Research Library

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Supports skin hydration and firmness

Including ceramides in the diet can support increased skin hydration, elasticity and smoothness. Ceramides also decrease the amount of water lost from the skin, reduce roughness and decrease the appearance of wrinkles (1, 2, 3).

A study using healthy subjects with dry skin and clinical signs of facial photoaging, demonstrated that those who orally ingested ceramide supplements had improvements in skin hydration and anti-aging effects compared to placebo. Specifically, skin hydration was significantly increased and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was significantly decreased after 15, 30 and 60 days of supplementation compared to baseline. Additionally, skin elasticity was increased and roughness and appearance of wrinkles were significantly decreased at 15, 30 and 60 days of supplementation compared to baseline (1).

Another study looked at participants who experienced dryness and chapped skin in the winter and supplemented participants with 1.8mg ceramides or placebo for 4 weeks, then “crossed over” to the opposite. Results from the study identified that daily intake of 1.8 mg ceramides significantly decreased TEWL in the forearm. Additionally, the appearance of brown spots decreased in the ceramide group, supporting the inhibitory effects of melanin. Finally chapped skin was significantly improved in the ceramide group whereas chapped skin deteriorated in the placebo group (2).

Further research has found that ceramides have a beneficial effect on skin barrier function. Researchers found that participants who consumed 1.8mg of ceramides over 12 weeks displayed significantly reduced TEWL compared to placebo. Significant differences were specifically present in the upper back, elbow and cheek at weeks 4, 8 and 12, in the neck at weeks 4 and 12, and in the front of the foot at week 8, compared to placebo. Of importance is that this particular study included a washout period following the intervention and found that the difference between ceramide group and placebo on TEWL disappeared. This finding suggests that ceramides should be consumed on a consistent basis (3).

A study that looked at the impact of astaxanthin combined with ceramides found benefits for hair, skin and nails. Study participants self reported changes in hair, skin and nail quality at 30, 60 and 90 days. In addition to self reporting, participants were also assessed by dermatologists who noted changes in skin quality. The results of the study indicate that supplementation with astaxanthin and ceramides improved globular folds, improved skin aging around the eyes, and reduced the severity of upper lip creases at Day 90 in study participants (1).

Helps reduce hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a term used to describe darker patches of skin caused by excess melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. Hyperpigmentation is triggered by sun exposure, hormonal influences, age and skin injuries or inflammation.

In addition to helping skin retain moisture, ceramides have the ability to reduce free radicals in the skin, which protect collagen and elastin, and support a more even skin tone.

A study of healthy participants found supplementing with 1.8mg of ceramides daily not only significantly decreased transdermal water loss, but also impacted the appearance of dark spots. The findings indicate that supplememation with ceramides has an inhibitory effect on melanin, which may reduce hyperpigmentation and support even skin tone (1).