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  5. Why Should You Be Adding Ceramides To Your Skin Care?

Have you included one of the most essential substances, ceramides, in your skincare routine yet? If you haven’t, your anti-aging and skincare efforts may become futile. Dermatologists across the world stress on the importance of hydration for a softer, younger and radiant skin and ceramides are your best bet. Let’s find out why.

What Are Ceramides? Why Are They Important?

Ceramides are lipids or fatty molecules in your skin that maintain the skin barrier [1] and retain its moisture. They belong to a class of lipids called sphingolipids.

In simpler terms, ceramides are like the cement of your skin, which acts as a protective barrier and holds the skin cells. They prevent water outflow and damage by environmental aggressors. However, usage of harsh skin care products, pollution, UV light, smoking, aging or extreme temperatures can lead to depletion of ceramides in your skin.

Phytosphingosine and sphingosine are compounds that are used in skincare to allow the skin to reproduce its natural ceramides.

What Do Ceramides Do For Your Face Or Skin?

Ceramides keep your skin soft and supple. Without them, your skin can undergo TEWL (transepidermal water loss) [2]. This can make your skin dry, wrinkled and dehydrated. Ceramides repair your skin barrier, restore hydrating agents and prevent further water loss from the skin.

Ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids work better together towards strengthening the skin barrier.

What Are The Benefits Of Ceramides?

Ceramides have been proved to be beneficial for a lot of skin concerns. Let us take a look at some of them:

1. Aging

Dry skin is one of the reasons for faster-aging skin. In a study that was conducted in 20 women, topical ceramides helped strengthen the skin barrier’s function, making the skin look softer and younger.

2. Eczema

Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a skin concern where the skin becomes irritated and inflamed. According to a study, ceramides have helped replenish skin’s lost moisture thereby reducing the dryness and flakiness. Supplementing the skin with topical ceramides in patients with eczema helped because they had lower levels of natural ceramides in their skin.

3. Psoriasis

Patients with psoriasis, a skin condition with raised red patches of skin, reported low levels of ceramides [3]. Use of ceramides by such patients decreased the symptoms of psoriasis.

4. Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is a type of skin that is dry, dehydrated and reacts to skincare products. One of the main causes of sensitive skin is lack of a strong skin barrier. Ceramides are like mortar for bricks made of skin cells in the barrier. They can lock up the moisture and reduce skin sensitivity.

5. Acne

Bacteria, excess oil and dirt clog pores and cause acne [4]. A healthy skin barrier would not allow bacteria to enter the deeper layers of your skin. Ceramides can toughen skin barrier and prevent the entry of bacteria and other foreign substances.

How To Use Ceramides?

  • You can include ceramides in your moisturizers [5], serums, masks and treatments.
  • Over-the-counter ceramides do not contain ceramides in concentrations that can turn out to be effective for the skin. These formulations are not approved by the FDA. Talk to your dermatologist for prescription-strength ceramides.
  • Ceramides can be used twice a day in the morning and evening cleansing routines.
  • Ceramide cleansers are not considered impactful since they are washed away.
  • Ceramides are extremely safe to use and are suited for all skin types.
  • If you have a skin condition, consult your dermatologist before beginning to use ceramides.
  • Consider a patch test before starting to use ceramide products.

How Will I Know If A Product Contains Ceramides?

Most manufacturers use the word “ceramides” on the labels of skincare products. While purchasing, look for terms like ceramide AP, NP, EOP, NG and NS that are common ceramides you can spot on skincare labels.

What To Know About Packaging Of Ceramides?

Ceramides can be broken down when exposed to sun and light. Look for ceramide products that are packaged in opaque, airtight containers or bottles. Wide-open lids that reveal most of the product to air and light can make the product ineffective after using it for a while.

What Foods Are High In Ceramides?

Foods like soybeans, dairy, eggs, sweet potatoes, wheat germ [6], corn and brown rice are good sources of ceramides.

Note:

Refrain from using oral ceramides as they can mess with your lipid profile.

How Long Does It Take For Ceramides To Work?

It takes only 5 days for ceramides to start working on your skin when it comes to moisturizing. With religious use of ceramides for about 1-3 months, you can actually see anti-aging benefits and smoother, plumper skin.

Ceramides are not only barrier-repairing, but are incredible anti-aging ingredients too. They are such a skin-saver that you can’t miss having them in your skincare routine. What are your favorite ceramide products? Let us know.

In A Nutshell

  • Ceramides are lipids or fats found naturally in the skin. They restore the skin barrier by preventing water loss.
  • Ideal for skin concerns like acne, psoriasis, eczema, aging, dry and sensitive skin.
  • Ceramides are safe and suited for all skin types.
  • They are available as moisturizers, serums, masks and treatments.
  • Ceramide AP, NP, EOP, NG and NS are common ceramide ingredients to look for in skincare products.
  • Sun and light can break down ceramides. Hence, look for stable packaging.
  • Soybeans, dairy, eggs, sweet potatoes, wheat germ, corn and brown rice are rich in ceramides.
  • Ceramides take 1-3 months to show visible results.

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