What are Ceramides, and why are they important in your skincare routine?
After such a wet winter, the last thing you might be thinking about is dry skin, unless you are prone to it, of course. However, whether your skin is naturally dry or naturally greasy, your body is equipped with chemicals that will help to create a balance. Supplementing those chemicals may be something you feel you need to do. If so, then read on:
What are Ceramides?
Ceramides are lipids (fat molecules) which are naturally found in the skin. They makeup 50% of our skin’s composition as well as helping form the skin’s natural barrier. Ceramides are responsible for supporting the retention of moisture and are our body’s natural moisturising factor. Therefore, there is no wonder it plays such a vital role in the way our skin looks.
What do Ceramides do?
As well as being highly moisturising, ceramides are also known for protecting the skin against environmental damage like pollution and sun exposure. As we all know by now, sun damage is one of the biggest agers for our skin and, fortunately, ceramides are hailed as one of the most potent anti-ageing ingredients in skincare.
If I naturally produce Ceramides, why do I need them in my skincare products?
Despite being naturally produced by our skin, when there is an insufficiency of ceramides caused by environmental factors – harsh chemicals or even age – our skin’s barrier can become compromised, thus leading to dryness, redness, irritation and wrinkles. To help restore the skin’s natural barrier function, we need to start utilising skincare products which are formulated with ceramides in them. By doing this, we can increase the overall moisture levels within our skin, and in-turn give us plumper, smoother and firmer skin with diminished signs of ageing.
What other skincare ingredients do Ceramides work well with?
Ceramides work particularly well in conjunction with other lipid-based ingredients such as fatty acids, glycerine and squalene, to name a few. They also work hand-in-hand with other anti-ageing antioxidants like niacinamide, retinol and peptides.
Which skin types are Ceramides suitable for?
Since ceramides are naturally found within our skin, they are suitable for all skin types. In fact, using products containing ceramides are one of the most gentle and natural ways of moisturising your skin as you are replenishing an ingredient that is already found within your skin. Those of us with psoriasis, rosacea and eczema favour ceramides, as well as those of us with acneic and overly oily skin types who surprisingly lack these all-important fats from their skin.
What are the best skin care products which contain Ceramides?
My personal favourite brand when it comes to products containing ceramides are CeraVe. Simply because every single product in their range is formulated with ceramides. Every product under their umbrella is non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores), hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. As well as this, the whole range is seriously affordable with every product under £20. Some of their standout products from the range include: the Hydrating Gel Cleanser which contains 3 types of ceramides in addition to hyaluronic acid.
I also really like their Foaming Cleanser, which contains the same ingredients as the Hydrating Cleanser plus niacinamide to help soothe the skin from any irritation (shaving burn in my case). Lastly, CeraVe’s Daily Moisturising Lotion is a superb hydrator if your skin’s barrier has been compromised after doing an acid peel, micro-needling and you need something to lightly soothe and hydrate the skin while it repairs.
Another product which I tried a while ago and enjoyed was the cult-favourite Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Cream. This is a thick cream packed with ceramides, and I mean packed with them. It is perfect for those of us with a dull, dehydrated, uneven skin tone, and this really aids with improving the overall texture of your skin. I cannot rate this product more highly. That being said, the only drawback is the price… £35.50 for 50ml, anyone?!