Obagi vs. Dermalogica 2023; which brand is better?

Hannah Wilson

Curious about the Obagi and Dermalogica ranges? At Face Dr, we love to compare the skincare brands our Skin Experts offer our clients, and the most popular high street brands you can pick up in stores.

Maybe you’re used to the Dermalogica range but have been considering trying a prescription skincare range instead to see if it helps your skin issues? You’re in the right place. We’re breaking down all there is to know about both brands.

Whether you’re looking to tackle ageing skin, acne, dull skin, hyperpigmentation or something else, we’re here to help you uncover the results these brands offer, the difference in price, customer reviews, and more.

It’s the battle of the brands! Let’s take a look at Obagi Medical and Dermalogica in more detail…

Want a face-to-face chat about these two ranges? Our Skin Experts can discuss the benefits. Book your free video call today:

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

  • What is the Obagi range ?
  • What is the Dermalogica range?
  • What skin issues does Obagi tackle?
  • What skin issues does Dermalogica tackle?
  • What products are in the Obagi range?
  • What products are in the Dermalogica range?
  • What do reviews of Obagi and Dermalogica say?
  • Where can I buy both ranges?
  • How much do Obagi products cost?
  • How much do Dermalogica products cost?
  • Summary: Should I choose Obagi or Dermalogica?

 

What is the Obagi range?

 

 Obagi Medical

 

The award-winning Obagi range is one of the most recommended brands by our Skin Experts, who choose it for its efficacy, science-backed formulas and ability to minimise some of the most troublesome skin issues.

There are two sub-ranges within the Obagi range; Obagi Clinical and Obagi Medical. The Medical range has proved most effective with our clients, and therefore we tend to recommend this one most often.

You can read about the differences between the two in our article here, but in a nutshell, Obagi Medical products must be prescribed by a professional because they are higher strength.

 

What is the Dermalogica range?

 

 Dermalogica

 

Dermalogica was originally created by a skin therapist, for skin therapists. Their aim is to provide best-in-class education and products for skin therapists, with healthy skin in mind for customers, and the range is certified cruelty-free, gluten-free and vegan.

Dermalogica products can be bought in a range of shops, clinics and online on their website, but they do recommend speaking to a professional skin therapist for product advice.

 

What skin issues does Obagi tackle?

 

 Obagi Medical

 

Known for its efficacy in helping with a number of frustrating skin issues, our Skin Experts come back to the Obagi range so often because it has yielded brilliant results for clients with difficult skin concerns.

There are products to help with all major skin concerns; fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and dark spots, acne-prone skin… you name it, there’s most likely a product for it!

They also have a number of effective collections, including the Nu-Derm® Skin Transformation System for hyperpigmentation and dark spots, the ClenziDerm M.D.® Acne Therapeutic System for persistent acne, and the Obagi-C RX Starter System to help with ageing skin. These “systems” are made up of a collection of specific products promising the best results when used together.

If you’d like to learn more about the systems on offer, check out our articles:

 

What skin issues does Dermalogica tackle?

 

Dermalogica has products for classic issues such as acne, sensitive skin, dull skin, dryness, oiliness, redness, uneven skin tone and ageing skin. They also recommend certain collections of products to tackle more niche concerns, like teen skin or menopausal skin.

Their formulations are created to maintain optimal skin health, and they recommend you pair your product with a consultation from a professional.

There is no requirement to speak to a skin therapist about Dermalogica like there is with Obagi, so there is the possibility that you could begin using a range that works for your skin but not know how to adapt it over time.

This is one of the many reasons we highly recommend speaking to one of our Skin Experts who can help before you choose any range or brand.

 

What products are in the Obagi range?

 

 

Obagi has a number of products available - some daily essentials, some more targeted treatments. You’ll find our full range here, but let’s take a look at 3 of the bestsellers:


Obagi Nu-Derm® Gentle Cleanser

 

 

This popular cleanser is one many of our clients just can’t do without now! Its gentle, soothing formulation is perfect for sensitive skin, and helps remove makeup and impurities, leaving behind soft, supple, fresh skin.


Obagi Hydrate® Facial Moisturizer

 

 

Obagi’s non-comedogenic, 8-hour moisturiser offers instant, long-lasting hydration. It’s been clinically proven to improve skin moisture content using a technology called Hydromanil, which traps water and introduces it into the skin immediately and over 8 hours. If you have dry or flaky skin, this is the one for you.



Professional-C® Serum 20%

 

 

This highly concentrated Vitamin C antioxidant serum helps boost your glow. It’s formulated at the optimum pH levels for stability, and results include a stronger skin barrier that protects against environmental stressors, as well as brighter, younger looking skin. 91% of users reported skin appeared bright and/or more hydrated.

 

What products are in the Dermalogica range?

