Ceramides are a big buzzword in skincare
But do you know why they’re important?
Well, that’s because these are vital to healthy skin.
Why are Ceramides important?
Your skin’s epidermis - the bit that faces the world, keeping the good stuff in and the bad stuff out - is a highly complex structure that bears a resemblance to a wall - with the dead skin cells being the bricks and the fatty lipid bilayer being the mortar that seals the bricks in place, maintaining the integrity of the wall.
Without it, the bricks would just crumble and fall away - so too, with skin.
What are the effects of a weakened skin barrier?
So Ceramides are a major ingredient in this mortar, constituting as much as 40% of it.
But their levels decline as we age, which is thought to be the basis of why skin becomes drier and more eczema-prone as we get older.
They are also lowered and considered a contributing factor in many inflammatory skin conditions, like acne and rosacea.
In acne, the lowered levels of ceramides are associated with hyperkeratosis and clogging of pores, a prelude to loathsome breakouts. And perhaps surprisingly, this makes winter a time of particular concern - if skin is low on ceramides, the effect of central heating and low humidity will mean water evaporates readily for the skin leaving skin dehydrated, irritable and prone to bumps.This in turn makes skin in tolerant to actives which can be drying…..which is why barrier support is a fundamental in treating any inflammatory skin problem.
What are the benefits of Ceramides?
So in skincare, we can boost ceramides in the barrier, thus repairing sensitive irritated skin. AND we can improve rosacea and acne.
They’re best combined with replacement of free fatty acids and cholesterol, the other 2 constituents in the lipid bilayer. The good news is that they’re an excellent ingredient for all skin types, oily and combination included as they don’t add heaviness to a product, unlike rich emollients.
They can be used day or night and work well alongside other ingredients like Niacinamide which boost the ceramide assembly line within our skin. They’re well-tolerated and will make a meaningful difference to your skin, whatever your skin concerns. And there are no ingredients you need to avoid whilst using ceramides.
Ceramides are especially helpful if you’ve overdone it on skincare - maybe you’ve tried to combine too many actives. Or you’ve stepped up your retinoid and your skin is behaving irritably. Take a break and go back to basics - and use a moisturiser with ceramides boosting properties. We’ve used niacinamide and Aquaxyl in Flawless Moisturiser to boost skin’s own production of ceramides
And ceramides are the star ingredient in Flawless Moisturiser Light and Flawless Lip for this purpose.
Bottom Line: ceramides are a universally helpful addition to your skincare routine, whatever you’re trying to achieve.