Cannot return opened items

Obagi Tretinoin Review

This Obagi Nu Derm review will go over the brand’s best-selling creams, serums, peels, and systems. Keep reading for details on application guidelines, pricing, and skin treatment options.

First up, we will explore the brand’s Trentinoin products of various strengths. For those that don’t know, this ingredient is used in skincare to treat fine lines, discoloration (including dark spots!), and even clear acne.

But first, a word of caution. Due to the high dose of Vitamin A in these creams, customers who are trying to conceive, pregnant, or nursing an infant should not use Tretinoin products.

It’s also extremely important to know that tretinoin increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Be sure to consider Obagi sunscreen, or to at least use some kind of sunscreen protection regularly.

Stick with us. We’ll soon arrive at an answer to the big question: Is Obagi really effective?

Obagi Tretinoin 0.1% Cream Review

The Tretinoin 0.1% Cream is the strongest tretinoin on offer. Since it is so strong, it’s available by prescription only, which customers must receive from their healthcare provider. 

Intended for all skin types, the Tretinoin 0.1% Cream is for especially stubborn acne or skin issues that you need to deal with. But, it also works extremely well to smooth out wrinkles.

Customers should take their time to work up to this amount of tretinoin. If you are unfamiliar with the substance, this Obagi Nu Derm review strongly recommends starting with the Tretinoin 0.025% Cream first.

Be advised to use it until the bottle is empty. At that point, usually, your skin will have adjusted and you can try the next level up, if necessary for your skin to get the uplift you want to see.

For everyone else, use a pea-sized amount on a completely dry face morning and night, avoiding corners of the nose, mouth, eyes, and open wounds. 

Unfortunately, the pricing details for this cream are not available on the Obagi website at this time.

Obagi Tretinoin 0.05% Cream Review

The Tretinoin 0.05% Cream is for people who experience intense issues with pimples and flare-ups.

It’s a stronger dose than the 0.025% cream, but it doesn’t add much of an anti-aging effect. We recommend that this product be used by someone purely seeking help with acne. 

However, it could cause irritation and flaking of the skin, because it accelerates skin turn over and causes dryness (as it balances sebum production).

A prescription is required, and pricing details are not currently up on the Obagi website. Contact your healthcare provider or the brand directly for more information.

Obagi Tretinoin 0.025% Cream Review

As this Obagi Nu Derm review previously mentioned, the Tretinoin 0.025% Cream is what everyone should use when they first start on tretinoin. It gives a clinically proven age-reverse effect, and it’s also the right amount for your pores to handle.

Because all tretinoin products suck out moisture along with unwanted oils and impurities, it’s smart to build up a tolerance before using a high amount. First, use Tretinoin 0.025% Cream every second night for two weeks in a pea-sized amount

Then, if your skin is doing okay, use it every night. Just make sure you cleanse your face of all substances and let it dry for 20 minutes. Apply the cream, wait another 20 minutes, and then moisturize.

Only after you go through a whole tube of Tretinoin 0.025% Cream should you consider bumping up to 0.05%.

Customers report that it takes 1–2 months for the “tretinoin glow” to come into effect, which makes your face appear visibly radiant and youthful.

However, customers (especially those with many tough blemishes) also report a purge period that can last weeks. During that time, all the acne budding beneath your skin comes out all at once.

Obagi does not currently have Tretinoin 0.025% Cream pricing details and does require a prescription for purchase. 

Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10% Review

Designed for dry and normal skin, the Professional-C® Serum 10% uses Vitamin C and Antioxidants to counter the effects of stress and aging. L-Ascorbic Acid makes it gentle enough for sensitive skin types, too!

Professional-C® Serum 10% also has a brightening effect and balances your overall complexion and adds that light glow where you need it.

Obagi recommends daily use to safeguard your naturally beautiful skin. The Professional-C® Serum 10% is currently available for $89.

Obagi Vitamin C Serum 20% Review

A stronger version of the 10% option, the Professional-C® Serum 20% is Obagi’s highest concentration serum. It’s packed with antioxidants and is designed to leave your skin silky soft, while also fighting those stubborn fine lines.

Other benefits include helping your skin recover, healing visible damage, and further reducing the severity of fine lines and wrinkles on either oily or normal skin types.

Obagi recommends applying 5–7 drops to your face, neck, and chest, after cleanser, and before sunscreen and makeup. Professional-C® Serum 20% is available for $133 and does not require a prescription to get ahold of. 

