WHAT IS CERAMIDE IN SKIN CARE & WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT IT?

04 September 2020

You may have heard Ceramides a lot when it comes to skincare as its always promoted as an anti-aging product that is good for the skin barrier. But what actually is Ceramide and how does it help our skin? Ceramide has been known as an effective skincare ingredient in the market for years now and you can find a lot of brands promoting it in their products as well which mostly is known to help the skin retain its moisture, enhance skin barrier, and have the ability to rejuvenate the skin’s appearance. So any other reason why should we go for ceramide-enriched products? Below is a simple write-up on ceramide and what you should know about it. Keep on reading to know...


WHAT ARE CERAMIDES IN SKINCARE?

Ceramides are always explained as an anti-aging product that helps the skin barrier but the question is how do they actually work? Well to make it simple, ceramides are lipids (fats) that occur naturally in the skin which are found naturally in high concentrations in the uppermost layers of skin. They take over 50% of skin’s composition so they play a big part in determining how the skin looks and how it responds to environmental threats.

HOW DO CERAMIDES WORK IN SKINCARE?

Ceramides work by holding the skin together with forming a protective layer that reduces moisture loss in means to protect the skin against visible damage from pollution and other environmental stressors. Hence, with more ceramide provided to the skin, it'll help the skin to achieve youthful-looking skin. There are two particular ceramide precursors naturally in the skin called 'phytosphingosine' and 'sphingolipids' which actually help the skin to make more ceramides.

WHY DO WE NEED CERAMIDES IF IT'S ALREADY PRODUCED NATURALLY?

Age and sun damage causes the depletion of the effectiveness of the skin’s natural ceramides which eventually weakens the skin’s barrier hence causing dry, rough, wrinkled, redness, irritation, and dehydrated skin. With a boost of ceramides in skincare, it can help restore the natural ceramides in the skin resulting in more youthful-looking skin. 

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A CERAMIDE-ENRICHED PRODUCT?

Ceramide formulated products that are done well and correctly packaged will help in improving the skin barrier by improving hydration resulting in plumper and smoother skin with fewer signs of sensitivity.
Product packaging matters as most anti-aging products are not stable. The product could lose its effectiveness if it's exposed to light and air. Hence take note if you are buying a product with ceramide inside, make sure it comes in opaque bottles and airtight dispensers.

HOW TO KNOW IF A PRODUCT CONTAINS CERAMIDES?

It ain't that tricky as brands will usually promote ceramide in their product but when you look into the ingredient list you can find the word ‘ceramide’ in the ingredient list (ceramide AP, EOP, NG, NP, of NS), but not always. Ingredients like 'phytosphingosine' and 'sphingosine' are not instantly recognizable as ceramides but are ceramide precursors that stimulate the skin to produce ceramides. 
But, it does come a bit tricky with synthetic ceramide as they are different names for it.

SYNTHETIC OR NATURAL CERAMIDES?

Ceramides can be derived from plants and they can also be derived from animal and human skin. So make sure you check the source of the ceramide in your skincare product.
Ceramides derived from plants are only able to hydrate skin, they can’t teach it to behave younger and healthier. This is where synthetic ceramides come in. Synthetic ceramides are stable and ethical ceramide which acts as a solution for natural ceramides.

WHICH SKIN TYPE IS SUITABLE FOR CERAMIDES?

Ceramides will work well with all skin types as they are under the category of ‘skin-identical’ ingredients that occur naturally in the skin. They work well with ingredients such as amino acids, glycerine, and cholesterol. You'll find a lot of products with different mixtures of ceramides and other ingredients as there is no single anti-aging ingredient that does it all. What you can do is make sure your ceramide-enriched product is also formulated with antioxidants and skin-restoring ingredients.
It's also recommended to combine your routine with exfoliation products as a gentle leave-on exfoliant will actually improve the effectiveness of the ceramide.

That's pretty much the basic information you should know about ceramides. I'll keep you posted with ceramide-enriched products below soon.

Till then peeps!


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