Buying a genuine Obagi skincare product can make the difference between wasting money and beautiful skin. The popularity of Obagi products has resulted in the generation of fake, imitation and knockoff products that don’t perform like the genuine product. Websites offer various products that claim to be Obagi but lack the patented ingredients and standards only genuine Obagi can offer. By spotting the fakes, you will save money in the long run and have healthy, vibrant skin, according to Obagi.com

Know the real Obagi. The best way to spot a fake is to know the real product when you see it. Obagi authorized dealers use the registered or trademark symbols after the name of the Obagi products.

Buy from authorized dealers. Because Obagi systems and products contain prescription-strength formulations, the real Obagi is available only through authorized medical practices. Authorized Obagi professionals also provide the proper advice and information on how to properly utilize the products in order to benefit the skin.

Consider the source. Know where the distributor buys the product. All genuine Obagi products come from the Obagi headquarters in Long Beach, California. You can contact the Obagi corporate headquarters to verify if a distributor is an authorized professional. Never buy Obagi products that come from Mexico or China.

Check the seller’s feedback. Read through all the comments and make sure similar products are legit. If you notice a lot of people leaving feedback about the item not being authentic, that should be a red flag. Also check out reviews and blogs about the website or the distributor itself to get a feel for whether they are reputable.

Watch out for pricing. Because genuine Obagi products contain patented ingredients that can’t be duplicated by knockoffs, the real deal is not cheap. Any dramatic discounts or low prices should warn you that the product is a fake or has expired. Also, when shopping online, always double check that the transactions are secure and that order information has standard charges.