Obagi Nuderm Vs. Clenziderm - Which is Better?

I have used the Obagi Nuderm for six months and ran out. Since then my face has began to break out again. I can't really afford to used the Obagi again and was considerning trying the Clenziderm. I wasn't sure how much of a difference there is between the two. Which is better?

Doctor Answers 3

OBAGI Nu-Derm and OBAGI Clenziderm have some similar and some different effects

Both systems will help address acne, but they are different systems. With the Nu-Derm system you get the added benefits of hyperpigmentation reduction and anti-aging effects. Clenziderm will mainly just treat acne. The Clenziderm system does not contain hydroquinone products.

Background info about CLENZIderm from OBAGI

Obagi CLENZIderm is a prescription strength acne treatment that has a patented, solubilized 5% benzyol peroxide which penetrates deep in to the follicle to treat acne at its origin. There's a Oily and Dry skin version of this product (just as with Nu-derm). The manufacturer says that their benzyol peroxide has better penetration therapeutics than others because of CLENZIderm's much smaller size.

Background info about Benzoyl Peroxide

  • Works by killing bacteria and reducing inflammation in the follicle
  • Higher strengths doesn't necessary improve therapeutic benefit. Better penetration may be the key (as in the Clenziderm system)
  • Use once or twice per day
  • May cause skin irritation
  • May bleach hair or fabrics (ie. your pillow)
  • Shouldn't be used at the same time with Retin-A / tretinoin because benzoyl peroxide inactivates it.

Regarding Cost of OBAGI Nu-derm and Clenziderm

If you are out of a few products in the Nu-derm system, you can buy the products individually to replenish your system. This might cost less than buying the whole Clenziderm set - which is a new system.

The pricing (as of this posting) of a Nu-derm starter set costs about $394, and the pricing of a Clenziderm Starter Set is $130. Tretinoin costs $73-83 depending on the strength.

To continue on the thought from one of the paragraphs above on replacing a Nu-derm product: One of the most important products in the Nu-Derm system that is frequently used up/replaced is the Nu-Derm Clear which costs $91 for a new replacement bottle.

Combo possibility

It is also possible that for certain patients, one can combine these two systems for desired effects (using mainly Clenziderm in the morning and nu-derm at night -- not at the same time due to degradation of Tretinoin). Please see your doctor in person to see what is best for you.

Modesto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Alternative to Obagi creams - Melarase

As an excellent alternative to the Obagi program, most of our clinic's patients use Melarase creams as they perform superiorly and are well tolerated. 

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

It depends for what condition

Obagi Newderm system addresses pigment, laxity, lines and wrinkles, acne and post acne hyper pigmentation. Clenziderm helps to control acne only. You can decide if Clenziderm will take care of your problem, otherwise consult with your doctor that is familiar with both sys

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 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.