A commonly used skincare term that sounds quite technical, ceramides often suffer from misunderstanding and their usage is often neglected. However, their effects on skincare rituals have been widely studied by the scientific community, and the results have been quite astounding so far.
If you want to keep your skin firm and healthy, inside-out, some good old-fashioned fat – aka ceramides serve the purpose well.
A common ingredient in anti-ageing products, ceramides are surprisingly, naturally present in the skin. They perform a crucial role in maintaining a protective barrier between you and the polluted world outside. But as with many other side-effects of ageing, the level of natural ceramide production diminishes over-time. How do you combat this? It’s simple, replenish the ceramides!
So, what exactly are ceramides?
Ceramides are fat molecules (lipids) that act as the glue to bind skin cells, allowing them to form long sheets without any breakage–aka smooth skin. They make up almost 50% of the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin.
Why does the skin need ceramides?
Ceramides are present in intercellular spaces, and their main job is to help retain moisture and not allow any foreign particles to enter your system through the skin. They help keep the skin plump and taut and are your first barrier of protection against pollution. They also play a role in coordinating the response to external stimuli and stress.
The quantity and quality of ceramides in your skin determine wrinkling, rough, dry skin, redness, irritation and dehydration. The naturally produced ceramides in your body, don’t just reduce in quantity, but also quality over time, and most of this is attributed to sun damage. Seasonal changes also affect ceramide production – like cold and dry winter air. Using harsh chemical products and their overuse pulls the oil out of your skin and also causes damage to ceramide production.
How can you incorporate ceramides in your skincare regime?
Because it’s a natural need of the body, any number of ceramides in your daily skincare routine always helps. In fact, studies show that ceramide-based moisturising creams lead to an increase in skin moisture content.
While we suggest that you avoid ceramide-based cleansers because you’ll be washing them off anyway, you should try ceramide-heavy moisturisers, serums, masks and treatments. You can use ceramide products for the whole body–including lips and hair.
Not just products, you can also boost your natural ceramide production
Apart from using ceramide products, you can also look into improving ceramide production naturally by eating right. Wheat ,soy, eggs and dairy contain large amounts of sphingolipids, which can boost ceramide production in your body.
There are ceramide supplements available online, but the research on them is minimal, and you should be wary before popping pills. While maintaining a healthy diet is important, there’s little evidence to suggest that these foods can massively improve anti-ageing.
It is advised that you get conscious about the ingredient list while purchasing beauty products, and later you’ll thank yourself for it!