What are Phytoceramides?
Ceramides occur naturally in human skin. They are waxy molecules that contain sphingosine and fatty acids. They work with cholesterol to form a waterproof layer of epidermis that holds moisture within. However, as people age, their natural ceramides begin to break down, compromising the protective epidermis and allowing the moisture in the layers of skin beneath to escape. As the skin dries, it loses its youthful elasticity and forms the wrinkles associated with age.
The prefix “phyto” means plant, and phytoceramides are lipid plant molecules that serve a function very similar to the ceramides in human skin. They are a natural component of several plant species.
Phytoceramides are derived from rice bran and are gluten free.
What are the benefits of Phytoceramides?
Ceramides and Aging
As you grow older; your body gradually stops producing enough ceramides to keep your skin looking young. As a result, the protective epidermal layer thins. At some point, you begin to notice dryness and wrinkles. However, this aging process is not inevitable. Newly developed phytoceramides supplements replenish the lost moisture and elastin necessary to keep your skin looking smoother, suppler and younger.
- Promote skin smoothness
- Eliminate appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Boost collagen
- Increase skin hydration
How Do Phytoceramides Work?
Phytoceramides supplement work on skin from the inside out. The body absorbs them into the bloodstream, which conveys them through the dermal layers until they reach the outer, protective surface of the skin. There, they bond with the cells to renew the moisture-proof coating that promotes the naturally youthful appearance of the skin. With the help of phytoceramides, even dry and aging skin regains the moisture content so important to a revitalized and younger look. Typically, people see noticeable results within approximately four weeks after they start taking phytoceramide supplements although small improvements may become apparent sooner.
As cellular biologists revealed the critical role of ceramide molecules in the human body, dermatologists began to explore the possibility that ceramide replacement could slow down the skin’s aging process. They discovered that certain plants such as wheat, rice and sweet potatoes produced ceramides with similar skin rejuvenation properties. French clinicians developed the first topical skin treatment containing these plant-sourced ingredients, known as phytoceramides, early in the 21st century.
However, ceramide lotions could only partially penetrate the epidermal layer to nourish the underlying cellular structure. Researchers pushed further to find out whether plant-sourced ceramides taken internally could replenish the skin from within, releasing essential ceramide molecules into the bloodstream for natural delivery, via tiny capillaries, to the top layer of skin
Is It Really Effective?
Researchers have verified the effectiveness ofphytoceramide supplements for skin recovery. A team of Spanish scientists confirmed in 2003 that phytoceramides supplementation can improve the condition of depleted skin and the function of the lamellar barrier (1).
In 2005, a 3-month study testing the efficacy of wheat-sourcedphytoceramides supplements for women with severely dry skin returned promising results. The test subjects enjoyed relief of dryness and itching. Dermatologists independently verified significant improvement (2).
Another study explored the effects of using phytoceramides oil from wheat. Scientists determined that the ceramide oil improved the tissue hydration of participants up to 35 percent. Researchers concluded that phytocermides are crucial for improving skin health and elasticity (3).