All the glitz and glamour in the world of cosmetics ingredients, such as a new retinoid or vitamin C, cannot do much for the skin if it is not strong and healthy. This is where ceramides come in. When your skin lacks ceramides, it can feel dry and rough – no matter your skin type.
What are ceramides?
As part of the skin barrier, ceramides are naturally occurring fat molecules that hold skin cells together like cement between bricks. By sealing the gaps between cells, ceramides help retain moisture within the skin. They also help prevent environmental aggressors like bacteria from entering your skin where they could cause breakouts and accelerate ageing.
50 per cent of that topmost skin layer, or epidermis, is made up of ceramides. However, production starts to dip in your 20s. When you hit your 30s, ceramide levels plunge further by another 40 per cent. By the time you’re in your 40s, ceramide levels will be 60 per cent less than what they used to be. Also, external factors like UV damage, air conditioning, harsh soaps and hand sanitisers also contribute to the drop in ceramides.
With that, the skin will start to feel dry, itchy and rough. Low levels of ceramides have been associated with eczema, too. If your skin feels dry no matter how much moisturiser you use, this is likely due to a lack of ceramides in your skin.
Why you’ll love ceramide products
Studies, such as one published in the peer-reviewed journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, show that ceramide-rich products can help replenish ceramide levels in skin to improve hydration and strengthen skin’s barrier.
The wonderful thing about ceramides is suitable for all skin types, regardless of age and skin sensitivity issues. You can also apply it at any time of the day and night, and not worry about incompatibility with other skincare ingredients in your existing routine. Ceramide-based skincare will not degrade or cause adverse skin reactions when it comes into contact with various chemicals or acids, too.
Combat acne with Ceramides
Aside from alleviating dry skin, ceramides can also help improve the condition of acne-prone skin and reduce breakouts. These moisture magnets can calm redness and flare-ups caused by inflammation. Troubled skin usually has to resort to harsher treatments, such as steroid creams, which tend to dry out the skin. Ceramides can help counter dryness, so you could more likely continue with oral or topical products that target acne.
Get the most out of ceramide-based skincare
As ceramides wash off easily, skip the ceramide cleanser and stock up on serums, moisturisers and masks. Pair them with antioxidants to neutralise free radical damage, or retinol to improve collagen production.