Can I Use Obagi Skin Care Products Without a Doctor's Prescription?

I would like to try obagi products for my bad acne under my chin area. Can I purchase obagi online and start using it? If yes, can you direct me on which product to purchase. Is it wise to use obagi without doctors consultation?

Doctor Answers 6

Obagi and prescriptions

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Obagi is incredibly effective when used correctly.

In my practice, we prescribe and carefully follow our patients to achieve wonderful results.

There are Obagi products that do not require a prescription. Those with medically regulated ingredients or products that the FDA has deemed require physician supervision are prescription-based.

Using prescription products without physician input is inherently dangerous. Don't take short cuts on your health!

I hope this helps.

Obagi Skin Care Products

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Obagi Medical Products, the parent company of the Obagi Nuderm line has a very thorough website,, which defines the various skincare lines and the necessity for a prescription. The Nuderm product line is generally dispensed in a physician's office but there are several products in the line that do not require a prescription, like the Foaming gel, Obagi Toner, and Obagi Exfoderm.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Obagi Products should be supervised

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I have used the Obagi Product line for 18 years. They are extremely effective and powerful. Having said that, to use them without a trained physicians supervision would be doing yourself a diservice.

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Obagi Skin care

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There are parts of the Obagi line that should be overseen by a physician, particularly the hydroquinone and retin-a.  Both of these have side effects and should not be used in pregnancy.  Trying to save a few dollars in exchange for increased risk is not worth it. 

Pradeep K. Sinha, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Not all Obagi products are prescription, but the program should be supervised by a physician

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The Obagi Nuderm system is a skin care program that is medical grade and as such requires supervision by a physician. Some of the products have over the counter active ingredients, and others have prescription strength components. Used properly, the system is a powerful tool to improve sun damage and aging of the skin. If not properly supervised, the changes in the skin early in the program can be profound and sometimes difficult for patients to tolerate. Also be aware that Obagi is only dispensed in physician offices; products purchased online are counterfeit as far as Obagi NuDerm is concerned. So see a physician who has experience with this program, and purchase the products there in that office and allow that physician to supervise your care.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Obagi Products Under Correct Supervision

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Obagi products are great and work extremely well when under proper care and supervision. Everybody's skin type and issues are very different. Thus, a thorough skin care analysis with a trained medical professional is required for optimal results.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.