The Beginning of Obagi Medical Products
Obagi Medical Products, Inc. was originally launched in 1988 by Dr. Obagi as WorldWide Products, Inc. It provided prescription-based skincare products for doctors to dispense to patients in their offices. He formulated and brought to market, prescription-strength products, like the original Obagi Nu-Derm® System and the Obagi Blue Peel® kit. Aggressive prescription-strength skincare products were and still are an important part of his philosophy, and Obagi wanted to provide these products to physicians. In addition, Dr. Obagi has always believed skin health restoration cannot be accomplished by products alone; the physician needs to know how to use them in the most effective way, through step-by-step treatment protocols.
In 1997, Dr. Obagi sold WorldWide Products, Inc., to which it was then renamed Obagi Medical Products by the new owners. However, despite becoming Medical Director, Dr. Obagi noticed that while his original products remained the economic foundation of the company, his own role began to diminish over time.
Why Dr. Obagi Finally Decided to Leave Obagi Medical Products, Inc.
Dr. Obagi says that the focus shifted to making shareholders happy. The company began creating products that were no longer based on his philosophy of skin health restoration.
“I became very uncomfortable with that because the products were a deviation from my philosophy. I was hoping to continue to evolve my products so they would be relevant to what we were learning about skin health, since skin health science is continuously evolving, and we owe it to our patients to improve our products based on what we are learning. I was committed to skin health, but once the company went public it became clear that my philosophy was not in line with OMP’s bottom line.”
Dr. Obagi assures that he has absolutely no connection to Obagi Medical Products, Inc. It became clear that OMP and he had different visions for the future of skincare products, so he decided to found a new company based on the newest skin health science: ZO Skin Health, Inc.