Unconditional Skincare Co. Live Probiotic Hydration Serum – Review

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Unconditional Skincare Co. has developed a serum centred around one of the skins natural resident bacteria BLIS Q24, a patented strain of Micrococcus luteus. Its effectiveness is due to its ability to outcompete harmful bacteria for resources and therefore modulate the immune response of the skin. The technology took 15 years to perfect and develop how to store and deliver live bacteria to the skin without losing any potency.

When Unconditional Skincare Co. offered me the opportunity to try their serum, I jumped at the chance. This is the first time I have had incorporated live bacteria into my routine and was curious to see the results. After six weeks of use, I can honestly say I’m not disappointed. Continue writing to see the rest of my honest review, or click here to go to Unconditional’s website and read my Q&A on the background of why I started my blog.

Unconditional Claim

Our hydration serum is enriched with BLIS Q24®, a powerful patent-pending live probiotic that works with your skin to actively balance, restore and protect your microbiome.

To make sure our live probiotic reaches your skin alive and well, our bottle contains two separate chambers – one for the oil-based serum (containing the BLIS Q24® live probiotic) and the other for the hydrator. When you press the pump these two elements mix so that you are delivered the perfectly balanced Live Probiotic Hydration Serum.

Once applied to the skin, BLIS Q24® duplicates within your microbiome, crowding out the bad bacteria and strengthening your skin barrier. At the end of its life-cycle it produces postbiotics (carbohydrates, DNA and proteins) which help to further nourish and support the skin microbiome. The lightweight and creamy hydrator plays its part too – formulated with glycerine and coco-caprylate to deeply hydrate and help skin repair itself.

Our live probiotic hydration serum is gentle and fragrance-free, suitable for all skin types. It partners with your skin, however it shows up, to balance, hydrate and restore it to its healthy, radiant, glowy best.

Appearance and Scent:

By delivering the product in two separate air-proof vacuum chambers that mix when expelled, Unconditional has managed to keep the 150 million CFU (colony forming units) per dose, ensuring an effective amount is delivered to the skin.  The hydrator is a thick white gel-lotion, that contains some water-binding and emulsifying ingredients and ensures the probiotics spread evenly on the skin. The probiotic serum is a lightweight, slightly viscous golden gel that is dispensed in a small amount at the same time as the hydrator. It spreads easily on the skin, feels comfortable and does not leave a sticky residue. The fragrance-free formula has no detectable scent.

Packaging, Size, Cost and Expiry:

The packaging is a duel chamber airless vacuum pump bottle. The bottle contains 35 ml of product and expires 6 months after opening or 24 months after the date of manufacture. The cost is NZD $95.00, or $15 for a seven-day trial pack. Each bottle lasted me around four weeks with generous twice-daily use.

How to Use:

Apply two pumps to your clean, dry face and neck as the last step of your skincare routine in place of your regular moisturiser. Use morning and night.

Application order:

Cleanser -> Unconditional Live Probiotic Hydration Serum -> SPF (daytime)
Oil cleanser -> Cleanser ->  Unconditional Live Probiotic Hydration Serum (nighttime)

Formulation Analysis:

The skin supports the growth of commensal bacteria, this means they are in a symbiotic relationship that is not harmful, yet in the process, help protect from pathogenic bacteria, like those responsible for breakouts or infections. The most commonly found genus of bacteria living on human skin includes Micrococcus, Corynebacterium, Staphylococcus, Brevibacterium, Dermabacter species as well as the fungi Malassezia. 

The skins microbiome can become damaged due to UV exposure, harsh skincare products, sulphates, fragrances, irritating ingredients or fluctuations in pH levels. Probiotics in skincare are likely the most efficient way to effectively repopulate the microbiome.  Probiotics like BLIS Q24 that derived from a strain of Micrococcus luteus, a natural resident of a healthy microbiome, are able to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria associated with acne, impetigo and cellulitis.

Micrococcus luteus has antibacterial activities against pathogens such as Salmonella typhimuriumListeria monocytogenesEscherichia coliKlebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureusMluteus produces essential enzymes, including protease, lipase and phytase, all of which make it a potent antimicrobial agent and a skin-friendly resent of a healthy microbiome.

Once the M. Luteus has completed its life-cycle on the skin, it acts as a lysate (the dead probiotics in many skincare products) that serves as a nutritional source for other resident, helpful bacteria that naturally colonize healthy skin.  This helps reduce inflammation within the skin in the same way that has been shown by taking oral probiotic strains.  Clinical studies have already reported that topical probiotics are capable of exerting skin health effects such as improving atopic eczema, atopic dermatitis, healing of burns, and scars, rejuvenating the skin, and improving the skin’s innate immunity.



