The fountain of youth. Will someone ever find it? Until they do, countless men and women will spend beaucoup bucks trying to turn back the hands of time. We know going under the knife works, but it's not for everyone, or everyone's wallet.
On the November 1 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," Dr. Mehmet Oz discussed plastic surgery alternatives with proven results that you may never have heard of. When he mentioned phytoceramides, a type of oral supplement to help improve the visible signs of aging, he sure had us stumped.
What are phytoceramides?
Ceramides are lipids found in the skin's membrane that maintain proper hydration. Ceramides prevent sagging and wrinkles from occurring, but as we age, the amount of ceramides found naturally in the skin decreases, which can lead to those unsightly wrinkles as well as itchy, dry skin. Phytoceramides come from plants such as sweet potatoes, rice and wheat, and the lipids found in these plant oils are actually identical to those found in the skin's membrane, allowing them to mimic their actions.
How They Work
According to top plastic surgeons Dr. Shirley Madhere and Dr. Leif Rogers, phytoceramides can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful appearance. They do this by working deep within the skin's structure, helping to moisturize the skin and "plump" it up for a smoother texture. Most skincare products are applied topically -- the reason phytoceramides work so well is because they're taken orally and enter the bloodstream, allowing them to improve not just the skin on your face, but on your entire body.
These products have been used in Japan for centuries, first as topical oils and then as supplements, and are now approved for use in the United States by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Regular use can help the skin retain more moisture to reduce itching and inflammation while plumping the surface for a smooth complexion.
Using Phytoceramides Properly
You can find phytoceramide supplements readily available. Dr. Madhere and Dr. Rogers recommended a daily dose of 350 mg. Expect to take the product for at least a month before you start seeing results. While these types of products have been proven safe by the FDA, anyone who has a gluten allergy is cautioned against trying them, since many are produced from wheat. If you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, look for a phytoceramide supplement produced from either rice or sweet potatoes exclusively.
To boost your results, the doctors recommended adding a topical vitamin C treatment to your beauty regimen. Vitamin C helps even skin tone as a powerful antioxidant and boosts collagen production to fight wrinkles. Look for a topical product like a serum, cream or lotion that contains between three and 10 percent vitamin C with ascorbic acid. Make sure it comes in a tightly sealed, opaque package to prevent oxidation from the sunlight.
As the doctors said on the show today, we're still waiting for that magic pill that makes us all thin and beautiful. In the meantime, phytoceramides make a great option for anyone who wants to improve their skin's appearance without opting for expensive and painful surgical procedures. More proof the answers we need may lie in surprising places.
Shop for phytoceramides and other skincare products at eVitamins and we'll be back soon with more Dr. Oz updates!