An Overview on Ozempic Weight Loss

Many people desire a way to experience fast and effortless weight loss, but is Ozempic the solution they’ve been dreaming of? And most importantly, is Ozempic safe?

The Skin Report is a podcast created to educate listeners on methods to improve skin health for people of all ethnicities and ages. In this episode, host Dr. Sethi continues her discussion on diets and nutrition as she teaches listeners about Hollywood’s hottest weight-loss secret, Ozempic. On the show, she provides the truth behind the drug’s intended use, weight-loss effects, and safety. Dr. Sethi also discusses ways that losing weight with drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy could impact the skin and body, covering common side effects of semaglutide like “Ozempic face.” Finally, she shares methods people can practice to preserve their skin’s laxity and health while using these medications.

As the founder of RenewMD Beauty Medical Spas and a woman of color, Dr. Sethi is dedicated to spreading science-backed skincare information on The Skin Report. Tune in to this episode to learn about Ozempic and its weight-loss effects!

Follow and DM a question for Dr. Sethi to answer on The Skin Report Podcast:

Renew Beauty Instagram:

RenewMD Beauty Medical Spas, California:

Dr. Sethi on TikTok:

Glass Skin Trio Special Offer 25% off Promo Code: GlassTrio25

Skin By Dr. Sethi – 15% OFF for new customers: GLOW15

Forbes Health – Ozempic For Weight Loss: Cost, Side Effects And More:

The New York Times – What Is Ozempic and Why Is It Getting So Much Attention?:

Cosmopolitan – People are getting seriously ill after taking black market Ozempic:

The New York Times – Ozempic Is Hard to Find. Some Pharmacies Are Offering Unauthorized Alternatives:

Medical News Today – What to Know About “Ozempic Face”:

Today – What is ‘Ozempic face’? Significant weight loss on the drug can change your face, doctors say:

This transcript was exported on January 4, 2024 -view latest version here.

Skin care can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether it’s finding the right products, ingredients, or treatments, there’s a lot out there. But not always for people of African, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Eastern South Asian descent. That’s why I set out to educate myself and others so that we can all feel beautiful in our skin. Hello and welcome back to The Skin Report. I’m Dr. Simran Sethi, an internal medicine doctor, mom of three and CEO and founder of RenewMD Medical Spa and Skin by Dr. Sethi.

Before we begin discussing the primary focus of this episode, I want to give a warning that this episode will cover topics surrounding dieting, diet culture, weight loss, and nutrition. If you feel these subjects may be triggering or negatively impactful to your health journey, please take care of yourself and only listen if you’re able to.

On today’s episode of The Skin Report, I provide the science-backed fact behind Ozempic, it’s use as a weight loss drug and its impact on skin health. But first, I want to remind everyone to please subscribe to The Skin Report channel. Subscribing ensures you won’t miss out on any of our upcoming episodes filled with more fascinating discussions and insights. Hit that subscribe button to stay connected and stay informed. And let’s get started.

Ozempic is a drug that has been in many headlines recently for its ability to help users lose weight. But how did this drug meant to treat diabetes become a dieting sensation? On this episode, I’ll teach you about the rise of Ozempic use indiet culture, the science behind how Ozempic works for weight loss and the impact this drug can have on user’s skin health.

Last week I gave listeners a recap on the many ways that nutrition and weight loss diets can influence the health and appearance of our skin. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, I’ve linked it in the show notes and I highly recommend that you check it out. While Ozempic is not a diet, it provides weight loss effects by impacting how the body processes its nutrients.

Despite its growing reputation as a Hollywood weight loss secret, Ozempic is actually formulated to manage blood sugar levels in people with type II diabetes. However, research and today’s trends suggest that Ozempic can help people shed weight quickly. Ozempic contains the active ingredient semaglutide, which works in people with type II diabetes to improve their blood sugar levels and regulate their insulin production. Another effect of semaglutide is it causes users to feel satiated or full. The ingredient imitates the glucagon-like peptide 1 or GLP-1, a hormone our intestines produce naturally to signal that we are full.

By making people feel fuller faster, Ozempic essentially works as an appetite suppressant. This impact that semaglutide has on people’s appetites has made it an effective active ingredient in the drug, Wegovy. Wegovy is another glucagon-like peptide 1 GLP-1 receptor agonist that actually contains a higher dose of semaglutide than Ozempic and was approved by the FDA to treat obesity in 2021.

Now is a good time to mention that although Ozempic and Wegovy contain the same active ingredient that produces the same appetite suppressing effects, Ozempic is still not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating weight loss. And yet, influencers and celebrities are still obtaining and administering the drug for this purpose against FDA guidance. Stick around as up next I’ll show how this trend began and how it affects the body.

Today many are familiar with Ozempic’s reputation as a not-so-well-kept secret for weight loss in Hollywood and among influencers online. While it’s tough to say precisely how the drug gained its popularity for weight loss, it is likely due in part to the effectiveness of Wegovy. In a tweet in 2022, Elon Musk credited fasting and Wegovy as his weight loss secret.

Why don’t more people seek out Wegovy? Well, insurance often won’t cover the medication if the patient doesn’t meet the FDA’s criteria for the drug. Wegovy is indicated by the FDA as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mask index of 30 kilogram per meter square or greater, or 27 kilogram per meter square or greater in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition. Therefore, obtaining insurance for Wegovy without these weight-related medical conditions can be challenging.

On the other hand, Ozempic is less expensive than Wegovy and produces the same appetite-suppressing effect. While insurance likely won’t cover Ozempic for uses other than the FDA-approved treatment of type-II diabetes, drugs like Ozempic can also be prescribed legally for unofficial uses. Wegovy has always been extremely sought after its introduction and this high demand has made it challenging for patients to obtain it. This is another factor that led to Ozempic becoming a popular alternative.

