Consider by some the “unsung skincare heroes,” ceramides are literally part of the “glue” that holds the skin together. And like most good things, these important cellular components decrease with age. This depletion is one of the biggest reasons why your skin becomes drier, thinner, and wrinklier with age.
Fortunately, ceramides seem to be claiming their due place on the skincare stage and are more readily available today than ever. So consider their various benefits and determine if ceramides are something you should be adding to your skincare regimen too.
What Are Ceramides?
A type of naturally occurring fat molecule, ceramides in their natural state are an oily wax. In fact, the actual name is derived from the Latin word “cera,” meaning wax. These molecules are found in the outermost layer of the skin and play an essential role in maintaining the overall health of the skin.
The waxiness of ceramides serve to create a barrier in the skin that helps it retain moisture. In combination with cholesterol and free fatty acids (the two other fats that occur naturally in the skin), ceramides literally help bond the skin together. As the skin ages, however, these naturally occurring substances begin to diminish, which not only impairs the skins natural barrier but also makes it more susceptible to dryness, redness, and irritation.
Nine different types of ceramides have been identified at this point. Each type is conveniently numbered, such as ceramide 1, to make it easy to identify. Of the nine, six are found naturally in the skin.
Fortunately skincare products made with, in some cases synthetically made, ceramides are becoming more widely available. Many of these options are creams that you can apply directly to your skin to restore the skin’s natural moisture and prevent issues with aging and irritation. There are also a few relatively new treatment options that are an oral dose ceramide treatment; one is derived from wheat.
What Kind of Skin Types Can Use Ceramides?
With their many benefits, ceramides are advantageous for nearly any skin type. However, they are particularly beneficial to a few specific types of skin.
Ceramides skin care is especially effective for treating aging skin, as these fats naturally deplete with age. Restoring the ceramides in aging skin can help with a number of different issues that are common as you age, including dryness and thinning.
Additionally, individuals who suffer from eczema and frequently experience redness, flaking, and peeling of the skin as well as those who deal with psoriasis and suffer with dry, thick, itchy sales on the skin benefit greatly for ceramides skin care. This is largely because these skin conditions directly correlate to the mount of ceramides present in the skin.
Likewise, individuals with sensitive or easily irritated skin can often find relief from ceramides because these fats help form a thicker barrier of protection over the sensitive skin. In this case, though, it is especially important to choose skin care products that do not have any other irritating ingredients that will counteract the ceramide treatment.
At any rate, it’s important to find products that are properly formulated. As you look for a product that is right for you, be sure to consider the amount of ceramides available in the treatment as well as any other active ingredients. You don’t want to counteract the benefits of ceramides by exposing your skin to something that will irritate it.
The 5 Benefits of Ceramides
1. Reduce Irritation
Ceramides skin care has been found to naturally reduce skin irritation in even the most sensitive skin. These fats function to form a barrier on the skin, which protects the skin from outside irritants. Likewise, applying a ceramides skin care treatment containing a ceramide emulsion has been shown to improve the natural healing process of the skin, promote better hydration, and limit exposure to other irritants.
2. Reverse Skin Aging
Many individuals experience what is known as xerosis, or an age-related condition that is characterized by abnormal dryness of the skin. According to research, ceramides skin care treatment has been found to reverse this key sign of aging. This finding is believed to be related to the ability of ceramides to restore the barrier function of the skin.
3. Treat Eczema
More specifically, cermides skin care therapy has been found to be an effective option for treating skin conditions, such as eczema. Research indicates that those individuals who deal with eczema actually have lower levels of ceramides in the outermost layer of the skin. Likewise, research indicates that topical treatments of products containing ceramides are actually effective for treating not just the symptoms of eczema but also reducing the duration and intensity of flare-ups.
4. Treat Dry, Cracked Skin
Additionally, ceramides skin care therapy is an effective remedy for the common issue of dry, cracked skin. Whether it is due to exposure to outside environment, frequent handwashing, or otherwise, dry or cracked skin can be uncomfortable to even painful. Ceramides help to naturally restore moisture and mediate the issue effectively.
5. Prevent Infection
Ceramides not only treat skin issues, but they also prevent infections. Functioning as a natural barrier, ceramides help to keep bacteria, germs, and pollutants out of your body. With that, ceramides are an effective treatment to reduce infection. If you are particularly susceptible to infection, look for a moisturizer that is full of ceramides.
Ceramides don’t simply prevent dry, irritated skin. They actually function to fix the skin. Over time and with exposure, the barrier that supports healthy skin breaks down in specific places. This breakdown allows moisture to evaporate and irritants to enter in and attack the skin.
Ceramides restore those areas and nurse the skin back to health. The bottom line is almost everyone can benefit from incorporating ceramides in their skincare regimen. So if you aren’t currently using ceramides skin care, it might just be time you consider it.