What Are Ceramides?
Ceramides occur naturally in the epidermis of the skin and form part of the skin’s natural barrier, the Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF) which protects the skin from water loss. They act similar to mortar between bricks, helping to seal in moisture. When people experience dry skin, it is often because of a loss of ceramides in the skin, which can also cause itching, flaking, peeling, and scaling. The skin’s natural barrier includes a number of oils, amino acids, fatty acids and cholesterol. This barrier helps to protect the skin from damage, bacteria, and allergens as well as reducing transepidermal water loss, the process where water is lost to the air from the skin. This most often occurs in dry skin types, ageing skin or skin that has been damaged or compromised. In skincare products ceramides may help replace lipids that have been lost due to chronic dryness, environmental factors, ageing, and skin damage caused by certain skin conditions, helping to restore moisture levels, improve resilience and prevent flakiness.
Who Should Use Ceramides?
Most skin types can benefit from the use of ceramides, however dry skin, damaged skin, sensitive skin or ageing skin may benefit most.
Ageing skin - Studies have indicated that when you are in your 30s you are likely to have lost 40% of your skin’s naturally occurring ceramides, this increases to 60% in your 40s and increased more as you age. This is part of the reason why ageing skin is often more prone to dryness. A reduction in the number of naturally-produced ceramides can reduce the ability of the skin to hold water and maintain healthy functioning.
Damaged skin - When the skin’s natural barrier is damaged , through over exposure to UV rays, harsh exfoliators, or harsh ingredients, the skin can become extra sensitive and dry and adding ceramides to your skincare routine can help this damaged skin retain moisture, prevent further water loss and damage.
What Do Ceramides Do For The Skin?
Restore the skin’s natural barrier - Using ceramide products may help to support the health of the skin’s natural barrier, improving moisture, resilience and preventing flakiness.
Help the skin retain moisture - ceramides help to support the health of the skin’s natural barrier. When the skin has a healthy skin barrier it helps to keep the skin hydrated and prevent water loss.
Help reduce signs of ageing - Ceramides may help to reduce the visible signs of aging on the skin. They may help to reduce water loss, reduce dryness and protect the skin from damage.
Help reduce Inflammation – inflammation is often linked with transepidermal water loss. Conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis and rosacea can increase the inflammatory response in the skin. Studies have suggested that reducing dryness in the skin and supporting the skin’s natural barrier, may help to soothe this inflammation.
How To Increase Ceramides In The Skin?
The best way to increase the levels of ceramides in the skin is to apply them topically by using a ceramide-based moisturiser or product. It can also help to increase your intake of healthy fats in your diet using supplements or foods which contain a natural source of ceramides such as sweet potatoes.
Ceramides can be found in our new Ceramide Moisture Boost Essence