Never heard of ceramides? If you’re a skincare devotee like us, you’d be surprised to find they’re probably already a part of your daily routine (peep the back of your face wash). Widely worshipped by dermatologists and skincare enthusiasts alike, ceramides are ironically often the most overlooked anti-aging ingredient in the world of skin care. Here, we’ll get into the nitty gritty of why they’ve become an anti-aging hero and what makes them so effective.
What Are Ceramides?
Naturally found in skin cells, Ceramides are fat molecules otherwise known as lipids. They make up nearly 50% of the skin’s outer layer, which is why they’re so important when it comes to protecting the skin’s natural barrier. they’re basically the glue that holds our skin together, keeping the good stuff in (i.e. moisture) and the bad stuff out (i.e. stressors like pollution).
How Do Ceramides Benefit the Skin?
If your skin cells were bricks, ceramides would be the mortar between them. By forming a protective layer that minimizes moisture loss and fights visible damage from environmental stressors, they help reinforce your skin’s barrier and retain its natural moisture.Ceramides boost anti-aging by supporting the ever-changing nature of our skin. Skin care containing ceramides will help increase hydration to leave the skin plumper, smoother, stronger with fewer visible lines. Also look out for ceramide precursors, like phytosphingosine and sphingosine on ingredients labels. These encourage the skin to make more of the stellar anti-aging ingredient on its own.
Why Ceramides Are Important In Your Skincare Routine
If you’re confused as to why we might need ceramides when they’re naturally occurring in our skin, we get it. Here’s the twist: among other factors, age and sun damage can actually deplete your skin’s natural ceramides. Not to be a downer, but research shows that after age 20, your body produces fewer ceramides. When the skin lacks ceramides, it’s more prone to dryness and irritation. Luckily, ceramides can be replenished with the help of skincare products. Many moisturizers today are formulated with ceramides and most will have the ingredient listed in their formula. And, of course, like most anti-aging ingredients, when ceramides are combined with other skin-nourishing ingredients like fatty acids, glycerin, and cholesterol and skin-restoring go-tos like retinol and peptides, their benefits are multiplied.