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What are Ceramides?
Ceramides are lipids (or, put simply, fats) which are naturally occurring in the top layer of our skin, they form part of our skins natural moisturising factor (NMF). If you imagine your skin is a wall with the skin cells being the bricks, ceramides are the mortar that holds the wall together.
What Do Ceramides Actually Do?
Ceramides help skin to look and feel smooth and plump, they support the skin barrier helping to keep it intact, preventing outside aggressors from getting in and from moisture escaping, which is known as TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss). So, ceramides are vital if you want your skin to look and feel healthy, hydrated and glowing. Essentially, they make the skin more resilient and help it to appear younger-looking.
Why Do I Need to Factor Ceramides Into My Skincare Routine?
As your skin already contains ceramides, you might be wondering why you need to apply them topically? Well, as we age our body becomes less efficient at producing them, so bolstering your ceramide supply is no bad thing especially since they help skin look younger! Ceramides also play nicely with other skincare ingredients so you can happily apply a ceramide-rich product daily. And, depending on the formulation, they are gentle enough to use around the eyes, which is why you will see ceramides in some eye cream formulas.
Who Can Benefit from Ceramides?
Since ceramides are skin-identical, meaning our body already produces them, they are a smart addition for everyone. If you’re dealing with sensitive or uncomfortable skin, this could be due to a compromised skin barrier, so topping up your “wall” with “mortar” will help strengthen your complexion.
How Do I Know If a Product Contains Ceramides?
Most products will call out on the label that they contain ceramides. But, it’s also worth knowing that there are some ingredients like phytosphingosine and sphingolipids that are precursors to ceramides and might be called out as pro ceramide. That means that these ingredients help trigger your skin to produce its own ceramides, replenishing your natural supply. Clever, right?