Kerassentials is an antifungal oil that’s applied to nails and skin. The brand claims that their formula is “unlike anything you’ve ever tried” and is made from “a bespoke proprietary formula of 4 special high-quality oils.”
But does Kerassentials contain ingredients proven in medical studies to reduce fungus? Does it contain any potentially unhealthy or toxic additive ingredients? Why is it a risk to purchase this product on Amazon? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Kerassentials?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Kerassentials based on medical studies to give our take on whether the product is likely to be effective or if it’s a waste of money.
We’ll also explain why we think purchasing it on Amazon is riskier than purchasing from the brand’s official website, and feature real, unsponsored Kerassentials user reviews.
The ingredients in Kerassentials are shown above. This formulation does contain some research-backed ingredients.
Undecylenic acid is the first active ingredient, and this chemical compound which is derived from castor oil has been shown in a 2016 clinical trial to be highly effective in controlling levels of at least one pathogenic bacteria called Candida albicans in a test setting.
Flaxseed was shown to be effective against three different types of fungi in a clinical trial published in the Journal of Food Science.
Tea tree oil is one of the most well-studied natural antifungals. As referenced in our review of another antifungal product called Crystal Flush, tea tree oil is clinically proven to reduce levels of a variety of fungi when applied topically.
Lavender oil was shown in a 2005 clinical trial to “reduce fungal progression.”
Lemongrass oil is not only an effective antifungal, but also was shown in a 2020 clinical trial to have a “biofilm inhibitory effect,” and the study authors suggested that this natural ingredient is so highly effective that it may have applications in desanitizing medical devices.
Manuka oil was found in a clinical trial published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy to reduce fungus levels in vitro (test tube setting) and in vivo (in live animals). This is an impressive result, given that most antifungal trials are in vitro only.
The good news about this product is that it’s entirely free of questionable additives.
Overall, we consider Kerassentials likely to be effective as a topical antifungal. The efficacy of topical antifungals for toenails is lower than oral prescription treatments prescribed by a dermatologist, but they have the benefit of not causing serious side effects like liver damage.
It’s one of the most potent over-the-counter (OTC) antifungals that we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health, and has a better formulation than every other antifungal brand reviewed.
We would recommend this product based on its formulation.
But why is it safer to purchase Kerassentials on the brand’s website than on Amazon? We’ll explain in the next section.
Why We Recommend Avoiding Kerassentials on Amazon
According to the footer of the Kerassentials website, the product appears to be retailed by a company called “BuyGoods.”
However, the brand names associated with all of the Kerassentials products on Amazon vary, as shown below:
You can see in the screenshot above that the brand associated with the most-reviewed Kerassentials product on Amazon is “EELEAN.” But we have never heard of that brand before nor is it mentioned on the official Kerassentials website, which is a red flag in our opinion about a potential scam product.
The risk of counterfeit or otherwise damaged goods, as well as the risk of diminished legal recourse, is increased when purchasing from an unverified, third-party seller on Amazon.
This is why we recommend purchasing directly from a manufacturer whenever possible.
It’s also worth noting that there is no mention of Amazon on the Kerassentials website, which suggests that none of the brands selling products labeled “Kerassentials” on Amazon are authorized distributors.
But how do real users rate and describe the effects of Kerassentials? We’ll review in the next section.
Real, Unsponsored Kerassentials User Reviews
Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion. Although we can’t 100% verify that the Kerassential’s product on Amazon is the same as the one on the brand’s official website, it can still be a useful resource for prospective buyers.
Kerassentials has currently been reviewed 82 times on Amazon with an average review rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Katie South” who gives the product a 4-star rating and claims it’s been effective over time as her nails grow out:
“My toenails do look much better as they are growing out. Somewhat cleaner looking. I just need to use it more.”
The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Teresa Baran” who claims this may be a counterfeit product:
“This product has no ingredients listed on the bottle, who know where it is made. It’s supposed to be oils it is the consistency of water and has no smell. This is a scam and Amazon should vet the products before allowing these companies to sell items. Do not buy!”
BuyGoods, the official retailer of Kerassentials, has a surprisingly high rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website of 4.26 out of 5 stars.
The brand appears to respond to the majority of customer feedback and complaints which is the sign of a high-quality brand.
How Can You Prevent Nail Fungus?
Treating toenail fungus is a priority once it’s already a problem, but once it resolves, prevention becomes incredibly important to avoid a future infection.
A video from the American Academy of Dermatology is under 3 minutes long and includes six tips on preventing toenail fungus:
Where to Buy Kerassentials for the Best Price
Kerassentials is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown (per bottle) at the time of publishing this article:
Brand website: $69
Walmart: $28.95 (unofficial seller)
Amazon: $7.99 (unofficial seller)
The extreme price discrepancy (Kerassentials is 88% cheaper on Amazon than on the brand’s website) is another red flag in our opinion that it may be a counterfeit product.
The official Kerassentials website is here, and that’s where we would recommend consumers intent on purchasing this product visit.
Will Kerassentials Cause Side Effects?
Kerassentials doesn’t appear to have been studied in any clinical trials, so it’s impossible to say for certain whether or not the product will cause side effects. However, we can make an educated guess based on its ingredients.
While all of the active ingredients in Kerassentials are naturally-derived, essential oils can irritate the skin if not properly diluted. The Kerassentials website does not publish the concentration of each essential oil in the formulation, which suggests that individuals with sensitive skin may wish to avoid this product.
However, given that there are no harmful ingredients, we consider Kerassentials unlikely to cause any side effects in healthy adults.
This is one of the most non-toxic and safe OTC antifungal formulations that we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health.
Our Natural Antifungal Picks
There are some natural products with promising early research for treating fungus when applied topically.
Tea tree oil was shown in a medical review published in the Mycoses journal to be effective against fungus when applied topically in all clinical trials examined.
Nexon Botanics Organic Tea Tree Oil is our top tea tree oil pick, because it's affordable, packaged in glass and contains no additive ingredients. The only ingredient is 100% organic tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil needs to be diluted prior to use, and undiluted tea tree oil can irritate or damage skin, so it's important that consumers read the manufacturer's use instructions.
Interested consumers can check out Nexon Botanics Organic Tea Tree Oil at this link to its official Amazon listing.
Coconut oil was shown in a 2016 clinical trial to have antifungal effects, however this was an in vitro (test tube) study so the results are weaker than if it were in humans. Nevertheless, it's a very safe, whole food ingredient.
Dr. Bronner's Organic Coconut Oil is our top coconut oil pick, as it's packaged in glass, virgin (meaning it's not heat-treated), and has no questionable additive ingredients. The only ingredient is organic coconut oil.
Interested consumers can check out Dr. Bronner's Organic Coconut Oil at this link to its official Amazon listing.
We're not suggesting that either of these products should be used to treat any disease or health condition; just sharing promising research on two natural compounds that individuals may wish to speak with their doctor or dermatologist about.
Pros and Cons of Kerassentials
Here are the pros and cons of Kerassentials as a brand in our opinion:
- Effective formulation
- No questionable additives
- Should reduce fungus levels
- Manufacturer appears high-quality
- Very expensive
- Essential oil concentrations not disclosed
- Not clinically proven to work
- Amazon resellers may be illegitimate