What are Ceramides?

If you are a skincare nerd, you know the difference between vitamin C and Niacinamide. You know your Retinyl Palmitate from your Retinaldehyde. And you probably recognize most of the plant extracts by their Latin names. One ingredient that is often overlooked is ceramide.

Much like Hyaluronic acid, all skin types can benefit from including a ceramide product in a skincare routine. Yes, even sensitive and acne prone skin. In fact it can help soothe irritation. But for anyone who wants an effective skincare routine that will prevent the signs of aging, ceramide is one ingredient worth investigating.

What are ceramides?

eye cream

Ceramides are natural lipids that occur in the uppermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum). There are different ceramides types, but their main function is to form a protective barrier that prevents moisture loss and protects the skin against environmental stressors and infections. In short, they make our skin look supple, plump and smooth.

As we age and our skin is exposed to various forms of environmental damage (such as pollution and sun exposure), the levels of ceramides in our skin will deplete (yes, the JOY!).

Ceramide levels can also get depleted from certain medications, medical conditions and if we are not using an appropriate cleanser. Diet also plays a part.

When our ceramide levels are depleted, our skin gets dehydrated, dry, and rough to the touch. Fine lines and wrinkles are more prominent. Skin might also get irritated and products you normally use might sting on contact.

Luckily topical application of skincare products that contain ceramides can increase the moisture content of the skin, reinforce and repair the moisture barrier.

Because of their nature, they are suitable for all skin types.

What to look for in skincare products with ceramides?

There are 9 different ceramides that are labelled with numbers from 1 to 9. Look for those on the skincare product’s ingredient list.

Alternatively, they can also be labelled as Ceramide EOP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide NG, Ceramide NS and Ceramide NP.

Since the uppermost part of the skin consists out of a combination of ceramides, free fatty acids and cholesterol look for products that contain all of these together with Glycerin.
Some skincare products will use liposomes as a delivery method for ceramides.

Have you tried any products that contain ceramides? Were you happy with the results?

Roberta Striga