Glucosylceramides are a type of sphingolipid (a complex, long-chain lipid) known as a glycosphingolipid. Glucosylceramides are composed of a ceramide and sugar molecule known as glucose. They’re responsible for the healthy formation and appearance of skin’s upper layers, known as the epidermis, and are the primary glycosphingolipid in this portion of the skin.

Research has shown that oral consumption of glucosylceramides, whether from wheat, corn, rice bran, beets, or konjac root can make it from the digestion process to skin. Interestingly (but not too surprising) research has also shown that glucosylceramides have less benefit for normal skin than they do for dry, sun-damaged, or otherwise compromised skin.

Plant-derived glucosylceramides can visibly repair and strengthen skin’s barrier, improve hydration channels in skin, and interrupt factors in skin that trigger signs of sensitivity, dryness, and dullness. In short, glucosylceramides are proving to be an integral ingredient for healthier skin at any age, and nicely complement a range of ceramides used in topical skin care products.

References for this information:

Cosmetics, September 2017, ePublication
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, April 2017, pages 115-138
Nutrition Research, March 2015, pages 241-250
Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, May 2014 ePublication; and September 2013, pages 1,882-1,887
Journal of Dermatological Science, June 2012, ePublication; and August 2006, pages 101-107
Lipids, April 2010, pages 451-455

See ceramides glycosphingolipid

Back to Ingredient Dictionary

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!