What are Ceramides?
We have all heard about the secret to ageless beauty is moisturized skin. It’s all fairies and twinkles till you hit your mid-twenties when it becomes so hard to keep the skin clean, let alone moisturize. Well, we’ve found the perfect ingredient that can help you create a healthy skin barrier and achieve that supple, smooth skin- Ceramides!
Ceramides are a type of fatty acids called lipids and are naturally present in your skin cells. 50% of your outermost layer of skin is made up of Ceramides. They make for a healthy skin barrier that protects you from environmental hazards. As the skincare gurus give so much pressure, a healthy skin barrier is the key to fresh and plumped skin.
What are the Benefits of Ceramides?
1. Composes the Skin Barrier
To understand what Ceramides do to your skin, think of your skin cells as brick and Ceramides as the cement that holds it together to form a wall. This way it forms a protective barrier from external environmental threats.
2. Locks Moisture
It makes up for 50% of the skin’s uppermost layer ie. the epidermis. Hence, it absorbs and locks in the moisture, making it supple and soft.
It is easier for skin to lose its structure when it is dry and irritated. This leads to wrinkles. Ceramides aid the skin by keeping away dryness and hence acting as an anti-aging substance.
4. Helps Tolerate Active Ingredients
If you have sensitive skin, it is recommended to patch test before using active ingredients. However, if active ingredients are used with Ceramides, it reduces the chances to see an adverse effect.
5. Helps the Sensitive Skin
If you have any skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, rosacea, eczema, etc it is majorly due to transient epidermal water loss (TEWL) - a condition where the upper layer of the skin loses moisture. The skin becomes dry in this situation and hence leads to such skin conditions. To avoid this, Ceramides helps lock in moisture that forms a barrier to such skin troubles.
If Ceramides are naturally present in skin cells then why must you include it in your skincare routine?
Along with age and your exposure to harmful sun rays, the levels of Ceramides deplete. This leads to dryness, roughness, wrinkles, fine lines, and irritated skin. To replenish the level of naturally present Ceramides, skincare products with Ceramides could help.
As a result, this helps in achieving smooth, firm, younger-looking, and plumped-up skin. Our best pick to repair and hydrate your skin is Dr. Sheth’s Cica & Ceramide Overnight Repair Cream. Dr. Sheth’s products are specifically made for Indian skin. This cream particularly is a star for its ability to not just moisturise but also heal the skin. It can be used by any skin type including mature skin.
What’s the difference between Natural and synthetic Ceramides?
Natural Ceramides are the ones that are present in your skin cells. Synthetic Ceramides are derived in many ways. One of them is to extract from the plants. But the ones which are derived from plants can only help you gain moisture and not repair the skin barrier. They can also be derived from animals and human cells and they are capable of performing all the activities that natural Ceramides would. However, being a smart consumer you may question the company’s ethics.
With the help of advancement in the beauty industry, there are synthetic Ceramides made that take care of the ethics and efficiency of the product. They are a perfect replacement when your naturally present Ceramides level is depleting. There are certain items that you could include in your diet to enhance Ceramides’ level. It is by adding healthy fats to your diet, which is present in sweet potato, corn, rice, soy, wheat, etc.
Read more about how foods affect your skin here.
Why is the Packaging so Important for Ceramides-based products?
Some of the most beneficial anti-aging ingredients are not stable. Hence to maintain its efficiency and get the bang for your bucks, it must be stored in opaque jars and bottles with airtight pumps. In other words, they need to be kept away from light and air since they could pose a threat to its efficiency.
What to Pair Ceramides with to see Maximum Effects?
Ceramides are those easy-going ingredients that can be paired with anyone. They are best paired with products that contain fatty acids, Glycerin, or cholesterol to help improve the skin texture and firmness.
Ceramides enriched products often include other antioxidants and skin-restorative ingredients like Retinol, Niacinamide, Peptides, Linolenic acid. This helps maximize the effect of anti-aging products that help you achieve that soft and supple skin.
If you’re looking to improve your skin texture, combine Ceramide with Retinol. Our pick is Neemli’s Retinol & Peptide Serum for its extraordinary ability to help with skin texture and the firmness of the skin.
If you have pigmentation and acne scars, pair Ceramides with Niacinamide. We like Over Demis Vitamin B Serum that has a 5% concentration of Niacinamide.
For deep moisturization pair with Linolenic acid. We’d recommend Herbis Botanicals Superhero Sensorial Face Oil. Being an oil product, make sure you’re not touching the pipette to your skin to avoid contamination.
How to Use it?
Since Ceramides acts as a moisturiser, they can be used after applying the active ingredients. However, the skincare routine depends on the products that you’re using. Experts suggest that you apply Ceramides right after taking a bath, as this helps in locking in the product. Ceramides can be included in AM and PM routine, both. Cleanse your face, tone, apply the active ingredient, follow it with a Ceramide-based product, and don’t forget SPF as the last step in your AM routine.
Which Skin Type can use Ceramides and at which age?
Ceramides can be used for any skin type, including the hypersensitive one. It is because of its skin-replenishing property. It is recommended to start using Ceramides in your skincare from your early to mid-twenties. This is when your skin starts to age generally. The ageing process differs from person to person though. A person staying in a polluted city is more likely to see ageing signs before someone who stays in mountains.
Ceramides can be used around the eyes too, but make sure that the product is fragrance and irritants-free.
P.S: To know your skin type, take the skin test as guided here!
Can they be paired with AHA and BHA exfoliants?
Yes, experts recommend that you exfoliate your skin before using effective products like Ceramides. This removes dead skin and ensures that the product is absorbed by your skin. Our Pick for AHA-based face wash: Aminu Essentials AHA Face Wash which is perfect for brightening and improving skin tone.
The key message is that Ceramides are a skin-replenishing ingredient and hence they can be used by any skin type. It is one of those ingredients that require less or no- instructions to use. As one ages or hustles in a sunny environment, the level of naturally present Ceramides may deplete and hence, synthetic ceramides do a fine job to induce those levels. Ceramides are the superhero that your skin needs to get that supple and smooth skin!
- Divya Salvi