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Bioskin Youth Complex Review: Is It Safe and Effective? A Comprehensive Look

Written by Sharon Lehman, RDN

Published on March 12, 2021

Our Expert Rating:

3.0

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:2.0
  • Ingredient Safety:4.0
  • Value for the Price:2.0
  • Brand Transparency:4.0

Bioskin Youth Complex is an anti-aging dietary supplement that claims to reduce signs of aging and improve hair and nails by correcting imbalances in the gut microbiome. In my opinion, it’s an overpriced product with exaggerated benefits.

Bioskin Youth Complex Review: Is It Safe and Effective? A Comprehensive Look

Pros

  • May support digestive health
  • Little risk of side effects for most healthy people
  • 90-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No evidence to support anti-aging benefits
  • No third-party testing

Background

Bioskin Youth Complex is one of many supplements created and sold by the celebrity physician Dr. Steven Gundry.

It’s marketed as an anti-aging product that benefits hair, skin, nails, and gut health.

It’s worth noting Dr. Gundry’s medical specialization is as a pediatric cardiologist—not a dermatologist or gastrointestinal specialist.

The supplement is claimed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and dullness, improve skin elasticity and hydration, make skin feel smoother and firmer, and improve the strength and appearance of hair and nails.

The website states the product has been scientifically formulated but fails to provide any scientific evidence or studies to support the product claims.

The marketing around this product focuses on it being an “inside-out” solution for skin health.

They repeatedly mention that the product works “at the source” to deliver anti-aging benefits to every inch of skin on the body.

They’re making something obvious seem more impressive than it actually is.

Compared to supplements that are topically applied to a localized spot on the body, any supplement taken by mouth and processed by the digestive system has the potential to “reach” all areas of the body.

Bioskin Youth contains cherry blossom extract and red and black currant extract, which the product claims deliver potent polyphenols (those are plant compounds with antioxidant properties) to every skin cell in the body where they “energize” and counteract cellular damage that contributes to signs of aging.

It also contains two strains of probiotics to help balance bacteria in the gut. The product credits these strains with improving digestive health, which in turn, helps reverse and prevent outward signs of skin and hair aging.

There’s emerging evidence that there is a connection between gut health and skin health and that these two organs communicate via a gut-skin axis.

However, most of the research has focused on how microbiome imbalances are linked to inflammatory skin conditions, like acne, eczema, and cancer—not aging.

Evaluation of Ingredients

Japanese Cherry Blossom Extract

Each dose of this supplement contains 100 milligrams of Japanese Cherry Blossom Extract (CBE). This ingredient is sourced as Florabella from a company called Oryza Oil & Fat Chemical Company.

Lab evaluations have found all parts of the cherry blossom plant contain a multitude of polyphenol compounds with potential health benefits.

CBE has been studied for its effects on skin health. In one study, skin cells treated with CBE displayed greater protection against exposure to ultraviolet light, which is one of the main contributors to oxidative stress and aging skin.

These results suggest CBE has antioxidant activity that could help fight aging as it relates to sun exposure. However, the results were dependent on the concentration and limited to a test tube study.

Another study found topical application of CBE helped reduce localized skin inflammation, but there’s no evidence that consuming CBE has the same effect.

I couldn’t find any studies that credit CBE with reduced pore size, smoother skin, or counteracting the appearance of loose skin, as Dr. Gundry suggests it does.

Red and Black Currant Extract

Each dose contains 500 milligrams of red and black currant extract. This ingredient is sourced as MitoHeal from a company called Specnova.

The nutrient composition of black currants has been well documented. They are rich in polyphenols, including anthocyanins which are the pigments that give the fruit its blue-black color.

There isn’t much research on currant extract and skin health. One test tube study found one compound in black currants, coined cassis polysaccharide, that helps stimulate the function of special immune cells, called dendritic cells, in the skin.

This might indicate black currants can help protect the skin from disease, but not necessarily aging. But there’s no way to know if the MitoHeal powder contains this compound.

