About Gundry MD ProbioClear

Published on: Jun 30, 2017

By combining clinical-strength acne ingredients with a probiotic-derived formulation, Gundry MD ProbioClear is an easy-to-use topical cream that promises to rapidly clear blemishes and prevent future breakouts, without drying or damaging mature skin.

According to their website, this triple-action formula can also fight the signs of aging like wrinkles, dullness, and loss of elasticity, and help your complexion look clearer and younger on contact. With its unique diamond powder, it could also help reduce the appearance of skin imperfections—even without makeup.

Formulated to work on all skin types, the company recommends first cleaning skin and then applying a thin, quarter-sized layer of ProbioClear to the affected area, one to three times daily.

The website indicates many users report instant benefits, such as an improved look in blemishes, boosted radiance, and a more hydrated appearance. In as little as two to three weeks of regular use, many of these same customers reported maximum clarity.

Think you’re alone? According to Dr. Diana Howard, it’s thought that somewhere between 40 and 55 percent of adults between the age of 20 and 40 have been diagnosed with persistent acne. Whether you fall into this demographic or not, if nothing else has worked, might you finally experience benefits using Gundry MD’s ProbioClear?

That’s the main question we’ll explore in this article, starting with a few basics.

Your Quick Reference Guide to Adult Acne

The Mayo Clinic tells us that acne is caused by a combination of oil production, dead skin cells, clogged pores, and bacteria.

The process goes something like this: First, hair follicles become clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. Then, the oil produced by the follicle becomes trapped underneath and forms a plug. If this plug becomes infected with bacteria, it can grow red, inflamed, and topped off with a white head, leading to what's called a pimple.

While most adolescents experience some level of acne during puberty, it tends to greatly decrease in frequency and severity during the early twenties. However, those with adult acne can experience the condition (in some instances, for the first time) well into their thirties, forties, and fifties.

Traditional treatments for adult acne mirror those used for adolescents, including salicylic acid (exfoliates and unclogs pores), benzoyl peroxide (kills acne-causing bacteria), retinol/retinoids (helps build collagen to repair skin), and alpha-hydroxy acids (removes dead skin cells).

Comparatively, how does ProbioClear work?

What Ingredients Are Found In Gundry MD ProbioClear?

Let’s take this step-by-step.

According to the Drug Facts label listed on the product’s website, the only active ingredient found in ProbioClear is 0.5% salicylic acid. Inactive ingredients (those that have no pharmacological effect) include:

Gundry MD Probio Clear Inactive IngredientsThe cream’s label indicates that Gundry MD ProbioClear contains one active ingredient (salicylic acid) and dozens of inactive ones. Image credit: Gundry MD

As we learned in the previous section, salicylic acid is a common ingredient found in over the counter acne treatments that helps correct abnormal skin cell shedding, prevent lesions, and unclog pores. WebMD tells us that it does not, however, address oil production or kill acne-causing bacteria.

Specifically, ProbioClear’s video revealed that it contains SalSphere, a proprietary time-release, skin-friendly version of salicylic acid manufactured by Salvona.

Another ingredient emphasized in the ProbioClear video is diamond powder. While technically inactive, according to The Cut, this ingredient can potentially deliver more than one benefit, including exfoliation and optical diffusion—meaning it can reflect light away from imperfections, thereby reducing their appearance.

As soon as this powder is washed away, though, this light-refracting ability goes with it.

How do probiotics relate to this formulation?

Which Probiotics Are Included In ProbioClear?

Based on what we learned in the product’s video, ProbioClear contains Bonicel (listed as Bacillus ferment on the label), which is a proprietary ingredient formulated around the bacteria strain Bacillus coagulans.

Specifically, the company behind the ingredient claims they create a “fermentation broth” using the strain, which is then extracted and added to beauty products to reduce skin inflammation, improve elasticity, and boost moisturization.

In layman’s terms, while the Bonicel in ProbioClear is a probiotic-derived ingredient, it doesn’t actually contain any live, active probiotic bacteria cells.

When taken as an internal supplement, the Natural Medicines Database indicates B. coagulans is often used for relieving some types of diarrhea, improving digestion and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, and preventing upper respiratory infections.

But is there clinical evidence that the topical application of probiotics (whether B. coagulans or another strain) can result in any meaningful benefits? We’ll readdress this important question in a moment, but let’s first cover other possible ingredients found in ProbioClear.

A Closer Look At Some of ProbioClear’s Other Potential Ingredients

There were several other ingredients mentioned in Dr. Gundry’s ProbioClear video, but that also appeared to be missing from the cream’s label:

Granactive – According to the Grant Industries website, there are several different Granactive formulations available, although none is specified by Gundry MD. Perhaps the most relevant, Granactive Acne, contains water, butylene glycol, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, boswellia serrata extract, honey extract, oligopeptide-10, phenoxyethanol, and sodium benzoate.

Outside of a basic product description, the manufacturer doesn’t provide clinical support that the formulation can rebuild skin’s cellular matrix, address collagen synthesis, or reduce lines and wrinkles, as claimed on their website.

SaniSkin – The only product named SaniSkin we encountered at the time of our research was a skin tag remover.

