Friday, July 8, 2011

Visiting the House of Obagi

There are numerous skin care brands out there, but most of them I can only appreciate from afar. House of Obagi is one of them. I can only imagine why some skin care enthusiasts drop P10-20 grand for a skin care set or service, when I prefer purchasing from the other end of the spectrum.

As this task of researching about House of Obagi was given to me by my editor (hi Liz!), it was something that I took in stride because I was greatly curious about the brand and its popularity not only amongst celebrities, but among common folk as well. By common folk I mean people like me who aren't born with perfect skin, alas, I too have combination/oily skin that is made far more complicated by extreme sensitivity.

So off I was to House of Obagi in Greenbelt to talk to their Medical Director, Dr. Stephen Lacson. While I was waiting in the reception area, I noticed that the medical boutique (albeit small) had their schedule packed for the day, even some willing to be wait-listed beyond 7PM. So Obagi products and services must work, eh? Furthermore, the staff (hello Gillian!) was extremely well-mannered and well-spoken, I was truly impressed.

All of the Obagi products are displayed on the shelves, each with corresponding testers which, admittedly, I took extreme delight in swatching. But first a little background on HOO...

Why the House of Obagi?

Seeing the growing number of loyal Obagi users prompted the creation of the first ever medical boutique in Asia, the House of Obagi. It was set up in 2009 with its flagship clinic situated in Trinoma Mall, Quezon City and has since opened up several other branches in the metro. It exclusively offers all Obagi skin care products and programs and as such, patients can conveniently avail of Obagi products as well as undergo consultations with HOO’s in-house dermatologists.

Which Obagi line is best for me?

Obagi products are not as readily available and affordable as their mass-produced, OTC counterparts, and as such a little more background on each product is important. Of course, the best way is to still consult with one of their dermatologists before engaging in any skin care routine but here's a basic rundown of their offerings:


The Clenziderm skin care range was formulated especially for acne and microcomedone treatment. The line consists of a Daily Care Foaming Cleanser and Pore Therapy (both minty and contains 2% salicylic acid for exfoliation), plus a Serum Gel that contains a new liquefied form of benzoyl peroxide that is “1/10,000 the size of any other benzoyl peroxide available”, which is said to penetrate from the pores down to the follicles. It claims to heal acne in as early as two weeks.


Created in the 1980s, NuDerm is the most widely-used Obagi skin care line and the product that put the name Obagi on the map. It is a complex professional program that is said to treat acne, discolorations/melasma, fine lines, wrinkles and scars at the cellular level, hence helping in the faster turnover of new, fresh cells. Due to its exfoliating action, the NuDerm system is also considered as the basic step to achieving healthy skin. This line may be used by women in their 20s-60s (and above).

The Vitamin C serum comes in a hygienic dropper bottle and is recommended to reduce photoaging and add glow. It is a line that contains four concentrations of L-Ascorbic Acid from 5% to 20%. Vitamin C is said to counteract premature aging, protect against future skin damage, and stimulates collagen for firm and supple skin. Using Vitamin C topically may cause some discomfort to people with sensitive skin.

A skin care system that contains prescription strength vitamin C and hydroquinone that evens out skin tone, enhances collagen production and brightens skin. There’s been a lot of buzz about the use of hydroquinone to lighten skin, but HOO’s Medical Director Dr. Stephen Lacson explains it is very safe and for best results, it should only be used under strict supervision of a dermatologist. 

In order to address undereye wrinkles and laxity, the Elastiderm Eye Cream/Gel contains Malonic Acid to stimulate the production of healthy skin cells, Blueberry extract provides antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals and a bi-mineral complex that sustains and replenishes collagen and elastin. Elastiderm Eye Gel helps smooth out fine lines and may lighten undereye circles with regular use.

After spending so much on facial skin care, women tend to neglect their neck and chest. These parts can also give out your age and therefore also need the same care and attention. The Elastiderm Décolletage System features the same bi-mineral complex and Malonic Acid to replenish elasticity and collagen with the added ingredient of 4% hydroquinone for skin lightening and reduction of age spots and discolorations. 

So why choose Obagi?

With the astounding price tags on these products, the question begs: what makes Obagi products different than most clinically-formulated brands available in the market today? HOO’s Medical Director Dr. Lacson answers, “For one, the products can only be dispensed by doctors since they use prescription strength ingredients. Obagi Medical products is the number 1 prescription-strength skin care system in the world (this is a valid claim that can be supported by studies from the US). The products are designed in which they come as a set with detailed instructions where each product and each step has a specific purpose so that it works synergistically with one another to achieve the desired results.” 

In a nutshell, Obagi is expensive but mainly "because it is a medical brand, backed up by really thorough research by the experts in the dermatological field - they truly know best," loyal user Sophie of Beautynomics and Obagi Digital Consultant testifies. "Obagi Clenziderm was the [only] product line that cured my acne and made my skin turnaround from super acne prone to having tolerable skin with tighter pores and my breakouts have significantly lessened." 

Final thoughts

So what do you think? Will you be investing in a medical skin care brand such as Obagi? As for me, I'm willing to try it especially their famous peels possibly in the near future, despite the prices being a bit prohibitive. I think investing in a reliable skin care routine should be high priority.

Though I may not have serious acne or skin problems to deal with, the Obagi promise of glowing, healthy, baby-like skin is simply too hard to ignore. If and when I do decide to try it, I shall document my "journey" in this blog.

Read my full interview with Dr. Lacson here.

For more information please visit or call 81-OBAGI.


  1. Good pm! Mga how much ang "ELASTIDERM DAY EYE GEL & NIGHT CREAM"? Or price range of any of their products. Dati ko pa kasi nakikita sa Trinoma 'to pero never entered it eh :)) Thanks! :)

  2. @Number Two Lover: Hi dear, you can request for the prices by calling 81-OBAGI :)

  3. Today, Obagi is one of the most recognized brand names in skin health care worldwide so that I really wanted to try this and let me see how it really works on me.

    obagi Philippines

  4. "Expensive" is relative. It might be expensive for you and economical to others. P20,000 for 7 products of Obagi is much economical than P 50,000 per jar of XXX platinum minerals cream which delivers minimal results. Dont you think?