Ceramides are manufactured by the body and their levels in the skin directly correspond to how dry or hydrated the skin appears to be. Individuals with dry skin need more ceramides because they are a vital component of skin lipid that acts as a barrier function against water loss.
Ceramides (synthetic or derived from plants) can also be found in many topical creams in cosmetics and skincare products, and also can be found in supplements. It has the same chemical structure with human ceramides and the good thing about it is, it is more affordable to create. Commonly found in liquid form on mostly used in moisturizers.
There are three types of lipids; cholesterol, fatty acids and ceramides. Ceramides are a type of fats or lipids naturally derived from human skin and make up over 50% of the outer layer of human skin. While fatty acids are not specific to the skin, they play a critical role in the skin’s barrier function. Ceramides are found in the epidermis (outer layer of skin) as well as in fats and lipids. Ceramides are important for skin health because they are main substance of lipids that hold skin together to form a protective barrier with other skin cells that retain water and prevent the skin from drying out and other stressor such as friction, chemicals and unwanted bacteria.
Skin cells rely on ceramides to keep their natural moisture intact during the process of cell regeneration. Healthy cells have an even distribution of these fat compounds, but when there is not enough, it leads to dryness and infection-prone skin. Dryness is one of the most common causes for premature aging in the human body, which can lead to wrinkles, fine lines and other issues like eczema or psoriasis.
As we age (30s to 40s) especially when we start to experience different types of stress, ceramides levels decrease which can lead to dryness, infection and lines of the skin. To maintain healthy skin, we need to ensure that the level of ceramides is at an optimum level. This can be done by restoring the ceramides body’s level or applying creams or moisturizers that contain ceramide.
Maintains Skin Protective Barrier
When people are suffering from dryness, they need to add more fatty acids and lipids in their diet as well as apply different types of creams or moisturizers on their skin which can help restore body’s level of ceramide. Skin infections and inflammation were caused due to reduced levels of fats, lipids, and proteins which leads to decrease skin barrier strength that may allow any bacteria penetrate through the cracks of the skin barrier. These ‘stressors’ will further ‘’age’’ the skin, that leads to wrinkles, rough or dull texture being formed at the top of skin layer.
Ceramides are the building blocks of our skin. They are the main component in the outer layer of our skin and they offer protection from external elements that can strip moisture from the body.
Research studies have shown that ceramides profiles become depleted when there less humidity surrounding a human, such as winter season or desert climate. The way to replenish ceramides in our body would be to take some supplements or eat more fats and lipids (found in soybeans, dairies product, eggs, wheat, rice, corn, konjac and sweet potatoes).
Types of Ceramides for Skin
Commonly for over-the-counter products, ceramides may be known by different name because of different structure (carbon chains) that it has. These include:
+ Ceramide AP
+ Ceramide EOP
+ Ceramide NG
+ Ceramide NP
+ Ceramide NS
Although they have different names and structures, their function is pretty much the same.
The best moisturizer is the one that have ceramides, fatty acid and cholesterol in their formulation since it is mimicking the natural ceramides produced from our own body.
Ceramides commonly used with active ingredients such as glycolic acid and retinoids to allow for deeper penetration into the skin.
Caring for your skin is more than just putting on a cream – it’s about maintaining the health of your skin. Too much cigarette smoking, stress, low humidity and a diet rich in processed foods can deplete the ceramide level in your body.
Ceramides are a group of lipids that play a critical role in maintaining the skin’s barrier. If you want to moisturize your skin, you need to restore ceramide level and add fats and lipids. Ceramides is non irritating, so you can apply it frequently, or twice a day for morning and night skin routine.