“Obagi? They’ve been around, like, forever…”
Since it is difficult to understand the tone of the title quote of this blog post, let me give you a little background. Skin care is not a new thing, though the acceleration of technology (and prices!) in this arena has put a completely new twist on it.
Which brings me back to this quote. I forget who said it, though I remember hearing it in my office (before the person realized that we carry some Obagi products on our shelves). It had a distinctly disgusted and unimpressed tone as it was uttered, and was followed by some praise for a “cutting edge” skin care line sold at shopping malls (next to the perfume section). This, in turn, was followed by surprise that I have never heard about it because it was being promoted by a prominent family in Southern California, that happens to promote a LOT of products.
This struck a nerve for multiple reasons, none of which were due to an emotional or nostalgic relationship with the Obagi skin care line.
The main reason was that the age of a product (or a whole line of products) was held against it as if longevity was negative. This is simply not true in the world of plastic surgery and cosmetic products. Age is a good thing. It means it has been tested by a whole generation of people before you use it. It means that what you are getting is not the “shiny new thing” of the year, of which there have been dozens since Obagi was founded in 1988. How many of those shiny new things are still around?
To take a lesson from other plastic surgery topics, ThermiTight was seen as the “facelift killer” due to its “unprecedented lifting and tightening capabilities”. This is a skin tightening technology that uses a heated probe under the skin to heat, and supposedly tighten the skin. When it was first introduced 5 years ago, it was thought to be the one technology to conquer them all. Today? Check out what patients have to say on RealSelf.com, a plastic surgery specific web site. Today, it has a “52% Worth It Rating” and an average cost of “$3175”. Would you like to spend more than $3,000 on a coin toss?
For most things related to cosmetic surgery and treatments, I suggest going for the tried and true, and skipping the “cutting edge”. Think about the sales pitch for ThermiTight as it evolves over the course of 5 years. Going from “facelift killer” to “coin toss” (that costs $3,000!). For me, surviving for decades in the competitive cosmetic market, much less excelling in it, is to be commended, not frowned upon.
*As a personal disclaimer, I have been personally trained on ThermiTight during my fellowship training in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, though have never sold a treatment for this or any of its competitors. I proudly offer tried and true treatments in my own practice now, and enjoy telling patients about how they differ from “the cutting edge.”