Ceramides Decline With Age — This Supplement Can Help*
As we age, our skin loses natural parts of its structure. The one we tend to hear about the most is collagen loss: Collagen levels deplete with age, resulting in looser, less supple skin. We also lose facial muscle and fat (like we do elsewhere in the body), so our skin will lose volume. We lose bone density, resulting in sallowness. We lose circulation, making our skin appear less rosy and vivid.
We also lose ceramides. Ceramide loss isn't discussed as often as the others, but it is noticed just as much in aging skin. Here, explain what you need to know and the supplement that can help.
Ceramides: Why we lose them and why it matters.
Ceramides are a natural part of our skin structure1. Specifically, they are part of the epidermis and help keep our skin strong, soft, moisturized, and supple. They are polar lipids that make up the barrier between the outside environment and our body2, locking in moisture and protecting our skin from damage. Without them, our skin wouldn't be able to retain water or keep environmental aggressors out—which would wreak havoc on the body.
We lose them, as noted above, as a result of age1. We also lose them from environmental and lifestyle factors. UV exposure plays a role in ceramides' depletion, as does pollution. You can also damage ceramides by using too harsh exfoliation and skin care products that strip your epidermis of lipids (reminder: Ceramides are part of your lipid structure). Finally, some people just have naturally fewer ceramides than others; this can have implications for the skin barrier, and signs are dryness, redness, or even inflammatory processes. You may suspect your skin is lacking ceramides if you've noticed that your once hydrated, soft complexion is now much drier and more irritated.
How taking a ceramide-rich supplement can help.
There are certainly plenty of skin care creams and serums packed with the ingredient (that are quite good for the skin barrier, too), but to improve your levels internally, you need proper supplementation.*
Phytoceramides are what is normally found in supplements. These are plant-derived versions of what's found naturally within us. When ingested, they help enhance your natural levels of ceramides, making your skin barrier stronger as well as keeping skin more moisturized overall.* In one study, participants with clinically dry skin who took a phytoceramide-rich wheat extract oil for three months saw up to a 35% improvement in skin hydration3.* In another, participants saw improved skin hydration after just 15 days4.*
mindbodygreen's cellular beauty+ contains a potent dose of phytoceramides, and clinicals show that ingesting these can improve hydration in two weeks as well as enhance skin elasticity and smoothness in six weeks5.*
We don't talk as much about ceramide loss in the skin care world, but without ceramides, we wouldn't have the youthful dewy glow we all so crave. We'd also have a host of issues, like barrier breakdown, skin wrinkles, dryness, and loss of elasticity. This is why it's vital to support ceramide levels naturally as you age with a skin-supporting supplement.*
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.