Obagi Retinol 1.0 Review

The high-concentration retinol formula found in Obagi Retinol 1.0 smooths out uneven textures and age lines while securing an overall clean and clear complexion. 

Retinol itself is a highly sought-after ingredient in skincare, and this magical complex is the strongest kind the brand offers for a lighter, clear complexion. Plus, the brand ensures that you have little to no irritation on the skin after use.

As another bonus, this is a non-acnegenic retinol product, meaning it doesn’t cause pores to clog up. Instead, it is specially designed to gradually release the formula so your skin can ease into the effects over time.

The Obagi Retinol 1.0 is available for the price of $74.

Obagi Blue Brilliance® Triple Acid Peel Review

Exfoliation. Everyone needs it, but only a few people do it. Let Blue Brilliance® Triple Acid Peel turn it into a weekly habit.

This Obagi skincare review highly recommends using Blue Brilliance® Triple Acid Peel if you’re already on a tretinoin product because it purifies your pores of the dead skin that builds up with long-term tretinoin use.

Once a week should be enough for the triple-acid facial peel to rid your face of dry flakes, keeping you in the pink of health.

This Obagi Blue Peel costs $145, which is enough to qualify for the free ground shipping bonus that comes with an Obagi Membership. More on that soon.

Obagi Nu Derm Review – Normal to Oily

This Obagi skincare review would not be complete without an investigation of the Nu-Derm® System – Normal to Oily. A complete skin transformation kit, it comes with 7 products specially designed to correct hyperpigmentation.

As with many of the Obagi products we have seen this far, a prescription is required to unlock this product package. But if you can get one, know that Nu-Derm® System – Normal to Oily includes the following items:

  • Obagi Blender                                                
  • Obagi Hydrate                              
  • Obagi Clear     
  • Obagi Exfoderm Forte
  • Obagi Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50
  • Obagi Toner
  • Obagi Foaming Gel

The whole package is ideal for treating age spots, rough skin, a yellowish complexion, and discoloration without the hassle of buying multiple expensive creams that just plain don’t work.

When it comes to pricing, this Obagi Nu Derm review must sadly report a lack of information on the website on that front. But feel free to contact your health provider or the brand itself for more details!

Obagi Nu Derm – Normal to Dry Review

Obagi Nu-Derm® System – Normal to Dry is the sister version of the Normal to Oily formula. Everything else is basically the same. It is formulated with tested ingredients to fix dark spots, melasma, and a generally aged appearance for customers with dry skin.

It also comes with 4% Hydroquinone and the same seven products listed above, except with the Gentle Cleanser instead of the Foaming Gel.

Once again, this Obagi Nu Derm review is sad to say that Nu-Derm® System – Normal to Dry requires a prescription. At this time, pricing details are not available on the brand’s official website.

Obagi Skincare Reviews: What Do Customers Think?

Obagi Nu Derm Review

This Obagi Nu Derm review took to the internet to find out what customers were saying about the company and, so far, buyers are loving their Obagi products!

We were able to put together a compilation of testimonials from Beautypedia, the official Obagi website, Sephora, Makeup Alley, and Beyond Skin. 

On Beautypedia, the brand had a great scoring average overall with many products receiving an average above 4/5 stars with hundreds of reviews. Here is a brief summary of how these Obagi products are ‘wowing’ buyers:

  • Hydrate Facial Moisturizer: rated 5/5 stars with 918 reviews
  • Nu-Derm Toner #2: rated 5/5 stars with 1074 reviews
  • Professional-C Serum 20%: rated 5/5 stars with 833 reviews
  • ELASTIderm Eye Cream: rated 4/5 stars with 725 reviews
  • CLENZIderm MD Pore Therapy: rated 5/5 stars with 407 reviews

Next, Sephora had over 941 reviews leaving an average score of 4/5 stars for the brand. One customer reviewed the Retinol 0.5 Obagi skin care cream, saying, “I love this cream! This is the only thing that minimizes my pores and reduces the redness on my face!”

On Makeup Alley, the brand received a rating of 4/5 stars out of 257 reviews, and 77% people said they would repurchase.

If we look at Obagi on Beyond Skin, we find their products have about 50-100 reviews each and a 5-star average rating. Here is a review that shares the general consensus:

“I’ve been using Obagi products for years now and appreciate how they make my skin look clear and refreshed, even as I age.” 

