The Definition of a Modern Knight: Our Most Famous Westsider, Sir Dr. Zein Obagi

Sir Dr. Zein Obagi Receives the Honor of KnighthoodDr. Zein Obagi, MD, a world-renowned dermatologist and true visionary in the science of skin care, has received many honors in his life, but has also been recently recognized for the greatest honors of all: Knighthood! He is now part of a historic regal tradition that goes back 1700 years in recognition for his ongoing contributions to the science of medicine in skin health, and also to mankind.

Since creating the dermatological concept of improving skin health in 1983, where before the emphasis had simply been on treating diseased skin, Dr. Obagi’s innovative skincare solutions and techniques have fundamentally changed the way people now think about skin and its health. Instead of only treating damaged skin, or using superficial creams, Dr. Obagi has focused on creating and maintaining healthy skin c ontinuously with a complete portfolio of a skincare concept and solutions called ZO Skin Health. These new scientifically accurate solutions, combined with Dr. Obagi’s techniques, now offer real answers for skin that will remain continually youthful, – a contribution that has earned him Knighthood and the title of Sir Zein Obagi, MD! His products are not commercialized, or full of empty “promises,†but ones that truly work and what MOST well known doctors offer in their offices simply because they know these are the BEST they can find anywhere. You can see the results on your skin and how it wakes up the cells! Your skin actually reacts visibly, while department-store-sold cosmetics, even though brilliantly marketed, are not allowed to stimulate the cells enough for them to actually react and start working!

Some of the revelation of Dr. Obagi’s success can be attributed to his breakthrough discoveries in what was once referred to as a “blue peel,†and which he now calls the ZO Controlled Depth Peel. This is a very intensive and never before procedure that is designed to go under the epidermis to remedy any unhealthy skin condition, such as a rough texture or severe wrinkling. Although the concept of this process has ancient origins, going back to the Egyptian Pharaohs in a very primitive form, it was Dr. Obagi who made the peel process a very precise and scientific one, resulting in a perfect, beautiful, glowing complexion customized for each individual patient.


However, the word, “peel†is widely misconceived today, not only by the wrong use of not only the expression itself, but also of the true meaning of the procedure. For “scrubbing†just the surface of the skin is not a peel, and it is certainly not what Dr. Obagi is talking about! That surface “peel†as they call it is nothing more than a microdermabrasion, if even that! One can do such “scrubbing†at home with the ZO skin care line. The blue peel however goes much, much deeper.

The key ingredient in the ZO Controlled Depth Peel is trichloracetic acid (or TCA). It has previously been used in dermatology for removing unwanted skin conditions, but in a very uncontrolled way. Dr. Zein Obagi took this ingredient and used it in a highly scientific approach to get down below the epidermis, using precisely measured concentrations of TCA and application times. “Depth of the application was the key,†Dr. Obagi says, “and through much research we were able to control the use of the treatment to many different levels of the skin. What amount, what duration, to what depth? All of these questions were crucial, yet none of them were answered at the time. Nobody knew. I then added some color, the color blue as in the blue peel, so that we could see very clearly where it was working. I myself was the first patient, so I knew exactly what was happening, and how the skin would react.†And, this very fact is indicative of just who Dr. Obagi is, both as a doctor and a person. It is not another patient Dr. Obagi wants, it is his continuous quest and commitment to new heights and discoveries in science, which drives mankind further ahead: out with the old paradigm and in with the new! Better solutions and resolutions that actually work! That is why people come and visit him from around the world!

But just doing a very precise peel directed at a specific skin level isn’t enough to guarantee beautiful results. Before the treatment, Dr. Obagi’s patients also undergo a full one-month TAILORED treatment to prepare the patient for the peel procedure,- taken that we are all different. Dr. Obagi does not have a “one fits for all†, nor he would want to. This is partially why he is more successful than anyone else. As a footnote: I have worked with Dr. Obagi for years and just had the blue peel for the first time. After the peel I saw my physician unrelated to the matter, but who sees me at least once a year! Unbeknownst to him about the blue peel, he said: “your skin does not even look like you are 21 years of age. It looks better than 21. Much better! What happened?†This statement coming from a doctor I highly respect, and who has known me for 18 years not only made my day, but when they would not allow me into a red carpet event I was invited to, and refused to serve me wine at the age of 46, it was a blessing I cannot describe!

There are several layers of the ZO blue peel process, namely five. Dr. Obagi decides based on each person what depth is needed. Mine was depth number four. A ZO Controlled Depth Peel process is followed up with stimulation, which encourages the skin cells to regenerate themselves and replace the older cells that have been removed during the treatment. “We provide treatment both before the peel and afterwards to ensure maximum effectiveness,†Dr. Obagi says. “This is very different from others offering a peel with a very superficial and unscientific approach. Only the ZO Controlled Depth Peel is a precise process that offers maximum effectiveness. I would say that if a patient was to have one of my peels every 4 to 5 years, and take care of their skin otherwise, their skin would never age.†(This is statement I know to be true looking at my own face. Dr. Obagi’s Controlled Depth Peel actually saved me from an eyelid surgery.)

Dr. Obagi is the only doctor in Beverly Hills who has received the honor of Knighthood at an Investiture ceremony in Pasadena, California. His Knighthood makes him part of the oldest original Order in the World going back to the year 312 A.D originating from the Roman Empire!

