Type of Ingredient: Hydrating and anti-aging ingredient.
Main Benefits: Helps reinforce your skin’s barrier and increase hydration, giving you plumper, smoother, firmer-feeling skin with fewer visible lines and wrinkles, as well as fewer signs of sun sensitivity.
Who Should Use It: In general, anyone who wants their skin to be smoother or reduce aging.
Ideal For These Concerns: Wrinkles, fine lines, dryness, dehydration, sun damage, and dark spots.
How Often Can You Use It: Ceramides can be used daily.
Works well with: When coupled with glycerin it’s hydrating power increases.
What is Ceramide?
"Ceramides are a vital component of the skin," explains Audrey Kunin, a dermatologist in Kansas City, Missouri. "They are the body's natural moisturizer and the barrier that prevents dehydration."
Ceramides occur naturally within the body and are one of nine lipids that are present in the epidermis of the skin. This lipid prevents the epidermis, or the top layer of the skin, from losing moisture. When people experience dry skin, it is because of a loss of ceramides in the skin, which can also cause itching, flaking, peeling, and scaling. Using ceramides skin care products can help replace lipids that have been lost due to chronic dryness, pollution, and skin damage caused by certain skin conditions.
The Benefits of Ceramide
Ceramides may not be as well-known as other effective skincare ingredients, such as retinol and collagen, but they do play an important role in keeping the skin healthy. For example, ceramides skincare items can help treat several different skin problems, especially if your skin needs hydration. If you want to add items to your current skincare kit that contains this ingredient, you must understand how it functions and the role it plays in healing damaged skin. Ceramides skincare products can be used by anyone and are widely available without a prescription.
Many studies have shown that people who suffer from eczema, which causes redness, peeling, and flaking of the skin, and those who suffer from psoriasis, which presents with dry, itchy, thick scales on the skin, have a significant absence of ceramides in their skin.
However, these ceramides can be replaced with a topical treatment that contains them, to restore the proper balance and help the skin heal faster. This is why typical moisturizers don’t have much of an effect on these chronic skin conditions, and why the presence of ceramides in skincare products are so important when it comes to treating them.
If you suffer from psoriasis or eczema and want to use ceramide skin care products to treat it, there are several key points to consider when choosing one to ensure effective results.
- A product that contains ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol will deliver the greatest amount of healing to skin rather than just ceramides alone. Skin damaged by eczema and psoriasis need these ingredients to replenish the skin and deliver superior hydration to the area.
- Avoid products that contain irritants such as parabens and alcohol-based ingredients, as they may irritate and dry out the skin even more and delay healing.
Ceramide’s Skincare Power Duo
Ceramides are most effective when combined with other skin-replenishing ingredients like fatty acids, glycerin, and cholesterol. Lipid mixtures like these are ideal for improving skin tone, skin texture, and relieving signs of sensitivity. But, because no single ingredient can do everything to combat the visible signs of aging, be sure your ceramide-enriched product also contains antioxidants and what we refer to as “skin-restoring” ingredients; for example, retinol, niacinamide, linoleic acid, and peptides.
Ceramide is used mainly as a moisturizer in various cosmetic products. Several safety studies on formulations containing pseudo-ceramide or ceramide have been conducted at the preclinical and clinical levels for regulatory approval. There are additional studies to provide a risk assessment and a comprehensive toxicological review of ceramide and pseudo-ceramide. In one key study, it was found that ceramide is present in various personal and cosmetic products at concentrations of 0.5-10%. Based on previously reported exposure data, the margin of safety (MOS) was calculated for product type, use pattern, and ceramide concentration. Lipsticks with up to 10% ceramide (MOS = 4111) are considered safe, while shampoos containing 0.5% ceramide (MOS = 148) are known to be safe. Reported MOS values for body lotion applied to the hands (1% ceramide ) and back (5% ceramide ) were 103 and 168, respectively. We anticipate that face cream would be safe up to a ceramide concentration of 3% (MOS = 149). Collectively, the MOS approach indicated no safety concerns for cosmetic products.
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, June 2017, pages 284-291
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, March 2017, pages 243-247
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2016, pages 549-558
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, March 2016, pages 135-147
Journal of Investigative Dermatology, June 2015, pages 1501-1509.