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

Written by Sharon Lehman, RDN

Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD 

Last Updated on July 22, 2021

Our Expert Rating:

2.8

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:3.0
  • 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

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

What Is Bioskin Youth Complex

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 manufacturers claim that Bioskin Youth Complex has been scientifically formulated. However, they do not provide any scientific evidence or studies to support their 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.

The manufacturers claim these extracts deliver potent polyphenols (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, 100 mg

Japanese Cherry Blossom Extract (CBE) is sourced as Florabella from a company called Oryza Oil & Fat Chemical Company.

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

CBE has been studied for its effects on skin health, but most studies are limited to labs. More research in humans is needed.

A 2019 study found 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.

A 2014 test tube 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.

Summary:

There is limited human research on the benefits of CBE for skin health.

Red and Black Currant Extract, 500 mg

The red and black currant extract 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 black 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.

Summary:

While the antioxidants in currants may be beneficial for the skin, there is limited research to support the claims of this specific ingredient. 

Probiotic Blend, 5 billion CFUs

There are hundreds of different types of probiotics that are identified by the species of bacteria.

Each species has different strains, and each strain has a specific function in the body. Probiotics strains that belong to the same bacteria species can have different functions.

Researchers are still studying to identify the type and function of each strain in the human microbiome.

This supplement contains two strains of probiotics: Lactobacillus reuteri (UALre) and Lactobacillus plantarum (UALp-05).

Strain-specific information for these two types of bacteria is not provided, so we can only generalize their potential benefit.

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

Depending on the strain, the main functions of L. reuteri have been identified as an antimicrobial, which helps prevent “bad” bacteria from colonizing in the intestines, and as an anti-inflammatory.

L. reuteri is well-studied, but I found no evidence linking any L. reuteri strains with skin health or anti-aging benefits.

I could not locate any studies specific to the trademarked UALre strain that is in this supplement.

A 2018 study found the UALp-05 strain survives digestion and functions as an anti-inflammatory in the intestines.

A few studies have found some strains of L. plantarum helps treat inflammation caused by atopic dermatitis.

A 2021 study linked topical use of L. plantarum strains with enhanced collagen production and more hydrated skin, but there’s no evidence consuming it will have the same effect.

Dr. Gundry claims L. plantarum can support thicker and fuller hair, but I found no evidence to support this either.

Summary:

Bacteria behave in strain-specific ways; therefore, it is challenging to make general statements about their benefits in this product.

Verdict on Claimed Benefits

Below is our summary of the available evidence for the claimed benefits of Bioskin Youth Complex based on the available research:

  • 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 with water before eating.

Strains of Lactobacillus bacteria are generally considered safe. Both bacterial species in this supplement have been well-studied.

However, as previously mentioned, I couldn’t locate any studies that evaluated the safety or potential side effects of the trademarked L. reuteri strain in the Bioskin Youth Complex.

The L. plantarum strain in this supplement survives digestion (so it actually reaches the intestines) and is considered safe.

Studies evaluating the potential benefits of Japenese cherry blossom extract and currant extracts are mostly in lab and animal models.

More research involving human consumption of these ingredients is needed to determine the safety and establish dosing.

You should speak with your doctor before taking this supplement.

The manufacturers claim the product is “all-natural and highly pure” and note that 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 and Where to Buy

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. However, there are discounts if you purchase a bundle of three ($188.85) or six bottles ($353.70).

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 Bioskin Youth Complex 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 30–60-day supply. 

Bioskin Youth Complex doesn’t have any additional research-backed benefits beyond other anti-aging skin products, like collagen or hyaluronic acid. 

The Bottom Line

Bioskin Youth Complex is an expensive anti-aging supplement that makes a lot of lofty claims. But, unfortunately, the product has not been studied for efficacy.

There’s evidence to support a gut-skin axis, so supplementing with probiotics like the ones 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 black currant extract contain polyphenols which are believed to have antioxidant activity.

However, there’s no evidence to suggest what quantity of these extracts 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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