Dr. Zein Obagi is a board-certified practicing Dermatologist, world-renowned skincare & skin antiaging expert, award-winning inventor, educator and author. He has become the most favored Dermatologist to many public figures worldwide and top Hollywood celebrities, such as Ricky Martin, Cameron Diaz, the Jackson family, Sandra Bullock, Uma Thurman, Clint Eastwood, just to name a few, who visit him regularly at his iconic Beverly Hills clinic in Los Angeles, California.
He gained fame worldwide, many years ago, by being the only Dermatologist in the world to be able to solve a very difficult case. Such case involved a patient whose skin literally turned black after a botched chemical peel. The patient—a Caucasian female—was an american real estate agent, whose life came to a halt after the incident. The case garnered national publicity. Six months later, the patient connected with Dr. Obagi, and after six months of treatment, he was able to restore her skin fully. That success story created a buzz around Dr. Obagi, who went on many TV shows and, suddenly, began to receive pigmentation problems from all over the world.
But since his specialty was not just in pigmentation, he wanted to differentiate his science and put a name on it: Skin Health Restoration and Rejuvenation. For more than 35 years, Dr. Zein Obagi, has pioneered advanced skincare solutions & treatments based on his philosophy of creating healthy skin as opposed to merely treating disease and damage. His visionary approach has earned him an international reputation as the world leading authority on Skin Health and Rejuvenation; he is currently ranked as the world’s top expert on the Science of Skin Rejuvenation.
Today, Dr. Obagi’s innovative principles for restoring skin health are considered the gold standard in medicine and skincare. Throughout his career, Dr. Obagi has worked as an educator, training thousands of Plastic Surgeons, Cosmetic Doctors and Dermatologists at scientific forums worldwide. He has also been a prolific author and lecturer, presenting more than 500 workshops and panels on topics pertaining to skin health and rejuvenation. Actually, there are more than 100 countries worldwide whose Physicians are following his skin health care science.
He conceived and brought to market the original “Obagi Nu-Derm®” and has been the creator of the original “Blue® Peel”. However, currently Dr. Obagi has no business relationship with “Obagi Nu-Derm®”. In 2007 Dr. Obagi, founded another skincare brand, called “ZO® Skin Health” to provide physicians and patients with the world’s most innovative and effective skin health solutions. As Medical director of “ZO® Skin Health, Inc.” Dr. Obagi has created products with technologically advanced ingredients and even more effective formulations. ZO® Skin Health products have been optimized to maintain healthy skin, treat a range of skin disorders and chronic conditions, preserve the results of therapeutic treatments and provide effective daily skincare and protection from the aging process and from the environment. ZO® Skin Health products are currently sold in 107 countries worldwide but, since they are a “medical grade” skincare line, containing active molecules, they are available only through Physicians. ZO® Skin Health products cannot be found in department stores.
What is your motto?
A promised that I made to myself many years ago: God has sent people to this earth with beautiful baby skin; and one day I will be able to send them back to him looking wonderful!!!
What are three words to describe yourself?
Here’s how I prefer to describe myself: I am a man who loves to explore all things that will be helpful to us, as human beings, and make our life meaningful. I never stop reading and researching because I believe that we will never achieve the total knowledge in our short lifespan. I constantly want to improve myself to find the best way to make everybody look their best.
What is the best part about your job?
Being able to put a smile on the face of any patient who complains of any problem.
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done – your greatest challenge?
Being able to treat all skin colors form white, to black, to asian. The treatment of different ethnicities was a very disappointing point for all of us Dermatologists because the response to treatment and the rate of complications on darker skin was so high! Therefore, I worked very hard on eliminating this discrimination by introducing the concept of skin classification and healthy skin in all skin colors. It’s very well explained in the second edition of my medical book called “The Art of Skin Health, Restoration and Rejuvenation: the science of clinical practice”.
How do you define success?
The ability to feel that you enjoy your day and never get bored from what you do; the feeling that there is emotional passion in what you do every day.
What are you working on now that you are excited about?
