Dermal Repair Complex is a supplement for anti-aging and rejuvenating skin made by a cosmetics company called Beverly Hills MD. The brand claims that regular use of this supplement will result in a “significantly younger, healthier appearance” with reduced wrinkles and visibly firmer skin.
In this article we’ll review the ingredients in Dermal Repair Complex based on medical research to determine if these claims are likely to be true, or if the product is a waste of your money.
Formulation Review - Vitamin Blend
The first section of the ingredients list is a vitamin blend, composed mostly of B-vitamins. The blend contains 2,500 micrograms (mcg) of biotin, which is typically used for hair products like Keranique rather than skincare products.
We only found one medical study on biotin for skin, which showed that 10 milligrams (mg) of biotin in addition to isotretinoin treatment helped to maintain skin hydration. Since Dermal Repair Complex doesn’t include isotretinoin, and doesn’t publish any research explaining their biotin dose, we can assume this ingredient is ineffective.
The rest of the blend is composed of various B-vitamins and Vitamin A, in seemingly random doses. We haven’t come across any medical research suggesting that random vitamin blends are effective for improving skin health, nor is there any biological reason they would be. Beverly Hills MD doesn’t publish any research or explanation of their vitamin ingredients, so we will assume they’re ineffective for improving skin.
As we’ve discussed in previous cosmetic supplement reviews, there is generally no benefit to taking vitamins if you’re not deficient in that vitamin. Supplementation of vitamins should be based on documented deficiency; a patient with low Vitamin B12 levels will benefit from Vitamin B12 supplementation, but taking random blends of vitamins without any documented deficiency has no proven benefit and may potentially cause harm depending on intake from other sources.
Formulation Review - Dermal Repair Complex Blend
The second part of this supplement ingredients list is a proprietary (prop) blend with a total dosage of 620 mg. We disagree with the practice of listing ingredients in a prop blend rather than listing the individual dose of each ingredient.
Supplement companies are allowed to list ingredients by their combined dosage in a prop blend, which allows them to hide the individual dosage of each ingredient. This is bad for consumers (and researchers like us), because it’s hard to determine the safety and efficacy of an ingredient without its exact dose.
Prop blends are listed in order of relative dosage (meaning the first-listed ingredient is at a higher dose than the second-listed ingredient and so on), so we know in this case that hydrolyzed collagen is the highest-dosed ingredient in Dermal Repair Complex.
We know from medical studies that oral collagen supplementation does significantly improve skin quality, but it has a minimally-effective dose of 2.5 grams (g) and a maximally-effective dose of 10 g. Since the entire prop blend (of which collagen is only one part) in this product is only 620 mg, we can conclude that the collagen in this supplement is unlikely to be effective. As a reminder to consumers, 1000 mg = 1 g.
Saw palmetto fruit powder is the second ingredient in Dermal Repair Complex, and we can’t find any medical research at all suggesting it’s effective for skin improvements. It’s typically used for hair loss. We’ll assume this is another ineffective ingredient.
MSM is the third-listed ingredient, and it does appear to be an effective ingredient for skin aging. Unfortunately, it’s significantly underdosed in this formulation.
A clinical trial on MSM for skin aging found that it improved facial wrinkles, skin roughness, and skin hydration, but the most effective dose from the study was 3 g/day. The researchers also found 1 g/day to be effective but less so.
Since the entire Dermal Repair Complex Blend is only 620 mg, and MSM is one of 6 ingredients, we can conclude it’s underdosed and ineffective based on medical research.
The fourth ingredient is wild yam root extract, and we can’t identify any research even testing this for skin improvements on human subjects. We will conclude this is another ineffective ingredient.
Hyaluronic acid is the fifth ingredient in this formulation, and it appears to be effective for improving skin at 120 mg/day based on a medical review. Since Beverly MD doesn’t publish the exact dosage, we can’t determine whether there’s enough hyaluronic acid in this formulation to be effective.
We also know from previous medical research that hyaluronic acid is more effective at low molecular weights, and based on the poor overall formulation of Dermal Repair Complex, we doubt that the formulators were knowledgeable enough to use low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid. Since they don’t specify the molecular weights, we’ll assume they didn’t.
The final ingredient in Dermal Repair Complex is silica, and we cannot locate any medical research suggesting this is an effective ingredient for skin improvements or wrinkle reduction.
Overall we find this to be a very poor formulation. Only one ingredient in this entire prop blend (hyaluronic acid) is even potentially beneficial at the given dose, based on medical research.
Plain, unflavored collagen powder sourced from grass-fed animals is the safest and most well-studied oral supplement for skin improvement in our opinion.
There is ample research, some linked to in previous sections, proving that collagen can reduce wrinkles, slow skin aging and improve skin elasticity. We recommend a daily dose of 10 g, subject to your doctor’s approval, as this appears to be the maximally-effective dose based on research studies.
Another potential supplement for taut skin, which isn’t discussed enough in popular health media, is astaxanthin. This chemical compound is what gives wild-caught salmon its distinct color, and it’s been shown in medical research to significantly improve skin and reduce wrinkles at doses ranging from 2 - 12 mg/day.
We also recommend using a mineral sunscreen daily, as UV damage degrades skin appearance.