Aqua, Coco-caprylate, Glycerin, Cetearyl alcohol, Glyceryl stearate SE, Cetearyl wheat straw glycosides, Sodium stearoyl glutamate, Xanthan gum, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin


Medium-chain triglyceride, Silica, Polysorbate 80, BLIS Q24® (Micrococcus luteus Q24).

Ingredient Analysis:

Coco-caprylate is an ester of coconut fatty alcohols and caprylic acid. It acts as an emollient, meaning that it softens the skin.  It is considered to be a natural alternative to silicone in skincare.

Glycerin is a humectant (water binder) that occurs naturally within the skin and assists in the development of immature skin cells.  This means having adequate amounts of glycerin available within the skin is crucial for those who have psoriasis or non-melanoma skin cancers.

Cetearyl wheat straw glycosides is a compound created by the reaction of Cetearyl alcohol with sugar derived from wheat straw.  It acts as an emulsifier by altering the surface tension of water and oil, making the formula more uniform. 

Sodium stearoyl glutamate is an amino acid made from plant fatty acids.  It acts as a moisturizer and an emulsifier.

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are composed of fatty acids that contain between 6 and 12 carbon molecules in length.  MCT oils are made from either coconut or palm kernel oil.  In skincare, it is soothing, non-comedogenic and has antibacterial properties.

BLIS Q24® (Micrococcus luteus Q24) is a probiotic bacteria that when applied to the skin acts as an anti-inflammatory and enhance the skins own immune regulation and antimicrobial defences. Micrococcus species can form biofilms on a variety of surfaces, such as human skin.  It is a natural resident of the skin flora and the levels on the skin can be an indication of overall skin health.  It also has interesting research looking into its ability to absorb strong UV radiation, and this bacteria and its light-absorbing pigments are being investigated as a new additive for sunscreens.

pH Testing:

I got a result of pH 4.8.

pH Analysis:

The pH of this serum is within the pH of the skin (range 4.0-6.0, average 4.7). The pH is a skin-friendly 4.8 that will help to return the skin to its optimal acidity level after cleansing and ensure it maintains its optimal moisture balance and overall health. Learn why the pH of skincare products is so important here.

Overall Impressions:

This is one of my all-time favourite skincare treatments, I have just finished my second bottle and can honestly say my skin has shown an improvement in a way that no other single product has achieved. The simplifying of my routine (replacing the need for toners, serums and moisturizers), has allowed my skin to really regenerate and look its best. My dryness and sensitivity has improved and almost been eliminated. While I don’t generally get any breakouts, I can see this would be an excellent option for anyone who experiences acne or has other skin concerns like eczema or dermatitis, conditions typically associated with microbiome dysregulation. You can read more about the importance of a healthy microbiome here.  The only issue I found with the product was in the packaging, one or both of the chambers had a slight tendency to block and then needed to be cleaned regularly to ensure the product flowed out evenly in the desired quantities. My other comment relates to the fact that live bacteria are at least kept out of sunlight, yet the chamber is clear plastic and exposes the product to light.  They suggest the product is kept out of sunlight for this reason.  I do however see the advantage behind this type of packaging as it was easy to keep track of how much product was left and it does look visually appealing. Overall this is a beautiful product with a lot of science backing up its effectiveness. I think live probiotics like this are the future of skincare and I’m excited that a New Zealand brand was one of the first in the world to bring a truly effective version to market. I can’t wait to see what other innovative products they come up with in the future

What I Liked:

  • Nourishing, repairing and effective
  • Fragrance, essential oil and alcohol-free
  • Safe for all skintypes
  • Replaces the need for other skincare products
  • Contains no unnecessary or sensitizing ingredients
  • Unconditional Skincare Co. is a cruelty-free brand

What I Disliked:

  • The chambers can become blocked

This product was gifted to me by Unconditional Skincare Co. in exchange for an unbiased review. T


  • Unconditinal Skincare website https://unconditionalskin.com
  • Simultaneous profiling and cultivation of the skin microbiome of healthy young adult skin for the development of therapeutic agents.  Heliyon, 2020
  • Super sunscreen from fjord bacteria.  Science Daily, 2013
  • Skin Microflora and Bacterial Infections of the Skin.  Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2001
  • Revealing the secret life of skin – with the microbiome, you never walk alone.  International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2020
  • Topical use of probiotics: The natural balance.  Porto Biomedical Journal, 2017
  • Pharmacological review on centella asiatica: A potential herbal cure-all.  Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2010
  • Milady Skincare and Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary, 4th Edition, 2015
  • Bioactive for probiotics for dermal health: function and benefit.  Journal of Applied Microbiology, 2013
  • Medium-Chain Triglycerides and Health. ACSMs Health and Fitness Journal, 2020