As it is a major skin care company, there were bound to be complaints. Some of the major concerns were about product texture and smell, rashes, and one-off incidents of defective tubes.

One upset customer shared on the brand’s website: “Not sure if the product works or not. I used it [for] 2 days and on the 3rd day the tube opened on the wrong end and the product squirted out.”

Many reviewers from Beautypedia also commented on the brand causing them to break out or get rashes. One stated that the Hydrate Facial Moisturizer “has an odd smell and the consistency of it is very thick and greasy. I have been breaking out since trying this.”

While another reviewer commented that the Professional-C Serum 20% made them “break out like crazy for acne-prone skin.”

Is Obagi Worth It?

Obagi Skincare Review

Is Obagi the best skin care? There’s stiff competition for that title, but Obagi just might take the crown.

Their ingredients are clinically proven to have anti-aging effects, and if that isn’t enough, their customers leave nearly 100% positive reviews every time, and some are even repeat customers.

Plus, the brand uses no parabens or artificial fragrances in their products, leaving only age-defying ingredients to do the work.

Though the negative reviews about rashes, texture, and defective packaging are daunting, this is rare feedback from the brand among the hundreds of positive reviews that Obagi products have earned.

If you do find yourself having issues with this brand, you can always rely on their offer to send you a pre-paid shipping label to submit a return with 30-days of purchase for a full refund.

All in all, if you are looking for a brand that is going to ease your worries about wrinkles, dark spots, and aging, Obagi is definitely worth the buy.

Obagi Promotions & Discounts

Obagi Skincare Review

This Obagi Nu Derm review has your back when it comes to discounts.

To get $20 off your next order, all you have to do is refer a friend to the service, which they obviously want to do, because Obagi Members get complimentary shipping on orders $125+.

Where to Buy Obagi Skincare Products

Obagi Skincare Review

All Obagi products can be found on their website: You can also purchase them in select dermatology clinics, and through online retailers such as: 

  • Sephora
  • Beyond Skin
  • Skin Store
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Beauty Sense
  • ArtMed
  • Beyond Skin 

If you live outside the US, check out Omagi’s complete list of international retailers. 


Obagi Nu Derm Review

What country is Obagi from?

Dr. Zein Obagi is a Syrian-American who graduated from the University of Damascus in 1972. He continued his research in the US and founded Obagi Medical.

Is Obagi prescription only?

No, Obagi is not prescription-only. Many of their products can be bought without a prescription, including Obagi Clenziderm and Obagi Retivance.

Is Obagi good for mature skin?

Obagi products are good for all skin types and ages. Many mature customers on retail websites and YouTube shared how Obagi helped their skin glow and appear younger.

How long does it take for Obagi to work?

Obagi works in different time intervals. It depends on your skin condition and which product is being used.

For example, a person with severe acne might have a “purge” within weeks of using Obagi skin care, while others only start noticing significant effects after a month. 

Does Obagi help with wrinkles?

Many Obagi products are designed and dedicated to fighting wrinkles. Tretinoin has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and retinols.

What is Obagi’s Shipping Policy?

The first thing to know about Obagi’s shipping is that orders cannot be canceled or modified. It’s a double-edged sword situation because the reason for this limitation is that their orders process and ship very quickly.

That Obagi Vitamin C Serum (or whatever Obagi products you ordered) will then arrive through UPS in about 3-5 business days

If you have issues with your order, contact customer service from 7 AM–4 PM PST at 1-800-636-7546.

Lastly, it’s crucial to remember that only ships to US customers. International buyers should use the list of retailers available in different countries.

What is Obagi’s Return Policy?

Obagi only accepts returns that were purchased from the official Obagi website and sent back unopened, within 30 days. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Contact the Obagi support team and request a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA)
  2. After hearing back within 2 business days, you will receive a prepaid return shipping label
  3. Ship your item(s) back to Obagi
  4. Check your inbox for a confirmation email 

Note that a full refund can take 30 days to appear in your account.

How to Contact Obagi

This Obagi Nu Derm review has surprising information for old-fashioned customers. You might be pleased to know that Obagi accepts correspondence by physical mail

Send them a line at the address below:


3760 Kilroy Airport Way, Suite 500

Long Beach, CA 90806

Everyone else can get in touch with Obagi through the following channels: 

  • Phone: 1-800-636-7546
  • Fax: 1-877-791-7096

You can also use the Contact Form found on their website.

Explore your options for skincare with these other popular brands:

Herbivore Botanicals

Farmacy Beauty




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