I have so much love for Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules
Updated: Feb 27
My review on Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum
Exactly 3 years ago I was admitted into the maternity ward - straight from my last day of work - awaiting for bubba to arrive. I didn't have my hospital bag with me. My husband asked if I needed anything in particular, to which I said "just bring me the gold capsules from my bedside table".
This was how much love I have for these ceramide capsules. After 3 years it has not changed.
What is ceramide?
Ceramides are skin-identical substances - they are lipids (oils) naturally found in human skin, particularly concentrated at the outest layer of the epidermis. The extracellular matrix of skin (containing 50% ceramides, 25% cholesterol and 15% fatty acids*) has an essential barrier function, including preventing water loss. My favourite analogy is brick and mortar - Ceramides glue the bricks (skin cells) together. Both ceramides and cholesterol in skin deplete with age, making skin lose moisture over time.
There are different types of ceramides, and the ceramide 1, 3, 6-II combination seems to have been most extensively studied**. This is the combination used in the Elizabeth Arden ceramide capsules. The same ceramide combination is also used in another iconic brand CeraVe.
Apart from ceramides, the capsules also contain a good dose of emollient, cholesterol, linoleic acid and linolenic acid (both are skin-identical essential fatty acids), and lower doses of vitamin A and squalene. This combination works predominately on the skin barrier and at an intercellular level which, I found, generally more effective and believable (I am always a skeptical when a product claims to work at a deep / intracellular / nuclear level because of the unknown or unproven penetration efficacy).
The capsules are designed to be twisted open to release enough product for one application. Each capsule contains just under 0.5mL of serum, which I find way too much product for one use. I open them slightly differently - I insert a needle to release the product from the capsule so that I get two generous applications per capsule. A new capsule is opened late evening for the first application, stored in a small jar (to minimise exposure to air), and the second application is used early next morning. I still get so much serum in each application that I have enough to bring it all the way down to my chest.
Although it is called a "serum" it feels more like a light facial oil, which is not a surprise as the ingredients are either oil-based or oil-soluble.
This product is very versatile and can be used either as an oil, a serum, or a light moisturiser. I use it in a few different ways depending on climate and how my skin feels.
Most days (normal / combination skin): apply a mist, water-based serum, and then ceramide capsule
feeling dehydrated or dry: apply a mist, then ceramide capsule, followed by a mist, hydrating serum and a moisturiser or cream
hot weather or feeling oily: just a mist and capsule
Pictured above - serum applied on skin, before and after absorption
These capsules are probably as close to miracle as I can possibly get. When I first started using these twice a day, I noticed a dramatic difference in only a few days. My skin was noticeably smoother, softer, and more supple. The results were most noticeable on my neck and chest, the areas that I had previously neglected. It was not a placebo effect because I had received an unprecedented amount of (unsolicited) compliments on my skin. After 4 weeks, I felt like I was reborn in new skin - the smoothness and softness was beyond words. Fine lines were also diminished (but deep wrinkles and fold lines remained). Skin was also noticeably more radiant.
They are okay to use under makeup, but I would use just enough (not too much) and on moist skin as they get absorbed better this way, and followed with a primer before applying foundation.
The capsules are now a staple in my skincare regime.
Tips on application
One capsule has enough serum for two applications or more (see above).
For better absorption, use on moist or slightly wet skin
These are oil-based and work on moisture and oil-restoring. Pair with a water-based targeted serum (e.g. for pigmentation, hydration etc.) for complementary benefits.
Price - $140 for 60 pcs; or $74 for 30 pcs
Isononyl Isononanoate, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isododecane, Isopropyl Myristate, Dimethicone, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ceramide 1, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, Cholesterol, Cocos Nucifera (coconut) Oil, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Dimethiconol, Lecithin, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Medicago Sativa (alfalfa) Extract, Phytosphingosine, Retinyl Palmitate, Squalene, Tocopherol.
* Feingold KR (2007) "Thematic review series: skin lipids. The role of epidermal lipids in cutaneous permeability barrier homeostasis", Journal of Lipid Research 48(12): 2531–2546. https://www.jlr.org/content/48/12/2531
**See, for example, Lueangarun S et al. (2019) "The 24-hr, 28-day, and 7-day post-moisturizing efficacy of ceramides 1, 3, 6-II containing moisturizing cream compared with hydrophilic cream on skin dryness and barrier disruption in senile xerosis treatment", Dermatol. Ther. 32(6): e13090 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31585489
Makeup artist and hair stylist based in Sydney. Founder of the well-known award-winning bridal specialist team Faces Makeup & Hair. Beauty junkie with an obsession for skincare.