Beauty Starts on the Inside – No, Really!


Natural Insight

Beauty Starts on the Inside – No, Really!

By Sabeen Faquir

Let’s admit it, we’re all searching for the Fountain of Youth. Even at 16, I remember walking the halls of my high school seeing girls with heavy concealer under their eyes. Hiding bags? Probably. But, I suppose there was some concern of the appearance of premature aging.

So how DO you look a fresh-faced 16 for life? The answer is disappointing: preferential genes. If, even facelifts and botox injections and fillers can’t hide the age of some actresses, “ain’t nothin’ gonna save you!” But, what about actresses like Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston, who the years have been very kind to? Simply put, they’re fortunate.

There are some things, however, that might slow the appearance of aging for some. One secret? Ceramides. 

Ceramides are lipid molecules dense in cell membranes. Because of their sphingosine component, they play a big part in maintaining the integrity of the structure of cell membranes. But, that’s not all they do. They have also been discovered to play a part in cellular signaling that leads to apoptosis (cellular death).

There are options to use ceramides. You could apply them topically, or take them internally. According to a 2015 Patent application put in by Daniel J. DuBourdieu, Rajiv Lall, Ajay Srivastava, oral ceramides have implications in skin barrier protection. Along with other components, such as omega 3 fatty acids and botanical extracts, ceramides could help with atopic dermatitis in mammals.

Topically, there is some skepticism to accept. Topical ceramides have been found to not be protective against UV damage, as some products claim (Grether-Beck, et al). Another study revealed that ceramides accumulated in skin glyphs and didn’t penetrate even the outermost layer of skin (Zhang, et al).  Yet, another study claimed that topical application of a linoleic acid-ceramide containing moisturizer helped patients with psoriasis (Liu, et al).

Just like with any supplement regimen, it is important to practice caution. It is pertinent to know elevated ceramide levels have also been associated with disease endpoints like diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Chaurasia and Summers). So, you must speak with your healthcare provider before beginning ceramides.

And even if you have #blessed genes that slow the appearance of aging, it doesn’t mean you’ve hit the genetic motherload. Angelina Jolie carries the BRCA gene that is associated with breast cancer. Keep your perspective.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease.


Daniel J. DuBourdieu, Rajiv Lall, Ajay Srivastava. Oral delivery compositions for treating dermatitis disorders in mammals. US 14/753,891. Jun 29, 2015

Susanne Grether-Beck; Ingo Felsner; Tim Koehler; Mike Farwick; Peter Lersch; Anthony V. Rawlings; Jean Krutmann. Topical ceramides neither enhance UVB-induced apoptosis in normal human keratinocytes nor affect viability in UVB-irradiated reconstructed human epidermis. Experimental Dermatology. November 2014. Volume 23, Issue 11. Pages 853–855

Qihong Zhang; Carol R Flach; Richard Mendelsohn; Guangru Mao; Apostolos Pappas; M Catherine Mack; Russel M Walters; and Michael D Southall. Topically applied ceramide accumulates in skin glyphs. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. 2015; 8: 329–337

Min Liu; Xia Li; Xiao-Ying Chen; Feng Xue; Jie Zheng. Topical application of a linoleic acid-ceramide containing moisturizer exhibit therapeutic and preventive benefits for psoriasis vulgaris: a randomized controlled trial. Dermatologic Therapy. November/December 2015. Volume 28, Issue 6. Pages 373–382

Bhagirath Chaurasia; Scott A. Summers. Ceramides – Lipotoxic Inducers of Metabolic Disorders. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism. October 2015. Volume 26, Issue 10. Pages 538-550