Anti-Wrinkle Ingredients: Phytoceramides
Phytoceramides are the newest anti-wrinkle solution du jour in the health and beauty market. They have been popular in Japan for many years, but have only recently received FDA approval in the United States. Phytoceramides is a combination of the prefix “phyto”, meaning “from plants”, and “ceramides”, which are their own unique compound. Ceramides are a naturally occurring type of lipid present in the cells of both plants and animals.
The more ceramides you have, the healthier your cells are. Once the aging process starts to gain a foothold in your skin, fewer ceramides are produced, leading to cellular degradation and – eventually – visible signs of skin damage, such as wrinkles.
By supplementing your diet with these capsules, taken the same way you would your daily vitamin, the Phytoceramides will be absorbed by the body, delivered to the cells in your skin which need them most, and begin to rejuvenate your appearance from the inside out. Or that’s the theory, at least. Below, we’ll delve into the science behind Phytoceramides, as well as some of the risks and concerns that these popular supplements may pose.
Side Effects & Potential Dangers
An FDA seal of approval is a bold statement with regard to a product’s likelihood of safety. Rarely will the Food and Drug Administration give its vote of confidence to a product that might be harmful or cause a nationwide epidemic. However, it should be noted that FDA approval does not rate a product’s efficacy.
Additionally, anyone with a wheat or gluten allergy might want to take caution before supplementing their diet with Phytoceramides. If the manufacturer derives their Phytoceramides from wheat, allergic reactions might be a problem. However, there are variations which come from sweet potatoes or rice. But you might have to look a little harder (or worse, pay a little extra) to get them.
There have only been a handful of clinical tests performed so far with regard to the efficacy of Phytoceramides. Of those, only two studies have anything to say about the effect of Phytoceramides on the skin. One double-blind study from 2011 found that wheat-derived Phytoceramides had a statistically significant ability to increase skin hydration. The study didn’t mention anything about wrinkles or anti-aging, but one could assume that through hydration, the skin might eventually repair itself and wrinkles might become less visible. The other study determined that skin blemishes related to the aging process are caused, at least in part, by a Phytoceramides deficiency.
In conclusion, Phytoceramides have some potential, but might not necessarily be the anti-aging miracle that some people believe. More scientific studies can – and should – be performed to solidify the results of the first two. Additionally, tests should be performed on the non-wheat Phytoceramides so that people with gluten allergies aren’t wasting their money on a product which won’t help them. In the meantime, you might want to stick to supplements and beauty products which contain Argireline. It has been subject to rigorous clinical testing and has been proven both safe and effective in multiple studies.
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