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What are ceramides and what do they actually do for your skin?

If you’ve been paying attention to the ingredient list on your skincare (as you should), you will probably have noticed ceramides are often listed as an ingredient in your favourite hydrating serums and moisturizers and even cleansers! What are they and what exactly is the function of these skincare heroes?

Why are ceramides important for the skin?

Ceramides are nothing but good old fashioned fat. Think of how fats make food taste better – they make skin feel better too! These are good fats that are essential to maintaining your skin barrier and we all know how much trouble a compromised skin barrier can cause. Ceramides are the ‘cement’ that hold your skin cells together – think of it as a glue that your skin naturally produces. In short, ceramides help seal in moisture and keep your skin soft, supple and plump. The best part is that they work great for all skin types!

Why do we need ceramides if our skin already produces it?

Great question! As we age and grow older, the skin produces less and less of this amazing stuff, making your skin sag and causing wrinkles and fine lines and all that stuff that comes with growing older. Sigh. But don’t worry – here is where skincare comes into play.

Here are some benefits of ceramides for skin:

  • Boosts moisture content

Ceramides are basically fats. If you remember basic skincare – then you will know that face oils etc. go on last to seal in the hydration. Ceramides work the same way. They prevent Transepidermal Water Loss or TEWL and are known to significantly help skin hold on to more moisture.

  • Soothes irritated skin

It boosts skin health and is also crucial in repairing broken or irritated skin. Impaired skin barrier function can leave you with skin that is raw, peeling, red and inflamed – and also some skin disorder like psoriasis and dermatitis. Ceramides in skincare can help improve overall skin health and help heal irritated skin.

  • Treats acne

No one likes acne, but adult acne can be really troublesome. Ceramides in skincare can help alleviate acne by reducing irritation and inflammation. It also helps balance the moisture-oil ratio and also helps regulate sebum production.

  • Has anti-inflammatory properties

Ceramides is the best anti-inflammatory skincare ingredient there is! It helps calm down redness, itchiness and even burning sensation due to a compromised skin barrier. When your skin acts up, turn to ceramides!

  • Prevents premature ageing

As we age, the ceramide levels in your skin deplete, meaning our uppermost skin layer becomes thinner and fine lines appear. Adding a product with ceramides promotes skin that is moisturized, firmer and plumper – filling in those pesky fine lines, reducing their appearance. It also prevents photoageing and prevents free radical damage.

How can I prevent ceramide loss?

  • Don’t over exfoliate: When you do so, you scrub off the top layer of the skin, making your skin prone to redness and inflammation. Exfoliate once or twice a week only. Try the Mama Cica Instabright Peel Pads for gentle yet thorough exfoliation!
  • Keep showers short: Use lukewarm or cool water and use a gentle, non-irritating soap or cleanser so as to not strip your skin off its natural oils.
  • Pat skin dry: Instead of rubbing it raw, gently pat it dry to prevent irritation.
  • Apply moisturizer on damp skin: Once you pat yourself dry, immediately follow up with a moisturizer as it will help seal in the moisture and keep your skin hydrated.
  • Use a ceramide-rich moisturizer: If you already have compromised skin or sensitive skin, consider using a moisturizer that has ceramides to help repair your skin and to prevent further damage.

How do I include ceramides in my skincare?

It’s easy! Look for ceramides in your moisturizers, serums and any hydrating products you use. They are best used in combination with other humectants such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin. Look for one of these in your list of ingredients, as ceramides can go by different names: N-stearoyl sphinganine, N-stearoyl phytosphingosine, α-hydroxy-N-stearoylphytosphingosine, Caproyl sphingosine, Cetyl-PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide or Hexadecanamide. 

Apart from this, look for it in your acne-care products to preserve skin barrier – as typically, acne products can be drying. If you’re trying to treat acne, try the ultra-hydrating Chialeader Zit Fix Serum which is a hearty concoction of salicylic acid, cica, ceramide and tea tree leaf water to give you hydrated, clear, spot-less skin!

Happy hydrating, gorgeous!

Read more about hydrating skincare ingredients here:

Hyaluronic Acid - What Is It And What Does It Do?

This K-Beauty Natural Ingredient Has Endless Benefits For Your Skin!

Did You Know That Rice Water Can Transform Your Skin?

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