Saturday, October 23, 2010

Science alert: CERAMIDES in action! And a skin product RAVE.

Ok, I think it is time to put the 'science' part of my blog's name to a good use :-). As I've mentioned before (on my Youtube), I am a science junkie. I've spent a few years working as a chemist (and my bachelors degree is in chemistry) and now I study biophysics. Part of my dissertation project involves working with ceramides, lipids, and biological membranes (e.i. cell membranes). So, I naturally want to try ceramides on my own skin...literally.

Some nerdy background (we will need it to fully understand ceramides):
Exceptionally, the stratum corneum of the skin in which the outer-most layer consists of dead cells contains relatively high levels of ceramides (as much as 50% of the total lipids). Ceramides are believed to be essential for the normal organization of the tissue into the membrane structures that are responsible for functioning of the epidermal barrier.Moreover, ceramides are one of the most hydrophobic molecules (of all lipids) and therefore act as one of the BEST barriers preventing loss of moisture from skin.

There is a plethora of scientific evidence indicating that ceramides ARE one of the best things you can do for your skin. (In fact, there is a whole field in biomedical engineering devoted to manufacturing of 'fake' skin that consists primarily of ceramides.)

Given all the scientific evidence, I decided to use it on my own skin! (No, not ceramides from my lab fridge, but ceramides from Elizabeth Arden :-))

Elizabeth Arden carries a whole line of products with ceramides. I scored Gold Capsules for face and eyes at my local TJ Maxx for a fraction of the price and was very happy about it.

I have been using these for a few months now, and let me tell you: WOW! Ceramides are amazing! Capsules come filled with oil-like substance (a mix of lipids and ceramides) and you only need about 1/2 of capsule per application. Since there are ~60 capsules, it is will last you for a a few months. (I only apply it at night, because it is way to oily for a day use).  The next morning my skin is super soft and glowy. I should also mention that when you put this stuff on your face, it absorbs right away into your skin and feels more like water than oil. No surprise here, given the fact that your skin IS made of ~50% ceramides!

Also, because capsules contain natural oils and ceramides, they don't smell too good. (Not going into more Nerd alert, but all natural oils with time will break down and become smelly). It is not a horrible smell, but not your typical smell. (I believe these capsules don't actually have any fragrance added to it).

I highly recommend ceramides to anyone regardless of your skin type. I have combination-oily skin, and these capsules have never caused me to breakout.

 I believe ceramides to be one of the best kept secret of skin care. This stuff is like gold for your skin. Capsules feel like oil the first second you apply it, but then instantaneously your skin absorbs it and it feels like nothing at all. Skin becomes smooth, luminous, and visibly firmer. This product have not caused me to breakdown, even though I do have combination-oily skin sensitive to breakouts.

CONS: ceramides CAN smell due to natural breakdown. My advice: store in a cool and dark place (I keep mine in fridge) to minimize breakdown. 

Overall: solid A

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