Obagi Vs Skinceuticals: Which C Serum is the Best?

by Shopify API on Jul 06, 2024


One of the most common questions asked by people interested in skincare is whether they should choose Obagi or Skinceuticals products. Both brands are considered at the top of the market, but there are some critical differences between them.

To help you decide, I tried both brands for many months to see how effective they were, their formulation and if they are worth the money.

In this article, resTORbio will compare and contrast Obagi Vs Skinceuticals products so that you can decide which one is right for you.

Company History

Obagi (NYSE OBX), a dermatology firm, develops skin products.

Obagi Clinical Sciences (OCS) offers a range of skincare products with various benefits, including anti-aging products, anti-wrinkle, and whitening.

Dr. Howard Sobel founded SkinCeuticals in 1978, a dermatologist. Dr. Howard Sobel, a dermatologist, founded SkinCeuticals. He was frustrated at the lack of products to treat chemical burns on the face from skincare.

Obagi Vitamin C Serum Review obagi c serum vs skinceuticals

Obagi vs Skinceuticals Vitamin C

Obagi Vitamin C Serum Review

Obagi, a highly regarded skincare brand, is focused on scientific research, just like SkinCeuticals.

Their goal is to create inclusive products with clinical-quality formulations.

Dr. Suzan Obagi, a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon behind the brand.

She is also the brand's physician consultant. She ensures that their products are of high quality and deliver noticeable results.

Obagi Vitamin C Serum Ingredients

Obagi professional c serum has a variety of vitamin C creams and vitamin c serums that are part of their Professional C Products range.

This product is specifically designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

I also noticed that Obagi has included three vitamin C serums in the book. They come in varying concentrations. Plus, all vitamin c serums come in 30ml bottles.

These are the details for each one, along with which skin type they are best suited for:

Obagi Serum Concentration pH Level Skin Type
Professional-C 10 10% L-ascorbic acid 2.0-3.0 Dry or sensitive skin types.
Professional-C 15 15% L-ascorbic acid 2.0-2.4 Suitable for most skin types.
Professional-C 20 20% L-ascorbic acid 2.0-2.4 Oily and normal skin types.

Obagi's Professional C does not contain the same amount of vitamin E or ferulic acids as SkinCeuticals' serum. However, it does contain critical ingredients that support vitamin C's effectiveness and other essential elements.

These are:

  • Hyaluronic acid helps prevent dry skin. This product can cause some irritation and dryness. This helps to retain moisture.
  • Antioxidants that support the function of ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C Serum Shelf life and Oxidation

The serum is packaged in a dark-blue bottle like SkinCeuticals' serum to help prevent Oxidation.

It is essential to be aware of the expiry date for any product.

The product can be kept open for 3 to 4 months and unopened for 1-3 years. It is best to keep it in a cool, dark place such as the fridge.

How to Use Obagi Professional C Serum

I use Obagi's vitamin-C serum in the morning or night.

If you have a more extensive skincare regimen, it should be used after cleansing, exfoliating, toning, and drying the skin.

I use 5 to 7 drops of this product on a clean, dry head, neck, and chest.

I also apply an SPF or moisturizer after using the product in the morning, and professionals said that it is recommended. This ensures that the product is absorbed quickly into the skin.

SkinCeuticals Vitamin C Serum Review

SkinCeuticals Vitamin C Serum Review

Sheldon Pinnell M.D. founded SkinCeuticals in 1997.

He spent many years researching antioxidants, focusing on Vitamin C's effects.

He was the one to make a breakthrough in skincare. He was also the inventor of the first Vitamin C serum patent.

It was founded in London, UK, in 2005 as a brand. In 2005, L'Oreal bought the company. Their products are now available in spas and shops around the globe.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Ingredients

Vitamin C is the active ingredient in these c serums. It is found in the pure form of L-ascorbic Acid.

It also contains key ingredients like vitamin E and ferulic acid, antioxidants.

