Make room on your beauty counter for ceramides. A clinical study has found that oral intake has been linked to reduced signs of aging—including wrinkles that are less deep, fewer fine lines and more moist, youthful skin.
You’ve probably already heard of ceramides for skin in moisturizers—these lipids are naturally occurring in skin, but levels decline with age. Adding ceramides as part of an anti-aging routine has been a go-to for years; only more recently have the benefits of an oral ceramide come to light.
Ceramides in both topical and oral formulas come from grains, and help keep skin youthful-looking and soft to the touch. A double-blind study published in Life Science analyzed the water levels in the skin of individuals who took rice bran extract, which is a source of ceramides, compared to those who did not. There was a significant improvement among those who did consume the rice bran—even on the notoriously dry skin of the elbow. (Having youthful elbows might not be your anti-aging goal—fortunately, the cheek and neck had improvements, too.)
Additionally, recent research published in the scientific journal Food & Nutrition Research found that four herbal extracts, when combined, improved the appearance of skin that had been damaged by pollution and other environmental irritants. The herbs include rosemary, olive leaf, lemon verbena and Japanese pagoda tree leaf—and this botanical cocktail was shown to improve every clinical and biochemical parameter measured, including decreased wrinkle depth and improved elasticity, firmness, and moisturization. It even reduced the appearance of dark spots—and these effects were all significant after only two weeks.