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As you age your skin loses ceramides. Ceramides are lipids in your skin that keep them hydrated and plump. They basically stick the surface of your skin together, obviously as we age we get things like wrinkles, age spots, crow's feet and more dead looking skin. One of the reasons is the drop in ceramides.

Phytoceramides are the plant-derived version of ceramides.

Ceramides are naturally found in many foods, such as wheat germ. Sphigolipids which,contains ceramides are present in large amounts in dairy products, eggs and soybeans.

It is unclear whether there is any independent research on phytoceramide capsules (orally ingested) on skin. This doesn't exist yet.

As far as I can tell orally ingested phytoceramides is a fad created by the supplement industry to sell you fake product, there is little evidence apart from one study that it works.

Also it sounds like many manufacturers do not use wheat extract oil in their supplements, which was the thing recommended by clinical studies.

On the other hand, topical application of ceramides does have evidence of working on the skin.

It will be interesting to research whether phytoceramides when ingested orally can even reach the skin. Apparently, these molecules reach the skin all over the body. if true this will be a very interesting supplement for anti-aging.

Upon further research seeing as ceramides are in foods containing sphingolipids, unless wheat germ oil is special (not enough research), you can just get ceramides from eating soybeans.



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Topical Application of Ceramides Work Modestly.

Researchers have already investigated the effectiveness of topically applying ceramides to the skin surface. They discover this did help improve moisture barrier function, but it was not perfect. 

Topical ceramide application does not go deep enough, and can't match the supply of ceramides that come from the natural young people

It turns out that plants produce ceramides, so there was no need to harvest animals for it. These are called phytoceramides.


Topically Applied Ceramide Accumulates in Skin Glyphs

Controlled Penetration of Ceramides Into and Across the Statum Corneum Using Various types of microemulsions and Formulation

Topical emulsions containing ceramides: Effects on the skin barrier function and anti‐inflammatory properties (ceramide gel, interesting...)

Ceramides are a mainstay of Elizabeth Arden products, but these are very expensive. Lots of product feature ceramides as the main ingredient, but with something expensive like Elizabeth Arden the quality is guaranteed if you can afford it.

Validation in Clinical Trials (Orally Ingested Phytoceramides Capsules)

Double blind, placebo controlled, 2 clinical studies were performed for phytoceramides orally ingested.

These clinical studies were funded by various interest groups, so their results should be taken with a pinch of salt. How phytoceramides get to the skin mechanically is a subject to be explored.

In one trial, women were given 200mg powdered phytoceramide extract or placebo for three months. Skin hydration was tested by a testing machine, dermatologists examination and the subjects own subjective scores.

They reported a significant improvement in skin hydration (placebo controlled), in all 3 assessments. They also interestingly reported less itching and dry patches.

The second trial (same research paper) used phytoceramide extract in its oil form at 350mg daily or placebo - using a method called corneometry, skin hydration was measured. Arms, legs and body overall had significant increase on skin hydration by 35% compared to 1% of placebo.

On the subjective reports of the second study, wheat phytoceramide oil extract provided improvements in all factors, facial skin hydration included.

Both studies were done by the same researchers for a Cosmetic Science Journal. This does not give me much confidence there is reliable evidence that ingested phytoceramides work yet.

The mechanism of action is important here. Research is EARLY STAGES and paid for by the product producing companies (HITEX which makes wheat products...) 

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