Phytoceramide supplements – are they worth the money?

Hi Dr. Irwin I have heard a lot of talk recently about phytoceramide supplements being great for hydrating and smoothing out your skin. This was even featured on Dr. Oz. I would really like to know your opinion on whether these supplements are as good as they are claiming to be. Thanks,

My vote for now is no.   I’m still trying to find some real research (as opposed to marketing) that shows any real benefit.  I’ll keep looking and let you all know if I find anything.

The main criteria for great marketing is that is sounds pseudoscientificky and cool, and that the product probably won’t hurt you since companies don’t want to get sued.   People generally don’t sue just because the company wasted their money.  Another factor attractive to these companies is that it’s cheap to make – since the source is usually rice or soybeans.

Phytoceramides are ceramides derived from plants (thus the phyto).  Ceramides are present everywhere but mostly in cell membranes and are a fatty, waxy substances.  They are already present in skin.  I can almost guarantee you won’t look like you’ve had a facelift which could be a good thing.

Be particularly careful though with the version that Dr. Oz recommended on his show because it also contains Vitamin A at 5,000.   Supplemental Vitamin A is considered toxic now for pregnant women and also more than 3-5,000 iu a day regularly are not recommended.  If you also take a multivitamin with Vitamin A, check to be sure you are not getting too much!!

Hope this helps,

Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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