Ceramides For Skin: 5 Amazing Benefits, Plus Expert Tips
Want to keep your skin plump, healthy, and happy at any age? Add ceramides for skin to your daily routine.
In this article, we discuss where ceramides come from, the benefits they have to offer, and tips for incorporating them into your skincare regimen.
What Are Ceramides?
Technically speaking, ceramides are a class of fatty acids called lipids. Scientists have identified a number of different ceramides for skin.
The most common are:
- Ceramide AP
- Ceramide EOP
- Ceramide NG
- Ceramide NP
- Ceramide NS
Why are these lipids important? Because they make up about 50% of your epidermis (the outer layer of skin), and they’re responsible for keeping your skin soft, supple, and healthy.
Think of ceramides for skin as the grout between tiles in a shower. Without the grout, the tiles won’t stay where they’re supposed to be, and all the water will leak right out.
The same concept is true for your (and your baby’s!) skin. Without ceramides, your skin cells start to “slouch” and all the moisture starts to evaporate away. This results in dryness, sensitivity, and skin inflammation.
Ceramides also act as a protective barrier against environmental pollutants. Without this protective barrier — or, if it weakens — more bad stuff gets in, where it can cause infections, acne, skin damage, premature aging, and even conditions like eczema and rosacea.
The thing is, the ceramides in your skin are constantly under attack from pollution, low humidity, UV rays, the sun, and other environmental factors. Even just time and aging have a way of depleting your skin of the ceramides they need to stay healthy.
All hope is not lost, though! You can replenish the ceramides for skin in a few simple ways.
Where Can You Get More Ceramides For Skin?
Ceramides come in two basic varieties: topical and edible.
The topical solutions are cosmetics such as creams and lotions, while the edible solutions are just different types of foods that are high in healthy fat.
Let’s take a look.
1) Creams And Lotions
Using creams and lotions is the most common way to include ceramides in your and your little one’s daily skincare routine. The ceramides in most creams and lotions are made synthetically, but more natural options do exist.
Phytosphingosine, for example, is derived from plant-based sources but will nourish your skin and help it maintain a healthy moisture barrier just like ceramide AP, ceramide NG, and others.
Another great way to get more ceramides for your skin is to add healthy fats into your diet.
Healthy fats include:
- Polyunsaturated fat (PUFA)
- Monounsaturated fat (MUFA)
Even eating a small amount of these fats — found in products such as butter, cheese, and coconut oil — is a great way to get more ceramides for skin.
So what foods are high in the healthy fats you need? Here are some tasty suggestions:
- Nut butters (peanut, avocado, cashew, etc.)
- Olive oil
- Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.)
- Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia, flax, etc.)
- Olives (black and green)
- Dark chocolate (Yay, chocolate!)
Whether you choose the topical solution, the edible solution, or both, what benefits can you expect to achieve? Read on for the answers.
Benefits Of Ceramides For Skin
1) Locks In Moisture
When it comes to your skin, moisture is a big deal. Too little, and your skin becomes dry, even to the point of cracking and bleeding.
Ceramides form a barrier that stops moisture from evaporating away into the air around you and keeps your skin soft and supple.
2) Heals Tight, Itchy Skin
By keeping moisture where it belongs (in your skin), and reforming the connective tissue (the grout) between skin cells, ceramides can actually heal damage in the epidermis.
Minor conditions such as tightness, redness, itchiness, and inflammation heal faster with a treatment of ceramides for skin.
Even more severe conditions such as scratches, cracking, and rough skin can benefit from a ceramide-infused cream or lotion applied several times a day.
3) Helps Preserve Healthy Skin
Even healthy, undamaged skin can benefit from more ceramides.
Remember that moisture barrier we talked about earlier? It also serves to preserve healthy skin and reduce the signs of aging and wear.
4) Counteracts Over-Exfoliation
Exfoliation is important for a healthy complexion. But over-exfoliation actually does more damage than good.
Ceramides for skin counteract the wear and tear that too much exfoliation causes and helps maintain a youthful, healthy glow.
5) Protects The Skin From The Environment
The environment can wreck your skin if left unchecked. Pollution, UV rays, even extreme hot and cold can break down the ceramides in your skin and deplete the moisture that keeps everything healthy.
Adding more ceramides into your skin every day counteracts all these harmful effects and protects your skin from damage caused by the environment.
Expert Tips On Using Ceramides For Skin
1) Read The Ingredients Label
One of the best things you can do when considering a product that provides ceramides for skin is to read the label. More specifically, read the ingredients.
Look for ceramide NP and phytosphingosine — two of the most common ceramides used in creams and lotions.
And, while you’re at it, make sure the product you’re using doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, or phenoxyethanol.
2) Test For Side Effects First
Regardless of the product you choose, topical ceramides for skin are considered safe for newborns, babies, older kids, and adults.
That said, everyone’s skin is different, and you never know how your body will react unless you try it out first.
We always recommend performing a patch test first before applying a cream or lotion all over.
Here’s how to do it right:
- Apply a dime-sized amount of the product on the inside of your forearm.
- Wait 24 hours.
- If you begin to experience redness, itching, or any other irritation, wash the affected area with a gentle soap and water and discontinue using the product.
- If you don’t develop any side effects, the cream or lotion is likely safe to apply elsewhere on your body.
3) Combine Ceramides For Skin With Other Ingredients
One of the best ways to preserve the health of your skin is to combine ceramides with other beneficial ingredients, such as:
You may not find these ingredients all in one product, but you can use several different products — such as a moisturizer, a hydrating cream, and a skin serum — to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Expert tip: Browse our Dry Skin Range for amazing products with natural, skin-nourishing ingredients.
4) Pay Attention To The Packaging
There’s a lot to pay attention to when shopping for ceramides for skin. But one thing you should never neglect is the packaging.
Bottles, jars, and tubes that are see-through expose the cream or lotion inside to more sunlight than it can handle. Too much over a period of time can render the product ineffective.
Similarly, make sure the package your lotion comes in is airtight. Like exposure to sunlight, too much air can cause the ceramides inside to break down and become less effective.
One other item to look at while you’re examining the packaging: the expiration date. Make sure the product isn’t already expired and that you’ll be able to use the bulk of it before the date indicated.
Doing so will ensure that you get the most benefit possible!
5) Apply Ceramides For Skin At The Right Time
Getting the most benefit out of your skincare routine is largely a matter of timing. Knowing when to apply ceramides and when to go without can mean the difference between dry skin and soft, supple skin.
Here are our suggestions for the best timing:
- Apply a cream or moisturizer before you climb into bed at night
- Apply a layer of ceramides right after a shower or bath
- Apply your favorite product before rubbing on sunscreen in the morning
Ceramides For The Whole Family
Dry skin can be a thing of the past! Whether it’s your little one, you, or your partner who suffers from dry skin, ceramides for skin can help.
Mustela offers an entire line of products that are perfect for battling tight, itchy skin, repairing the damage done by the environment, and protecting your skin from further damage.
Keep your whole family comfortable and fight dryness in the process with Mustela and ceramides for skin!