C for Ceramides

What are ceramides?

Ceramides are found in the uppermost layers of the skin and makes up over 50% of the skin’s composition. Ceramides are fat molecules that help your skin stay hydrated. They are an important component of the skin barrier because they can effectively bind water molecules together to retain moisture in the skin. 

Ceramide is a Latin word that means 'wax'. Simply put, they are oily wax components that are naturally found on our topmost layers of the skin. There are 9 different types of ceramides in the skin. They help protect your skin from bacteria, irritants and environmental pollutants.

 

Why are they important?

Although it is a popular word used in the skin care industry, the benefits and importance of ceramides are rarely understood. Let's dive into some of the key advantages of ceramides for your skin.

  1. Ceramides are popularly known to help your skin feel smooth and soft;
  2. The barrier created by ceramides help protect your skin from external aggressors;
  3. They protect the skin from dehydration and locks in moisture; and
  4. It is a key component that has proven anti-ageing properties to preserve youthful-looking skin.

 

Why are they important in beauty products?

 You might ask if the skin already has naturally occurring ceramides, why should you use a skin care product that contains it?

The answer is simple - age, hot water, soaps and sun exposure tends to damage and reduce the natural ceramides found in your skin. This eventually leads to weakening of the skin's protective barrier. Low ceramide levels make it difficult for the skin to retain moisture, a common issue for eczema sufferers.

Using skin care products that contain ceramides may help topically restore what has diminished over time and help with your skin’s natural ceramide production. To start with, include a ceramide moisturizer into your skincare routine. They tend to form a waterproofing wall in the upper layers of the skin to regulate the cells.

 

References:

  1. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, PMC
  2. Skin Barrier Defects in Atopic Dermatitis