It’s hard to believe that one study can affect everything we know about skin care, but that’s precisely what happened when research out of Japan suggested that the active ingredient in phytoceramides can help maintain our complexions in a real and noticeable way.

Since then, celebrity doctors and award-winning dermatologists haven’t been able to stop talking about the potency and promise of phytoceramides. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information available that details exactly what this study means to the future of dermatology, and why phytoceramide supplements are critical for anyone who wants to keep their complexion glowing and youthful-looking.

What happened in Japan?

The study, conducted by an independent third party at the Institute of General Medical Sciences in Seikan, was actually released back in 2000. This placebo-controlled, double-blind study employed 33 volunteers (6 male, 27 female), with an average age of 25. They were given a 40 mg/day supplement of Ceramide-PCD® that was provided by Oryza.

Researchers and dermatologists studied the volunteers’ skin using 3D microscopic skin surface analysis that was performed via VISIOCAN. They evaluated skin moisture content, smoothness, roughness, and scaliness. The researchers found that skin hydration and smoothness improved under the use of Ceramide-PCD®.

When this was released, Japanese brands began focusing more on phytoceramides, but the significance of the results didn’t really reach the U.S. until recently.1,2

What do ceramides do?

The key to youthful skin is hydration, and that’s just what ceramides provide. The outer layer of our skin is made up of cells and connecting lipids. These lipids –– which are comprised of 40% ceramides –– help pad the skin cells. As we age, however, ceramide production decreases. This ultimately leads to a breaking-down of the lipids that help support our skin cells and hydration.

How can we get more ceramides?

Unfortunately, most of our foods don’t contain ceramides, and as we age, it becomes more difficult to produce them on our own. This where phytoceramides come in. These plant-based fat cells work their way through the body and into the outer layers of the skin, helping to support the lipid barrier and preserve moisture.3

According to the Seikan study, rice-based phytoceramides are the most effective for maintaining skin hydration at a cellular level. This equates to the appearance of youthful skin from the inside out.

The future of skin care: phytoceramides

Topical nourishment is helpful for short-term hydration, but dermatologists are starting to suggest supplementation as a way to maintain skin health from within. New studies continue to support the researchers out of Japan, and we’re learning just how integral ceramides are to continued skin health.

As mentioned above, however, it’s difficult –– if not impossible –– to maintain our ceramides through a regular diet. We need a direct supplement of potent phytoceramides that are taken orally if we want to see real results.

We suggest finding a rice-based phytoceramide supplement that also includes skin-nourishing vitamins A, C, D, and E. Based on our research, La Muse’s PhytoCera is the most effective phytoceramide supplement on the market. It contains all the nutrients needed for healthy lipid support and hydration, plus the vitamins mentioned above to help maintain smooth, glowing skin.

Thanks to the researchers from the General Institute of Medical Sciences, we now know how effective rice-based phytoceramides are for maintaining the youthful look of our skin. In the future, nourishing from within may be the only necessity for a smooth, glowing complexion that lasts a lifetime.

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