Since the boom in Ozempic use, TikTok has become a platform where many users have been showing off the effect of the drug on their weight loss. With all of its celebrity endorsements and glowing user reviews, it’s no wonder why the drug has gained traction. After all, Ozempic has become known in popular media as a quick fix for shedding extra pounds with little to no effort. Why would someone want to manage their caloric intake through conscious dieting or exercising when they could use a drug that does it for them?

Many Ozempic users have reported that they no longer experience craving for excess calories. In imitating GLP-1, Ozempic’s active ingredient helps people feel satiated after eating smaller amounts of food. By taking in fewer calories, their bodies can burn off their fat reserves for fast and easy weight loss. Losing weight quickly through this method may sound like a dream come true for anyone seeking a slimmer figure, but using Ozempic for weight loss has drawbacks.

One significant drawback to Ozempic is its popularity. With more patients seeking Ozempic prescriptions, the drug is becoming scarce, and this has resulted in patients acquiring itat high prices and through extreme methods like traveling abroad. Buyers should also stay cautious about purchasing Ozempic from unregulated sellers as this could have hazardous consequences.

The FDA’s drug shortage website now lists Ozempic as currently in shortage due to its high demand, but dieters aren’t the only ones impacted by the drug’s scarcity. Patients who use Ozempic to treat their type two diabetes are finding it more difficult to access the drug safely for its FDA-approved use.

Next, I’ll discuss the physical impacts you should consider before hopping on the Ozempic trend. Ozempic isn’t the perfect weight loss drug, especially considering it isn’t one at all. People who use Ozempic for weight loss are participating in off-label use of the medication or use of the drug that falls outside of the FDA’s criteria.

Now, I don’t want to scare anyone away from using Ozempic for its intended use as long as they are obtaining it from a medical professional and monitored appropriately to ensure their health. People with type two diabetes should consult with their doctor to determine whether the medication would be beneficial for treating their condition. But in general, Ozempic may cause dehydration, fatigue, nausea, and other gastrointestinal side effects, which often subside over time.

Some less common, but more severe side effects can even include pancreatitis, hypoglycemia, and thyroid tumors or cancer. Furthermore, using Ozempic for weight loss is especially risky as this off-label use has not been researched enough to determine its safety or potential risks. Because Ozempic was only FDA approved to treat diabetes, it may not be suitable for an entirely different condition, like say weight management.

For instance, consider how diabetes is a chronic condition. Ozempic is meant to be taken long-term as a chronic medication, not as a short-term weight loss solution. This may be why many patients report that lost weight returns when they stop taking Ozempic on a weekly basis. The drug will impact the patient’s hunger signals, but once they stop taking it, this effect will diminish and their appetite will return. Of course, people today are still trying Ozempic for cosmetic weight loss despite its lack of regulation for this purpose, its side effects and its potential risks. However, the rapid weight loss from this medication can also significantly impact their skin.

We’ve gone over how Ozempic helps people shed their extra pounds, but not how its appetite suppressing effects can also influence their skin. If you’ve listened to the show for a while now, you likely know how important nutrition is for skin health. Our skin requires enough nutrients from our diets to support healthy skin functions. Overly restrictive diets can cause adverse effects on our skin as we can fail to provide our skin with the nutrition it needs. In extreme cases, patients using Ozempic may restrict their intake to unhealthy levels leading to malnutrition.

Another thing to consider about Ozempic is the speed at which people may lose weight. While speedy weight loss may seem like a perk to some, it can lead to skin sagging. This effect is especially pronounced on the face, earning it its name, Ozempic face. The skin can show increased lines, wrinkles, and sagging with an aged and hollowed appearance.

Ozempic face occurs more commonly in patients who are middle-aged and older as we experience more skin laxity as we age. When these patients lose fat rapidly, their skin is unable to appropriately adapt to the loss in volume. To avoid the effects of Ozempic face, patients should work with their providers to monitor their weight and ensure that they’re experiencing weight loss at a healthy rate.

And for anyone who already has Ozempic face, there are treatments that can help. Facial injections of natural collagen and volume building product called poly-L-lactic acid or Sculptra or hyaluronic acid fillers can be administered to restore volume loss and create a more natural look. Other procedures may target the skin itself, like lasers for tightening and addressing skin laxity.

I hope that this episode cleared up some of the mysteries surrounding Ozempic. As tempting as fast weight loss may be, remember that no trend is worth sacrificing your health. Always seek out medical care from qualified professionals and administer medication as directed for its intended use. And I’m excited to announce that later this season we’ll be joined by a special guest, Dr. del Pozo. She’s a medical professional who works with patients to help them lose weight. And I’ll be interviewing her about her profession and her own personal experience with the drug Ozempic. That episode will be coming up soon, so don’t forget to check in so you don’t miss it.

If you’re interested in learning more about some healthy weight loss practices that will produce beautiful results for your figure and your skin, take a listen to some of the past episodes that I’ve linked in the show notes. Thank you as always for listening, and until next time, love your skin, love yourself, and celebrate your beauty.

If you’d like to learn more about science-backed skincare or medical aesthetic treatments, please subscribe to and turn on notifications for The Skin Report so you always know when a new episode is up. We have a newsletter that you can sign up for on so that you can stay up to date on all our latest products and more. Additionally, if you have skincare questions or want to make an episode topic recommendation, please message me at, which is linked in my show notes and I’ll be sure to answer your question in an episode soon.

Transcript by