is clinical pro heal serum advance+

Our Rating: 4 stars

Reviewed by Marta on September 9, 2015


I pondered iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance+ ($82/0.5 oz) for a while, trying to reconcile what appeared to be a vitamin C serum with claims for healing, repair, anti-acne and anti-redness. However, during my test, it turned out to do all of these and be much more than a vitamin C serum.

For my rosacea-prone skin, which also happened to be in minor breakout mode, Pro-Heal was a soothing ally. It also seemed helpful at brightening and smoothing my skin, making it a welcome player in my daily routine. My only failure was an attempt to heal a stubborn insect bite.

Aside from ascorbic acid (vitamin C), there several noteworthy ingredients in Pro-Heal’s relatively simple formula. My favorite is a magic mushroom, the relatively rare polyporus umbellatus. I love learning about an active that I haven’t come across before and I found that this fungus is a potent free radical scavenger. Research has indicated that it is helpful in the treatment of cancer and at least one study suggests that it can grow hair.

Zinc sulfate is good for wound healing (source). Zinc also possesses antioxidant properties and has been found useful in preventing UV-induced damage and reducing the incidence of malignancies (source). 

I also like the inclusion of bioflavonoids. In plants they provide pigments giving flowers their colors and they also prevent diseases as well as inhibit cell cycles. Having said that, it seems more research is needed to determine if they are signaling molecules or antioxidants and the jury is still out as whether flavonoids can be easily absorbed by the body.

Olive leaf extract is distinct from olive oil and deemed to be an even better source of oleuropein, the constituent that makes olive oil good for us. The antioxidant level of olive leaf is supposed to be greater than green tea, plus it is an anti-inflammatory.  Wounds heal faster with olive leaf extract, according to a study published the Journal of Medicinal Foods.

Arbutin and retinol provide the serum’s brightening capabilities. However, I would say that Pro-Heal, while making the skin look clearer, is not a dark spot solution (nor does it pretend to be). There are a couple of things that I’d prefer not to be here: alcohol can be drying, pentylene glycol and propylene glycol are potential irritants, as is phenoxyethanol (also a possible neurotoxin).

Pro-Heal is recommended for anyone looking for a vitamin C serum that also takes a proactive approach to repairing and soothing out of sorts as well as aging skin.