I wanted to test Avitalin Youth Essentials Ageless Skin Complex ($65) because a core feature is a concoction that Avitalin calls BioMiracle Age Defense Complex. This is algae, Siberian mushroom, raisin, and colostrum.

Colostrum is fascinating for the medical profession because it is full of powerful properties that signal growth and prevent disease. And I was intrigued because I haven’t tried a potion with it before and was interested to learn more about it and see if works topically.

Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced by mammalian mothers during the first few days after giving birth (for commercial use, cows seem to be the source). Its purpose is to transfer immunity and protection against disease from a mother to her newborn. Properties include immunoglobins, the body’s first line of defense; hormones; enzymes; growth factors; peptides; and nucleotides.

The most pertinent bioactive components in colostrum are growth factors and antimicrobial factors (source). These include transforming growth factors alpha, beta 1 and beta 2, fibroblast growth factors, and epidermal growth factor. All of which sounds hopeful for an anti-aging cream. However, I couldn’t find any research that supports its topical use, and its reputation as a wound healer seems mixed: a study on hamsters back in the 1980s proved disappointing, although other researchers have since been more positive (source).

My experience with Avitalin Youth Essentials is that it makes my skin feel softer and look smoother. However, I find the results more hydrating than in the wrinkle repair category. That said, I would highly recommend this to anyone 30-something through 60-something who wants a turbo-charged moisturizer. Not to mention one that focuses on powerful and mostly natural ingredients.

Along with colostrum, there is antioxidant algae, Siberian mushroom (a powerful anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant – although there has been little in vitro research so far – this is one to watch) and raisin. Willow bark is a natural exfoliant with salicylic acid, a BHA. In addition, there is CoQ10 and the somewhat controversial DMAE.

Note the absence of nasty preservatives (the aspen bark extract fulfills this role) – Avitalin makes all its products to order to ensure that they are fresh.

Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (aloe) juice, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, Rosa damascena (rose) distillate, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, emulsifying wax, vegetable glycerin, stearic acid, BioMiracle Age Defense Complex, dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid), ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10), tocopherol (vitamin E), xanthan gum, Populus tremuloides (aspen bark) extract, Salix nigra (black willowbark) extract, citric acid, fragrance (essential oils)