This serum claims to enhance the skins’ barrier repair function, increasing moisture and minimise the appearance of aging signs. Sounds exciting? Wait till you hear the name:
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum (ノ-_-)ノ~ ┻━┻
What a mouthful. Lets just call them Ceramide Capsules shall we. I’ve gone through 3 months worth of these capsules so it is time for a review.
The Fuss About Ceramides
The key ingredient is ceramide. The cosmetic scientists over at The Beauty Brains have a super informative episode on ceramides which everyone should go listen to, but if you’re short of time, here’s what the fuss is about:
- Ceramides are fats which that are major components of skin’s outer layers, and acts as a moisture barrier.
- Ceramide are shown to be able to penetrate the skin layers.
- Ceramides do penetrate the skin, but it needs to be combined with other ingredients in a specific ratio for optimal effect: around 50% ceramides, 25% cholesterol, and 15% free fatty acids
- The mechanism of ceramide as an ingredient is not really well understood, but based on available evidence, they help to repair the skin barrier and improve skin moisture
So, after understanding the mechanics of ceramides, things start to get less certain. The specific ratio of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids are the most daunting. In addition, it is impossible to identify the ratio of ingredients based on the ingredient list alone. Therefore, honestly, even if a product ticked all the right boxes, you have to put faith in them that they are in the right ratios.
I will direct you to the trusty CosDNA for the full list, but here are the star ingredients:
- Ceramides: Ceramide 1, Ceramide 6 II, Phytosphingosine
- Fatty acids: Isostearic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, oleic acid
- Squalene is the less saturated sister of squalane, and chemically less stable. But the capsule packaging should allow the contents to remain fresh for each use.
- Retinyl linoleate and retinyl palmitate are both very far down in the ingredients list, which means that they are present in trace amounts and not likely to be in high enough concentrations to do much for your skin, which is a bummer. A combination of linoleic acid and palmitic acid with vitamin A sounds really promising. I’m very surprised that both score a high 9 on safety (i.e. hazardous in the CosDNA rating system). Both ingredients have been linked to cancer and tumour growth by a study some years ago. But do read up more on this study and decide for yourself if it is worth the risk. I’ll link you up to Paula’s cosmetics directory here where you can read more.
It ticked all the boxes except for cholesterol, meaning that the ingredients will not be found in the golden ratio of 50:25:15. Does this mean it is not formulated for optimal skin absorption? Yeah, probably. Does this mean this product is totally ineffective? Nah. Just because something isn’t formulated in the optimal ratio does not mean that it is totally ineffective, but definitely it does plant a seed of doubt whether it is worth splurging on.
How i incorporate this in my routine
Exfoliating toner > Fermented Essence > Serum 1 > Serum 2 > Moisturiser
This is a little different from the regular routine steps which generally follows a serum with a hydration serum or sheet mask. Because it is an oil based product, I like to layer it behind another serum and follow up with moisturiser immediately. No hydration step involved.
The serum goes on with the texture of a thin face oil, but absorbs quickly without a hint of greasiness. Within minutes you see an improvement in dehydration lines and rough patches. A huge contributor of that smooth feel is the diamethicone, which is the base for the products i.e. The first ingredient. After a while you can recognize the silicone feel, and the feeling isn’t that great.
Chemistry isn’t my suit here, but I wonder if it is even necessary for the serum to be packaged in individual capsules. Is there any ingredient that easily degrades, oxidises or breaks down?
I am less likely to recommend high-end products because I feel the pain when I buy something expensive and it doesn’t work. Testing out an affordable product is simple enough. If I hate a Mizon products, it is just $10 flushed down the drain. I cannot say the same for a $100 product though. Think about how many Mizons and COSRX I can buy with that money.
I’m hoping for more genuine reviews for high end beauty products. You know, just honest and objective thoughts about products, (as long as it is not paraphrased from the brand’s media kit).
All things considered, I can say the Ceramide Capsules is decent for normal to dry skin types. The possible drawbacks, aside from the prohibitive price, are:
- Diamethicones as the first ingredient
- Lack of cholesterol in formula
Where to Buy
You can find this in your local mall, but hey, I don’t buy stuff at my local mall because they’re so expensive. T.T I bought mine off strawberrynet when it was on sale, with 60 Face Capsule + 60 Eye Capsules coming to a total of US$58), which is not too bad. I would repurchase, but only with discounts.