Obagi Medical vs. SkinCeuticals 2024; which brand is better?

Hannah Wilson

Which skincare brand do you want to use and potentially stick to for years to come? It’s a tough question for many people, so we like to compare and contrast to help you make an informed decision.

Are you looking to tackle acne? Do you have a sensitivity to certain ingredients? Does your skin need a vitamin C boost? There are so many intricacies that make our skin and skincare goals unique, and getting the right product range is key. It’s time for the Obagi Medical range and the SkinCeuticals range to go head to head and see which one comes out on top.

At Face Dr, we love to give our clients all the information they need, and sometimes comparing two brands can help narrow down which products are likely to be best for your skin. Let’s take a look at the reviews, the results, the cost differences, and more.

Want to speak to a pro about your skin? Our Skin Experts can help and recommend Obagi Medical for its proven results, so book in to chat with them:

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:
  • What is the Obagi range ?
  • What is the SkinCeuticals range?
  • What skin issues does Obagi tackle?
  • What skin issues does SkinCeuticals tackle?
  • What products are in the Obagi range?
  • What products are in the SkinCeuticals range?
  • What do reviews of Obagi and SkinCeuticals say?
  • Where can I buy both ranges?
  • How much is Obagi and SkinCeuticals?
  • Summary: Should I choose Obagi or Skinceuticals?


What is the Obagi range?


 Obagi Medical skincare


If you have spent any time on our blog page, you’ll know not only do we stock the Obagi range, we highly recommend this trusted brand to many of our clients for its incredible results. Although we can also offer products in the Obagi Clinical range, our Skin Experts tend to offer clients products from the Obagi Medical range, as it’s a favourite for its efficacy across many different skin issues. The award-winning products in the Obagi range use science-backed formulations and can help conquer many difficult skin concerns.


What is the SkinCeuticals range?




SkinCeuticals is a popular brand also offering effective formulations, and has the latest in skincare research at its core. Today it maintains its reputation as a highly effective and science-led brand, after being one of the first companies to work with doctors and have them offer SkinCeuticals products in clinics. Their 3-step philosophy is “prevent, protect, correct”, which applies to every product in their range, and helps with a number of skin issues. SkinCeuticals isn’t one of the ranges we stock at Face Dr so our Skin Experts won’t recommend the range to you, however we believe in giving an unbiased overview of some of the most popular brands on the market in comparison to brands we regularly recommend.


What skin issues does Obagi tackle?



The Obagi Medical range is one of our best-loved product ranges for its versatility in tackling a wide range of skin concerns. While individual products within the range are also incredibly effective (and come highly recommended!), Obagi has a skincare system for most major skin concerns, such as:

Whether you opt for a full skincare system to overhaul your routine, or an individual product recommended by one of our Skin Experts, there is likely an Obagi product to suit whatever skincare worry you have, from early signs of ageing skin such as fine lines and wrinkles, to hyperpigmentation and dark spots, to acne-prone skin.

If you’re curious about any of the above Obagi collections, you can speak to your Skin Expert or find out more information on our blog page. You may find these articles useful:


What skin issues does SkinCeuticals tackle?


SkinCeuticals has its own range of skincare regimens recommended for all different skin types and goals, but its corrective serums are probably the defining products in the range, which help to take on all sorts of skin concerns, such as:

  • Ageing skin (fine lines and wrinkles)
  • Blemishes and other imperfections
  • Dehydrated skin
  • Sensitive skin, and skin prone to redness
  • An uneven skin tone
  • Hyperpigmentation


What products are in the Obagi range?




There are so many options! Within the Obagi range you’ll find daily essentials like cleansers, moisturisers and sunscreens for everyday use, as well as targeted treatments for use as recommended by your Skin Expert, like serums, eye creams and skin exfoliators.

Our Skin Experts will only ever recommend products based on your specific needs, so you’re never being sold products you don’t require or want. However, there are 3 popular products within the range that are regularly recommended for their efficacy. These include:

  • Obagi Nu-Derm® Blender RX - A prescription product with a formulation containing 4% hydroquinone. This ingredient is included to give skin a more even tone by correcting hyperpigmentation, dark spots, sun spots, age spots, melasma and other discolorations.
  • Obagi Tretinoin 0.025% Cream - Another prescription-only product to treat acne, with a specific percentage of the active ingredient in an amount recommended for you by your Skin Expert. The 0.025% cream is the most frequently ordered through Face Dr, but there are other percentage amounts available. You can watch our YouTube video where Dr Julia discusses the benefits of the different tretinoin strengths.
  • Daily Hydro-Drops® Facial Serum - A popular serum for parched skin, containing ingredients like vitamin B3, abyssinian oil and hibiscus oil to boost skin radiance, and revolutionary Isoplentix™ technology to protect and preserve ingredients without irritating emulsifiers, ensuring the best results every time.


What products are in the SkinCeuticals range?


The same everyday essentials are covered with SkinCeuticals too, like daily cleansers, toners and sunscreens to keep skin fresh and healthy-looking, but it's their more targeted products that have gained popularity. Their range of serums, masks and creams helps with everything from lightening dark spots, to smoothing wrinkles, to replenishing skin hydration and more. Some of the most popular SkinCeuticals products include:

  • Blemish + Age Cleanser - This gel cleanser uses ingredients like glycolic acid and salicylic acid to decongest and refine pores, minimise any imperfection, remove excess sebum and makeup, and brighten skin. It’s suitable for most skin types, but is ideal for anyone who suffers with blemishes and wants to reduce breakouts and smooth the skin’s surface.
  • Hydrating B5 Serum - Hyaluronic Acid and vitamin B5 feature in this replenishing serum that hydrates by binding moisture to the skin and replenishing nutrients to leave skin supple, soft and smooth. As it’s oil-free, it’s great for acne-prone skin in need of hydration without clogging pores, and can complement a daily moisturiser routine.
  • Retinol Cream - This concentrated facial cream contains pure retinol to help the appearance of ageing skin for a more youthful complexion. It’s also a great choice for those with blemish-prone skin as it works to decrease pore size.