Classic tales of knights have long been used in movies using George Lucas’ version of Jedi Knights in the movie Star Wars, or the movie First Knight starring Richard Gere, which retells the timeless tale of King Arthur and the legend of Camelot starring Sean Connery as King Arthur, Richard Gere as Sir Lancelot (knighted by the King, just as today) and Julia Ormond as the king’s young wife, Guinevere. In the film Arthur is reluctant to hand the crown to Lancelot (that is the power of a Knight carried through history,) and Guinevere is torn between her loyalty to her husband and her growing love for his rival, the young Knight, Lancelot. Lancelot must balance his loyalty to the throne with the rewards of true love. A very humane story, yet a very applicable one. A knight, who becomes a “Sir†balances his contribution to the world, while adding to it his commitment to those who look up to him for guidance and answers! Just like we do to Dr. Obagi. I trust him with my life and so does every one of his patience. There will be no artificial look with Dr. Obagi, nor some quick fix that lasts for a week. It will be young, fresh, healthy skin that will glow till the rest of your life if you take care of it!

Classic knighthood ideals always aspire to courage, loyalty and honor, and traditionally noble titles come from heads of royal families, called a “royal house,†a dynastic family holding hereditary royal titles and privileges usually based upon modern or ancient geographical rulership, even if that royal dynastic family does not currently rule a nation in modern times.

In America our fascination with knighthood can be seen in colloquial titles bestowed upon celebrities like Elvis, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Michael Jackson, and the naming of mononymic star, Prince, although not in an official and REAL ROYAL WAY! This type of “royalty†here is a mere matter of speech. When movie actress Grace Kelly became Princes Grace of Monaco, America celebrated. An example of the most recent royal sensation, our infatuation with Kate Middleton, a commoner who became a Princess, only adds to the ongoing enchantment of the role of royalty in the modern day. But, what Sir Dr. Obagi achieved is the same as Sir Richard Branson, a brilliant adventurer, as he calls himself, and of course a great entrepreneur; Sir Ben Kinsley, Sir Paul McCartney and the list goes to those the World knows by heart!

Although the USA has no formal association with knighthood or royalty due to its short history (the country being only about 300 years old) while Europe has thousands of years of history with monarchs, it has been decided that private citizens in this country who are exemplary can be honored with knighthood for their chivalric contributions to the betterment of mankind. Other examples of this include the honorary knighthoods granted by Queen Elizabeth II to former Presidents Reagan and Bush and to retired/retiring Generals Norman Schwartzkopf and Colin Powell. A legitimate noble title always has a legitimate royal source called a Fonhonorum (Latin: “source of honor,” the “fountainhead” from which the legitimate title is issued).

The current order of modern Knights and Ladies are people selected from various professions who have demonstrated a dedication to traditional chivalric values, including dignity; honesty; ethical conduct; education; in cases, military service; discoveries; contribution to the world at large; and in general goals that are noble in nature – all the while maintaining a sense of those great traditional values that have become more necessary today than ever before. These honorees, like Sir Dr. Zein Obagi, have been given the title “Sir,” or for women “Dame,†as with Dame Elizabeth Taylor, or Dame Barbara Walters, as more popularly expressed in Europe: “Lady†expressly for these noble values.

Regardless to which Order one belongs to, the modern Knights and Ladies of the 21st Century are by sworn oath required to uphold certain traditional and historic values, which however they have already demonstrated during their whole life. That is why they qualified to this most exceptional honor. During the ceremonies of investiture, the members pledge themselves to the Duke, Grand Master, and to the Constitution of the Order to follow its ideals of personal honor and courage thus setting examples in the world.

Though based in old world values, forward-thinking technologies are also part of the heritage of royal orders. A recent example is the work of England’s Prince Charles not needing to be knighted, as he was born into privilege thus carrying the royal title already, is strongly committed to historic projects like restoring old castles in Europe while at the same time promoting the most recent green technologies like solar energy, organic farming, hydrogen energy sources and other self-sustaining principles. He is currently developing a high concept eco-friendly model village for poor people in India that will include schools, shops, and 3,000 homes, allegedly inspired after seeing the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. This multi-million-dollar venture will be placed on a 25-acre wasteland on the outskirts of either Kolkata or Bangalore. Features of the town will include oversized roofs with overhanging palm trees to collect rainwater to use for showering, shade and natural ventilation systems to combat the high temperatures.

For Sir Dr. Zein Obagi, Knighthood is an appreciation and recognition of his ongoing commitment to making the world a better place to live in, and helping countless amount of individuals around the World through his work! His vision has been resulting in millions of people now having access to treatments that allow healthy, beautiful skin they only dreamt about. By offering this innovative advancement in the science of healthy skin, he has tremendously improved the self-esteem and enhanced the physical appearance to the gratefulness of his clients internationally!

As Sir Dr. Obagi continues to explore the scientific possibilities of improving the appearance and health of skin, the Order of which he is now a part also remains actively committed to making the world a better place to live. Since 2005, the Order of Knighthood has raised and donated many hundreds of thousands of dollars and will continue to do so to help the less fortunate, which was the original idea already at conception. The Order now has a growing presence in 13 countries and has been publicized in the press around the world. Next year the Order will visit the Vatican to celebrate the seventeenth-hundred anniversary of its founding in 312 A.D. While no longer required to maintain a “battle-trained horse, three lances and armor in good repair,†the Ladies and Knights of this Imperial and Sovereign Order will continue to grow and prosper expanding their influence and chivalric values everywhere.

I had the honor and great privilege to be appointed in January of 2011 as the exclusive worldwide publicist (or as in the old language, Public Officer) to the Order. Only through personal recommendation can an extraordinary person be invested into the Order as a Knight or a Lady. And after my 15 years of knowing and understanding the work of Sir Dr. Obagi and his lovely and dedicated wife, Lady Samar, I am proud to announce their honorable recognition as extraordinary citizens of the World!