Niacinamide PC – While this ingredient’s manufacturer lists several advantages related to niacinamide (a version of vitamin B3), such as enhanced skin tone, evened complexion, and reduced appearance of acne, they didn’t provide clinical support on their site that their specific formulation can meaningfully boost these benefits.

Are There Any Potential ProbioClear Side Effects?

Drugs.com indicates that less common/rare side effects related to the use of salicylic acid include moderate to severe skin irritation.

Common salicylic acid strengths range between 0.5 and 30 percent, so ProbioClear is at the lower end of the spectrum, which could reduce the possibility of experiencing these side effects.

The product's label indicates ProbioClear shouldn't be used on broken skin or large areas of the body, and that irritation and dryness are more likely to occur if you simultaneously use another topical acne medication.

If bothersome dryness or peeling occurs, Gundry MD recommends reducing application to once a day, or every other day. If too much skin irritation or sensitivity develops or increases, they note you should stop and see your doctor.

What will you pay?

How Much Does ProbioClear Cost?

Gundry MD has priced ProbioClear as follows:

  • 1 Jar: $49
  • 2 Jars: $86
  • 3 Jars: $120

For the single jar order, you’ll be charged an additional $4.95 S&H. All other options include free shipping.

ProbioClear comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, less S&H charges, which you can request by reaching out to customer service at (800) 852-0477 or support@gundrymd.com.

If you need to reach out, who will you end up talking to?

What Do We Know About the Company Behind ProbioClear?

Based out of Beverly Hills, CA, Gundry MD was founded in 2016 and has released several products in that time, such as Vital Reds, Prebiothrive, and Primal Plants (three of the most popular from the company here on HighYa). The company makes another probiotic-focused cream named Correct + Calm Redness Relief, although this is targeted toward addressing rosacea.

Among more than 1,000 combined HighYa reader reviews, these products had an average rating of about 4.5 stars at the time of our research. Most compliments seemed related to effective results and solid customer support, while complaints (what few there were) addressed no results and service-related issues.

On the Better Business Bureau’s site, Gundry MD held an A- rating and 14 closed complaints as of 6/30/17. Among the few details available, billing/return issues seemed to be most common, although a company representative responded to rectify the situation in each instance.

Before founding the company, Dr. Steven Gundry worked as a world-renowned cardiologist and heart surgeon for nearly four decades, and also as Director and Founder of the International Heart & Lung Institute, and the Center for Restorative Medicine in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara, CA.

Outside of Gundry MD, are there similar products competing with ProbioClear?

ProbioClear vs. Other Probiotic Acne Treatments

Whitney P. Bowe, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology, indicates that topical probiotics could potentially provide three key acne-related benefits:

  • They could deliver bacterial interference, which may help prevent skin cells from recognizing bad bacteria, therefore preventing an immune reaction and the subsequent inflammation.
  • They might create additional substances that kill bacteria by creating holes in their outer membrane.
  • If skin cells perceive bad bacteria as a threat, topical probiotics could interrupt their “attack signal,” resulting in a calming effect.

Despite these potential benefits, outside of ProbioClear, we only encountered two other products during our research that combined probiotics and salicylic acid—and that were also specifically marketed at addressing acne. How did they compare?

ProbioClear GlowBiotics MD Sonya Dakar Blemish Buster
Intended Use Extended wear serum Cleanser Overnight drying potion
Price $49-$120 $30 $29
Active Ingredient 0.5% salicylic acid 2% salicylic acid Encapsulated salicylic acid
Probiotic Type Bonicel Bacillus ferment (no active cells) None listed in ingredients Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium

As you can see, the right option for you largely comes down to which factors you place the most emphasis on.

For example, based on their intended uses (although we didn’t test any ourselves), ProbioClear might work best for all-day wear, GlowBiotics could be ideal for washing your face at night, while Blemish Buster seems more targeted toward extended overnight use.

If you're focused on cost, ProbioClear is priced meaningfully higher than these other options. But it also seems to feature the lowest concentration of salicylic acid, which might be ideal if you have especially sensitive skin.

Looking for something with live bacteria? If so, then GlowBiotics and Blemish Buster are the only options.

Where does all this leave you?

Our Final Thoughts About Gundry MD ProbioClear

In the end, is there sufficient clinical evidence that you should you spend your hard-earned money on a salicylic acid and probiotic-based acne treatment?

According to the same article cited earlier featuring dermatologist Whitney P. Bowe:

"While more studies are needed to identify the most beneficial aspects of probiotics and determine whether topical or oral probiotics yield the best results, I think we can expect to see some cutting-edge probiotic products for acne and rosacea in the near future.

Until then, I would recommend that patients with acne or rosacea see their dermatologist to talk about adding foods with live active cultures, such as yogurt, to their diets or taking an oral probiotic supplement daily. Although I don’t envision probiotics ever being used as a stand-alone treatment for acne or rosacea, they could be used as an effective combination therapy with prescription medications or over-the-counter topical treatments.”

Bottom line? If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, the first person you might want to speak with is your doctor, who can recommend options based on your specific diagnosis.

In the meantime, if you feel like giving ProbioClear a shot, Gundry MD provides a 90-day return policy on all their products. This means that if it doesn’t work, you likely won’t be out more than a few dollars in return shipping.

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