Collagen gets a lot of love in the edible beauty space. (And for good reason—it’s seriously effective at helping skin look younger from the inside out.) But there’s another ingredient you should look for in your beauty supplements and drinks: ceramides.
These powerhouse molecules are found in a different layer of skin than collagen, and they play a completely different—but complimentary—role in skin rejuvenation. Together, collagen and ceramides can help skin appear smoother, plumper, and more radiant than either one could alone. (That’s why phytoceramides—or plant-derived ceramides—are a key ingredient in Kayo’s Skin Perfect Collagen Powder.)
Good to know—but what are ceramides, exactly?
Ceramides are lipids (AKA fats) that fill in the gaps between cells in the top layer of skin, otherwise known as the skin barrier. (Think of them like the grout between tiles in your shower.)
About 50% of the skin barrier is composed of 9 different ceramides. They all help keep moisture in and external stressors out—think allergens, air pollutants, and the chemicals in skin-care products.
Collagen, on the other hand, is found in the deeper layers of skin. While ceramides have a protective function, collagen helps skin maintain its plumpness and elasticity.
Why are ceramides important for healthy skin aging?
Just like collagen, we naturally start losing ceramides in our 30s. But time isn’t the only thing that depletes ceramides. Exposure to extreme heat or cold, harsh skin care products, over-scrubbing skin, and UV damage can all affect our ceramide levels.
As we lose the “grout” in between our uppermost skin cells, the skin barrier becomes weaker and less effective. Skin has a harder time holding on to moisture so it becomes dry and dehydrated, leading to more visible fine lines and wrinkles.
A compromised skin barrier is also less protective against environmental stressors. This can cause itching, inflammation, irritation, and premature aging. In fact, a lack of ceramides has even been linked to skin concerns such as eczema and psoriasis.
Clearly, your collagen powder won’t give you the youthful-looking skin you’re after if your skin barrier is weak or damaged. This is why it’s important to think about your ceramides as well.
So how can I improve my skin’s ceramide levels?
Many topical skin-care products contain synthetic ceramides, especially those formulated for dry and aging skin. But foods also contain ceramides—including dairy, eggs, soybeans, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and spinach—and research shows that oral supplements can also help restore our skin’s ceramides.
One small study found that taking a wheat phytoceramide supplement helped improve skin hydration and smoothness while decreasing roughness, wrinkles, and moisture loss.
Another study showed that a corn phytoceramide supplement improved the skin barrier’s water content and decreased water loss more effectively than a topical ceramide product or a placebo.
With this evidence and more in mind, we formulated our Skin Perfect Collagen Powder with hyaluronic acid and rice ceramides. Both ingredients help the skin hold on to moisture, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. The phytoceramides also strengthen the skin barrier’s protective function. And of course, Skin Perfect also helps safeguard and restore skin’s natural collagen stores with Wild Caught Marine Collagen, trace minerals, and antioxidants.
Since ceramides are naturally found in our skin and the food we eat, they’re considered safe and effective for every skin type.
So there you have it—a few good reasons to prioritize your skin’s ceramide supply, especially if you’re currently dealing with dry or dehydrated skin, wrinkles, redness, or irritation. Your skin barrier will thank you with a next-level glow!