What do reviews of Obagi and SkinCeuticals say?


We always like to share a few product reviews to be transparent about the potential benefits of the product ranges out there. Here are some customer reviews of the bestselling serums in each range, as mentioned above:

“... I can’t believe the difference in my skin in just a few days! It feels smoother and looks so much better than before using it. The dispenser is great. You always get the right amount of product…The scent is light and clean. When I put it on, it stays on my skin for a while, unlike some products that seem to dry immediately. I love this product and how it makes my skin feel.”
Nlanzola, Obagi customer using Professional-C® Serum 20%

It’s worth noting there are a few low-rated reviews of this serum which all mention the design of the dispenser, so keep this in mind when you decide.

“... Bring on Hydrating B5! It has a calming effect on my skin. I first used it when my skin was irritated, and it quickly sped up the healing time… If you can't tell already, I love this. I would say it's essential to any skincare routine.”
Snowy, SkinCeuticals customer using Hydrating B5 Serum

It’s also worth knowing the lowest rated reviews on this product mentioned not seeing the results they hoped for, and also the strong scent, so bear this in mind when making any decisions about this product.

All-in-all, it’s quite difficult to compare these ranges based on reviews as there are so many different products available, and all products are formulated for different purposes, skin concerns and skin goals. It’s always best to speak to a Skin Expert to discuss your needs.


Where can I buy both ranges?



Many products in the Obagi Medical range are available on a prescription-only basis, so you would be required to speak to one of our Skin Experts if you choose to buy through Face Dr. Luckily, this is very easy! Our Skin Experts can chat on a free video consultation to learn more about your skin, the issues you have faced in finding the right skincare products, and what kind of products you have an interest in.

If you would like to purchase L’Oreal SkinCeuticals products, you can do this on their website. They are also widely available elsewhere online and in high street shops, however this availability shows that the levels of active ingredients within the products are lower, meaning they are likely to be less effective than prescription-only products. If you would like to try SkinCeuticals, their website has a ‘Find A Store’ search function - you’ll find it here.

How much is Obagi and SkinCeuticals?


Obagi products can be bought from a number of authorised stockists online and in-stores, so the prices do vary depending on who is selling them. At Face Dr our Obagi products are always the RRP and range from around £23 to £159.

SkinCeuticals have a similar price range for their products, starting at around £28 and stretching to around £160. However, as they do not require a prescription to purchase, they will not be as effective as the Obagi Medical range and therefore these prices could be considered on the more expensive side.


Summary: Should I choose Obagi or SkinCeuticals?


 Obagi vs skinceuticals


Both Obagi and SkinCeuticals are well-known for their effective formulations and the great results they provide for clients. It may be hard to know which brand in particular is right for you, which is why we encourage anyone with questions about which skincare range to do ingredient research. If you’re interested in one of the brands that we stock here at Face Dr, you can book in with one of our Skin Experts for a thorough chat about our products.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing is that while SkinCeuticals certainly is a trustworthy brand, our Skin Experts regularly recommend Obagi Medical because its stronger ingredients make it incredibly effective on all skin types, and because we have seen countless fantastic results from our clients using the range.

SkinCeuticals products are not prescription-only. This means they have gentler ingredients in their formulations, and could therefore be best for sensitive skin. The downside of the gentle ingredients is you may not notice results straight away like you would with Obagi, so speak to your Skin Expert if you would like a more gentle product with great results - they can point you in the right direction.

As always, if you are considering a skincare swap we encourage you to book your free video consultation to chat about options, get recommendations, and have your Skin Expert unlock any prescription-only products for purchase. If you choose to buy with us, we’ll post them out to you next working day, anywhere in the UK.

Time to speak to a Skin Expert?

Want to read more from our blog? Here are some articles that may interest you:

Why choose Medical Grade Skincare?

By Rachel Meyer

Medical-grade skincare is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. As the largest organ in your body, your long-term skin health is important, and pharmaceutical skin care products could be the difference between good results and game-changing results. Read on to discover our top recommended medical-grade skincare brands.
Read more
Learn the many benefits and client results of the Obagi Nu-Derm® Skin Transformation System for both FX and RX. Find out which one is right for you and discover the different versions of the Obagi Nu-Derm® System!
Read more
Read on to discover Obagi Medical's ELASTIderm range formulated with their patented Bi-Mineral Complex to restore aging skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. We discuss what is in the Obagi ELASTIderm range and who these powerful products are designed for. 
Read more

Learn more about the Obagi360® System

By Hannah Wilson

We discuss the Obagi360 system, including how much it costs, who it is suitable for and how best to use each product in the system for optimum results.
Read more

What is retinol and how does it work?

By Hannah Wilson

If you’re confused about the difference between retinol, retinoid, tretinoin and other related words, we’re demystifying it all right here! From its benefits to retinol side effects to which retinols will suit your skin type, let’s take a deep dive into this incredible ingredient. 
Read more

We want to make sure you have all the information about the products you put on your skin, so we’re breaking down everything there is to know about this superstar retinoid cream; what it does, who it’s for, the ingredients that make it so effective, and we’ll share some reviews so you can decide if it’s the best product for your skin. 

Read more