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Overall Rating: 9.0

Retail Price: $49.95

Obagi Skincare

Obagi Medical Products, Inc., is a pharmaceutical company founded by dermatologist Zein Obagi. The company focuses on skin care products that are dispensed by physicians' offices. Although no prescription is required for most Obagi products, many of the formulas are significantly stronger than most over-the-counter skin care systems, so Obagi customers need to be under a physician's care while using these products.

Obagi Nu Derm

The Obagi Nu Derm skin care system is one of Obagi's most well-known product lines; the Nu Derm system is targeted to counteract the symptoms of aging skin, including age spots and discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles, skin laxity, rough skin, and redness.

The line of Obagi Nu Derm products consists of seven separate products that are designed to be used together to transform the state of the skin at the cellular level. The first six products are numbered from one to six, and the seventh product is a topical retinoid, which does require a medical prescription to obtain.

Obagi Ingredients

The list of ingredients contained in the various products in Obagi's Nu Derm system is very large; the active ingredients include tretinoin (topical retinoid), hydroquinone, glycolic acid, vitamin C, high SPF sunscreen, and various moisturizers. The hydroquinone ingredient is troublesome, as this substance is implicated as a carcinogen and a toxin; hydroquinone has actually been banned for use in skin care products in several countries in Europe and the United Kingdom.

Obagi Complications

The strength of the Obagi Nu Derm product line in combination with some controversial ingredients can cause moderate to severe side effects in most users. Since the Nu Derm system is designed to change the skin at the cellular level, the products penetrate deep under the skin's top layers. Obagi patients complain of facial redness, itchiness, excessive dryness, blisters, open sores and burning feelings. These side effects usually peak during the second to third week of treatment, which is when a large number of Obagi users give up on the program. The side effects and pattern of customers quitting is so well-known that there are a number of Obagi online support groups and user forums to help new Obagi users deal with these problems.

Obagi Nu Derm Reviews

While some patients give positive reviews to the Obagi Nu Derm product line, other user reports are less than stellar. For many people who tried the Obagi Nu Derm line, the side effects were just too severe to continue the regimen. It is not uncommon to read stories of customers who had to stay home for weeks to avoid being seen in public and about others who had sleepless nights due to the extreme discomfort from Obagi products.

Even the Obagi users who thought that the products produced good results had a complaint about Obagi products: the product line is very expensive. With most single products priced at $80 to $100 per bottle or tube and the starter set priced at nearly $400, the Obagi system is only an option for customers with large discretionary incomes.