Ceramides are lipids (fats) that are found naturally in high concentrations in the uppermost layers of skin. The skin’s barrier has a bricks & mortar structure: the bricks are skin cells and the mortar is a fatty mixture made up of 50% ceramides, 25% cholesterol, and 15% free fatty acids. This mixture helps hold skin cells together by forming a protective layer that limits moisture loss and protects against visible damage from pollution and other environmental stressors.
Age and sun damage reduce the effectiveness of your skin’s natural ceramide and can eventually deplete them, which weakens your skin’s barrier. The results are drier, rougher skin, wrinkles, irritation, redness, and visible signs of dehydration.
Products containing ceramides will help 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 sensitivity. Ceramides are most effective when combined with other skin-replenishing ingredients like fatty acids and cholesterol (Stratia Liquid Gold and Paula’s Choice Omega + Complex have all 3! – both available here).
Here are some ceramides you may find in skincare products – ceramide AP, ceramide EOP, ceramide NG, ceramide NP, ceramide NS, phytosphingosine, and sphingosine.
PHOTO CREDIT: NEW BEAUTY