an international cosmetic surgery advisory


The Cosmé Collective Blog

Prescription Power by Obagi

'Invest in your skin - it's going to represent you for a long time' - Linden Tyler

The popularity of botox has highlighted the abject failure of over-the-counter skincare products to reverse ageing, despite grandiose claims. The overcrowded market is awash with expensive 'miracle' creams which rely on texture and smell to seduce consumers. Clever marketing, secret formulas and beautiful packaging detract from unproven fad ingredients.

Despite it's undeniable achievements in diminishing and preventing fine lines and wrinkles, it does not improve the quality and health of your skin. Good quality skincare products are the most crucial investment in your skin and should complement and even delay aesthetic and surgical treatments. The Obagi system is a comprehensive skincare line started by renowned dermatologist Zein Obagi in 1988. Obagi is one of few companies to be transparent regarding clinical testing which shows a significantly high level of scientific integrity.

The Obagi Nu Derm range uses prescription strength ingredients to reverse the signs of ageing, which differentiates it from other cosmeceuticals on the market. Your tailor-made programme will be devised by a dermatologist and supervised by an experienced therapist. By contrast, over-the- counter products tend to use diluted levels of active ingredients because they can be irritating without supervision and are hard to stabilise. It takes much longer to build collagen without a prescription and seemingly impressive statistical improvements may not be visible to the naked eye.

Obagi uses the following proven ingredients:


Retinol is still considered the gold standard anti-ager by dermatologists because it stimulates collagen production which thickens, smooths and repairs the skin. Ironically it was originally a treatment for acne, so can help with the double whammy of adult acne and wrinkles. However, it is far more effective at prescription strength.


Research shows that using retinol with an AHA improves the effectiveness of both on sun-damaged skin. The Obagi system recognises that gentle and regular AHA exfoliation is the key to a healthy skin barrier. Removing built up layers of dead unhealthy skin improves the penetration of prescription strength active ingredients. However they need to be formulated at the correct pH to be effective, which is potentially irritating without supervision, so over-the-counter products stick to low levels.


The UVA block zinc oxide is the ultimate in prevention: UVA ageing rays are present all year round and are the main cause of premature ageing. Ironically most SPF moisturisers on the market protect your skin predominantly from burning UVB rays and contain insufficient UVA protection.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, stimulates collagen production and is a great skin brightener but is notoriously difficult to stabilise because it is unstable in daylight and water; it needs to be packaged in an airtight pump and opaque glass bottle so companies tend to add it to a cream, which diminishes its effectiveness.


Prescription strength Hydroquinone, especially when combined with tretinoin has proved very successful at reducing hyperpigmentation.

Once your skin is acclimatised to prescription-strength skin care, it is perfect timing to upgrade to the Obagi Blue Radiance peel which is a gentle and effective way to improve the texture of your skin. It is an extension of your skincare routine and should be considered part of your monthly maintenance routine. Peels are more effective on healthy skin and the results are also more predictable if the practitioner already knows your skin.

Cosmé Collective work with some of the most renowned clinics and practitioners across the globe, following an initial consultation which may be face to face or virtual we will refer you to the dermatologist most suited to your needs - from liaising with your chosen clinic, providing evidence based advice and support through to aftercare and follow up advice.

Cosmé Collective - curating your aesthetic journey.

Eleanor Hartley