 

You’ll find all the classics in the Dermalogica range which aim to help tackle a number of skin issues. We’re all about comparing brands, so let’s look at the same bestsellers in the Dermalogica range:


Special Cleansing Gel

 

Dermalogica’s top selling cleanser is soap-free and foaming, offering a daily cleanse to all skin types without disrupting natural moisture balance. It promises smooth, clean skin, and it is lightweight and mild, so this one is likely to be good for sensitive skin. If you suffer from breakouts, dryness or oiliness, this product will cleanse without stripping skin of oils.


Skin Smoothing Cream Moisturiser

 

This moisturiser promises 48 hour hydration and protection from environmental stress using Active HydraMesh Technology™. It works on a molecular level to minimise trans-epidermal water loss and protect the skin’s natural microbiome. The Hyaluronic Acid Complex features ingredients like Arnica, Grape Seed Extract, and Vitamins C and E.


Biolumin-C Vitamin C Serum

 

A vitamin C serum is always a great addition to your skincare routine, and this one is formulated to help enhance skin’s natural defences to brighten and firm while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It features advanced bio-technology, an ultra-stable Vitamin C complex, and peptides and AHA to fight oxidative stress and promote brighter, firmer, more radiant skin.

 

What do reviews of Obagi and Dermalogica say?

 

 

We used to stock the Dermalogica range previously in our local clinic. We choose to only continue stocking products that offer the very best results to our clients, and unfortunately our Skin Experts felt the Dermalogica range did not provide this.

That said, the range is very well reviewed on their website, and we always aim to share as much information as we can with our clients, including reviews that can offer insight from others who have used the products. While the Dermalogica range did not offer the results we were hoping for from our stocked brands, you should always do your own research in case a specific product could be useful for your skin.

In the interest of sharing all of the relevant information, here are some customer reviews of the bestselling serums in both ranges:

“This vitamin C serum is awesome! This serum has a slightly oily feel when applied, but totally absorbs within a few minutes. It doesn’t make my skin break out and I have noticed it has made my skin brighter and more even toned...”
Baervig, Obagi customer using Professional-C® Serum 20%

Keep in mind there are a few low-rated reviews of this serum all mentioning the design of the dispenser, so you may want to look at the product images before purchasing.

“Instant results, fine lines are softened, skin is softer, more supple, more hydrated...”
S. Morris, Dermalogica customer using biolumin-c vitamin c serum

The lowest rated review on this product mentioned it not being suitable for sensitive skin, so keep this in mind when shopping.

 

Where can I buy both ranges?

 

skincare programs and kits

 

As above, many of the products in the Obagi Medical range are prescription-only, which means you do need to speak to a professional (such as one of our Skin Experts) to purchase.

It’s simple to do; just book a free video chat and they will discuss your skin’s history, any issues you’ve had, and what you would like to achieve by trying the products. They can recommend the products they feel will offer the best results.

 If you’re looking to try out Dermalogica products, you will find them on their website. They do recommend finding a skin therapist who stocks the range and can talk you through how to use the products for best results, and what will be right for your skin.


If you would rather not do this, it is still possible to purchase from the Dermalogica range without any help as the products are not as high-strength as others like Obagi.

 

How much do Obagi products cost?

Obagi products are sold via a number of authorised stockists both online and in-store, so the prices fluctuate from place to place. The Obagi products we sell at Face Dr are sold at the RRP and range from around £23 to £159.

 

How much do Dermalogica products cost?

Dermalogica prices start at around £13 for individual products and go up to around £145. Their collections range from £132 to £229.

 


Summary: Should I choose Obagi or Dermalogica?

 

Obagi vs Dermalogica

 

So… which is better? It’s difficult to say because both brands have strong customer reviews, however as mentioned above, our Skin Experts would always recommend Obagi out of the two ranges.

This is because we were not impressed with the efficacy of Dermalogica products when we previously stocked them, and chose to no longer do so. Their products do not use medical-grade ingredients, but instead, more gentle ingredients. For this reason, they may be better for sensitive skin, but perhaps not the strength required to treat more serious skin issues.

Depending on what your skin issues are there could be a brand or product that is ideal for you, and that’s why we always recommend getting professional advice if you can before purchasing a product. By doing so, an experienced professional can give you insight into what product will be best, helping you avoid spending money on a product that doesn’t work and goes to waste.

Our Skin Experts tend to recommend the Obagi Medical range so frequently because of its strong, effective ingredients and formulations that get our clients superior results. Professional-C Serum 20% is a good example of the efficacy Obagi offers with stronger ingredients, since it provides 5X better absorption levels over another leading competitor. And apparently, consumers prefer this serum nearly 2 to 1 over another leading competitor, so… could we have a winner?

If you’re thinking of trying it out for yourself, book your free video consultation:

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