Ceramides are lipids (fat molecules) which are found in high concentrations in the stratum corneum (the top layer of the skin). Ceramides make up to 50% of skin cells so naturally they go a long way in determining the look of the skin. The benefits of ceramides in skincare range from simple barrier repair to deep anti-ageing benefits.
Because ceramides occur naturally in the skin, they are categorized as skin-replenishing or skin-identical ingredients. And just like every other good skin in the skin, they deplete with age.
Ceramides help to hold the skin together by reinforcing the skin’s moisture barrier and preventing dehydration. Lack of adequate amounts of ceramides in the skin leads to conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis. If you suffer from chronically dry skin chances are ceramides are what’s missing.
Benefits of Ceramides
The benefits of ceramides include but are not limited to;
- Protecting the skin against environmental stressors like pollution.
- Holding the skin together by forming a protective barrier which limits water loss
- Ceramide precursors like phytosphongosine and sphingolipids help the skin to make even more ceramides which makes ceramides self-replacing
whatever that means.
- Helping to restore, repair, and reinforce the skin’s lipid barrier. I have written on it in details.
Even though the skin contains ceramides, they still deplete which can be bad for the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Not only will the barrier be affected, ceramide decrease in the skin will lead to aging and sensitized skin. Well formulated products containing ceramides help to nourish the skin and build back it’s barrier also helping to improve eczema and psoriasis thereby topical ceramides are encouraged to augment the skin ceramides level.
Good ceramide-containing products can be expensive since they are mostly synthetic.
Enter Cerave. When applied topically, the effects of ceramides take 1-5 days to show. With consistent use, visible anti-aging results can be achieved (depending on skin turnover rate and level of health). They are also suitable for all skin types.
Ceramides are even more effective when used in combination with alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids.
Foods that are high in fatty acids are encouraged in order to prevent ceramide deficiency. Avocados, coconuts, leafy vegetables, nuts are some of the food that help in replenishing the skin’s natural ceramides. Soy, dairy and eggs have also been found to contain large amounts of sphingolipids.
Check out my favourite Ceramide-containing products below!