Now that we’ve discussed what your skincare routine is targeting (the epidermis and THE Moisture Barrier), we need to start looking at some of those components of the epidermis that are included in skincare. The first to look at is ceramides.
Ceramides are produced naturally in our body. For those who want to nerd out a little bit here’s simple illustration of the biochemical reactions resulting in ceramide production.
Ceramides are fatty acids that help to hold skin together plumping the skin and improve moisture retention. All of this adds to maintaining the moisture barrier which we discussed earlier Here. By no means an exhaustive review of the moisture barrier but a good general overview for those not scientifically inclined. The human body’s average skin cell is composed of 80% water. That’s internally. The skin’s cell wall is composed of up to 50% ceramide. A cell wall is like an envelope that gives the cell structure and keeps everything inside. If you have a glass of water filled 80% of the way with water then top it with a thin, even layer of vegetable oil or EVOO the water doesn’t evaporate as quickly as a glass completely filled (100%) with water. That’s what ceramides do, they act as a thin layer of oil keeping the water trapped inside the cell. The way they do this involves a lot of chemistry that isn’t really important for our discussion, but chemical polarity and hydrophobicity are primarily responsible for that.
As we age our ability to produce ceramides naturally begins to decrease; however, we’re still able to absorb these fats well even as we age, which is why its included in so many anti-aging skincare lines. Human skin doesn’t have a problem absorbing oil in general. Since we produce them naturally they’re also included in a lot of lines for sensitive and dry skin types. You’ll also see ceramides treating those with eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. Even if you are acne prone, this ingredient doesn’t increase the risk of acne. The other ingredients in the product may increase acne blemishes. There’s even research that shows acne may be decreased with the introduction of ceramides. This happens by keep the skin well hydrated and maintaining the moisture barrier (I”m not joking its the most important thing to consider in your skincare routine).
If you have oily skin you’re going to want to stay away from products labeled specifically with ceramides. That doesn’t mean do an ingredients check and if it includes ceramides don’t buy it. Because ceramides are marketed more for dry skin, anti-aging, and sensitive skin types the other ingredients in the product may be too heavy and increase the oiliness. Generally speaking you’ll find ceramides or their precursors in almost every moisturizer. They inexpensive to produce industrially and is an amazing product in the skin care industry.
Sheets mask with ceramide: omg I love. I’m a huge fan of sheet mask with ceramide. Especially if your skin is sensitive, sunburnt, dry, irritated in any way. It can give you a HUGE bang for your money dollar. I always use sheet masks at night. It traps that hydration in at night, some sheet masks can leave a sticky residue but since I’ve fallen asleep that annoying residue isn’t going anywhere. My makeup also has a tendency to slip off more when I sheet mask in the morning. RIght now counting through my sheet masks I have 15 in my drawer and 8 of them have ceramide in big, bold letters. I also have 6 clay masks that have ceramides in their ingredients list. I have 1 cleanser out of 4 with ceramide in the ingredients list, not really sure why its included 🧐.
Words to look for: ceramide, glycosylceramide, galactosylceramide, sphingomyelin, sphingosine, palmitoyl-CoA
Ceramides are an incredible ingredient. It’s a staple in any anti-aging regiment. Such a staple that if your anti-aging skin care routine doesn’t include ceramides or their precursors I’d suggest finding a new anti-aging skin care routine. It’s a natural ingredient in your skin meaning those with sensitive skin or skin issues will be able to use this ingredient since the body already knows what to do with it. This is something I like to include in some form of my skincare routine. Even body lotions with ceramides are amazing. It’s a 10/10 when included in any skin care regiment. T