Scientifically speaking, I’m working on enhancing “prevention” through my skincare line, ZO® Skin Health. Prevention is better than cure! We need to prevent acne, sun damage, aging and skin sensitivity. My mission is to empower all human beings to feel and look their best through a proper and effective, “at home” skin care regime, that will activate their skin function on a cellular level. At the moment, there is no any real scientific benefit to most of the skin care products that are sold in department stores. I want to make sure that more and more people will continue learning that, a good skincare product, is the one that will keep their skin functioning and acting like the baby skin indefinitely. Healthy, beautiful skin can be compared to babies’ skin: is smooth, even in color, firm and tight, well hydrated, tolerant to external factors, contour rich, and free from underlying disease. In addition, I want people to better understand that not any product can be suitable for all skin types.
What are you grateful for?
I’m very grateful that I have the chance to do my research with the support of my wife, Samar, who tolerated me spending so much money -and not really enjoying the money!- on research and development. I’m also grateful to all my patients that keep me motivated to keep going.
What is your bad day backup plan?
First of all, let me explain to you what is for me “my” bad day: a bad day happens to me when I see a patient, who is spending a lot of money to achieve good results and look better, who is not really putting the effort to work on their issue! The patient and the physician are a “team”, they need to work together in order to achieve the result. Patients often don’t follow properly their medical treatment plan. In other words, patients need to be truly engaged in their health; a patient must engage with the treatment plan established by the physician, in order to maximize his or her own skin health. In addition, a bad day can happen to me when I see a patient, who has skin issues, and, at the same time, psychological problems and high expectation. Some patients ask, want and pretend perfection, not knowing that nobody is perfect! We, as Doctors, can make them “almost” perfect but not perfect! Therefore, my bad day back up plan will be improving my patients’ educational process!
What advice would you give someone with a broken heart?
Selection first! A broken heart happens when people do not find their perfect match… but it can be prevented! People need to select their partner for life based not on lust, beauty or personality but on connection. It should be a beautiful person that can be felt in the daylight and in the darkness of the night.
What gives you goose bump?
I’m very emotional. A touchy situation, a sad situation, a patient who went through unsuccessful treatments with complications, that gives me goose bump.
What is a rule that is made to be broken?
Moisturising the skin and spending a lot of money on skin care brands that absolutely can do nothing for skin’s health. Currently skincare products either are scientific or they aren’t scientific at all. Going to a mall for skincare products is like going to the gym to treat a virus. If people care about their skin’s health, they should see a Doctor and have prescribed a medical grade skincare regime based on their specific need. I’d love to see most of the population going to Doctors, trained in the science of skin health that I pioneered, to have their skin type known and skin needs established, as skin needs change with age. If I will be able to do that, training more and more Doctors and educating more and more people in the science of skin health, I will be very happy.
What woman has inspired you the most and why?
I have two women who have inspired me in my life. First, my mother. She was highly educated. She had seen in me the desire of becoming a good physician and she encouraged me all the way until I graduated. Unfortunately, she passed away too early. Now my inspiration is my wife Samar.
PERSONAL HEALTHY LONGEVITY PROGRAM
- EXERCISE: 3 times a week. Judo, weights and cardiovascular exercise.
- MENTAL EXERCISE: meditation.
- DAILY SUPPLEMENTS: multivitamin.
- DIETARY PROTOCOL: I stay away from carbohydrates, in order to reduce inflammation in the body and also reduce inflammation that affects skin. However, I eat a balanced diet based on proteins, vegetables and unsaturated fats.
- SLEEP: at least 7-8 hours.
- RELAXATION AND STRESS RELIEF: Exercise and reading
- BEST HABIT TO CULTIVATE: Reading and not only subjects related to work but also unrelated topics. For example, I enjoy reading romantic stories, thrillers and mysteries.
- PERSONAL SECRET: Motivation to continuous improvement. I’m always motivated, I always look for things to be better. I’m never satisfied, and even now, with all the innovation that I have added to the field of skin rejuvenation, I still feel that we haven’t achieved the maximum. There is still room to work for more.