Here's a breakdown of their serum:

  • 15% pure vitamin C (L asorbic acid) L-ascorbic Acid is a potent form ascorbic acid.
  • 1% vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol). Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), a component of the serum's ability to neutralize free radicals, plays a role. Morgan Rabach, the co-founder of the serum, said that it also stabilizes vitamin C.
  • 5% Ferulic acid. Ferulic acid, a plant-based antioxidant, is 5%. It is also responsible for the serum's ability to neutralize free radicals. It also serves a dual purpose, lowering the pH of the serum to ensure that it is absorbed into the skin.

SkinCeuticals Vitamin-C Serum Shelf Life and Oxidation

Ascorbic acid reacts with heat, light, and air and can oxidize, a natural biological process.

This can cause the product to lose effectiveness. You could end up causing skin irritations.

Ascorbic acid is degraded to erythrulose when it oxidizes. This ingredient is used in self-tanners. Ascorbic acid can also darken the skin if it has been corrupted.

The dark brown bottle of SkinCeuticals c serum has helped to prevent Oxidation.

This allows it to last longer than other vitamin c serums. It has been tested to ensure that it remains stable for:

  • Unopened for 36 months (3 Years).
  • Once opened, it can be kept open for up to six months.

How to use SkinCeuticals C-E Ferulic

It is essential to apply the serum correctly to get the best results. You should include it in your skincare routine.

Here's SkinCeutical's recommendation for application:

  • It is recommended that you use it once per day, and ideally, as part of your morning skincare routine.
  • Apply 4-5 drops to a clean face, neck, chest, and chest. Apply the serum to your face and neck.
  • The skin must absorb vitamin C, so it's best to apply it before moisturizer and protective SPF. These can be used afterward.S

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic vs Obagi Professional C Serum

Obagi Vitamin C Serum Vs Skinceuticals Reviews


A cute little bottle that contains sweet-smelling oranges.

Obagi professional c serum has the right combination of antioxidant ingredients to restore the skin's elasticity and turn back the clock.

Because it is lightweight, I can layer it under sunscreen to provide double protection against sun damage.

Obagi C products offer varying levels of ascorbic acid, allowing me to choose between high and low amounts. But, since we have different types of skin, the amount will depend on our skin needs.


  • This serum is hydrating and has a sweet citrusy smell.
  • Regular use of it can eliminate wrinkles.
  • It contains vitamin C, which protects the skin against sunburns.


  • It can feel oily when applied

Obagi Vitamin C Serum Side Effects

At first use of new skincare products, especially Vitamin C serums, I think it was normal to have skin irritations. As they say, it is the first use, and our skin is still getting used to the new product we are applying to our skin.

Obagi Vitamin C Serum

Just like any other skincare product, Obagi is the same. When using this product for the first time, we may cause skin irritations or side effects. 

The most common side effects of Vitamin C serums, which could also be present when trying Obagi, especially when trying a new skincare product for the first time, are:

  • skin irritation
  • redness
  • itching
  • tingling sensation

Remember, if you feel these side effects on your skin, it doesn't mean that the product is harmful or that you need to stop using it. Your skin needs some time to get used to the new skincare product you applied.

However, if the irritations or side effects continue, or there are worse reactions to your skin, immediately wash your face, stop using the product or consult a dermatologist.

SkinCeuticals Vitamin C

Why do you look older than you feel? This product is a powerful collagen production that visibly smoothes wrinkles and fine lines.

Pure ascorbic acid in this product makes my skin look younger and more radiant, making it perfect for sunny days.

The Ferulic acid and vitamin E ingredients trap moisture and absorb vitamin C effectively, resulting in smoother skin.

SkinCeuticals C serum is a great product to add to your morning skincare routine.


  • I only used a few drops, making it economical.
  • This is the ideal combination of vitamins and antioxidants that makes it the best choice for evening skin tones and minimizing wrinkles.
  • Ferulic acid is absorbed quickly by my skin, increasing the effectiveness and efficacy of the serum


  • Only available in 1-ounce bottles

Why are SkinCeuticals so Good?

Skinceuticals c e ferulic is perhaps the most well-known and beloved of all their products.

Glamour praised the product and named it the best vitamin C serum in 2020.

Byrdie published another finding in 2020 and claimed that the impressive results started to show in just three days.

