Japanese ingredient takes off in US BFW products

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Japanese ingredient takes off in US BFW products

Related tags Skin

A plant-based compound with a long history in Japanese cosmetic formulations is now gaining popularity on the US markets as the West starts to recognise its efficacious properties. 

Phytoceramides has long been used by formulators in Japan in anti-aging products. The plant-derived lipid molecule is said to be an essential component of healthy, resilient skin.

Now, US based Aveya Beauty has been given the go ahead by the FDA to include the extract from sweet potatoes in beauty from within supplements primarily focusing on restoring the skin.

"[US consumers] have no doubt heard his positive endorsement of phytoceramides as a skin care supplement. The scientific community has come to a consensus as well, with decades of research proving the safety and usefulness of this unique family of molecules​," explains Aveya Beauty president, Darren Miller.

Powerful molecule

The discovery of phytoceramides dates back to the late 19th​ century, when a German physician successfully isolated the molecule from a sample of human brain tissue. Cosmetics manufacturers quickly saw the potential for the compound's use in the beauty industry, although its method of action was not fully understood.

It was another 100 years before scientists mapped out the complete biochemistry of the compound, thereby making effective, targeted cosmetics and supplements a possibility.

The early 1990s saw the first use of phytoceramides in topical anti-aging creams and lotions. More recently, the industry has shifted from topical products to oral supplements, as these are just as effective while also being more convenient.

Aveya utilising this ingredient for US consumers

According to Aveya, using Phytoceramides - made from rice and sweet potato, are also a safer option than the likes of animal sources of ceramides in BFW products.

"Research from Japan and elsewhere has proven how important ceramides are to healthy, vibrant skin. This compound is produced naturally and found in the epidermis. However, the production of ceramides decreases as people age, which is a primary cause of wrinkles, dry skin and poor complexion," ​Miller adds.

Back in 2004 the Food and Drug Administration assessed the safety and usage history of plant-based ceramides in a dietary ingredient notification.

A survey of the literature revealed that standard doses of the compound produced no adverse effects. Furthermore, two separate studies demonstrated that oral phytoceramides improved the hydration of skin and reduced the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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