What's the most crucial step in skincare? We would say guarding your skin's barrier! Because it is the main defence that blocks dirt, pollution and other toxins from entering your skin's inner layers.
So, whether you're aiming for glowing, flawless or just healthy skin, you need a strong skin barrier. Enter phytosphingosine, a natural protectant for your skin's barrier.
In this article, we discuss everything about phytosphingosine and how it helps to promote a healthy glow. Read on to know more.
What is Phytosphingosine?
Phytosphingosine  refers to a fatty lipid present in your skin's outer layer with both water-attracting and water-repelling properties. It is one of the most important protective elements of your skin barrier, besides 15% fatty acid, 50% ceramides and 25% cholesterol.
If your skin barrier breaks due to any external aggressors, your skin starts displaying it in the form of redness, rashes and irritation . Thus, you need phytosphingosine in your skincare products to keep its barrier intact.
Origin Of Phytosphingosine
In 1884, chemist J.L.W coined the word phytosphingosine, which was taken from the term “sphingoid”, a major component in all biological membranes. There are four types of sphingoid bases  and phytosphingosine is one of them. Phytosphingosine is a widely distributed natural sphingoid base and found in fungi, plants, and animals.
How To Use Phytosphingosine?
Phytosphingosine is easily found in many skin care products like serums, facial oils, eye creams, moisturizers. Anyone who is looking for a solution for their dry and flaky skin can use it. One thing you need to keep in mind while using phytosphingosine is applying the product evenly on your skin.
How often you should apply the product depends on the product type and your skin condition. For example, if you are using a moisturizer or eye cream, it is recommended to apply it daily.
Also, phytosphingosine works best with ceramides  and peptides. Ceramides help to hydrate your skin further and peptides have anti-aging benefits. Together, they are the ultimate protector for your skin!
Benefits Of Phytosphingosine For Skin
1. Protects Your Skin Barrier
Just like every other delicate thing on earth, your skin needs protection. As explained earlier, your skin’s outer layer has a protective barrier to keep toxins at bay. Phytosphingosine stops irritants from entering through your skin's protective barrier, preventing dry patches, redness, rashes, painful bumps and acne.
2. Boosts The Natural Moisturizing Factor
With age, you start losing your natural moisturizing factor (NMF) and your skin becomes dry and rough. You may also notice fine lines and wrinkles. According to studies, phytosphingosine locks the moisture in skin, modulating filaggrin metabolic pathways. These pathways are responsible for NMF  production.
NMF keeps the surface of your skin hydrated and supple. Skincare products enriched with phytosphingosine can help to infuse NMF in your skin. Apart from working as a shield for your skin, phytosphingosine prevents water loss and saves you from dehydration.
3. Anti-Inflammatory And Anti-Bacterial Benefits
When your skin barrier is compromised or weak, outside irritants tend to get inside your skin, which causes redness, dryness, itching etc. In case of severe reactions, you may face skin conditions like eczema. Phytosphingosine can help treat these skin conditions. Recent studies show that phytosphingosine has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits, making it ideal for acne and irritated skin conditions.
Side Effects Of Phytosphingosine
Studies have found that Phytosphingosine is an inert and safe ingredient. Not many people have complained about the side effects of Phytosphingosine on skin. However, it may cause irritation on sensitive areas of your body such as eyes, nose, inside the mouth etc.
EWG (Environment Working Group) conducted a study on phytosphingosine and rated it 1 out of 10 for the risk factor . It clearly states the lowest level of side effects. In fact, phytosphingosine is a natural saviour for your skin.
Having said that, it is always better to take precaution before using any new product. Do a patch test on a small area 24 hours before the actual application. You will get to know if you have any allergic reaction to it. If you face any severe side effects after using the product, consult your dermatologist.
Though the word ‘Phytosphingosine’ sounds pretty complicated, the ingredient is simple and beneficial for your skin in several ways. It hydrates and protects your skin from environmental aggressors, making it a blessing for acne-prone and sensitive skin.
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