SkinCeuticals Vitamin C Serum

It all starts with Dr. Pinnell's very first patent around the product.

He incorporated three critical criteria for an effective vitamin-C serum in it:

It contains pure Vitamin C: Vitamin C should be taken in its purest form, with a concentration of at least 10-15%.

C E Ferulic uses L -ascorbic at 15% concentration, compatible with most skin types.

It has a low pH: For a topical vitamin c serum that works, it is necessary to have a low pH.

Dr. Pinnell stated that c serums must be below 3.5 pH to be effective.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic has pH 2.5-3.

It also contains Vitamin C and other antioxidants: Dr. Pinnell discovered that vitamin C combined with other antioxidants was more effective than ascorbic acid.

The triple antioxidant treatment is their vitamin C serum (C Ferulic). It includes vitamin E, ferulic acid, and ascorbic acid.

Are SkinCeuticals' products worth the money?

SkinCeuticals is a well-respected beauty brand. You can be sure that their products are backed by significant scientific research.

The product's quality is a testament to the founder's pioneered research in the vitamin C serum area.

The C E Ferulic C serum can be used to help:

  • Protect the skin from free radicals by strengthening its protective layer.
  • To reduce the damage caused by ozone, neutralizing free radicals
  • Provide noticeable anti-aging effects, such as reducing fine lines.
  • Combine SPF with sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays.

Most reviews highly praised the product for its powerful, high-quality ingredients and fast results.

Obagi vs SkinCeuticals Retinol

Obagi Retinol 1.0 is an anti-wrinkle treatment that contains 1% retinol to boost cell turnover and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. The formula also contains jojoba oil, shea butter, vitamins C and E, and an entrapped form of retinol that is released over time to prevent irritation.

Obagi Retinol Cream

SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 Cream is a highly concentrated overnight retinol treatment formulated with 1% pure retinol - the highest concentration of pure retinol available. It targets the visible problems associated with photodamaged skin, including age spots, pores, uneven tone, fine lines, and wrinkles. 

SkinCeuticals Retinol

The latest stabilization and delivery technologies make this retinol treatment very effective for pre-conditioned skin. 

The added skin-calming blend of bisabolol and Boswellia Serrata extract provides soothing benefits and minimizes irritation.

Obagi Retinol 1.0 is a great choice for those new to retinoids, as it is a less potent form of retinoic acid that only requires conversion to be effective. 

The 1% concentration formula is gentle yet very powerful, making it one of the best serums on the market that offers both vitamin C and retinol in one product. 

This is worth checking out if you're looking for an all-in-one active serum!

When using Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 for the first time, it is normal to experience some redness and peeling of the skin. Do not be alarmed. This is a sign that the product is working and is completely normal. 

Once you get past the initial irritation and peeling, you will see truly spectacular results.

Skinceuticals vs Obagi

Obagi Vs Skinceuticals FAQs

Is Obagi as good as SkinCeuticals?

Obagi's serums have a lower pH level in their higher concentration options, sitting at 2.0-2.4 as opposed to SkinCeuticals' 2.5-3.0. 

A lower pH means that Obagi's serums are absorbed more deeply into the skin, which is effective as long as the pH is under 3.5. SkinCeuticals' serum has additional antioxidants like vitamin E and ferulic acid.

Do dermatologists recommend SkinCeuticals?

If you're looking for an over-the-counter skincare brand that dermatologists can agree on, it's SkinCeuticals. And it's not just the pros who love it -SkinCeuticals is the most popular skincare brand in the country, according to an analysis led by beauty retailer Dermstore. 

The line is safe and effective for all skin tones and types. You should always be careful when incorporating active ingredients into your routine, but with SkinCeuticals, you can trust that you're in good hands.

Is Obagi medical-grade skincare?

Dr. Victoria Manning highly recommends Obagi's full-service, medical-grade skin care system because it offers a wide range of scientifically proven effective benefits. 

Obagi products are designed to help minimize the appearance of premature aging, skin damage, hyperpigmentation, acne, and sun damage - giving patients reproducible results every time. 

