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by Rashi Bahel Mehra •

Ceramides for Skin : Benefits & Everything to know

"Ceramides'' and "Skin Barrier"  are two buzzwords taking over the internet. Every skincare product claims to repair the skin barrier, and it's logical to invest in such products. But what's the science behind these ceramide-based products?  Let's understand how "ceramides" are responsible for "healthy skin barrier" .  Ceramides & Skin Barrier  The skin has a defense mechanism to protect it against environmental factors, pollution, and other types of external world damage. This system consists of multiple layers of skin cells and the lipids present between those cells.  This arrangement is known as the Skin Barrier. Ceramides play a crucial role in holding the skin barrier together. These are the types of fatty acids responsible for retaining moisture and repairing and healing the skin's structural unit.  Here, skincare science comes into play. Anything that improves the skin barrier is directly responsible for healthy and glowing skin. Benefits of Ceramides for Skin  Restores Skin Barriers Ceramides are the glue that holds the entire skin barrier. When the ceramide level declines, the skin becomes prone to irritation, redness, and other types of damage. By using ceramide-based products, you can restore the skin barrier and delay skin ageing.  Retains Moisture  Ceramides not only increase the moisture absorbing capacity but also enhance the moisture retaining capacity. It has a unique structure that increases moisture-retaining capacity. It has two ends: hydrophobic and hydrophilic. Hydrophobic ends are inward and prevent water loss, while hydrophobic ends are pointed outward and attract moisture from the surrounding environment.  Rejuvenates ageing skin As we age, our skin starts to lose structural proteins such as ceramides & collagen, which leads to fine lines and wrinkles. Regularly using ceramide-based products maintains the level of ceramides in the skin. Moreover, certain studies show these products aid skin regeneration. Protects skin from sun damage Ceramides build a strong skin barrier that protects the skin from the external world. If you have a robust defense mechanism, then your skin is capable of tolerating all types of damage. Be it harmful UV rays, pollution, or dirt & regular use of harsh skin care products damages the protective layer of the skin.  Types of Ceramides: Natural Ceramides -Natural ceramides are only produced by the skin, which you can achieve through a clean diet and a healthy lifestyle. To boost ceramide production, include Milk, yoghurt, cheese, sweet potatoes, wheat germ, corn, brown rice, etc., in your diet.  Synthetic Ceramides: Most of the skincare products use synthetic ceramides. These are the types of ceramides: Ceramide 1 (EOS)   Ceramide 2 (NS)   Ceramide 3 (NP)   Ceramide 6-II (AP)   Ceramide 9 (EOP)   Phytosphingosine Sphingosine Ceramides according to skin type:   Identify the skin care concern & choose ceramides accordingly - Dry Skin: Ceramide 1 & 3 seals the skin barrier, which prevents further moisture loss. If you have dry & dull skin, then regular use of these ingredients will show significant improvement.  Sensitive Skin - Ceramide 3 and 6-II repair and strengthen the skin barrier, making it less prone to reaction. Anyone with highly reactive skin should include ceramides in their skincare.  Ageing Skin- Phytosphingosine and sphingolipid ceramides accelerate natural ceramide production and maintain skin health. Combining them with vitamin C keeps skin firmer, softer, and smoother.  Acne Prone Skin- Ceramides  paired with a product that reduces oil production, improves the skin barrier & prevents further damage.  How to incorporate ceramides in skin care?  Here are some of the common ways to include ceramides in your skincare routine: As a Moisturizer Switching to a ceramide-based moisturizer will enhance the skin's texture & its moisture-retaining capacity. It can be a game changer in your skincare routine.  As a Cleanser Ceramides gently remove dirt, impurities, and excess sebum production without disrupting the skin barrier. These cleaners are gentle and retain moisture, so they are most effective for people with dry skin. Combine ceramides with other ingredients-  Pair with Antioxidants, Vitamin C, Peptides, and Retinol to target specific skin issues. This not only targets the specific skin concern but also improves the absorption of active ingredients.  For example: Vitamin C paired with ceramides works effectively in reducing fine lines & wrinkles. You can pair it with solid exfoliants like AHAs to maximize its effectiveness.  Side Effects of using ceramides:  Ceramides are generally considered safe for all skin types. There is no evidence that they cause breakouts, irritation, or allergic reactions. However, the formulation of the entire product may cause issues.  Therefore, before buying ceramide-based products, consider these two things as essential pillars -  Skin Type: These are suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin. But if you are having any breakouts, then it's suggested that you consult a dermatologist.  Formulations: There are thousands of ceramides-based moisturizers, face wash & serums, and all of these have different formulations & ingredients. Check the entire ingredient list & labels like  non-cosmetic, oil-free moisturizer, etc.  People with oily skin should definitely check each ingredient. You can even patch-test the product to ensure it doesn't cause any side effects. Overall, ceramides are suitable for all types of skin but you have to be careful. Check labels before buying any product & in case you need expert advice consult a dermatologist.    Conclusion  Ceramides are the foundation of healthy skin. Anything that strengthens the skin barrier is good for the skin. You can opt for a natural way to keep it in check or switch to ceramide-based skincare products.  Remember to choose a product after checking the ingredient list and patch testing before making any changes to your skincare. For expert advice, you should consult a dermatologist.