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It's a type of lipid, a so-called sphingoid base that can be found naturally in the upper layer of the skin. It's found both in "free-form" and as part of famous skin lipids, ceramides.

There is emerging research about Phytosphingosine that shows that it has antimicrobial and cell-communicating properties and is considered part of the skin's natural defense system.

A 2007 study showed that Phytosphingosine even works against evil acne-causing bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes and shows promise as a complementing active ingredient in treating acne-prone skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities.  

A nice one to spot in the ingredient list. :)

Show me some proof

  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, June 2007, Anti-microbial and -inflammatory activity and efficacy of phytosphingosine: an in vitro and in vivo study addressing acne vulgaris

Products with Phytosphingosine

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% Bha Gel Exfoliant Simple Spotless Skin Rapid Action Spot Zapper Cezanne Skin Conditioner High Moist Paula's Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion IOPE Pore Clinic Tightening Essence l'amore beauty Intensive Eye Repair Serum Apothaka Barrier Support Serum With Niacinamide & Ceramides LANEIGE Mini Pore Waterclay Mask CeraVe Baby Healing Ointment TÖRLÉS Cover fx Perfect Setting Powder Cover fx Pressed Mineral Foundation Meishoku Ceracolla Perfect Gel CeraVe Healing Ointment DR.BELMEUR Spot Plaster Band Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Moisturiser The Face Shop Dr.Belmeur Daily Repair Toner Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief Repairing Serum Rosette Aqua Ceramide Gel The Face Shop Dr.Belmeur Daily Repair Moisturizer Uriage Bariéderm Drying Repairing Cica-Spray innisfree Derma Formula Skin Barrier Cream Biopoint Reconstructing Mask CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Face Lotion With Sunscreen Spf 30 CoverFx Bronzer Decubal Face Vital Cream Paula's Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser Beauty Bio The Quench Quadralipid Recovery Cream Boots Boots Expert Dry Itchy Sensitive Treatment Cheryl Lee MD Truelipids Truetherapy Ceramide+ Cream DR.BELMEUR Daily Repair Cleansing Water Equate Beauty Ceramide Moisturizing Facial Lotion PM LANEIGE Mini Pore Blur Perfector The Face Shop Dr.Belmeur Daily Repair Panthenol Soothing Gel Cream Aquation Daily Moisturizing Lotion CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner CeraVe Hydrating Micellar Water Kiku-masamune Sake Emulsion Paula's Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Moisturizer Skin Inc. Ceramide Serum Ziaja Pro Cream-Mask For Eye Area With Ceramides Amlactin Rapid Relief Body Lotion CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo CeraVe Facial Mosturizing Lotion CeraVe Feuchtigkeitscreme (Moisturizing Cream Eu Version) CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser CeraVe SA Renewing Foot Cream CeraVe Sa Lotion For Rough & Bumpy Skin (Canada) CeraVe Skin Renewing Sa Lotion