With such credibility and positive feedback from users, it's no wonder Obagi is one of the most popular skin care systems on the market today!

Is SkinCeuticals really the best vitamin C?

If you're looking for a high-quality vitamin-C serum, ask your trusted skincare expert for their opinion on the best one available. Chances are, they'll mention SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic. 

In fact, when we polled dermatologists for their thoughts on the matter, Dr. Corey L. Hartman dubbed it "the gold standard" in vitamin C serums. 

SkinCeuticals Vitamin C E Ferulic

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum's effectiveness and potency set it apart from other vitamin C serums out there, and it's widely regarded by skin specialists as the best in its class. 

What makes SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum so effective and potent is that it contains a high concentration of antioxidant vitamins C and E, which work together to help protect skin from free radical damage caused by environmental aggressors like UV rays and pollution.

Additionally, this serum is also clinically proven to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and brighten skin tone for a more youthful-looking complexion.

Do dermatologists recommend Obagi?

Obagi Medical is one of the most respected and beloved clinical-grade skincare brands. Their products are formulated with proven ingredients to treat and improve conditions like hyperpigmentation, acne, wrinkles, and more. 

The Obagi system is unique because it combines scientifically developed products with medical supervision and counseling to treat your skin. 

Physicians and dermatologists around the world trust and recommend Obagi products to their patients.

When should I stop using Obagi?

Obagi is a long-term investment - both in terms of time and money. The results of using the Nu-Derm system typically show after 16 weeks. 

Still, in some cases, users may need to continue use for 18 or 24 weeks to achieve desired results.

Within the first 6 weeks, the system helps to get rid of dead skin cells that have built up on the surface of your skin. This leaves your skin feeling rough and uneven. 

But as you continue to use the treatment, new skin cells will regenerate, and your skin will have a more even distribution of melanin. 

By the 13th week, you'll notice that your skin feels smoother and more youthful. Plus, you'll have a more even skin tone as areas of pigmentation lighten up. 

With consistent use, you'll continue to see improvements in skin tone and texture. 

After 18 weeks, you can switch to maintenance mode. This is where the hard work is done, but the system can still help you keep the results.

Can You Use Vitamin C Serums with Retinol Creams?

Obagi and Skinceuticals serum can be used with retinol creams, but it is not recommended that you use them simultaneously. You can use one with your morning routine and the other with your evening skincare routine.

Ascorbic acid can cause mild skin irritation (part of its ability to stimulate collagen production).

It can make matters worse if you apply a retinol lotion immediately after. It is a good idea to distinguish the time each cream is applied.

Vitamin C can be used in conjunction with a moisturizing sunscreen applied afterward. This ingredient is often used as part of a morning routine.

Retinols, on the other side, contain retinoids. These retinoids are believed to be less effective when exposed to light. They are recommended to be used at night.

Can I use the Obagi C20 serum?

Different concentrations of vitamin C are available in the Obagi C series.

C20, the highest concentration, is used to treat advanced skin conditions.

Obagi C20

It is best to start with the lowest concentration of C5 and then move up once your skin has adjusted.

Is SkinCeuticals vitamin C alcohol-free?

SkinCeuticals vitamin A is not alcohol-based. Parabens are not allowed in this product. This is important because parabens have been shown to cause cancerous tumors.

SkinCeuticals are ideal for sensitive skin types, meaning ingredients like alcohol may irritate their skin.

Other features of SkinCeuticals also include Serum 10 AOC, 10& pure Vitamin C, and Ferulic Acid, which is perfect for neutralizing damaging free radicals that may cause skin aging.

The product also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and also restores your healthy skin.

So overall, SkinCeuticals products are paraben-free, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and dye-free!

Which is Bbetter Obagi or Skinceuticals?

There is no definitive answer as to which brand is better, Obagi or SkinCeuticals. Both brands offer a range of products designed to improve the appearance of the skin.

However, there are some critical differences between the two brands. Obagi is more focused on delivering results, while Skinceuticals focuses on providing quality ingredients. Obagi also has a broader range of products, while Skinceuticals is more expensive. We hope that our Skinceuticals vs Obagi comparison was helpful for you.