Phytoceramides… we’ll be the first to admit they sound a bit like a chemical but rest assured, Team Knowrish Well is here to put your mind at ease because phytoceramides are in fact, totally natural. Let’s break these skin loving lipids down - starting with the word itself. Phyto comes from the Greek phytón, meaning “plant’. In the beauty industry, they are very well known as the secret to smooth, fresh looking skin, resulting in reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. You’ll find Phytoceramides (sometimes just shortened to ceramides) as a feature ingredient in many skincare ranges and for good reason.
Ceramides are a naturally occurring lipid (long chain fatty acid) that makes up 50% of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) (1). This means our skin is made up of half fat and this fat is what holds skin cells together (2). When we take this into account, there is little surprise how vital a role they play in the health of your skin!
Low levels of ceramides allow moisture to escape the skin. Instead of adding moisture to your skin, ceramides support by preventing moisture loss and reinforcing your skin’s barrier function. By having that protective layer, it plumps the skin and locks in moisture. Research has also shown that it strengthens the barrier for toxins and other harmful substances from entering the body (3). Unfortunately, as we age, the number of ceramides that get replenished in our skin reduce, which is a big part of the reason we see the visible signs of ageing in our skin. Evidence shows that by the time you have hit your 30’s, you will have lost about 30 percent of your skins ceramides stores and by your 40’s you will have lost roughly 60% (4). Yep, you read right. Not to burden you with more *jaw-dropping* facts, but things like environmental stressors, everyday stressors, lack of water, amongst other factors all play a part in the loss of our ceramide’s stores (5). Diet as with all wellness concerns is another huge contributor, yet most foods we eat do not contain ceramides.
So, what is the hype?
Putting it simply, ceramides can be thought of as tiles and the grout in between. The tiles are the cells and the grout are the ceramides; you can’t have one without the other, otherwise they fall down. When your skin doesn’t have enough fat the hydration and moisture that keeps your skin plump will not stay locked in the skin. If you’ve been a conscientious student in the school of adequate hydration, devoutly drinking 3 litres of water every day, then this one is an eye opener.
Studies have shown in three weeks, water content in the skin increased by 13% and by six weeks it increased by 22% due to phytoceramide supplementation (6). Other studies found that in four weeks skin elasticity was increased by 13% and by eight weeks 19% with the supplementation of phytoceramides (7).
All summed up, ceramides target overall hydration, plumpness and protection of the skin, something we are definitely down for. To effectively fight the signs of ageing, ceramide supplementation or use is incredibly important and could be a great addition to your inner beauty routine. This is the reason we have included phytoceramides into our Beauty Nectar, because who doesn’t want skin that just glows.
Kendall, A, Kiezel-Tsugunova, M, Brown-bridge, L, harwood, J & Niclaou, A 2017, ‘Lipid functions in skin: Differential effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on cutaneous ceramides, in a human skin organ culture model’, Biochimica et Biophyscia Acta, vol. 9, no. B, pp. 1679-1689, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5504780/>
Tchkonia, T, Morbeck, D, Zglinicki, T, Deursen, J, Lustgarten, J, Scarbl, H, Khosla, S, Jensen, M & Kirkland, J 2010, ‘Fat tissue, aging, and cellular senescence’, Aging Cell, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 667-684, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2941545/>
Vankataramana, S, Puttaswamy, N & kodimule, S 2020, “Potential benefits of oral administration of AMORPHOPHALLUS KONJAC glycosylceramides on skin health – a randomized clinical study’, BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, vol. 20, no. 26, pp. 1-9, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7076855/pdf/12906_2019_Article_2721.pdf>
Ghadially, R, Brown, B, Sequera_Martin, S, Feingold, K & Elias, P 1995, ‘Structural, functional, and lipid Biochemical Abnormalities in Humans and a Scecent Murine Model’, The Journal of clinical Investigations, vol. 95, no. 5, pp. 2281-2290, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC295841/>
Valacchi, G, Sticozzi, C, Pecorelli, A, Cervelati, F, Cervellati & Maioli, E 2012, “Cutaneous responses to environmental stressors’, Annals of the New york Academy of Science, vol. 1271, no. 1, pp. 75-81, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3495295/>
Clinical Investigation of skin-beautifying effect of a beauty supplement containing rice-derived ceramide. Oryza oil and fat chemical company, Institute of General Medical Science Japan.
Yoshikazu, Y, Hori, M, Kishimoto, S & Tezuka, Yu 2010, ‘Double blind study effects of glucosylceramide in beet extract on skin elasticity and fibronectin production in human dermal fibroblasts’, Anti-aging Medicine, vol. 7, no. 11, pp. 129-142 <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228622792_Double-Blind_Study_on_Effects_of_Glucosyl_Ceramide_in_Beet_Extract_on_Skin_Elasticity_and_Fibronectin_Production_in_Human_Dermal_Fibroblasts?