Online Exclusives

Treat and Protect

April 29, 2008

Obagi Medical Products offer something for everyone.


Treat and Protect

Obagi Medical Products offer
something for everyone

By Melissa Meisel
Associate Editor

Two slices of green apple sat on a lone plate at the table. One was rust-tipped and starting to wither; the other was fresh and shiny. Upon closer inspection, the pieces were labeled—the former was cut that morning and raw; the latter, chopped and coated with Obagi’s 10% Professional Serum.

The fruit samples were part of an informational breakfast hosted by Obagi Medical Products, Inc. on April 23 at Studio 450 in New York City. Over 50 beauty editors gathered in the loft space to hear company representatives, physicians and clients talk about the assorted offerings in the Obagi skin care systems. From the Clenziderm acne treatments to Elastiderm anti-aging products, Obagi’s product line spans all ages, from teens to Baby Boomers—and it shows in the company’s success.

Headquartered in Long Beach, CA, Obagi is a pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, markets and sells proprietary prescription skin care systems designed to prevent and improve common skin disorders. Dr. Zein E. Obagi created the Obagi Nu-Derm System in 1988. Dr. Obagi and his partners began manufacturing and selling the products and nine years later the company's name was changed to Obagi Medical Products, Inc. Over the years, Obagi Medical Products has developed prescription-strength skin health systems focused on preventing and/or improving skin conditions including hyperpigmentation, acne and rosacea.

Clenziderm is for teens and other consumers with acne-prone skin.
Because Obagi System products contain prescription strength formulations, the systems are only available through physicians, which include over 5,200 in the U.S. to date. Top-selling lines include Clenziderm, which treats acne, and Elastiderm, which targets wrinkles. For 2007, Obagi reported net sales of $102.6 million—an increase of 32% from the year before. For the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007, net sales increased 19% to $27.3 million. Based on current business trends, Obagi management estimates sales for 2008 to be in the range of $120 million to $125 million, representing a growth of 18% to 22%, respectively.

The purpose of the April 23 event in New York was to reintroduce the line to the media and demonstrate how Obagi products are unique to the other skin care competition. In an introduction from Danielle Hartigh, director of aesthetics marketing for Obagi, the company’s credo was summed up as “some things are best left to professionals,” and to demonstrate, live salsa dancers performed a routine.

Elastiderm targets wrinkles.
Following the dance show, Rick Koslowski, vice president of marketing and dermatology for Obagi, discussed the skin care market. He noted that in a survey conducted by the company, 80% of women polled said that they buy products that make their skin feel good, while only 14% purchase items that deliver results. Obagi wanted to change that—making skin care that is “based on science for real results.”

To show these results, three different physicians from Arizona, New York and Texas displayed “before and after” photos with live models to demonstrate the “real results.” The Clenziderm, Elastiderm and Obagi C-Rx lines were also outlined in full detail. And to further prove that “some things are best left to the professionals,” the event closed with a spin with a salsa dancer for each guest.

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