This Supplement Acts Like An Internal Humidifier For Your Skin — Here's How*
Here's a bummer: Your skin tends to lose water to the air around you, especially when the barrier is compromised, the air is dry, at night, or even thanks to things like UV damage. (Hello, summer sun!) It's a little thing called transepidermal water loss, and keeping water loss minimal is a key way to make sure your skin stays supple and youthful-looking. Many skin care experts recommend investing in a humidifier to curb that dryness (board-certified dermatologist Angelo Landriscina, M.D., even calls it his "biggest skin care secret" over on TikTok). Well, perhaps in the high heat of summer, blasting a humidifier at night or at your desk sounds—uh—terrible. Not to mention, applying a thick cream (a way you can seal in the water superficially) also probably sounds less than appealing.
But did you know you can also manage transepidermal water loss at the internal level? Here's another route to happy, hydrated skin, without investing in a high-tech humidifier.*
A supplement that can support your internal hydration levels.*
Humidifiers work by increasing the humidity in the air (duh). When there's more water in the air, your skin is less likely to experience transepidermal water loss—not to mention, all that moisture can even help keep your skin hydrated and plump externally. This is all well and good, but you can also control that water loss by strengthening your skin barrier—so all the moisture stays locked in. To tend to your skin barrier, we suggest a supplement with phytoceramides (which are plant-based ceramides, naturally occurring lipids in your skin).*
Quick metaphor: If your skin barrier is the "bricks and mortar" (the foundation keeping everything inside), ceramides are part of the glue holding it all together. These polar lipids are naturally present in our skin cells, and their primary function is to guard against water loss.* Without them, water will quickly evaporate out—and other external aggressors can easily slip in. Your ceramides can degrade over time, both from natural aging and external factors (like UV damage, air quality, and so on).
Bottom line? Keeping your ceramides up to par can help support your skin barrier, which can keep water from evaporating out of your skin.* Take it from the research: Participants with clinically dry skin who took a phytoceramide-rich wheat extract oil for three months saw up to a 35% improvement in skin hydration, and participants in another study saw improved skin hydration after just 15 days.* That's not to say you shouldn't apply them topically, too (we love a ceramide-rich moisturizer around here), but ingesting them is like punching up your hydration levels twofold.* But when you take ceramides orally, it can double down and synergize your topical ceramide approach.*
Look, humidifiers are a lovely addition to your skin care routine. We'd never knock such an investment, but enhancing your internal hydration levels can up the ante a bit; think of a supplement with ceramides as an internal humidifier—one that supports your skin barrier by strengthening the glue that fastens it all together.*
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.