What Exactly Are Ceramides?
A question rarely answered to a full extent. Ceramides have proven anti-aging effects and have been tried and tested for helping the body retain moisture. But what are ceramides for in skin care exactly?
Ceramides are lipids, which are fat-like substances found in your blood and body tissues. These particular lipids are one of the best fighters when it comes to battling dry skin.
What Do Ceramides Do?
Now that we know what they are, what do they do, and what makes them offer such effective results?
They Help the Body Retain Moisture
Ceramide lipids help form the skin’s barrier while retaining the skin’s moisture. They are skin-protectors against environmental stressors such as irritants, dry air and pollution. The right ratio of ceramides is important, to keep the skin’s barrier from being compromised.
A compromised barrier leads to dryness, irritated and itchy skin. They make up 50% of the skin’s barrier.
They Help the Skin Look Younger
Ceramides have multiple anti-aging properties, and they ultimately help the skin look younger. Since they are lipids, they are produced naturally in the skin. They can, however, be expended by exposure to outside factors such as hot water, particular chemicals soaps and other environmental components.
Since your natural ceramides can become depleted over time, using skincare that is made with ceramides helps to restore the skin’s barrier, and that can help increase the skin’s moisture levels again.
By protecting the barrier in the upper layers of the skin, your skin is able to retain water but they also help repair the natural barrier and regulate cells.
Ceramides are Hydrating
Ceramides occur naturally in the body, and they occur aplenty. While you are young, your skin produces a lot of ceramides. But over time, and as we age, both the number of ceramides in our bodies and the effects of them, decrease. Their hydrating and moisture-building qualities lessen over time.
This is why it is a good idea to use products that have ceramides in them to avoid a damaged skin barrier. A broken barrier is what causes dry ot rough skin. It can ultimately lead to wrinkles, fine lines, dehydrated and irritated skin.
There are Different Kinds of Ceramides
Yes, split in two two groups. Nine different ceramides have been identified in the skin as of now, and the two types are called Sphingosine and Phytosphingosine. Seven of the nine are used in skin products.
When getting into specifics, the structure and ceramide type is what determines its function, but in general, their purpose is to help maintain the water retention in the stratum corneum.
What Products Contain Ceramides?
For the most part, the skincare products that contain ceramides in them will have them listed as ingredients on the packaging. However, certain ceramide precursors that stimulate the skin to create ceramides will not clearly be as clearly listed; such as sphingosine and phytosphingosine.
Are Natural Ceramides Better than the Manufactured?
So, now we know there is more than one place that ceramides come from. Where do they all come from (when they’re not coming from out body) and are certain forms of ceramides better than others?
Certain forms, like the ones that can be derived from plants, have the ability to hydrate the skin, but that is all they really do. It;s better than nothing, but they aren’t effective in replenishing the skin barrier, or able to train the skin to react to moisture differently.
They can also come from animal and human skin. These ceramides do both; hydrate and train. Animal-based products are less popular nowadays, and are not ethically sound.
So, synthetic ceramides are actually the best solution. They are able to do everything that ceramides obtained from plants or animals can’t do. They are hydrating and can teach the skin to replenish its barrier.
What are Other Benefits of Ceramides?
- Since they occur naturally within the skin, there is no skin type that doesn’t work well with them. Regardless of your skin type, ceramides are effective in doing their job.
- Ceramides are uniquely safe to use around the eyes.
- Ceramide-rich products are often also made with other natural ingredients that are compatible with all skin types: such as antioxidants, amino acids, and glycerine.
- The anti-aging properties of ceramides include firmer, more supple skin. They literally refresh the skin, so it looks brighter and feels younger.
Our Favourite Ceramide-Enriched Products
This is a pure organic Argan oil that’s rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, ceramides, and the signature ingredient Organic Undaria Seaweed to lock in moisture. We love this product because it uses ceramides along with other ALL-NATURAL ingredients to minimize signs of aging for a firmer, more youthful appearance.
This unique, deep-hydrating face mask is made with camel milk! Camel milk contains a blend of skin repairing nutrients like natural AHA’s, proteins, and vitamins. Alpha Hydroxy Acid works together with ceramides and other natural ingredients for the most hydrating face mask that also nourishes the skin and evens skin tone. This mask restores delicate, dry and sensitive complexions and works well with all skin types.
A deep-moisturizing oil serum complete with ceramides and fatty acids, this complex maintains the appearance of youthful, plump, well-hydrated skin. We find that with it’s mixture of different natural fats and oils, it’s able to offer anti-aging benefits that fully replenish the skin so it feels brand new.
Some of its natural ingredients include cranberry seed oil, chia seed oil, evening primrose oil, and prickly pear seed oil!
This is an amazing anti-aging moisturizer from Alpyn Beauty. The all natural, super-hydrator “melts” into the skin to leave a smooth-yet-firm feeling. Ceramides and squalane work together to help fortify the moisture barrier.
We love this moisturizer for it’s all-natural element and anti-aging ability. Vitamin C helps to brighten and support the skin against environmental aggressors.