An animal study suggests black currants can help protect skin from dehydration upon exposure to ultraviolet light.

Rats who were fed a diet supplemented with black currants had less dehydrated skin when exposed to ultraviolet light than those who didn’t eat the currants.

A few studies mentioned black currants have a vasodilating effect, but I didn’t find evidence to support that red and black currant extract improves skin moisture content in humans.

Probiotic Blend

The probiotic blend contains two strains of probiotics: L. Reuteri and L. Plantarum.

Both are “good” types of bacteria that play a role in regulating the gut microbiome, strengthening the intestinal lining, and supporting the immune system.

Some studies have found L. Plantarum helps treat inflammation caused by atopic dermatitis.

One study linked topical use of L. Plantarum with enhanced collagen production and more hydrated skin, but there’s no evidence consuming it will have the same effect.

I found no evidence linking supplementation of L. Reuteri with skin health or anti-aging benefits.

Dr. Gundry claims L. Plantarum can support thicker and fuller hair but there is no evidence to support this either.

Verdict on Claimed Benefits

Here is our summary of the available support for the claimed benefits of Bioskin Youth Complex, based on the available studies:

  • Supports gut healthStrong Evidence
  • Improves skin hydration and elasticityLimited Evidence
  • Reduces skin wrinkles, sagging, and dullnessNo Evidence
  • Improves strength and shine of hairNo Evidence

Side Effects, Safety, and Dosage

One dose of Bioskin Youth Complex is two swallowable capsules. It’s recommended to take one dose per day before eating.

I don’t have much concern regarding the side effects of this product. The ingredients appear safe and most healthy people shouldn’t experience any significant side effects from using this product.

The product’s website states pregnant and nursing women and children should not take this product.

The description claims the product is “all-natural and highly pure” and notes Dr. Gundry’s company is “dedicated to third-party testing.”

However, there are no recognizable third-party testing seals on the bottle or product description so I’d take this claim with a bit of salt.

The description also references manufacturing according to FDA Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines for purity, but this is a useless claim since all supplement companies are required to follow the same basic guidelines.

Cost

Each bottle of Bioskin Youth Complex contains 60 capsules, which is a one-month supply. At this time, it can only be purchased from Dr. Gundry’s website.

A single bottle retails for $69.95, which equates to $2.33 per serving. There are discounts if you purchase a bundle of three or six bottles.

In my opinion, the product is overpriced. However, if you try it and aren’t satisfied, there is a 90-day money-back guarantee on all of Dr. Gundry’s products.

How It Compares

A search for skin health and anti-aging supplements returns many dietary products that contain collagen, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and resveratrol.

These ingredients have been more extensively researched than cherry blossom and currant extracts in humans and have more evidence backing their health benefits.

Most of these products are also more affordable than Bioskin Youth Complex, priced around $20–$30 for a 30- or 60-day supply.

The Bottom Line

Bioskin Youth Complex is an overpriced anti-aging supplement that makes a lot of lofty claims. The product has not been studied for efficacy.

There’s evidence to support a gut-skin axis, so supplementing with probiotics like those in Bioskin Youth Complex may benefit skin health and can certainly support digestive health.

However, most of the research has focused on the link between the gut microbiome and inflammatory skin conditions, not aging.

Cherry blossom extract and currant extract contain polyphenols which are believed to have antioxidant activity.

There’s no evidence to suggest what quantity of these ingredients need to be consumed to result in visible improvements in skin health.

A Word from Our RD

There is more and more evidence that the health of your gut impacts the health of the entire body. Probiotics can help ensure your gut microbiome is balanced and diverse.

I recommend trying a daily probiotic supplement if you’re experiencing mild to moderate digestive troubles or an inflammatory skin condition like acne or eczema.

Otherwise, you can include probiotics in your diet with fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and raw sauerkraut.

Drinking more water and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables to up your antioxidant intake can help support skin health.

Other proven anti-aging practices include moisturizing skin, avoiding smoking, and wearing sunscreen.

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