Phytoceramides: What is the World Saying About These Anti-Aging Pills?
Phytoceramides, or plant-derived ceramides, are the latest discovery in our fight against the signs of aging. And with it being a multi-billion dollar industry, it is clear that we are pretty obsessed with looking younger.
I’ve looked at phytoceramides; how they work, what to look for and even written an extended review of phytoceramides, but in this article, I’m looking to the general public to see what the word is on the street. I’ll be going to forums, social media and beyond, and asking the important questions:
- Do consumers feel that phytoceramides stop the aging process?
- Do consumers feel that phytoceramides treat and improve existing signs of aging?
- Are phytoceramides an expensive anti-aging treatment?
- Which is the best phytoceramides for anti-aging?
The medical community
There’s nothing on WebMD about phytoceramides or even any decent information on ceramides, nor on Drugs.com. It’s unusual to see so little information on research sites, although Drugs.com has a lot of information on ceramides in general. However, there’s no point me reviewing that data, as phytoceramides are very different.
These too, are relatively quiet with many people using the terms phytoceramides and ceramides interchangeably, despite the fact that they come from very different sources. For example, on the forum part of skincaretalk.com, someone asks whether anyone has had success with phytoceramides and anti-aging, and the conversation descends into just talking about ceramide creams in general.
On ehealthforum.com, someone put forward a post asking whether anyone had tried phytoceramides, but at the time of writing this, no one so far has responded.
On the weightlifting forum eroids.com, the talk is more skeptical with one commenter saying “I was into phyto based supplements for a while but they simply aren’t effective in the short term”, noting that perhaps good results would be seen if phytoceramides were taken over many months or even years.
In summary, there is very little information on either forums or medical sites. What concerns me about the forums is the amount of garbage on them, crazy levels of spam about ‘miracle phytoceramides’ on the most random of forums, everything from Screwfix DIY site forum to the Wutangclan forum. It’s unlike any other level of spam I’ve seen.
Twitter is full of spam too, with the odd decent skincare company such as Epicura skin (@katietownes2) posting customer reviews of their phytoceramides product. Many of the posts are identical with indicates spam/mass marketing, in general avoid any tweet that says “check it out!!” too. In fact, there was nothing but spam or marketing on Twitter, with just one contributor (@smithpaulmel) stating “Jesus. Miracle phytoceramides. Whatever next!”
Facebook has just four product pages dedicated to selling just phytoceramides, although other skincare companies like Epicura Skin posts some of its Amazon reviews on its Facebook page. Customer comments include “this product has changed the way I looked at myself. My skin is hydrated from inside. I look so young” and “you can really see the skin improvement”. The other sites such as Phytoceramides have more rounded advice on what to eat, what to apply to the skin and more for anti-aging, as well as selling a product. Purephytoceramides is too young to be judged, and Phytoceramide (singular) has also only just joined the scene.
YouTube has a few video reviews such as 69-year old rxstrmom, who said that the lines around her mouth “may be a little bit softer” but found that the signs were strong enough for her to continue use unfortunately (although I think she looks AMAZING). Commenter Cary Daly agrees with me, saying of Rxstrmom’s video, “I don’t know if you saw the difference I saw, but I saw a remarkable difference!” and Sally Wingles saying “I can see a difference in your skin/face especially under your eyes and around your mouth, color/texture since your original Dr Oz Video on how to look 10 yrs younger. So, whatever you’re doing it is working (since that first video).” Aveya Beauty has a post wrongly entitled sweet potato phytoceramides (actually she’s been using a rice-based product and feels that the skin on her face and neck is much smoother, and she has been told she looks ‘well rested’. The lovely girl from The SkinCareTips has seen ‘amazing’ results in that her skin looks softer and wrinkles are less pronounced.
In summary, there’s not a lot on social media, and what’s there is a bit mixed in terms of opinion. I’m genuinely surprised that phytoceramides are not more of a hot topic, perhaps when more clinical studies have been conducted, we’ll see more reviews and opinion.
Amazon and sales sites
There are over 1,000 reviews for the first 16 products on Amazon, with an average rating of 3.9 out of five. Some products have excellent ratings such as the Bu Sofi supplement, with comments such as:
- “I have been using this along with the bu sofi vitamin c serum everyday. Very pleased! My face has more moisture and my wrinkles look smoother.”
- “Thought I’d try these phytoceramides [for eczema] and I’ve actually seen an improvement. My skin is way less dry and itchy. Will definitely keep using!”
- “I’ve been getting compliments about my “glowing” skin lately, which is really cool. I could swear my hair is shinier and my nails are stronger.”
- “I have only been taking this pill for one week. I already see results. It is an excellent product.”
Other products with lower ratings have comments from both ends of the spectrum, ranging from:
- “I have been taking it for about a week now [for dermatitis]. It has all completely cleared up using this brand. I am truly happy with the results.”
- “Have only used it for 10 days but am noticing a little difference. My skin is smoother, softer, and clearer.”
- “These pills have been a lifesaver. I have been using them for about 7 months now and the results are incredible.”
- “Yet another bogus product, don’t waste your money”, and
- “I have seen no difference in my skin after taking this product.”
The number one bestseller, LifeExtension, weighs in at 3.8 out of 5, and the comments again range from incredible to ‘meh’. Here are some of them:
- “My skin has never looked or felt better.”
- “Skip the pricey moisturizers and try this.”
- “Good natural fix.”
- “By the fifth week, I’d estimate there was about a 25% improvement [of ‘turkey neck’]. Currently, it appears there’s about a 50% improvement.”
- “The pills did produce an improvement but it was only minimal improvement.”
On iherb.com, the limited number of reviewers (just 9) also rated the above LifeExtension brand 4.5 out of 5, with the comments ranging from – at worst – ‘not seeing many changes after 2 months’ to – at best – ‘product really works’, ‘surprised with the fast results’ and ‘highly recommended’.
So there we have it, the supplements sure do well on sales sites such as Amazon, but elsewhere on the web they’re in their infancy. I can’t wait to see a bit further down the line what people are saying about them, as I feel they have real potential that isn’t being tapped into yet. Perhaps when there are a few more clinical studies, these pills will be thrust further into the spotlight…