“It’s typical, isn’t it? You work hard every single day to moisturise skin and no one pays any attention to you. None.
“Then, along come stem cells, peptides, and all those fancy new ingredients with exotic names and bam! instant limelight on them! And they don’t even work that well! SO unfair!”
Poor ceramides! They have a lot to get off their chests. For way too long, Elizabeth Arden was the only one who cared about them. Now, they’re slowly finding their way into more and more creams and lotions.
I’m super excited about this. Here’s why:
What the heck are ceramides?
Ceramides are unsung skincare heroes.
They’re oily waxes (“cera” means wax in Latin) that make up the glue that holds skin cells together (together with fatty acids, cholesterol etc).
There are 9 types of ceramides.They’re all conveniently numbered (ex ceramide 1, ceramide 2, etc) to make our lives easier. Six of them are naturally found in our skin. But those you’ll find in your skincare are all made in a lab.
Then, there are phytoceramides. In nature, they’re derived from plants. In your cosmetics, they come from yeast – a lot less exciting, I know! But they work, so it’s all good.
Why are ceramides so good for the skin?
Ceramides waterproof skin. The barrier they create has two jobs:
- It keeps moisture in, preventing skin from becoming dry and cracked
- It keeps bacteria, germs, pollutants, and all sort of nasty stuff out of the body, preventing infections and irritations
Ceramides don’t just prevent dry and cracked skin. They can heal it, too. When the barrier that keeps skin healthy breaks down in places, ceramides come along and fill in the gaps, stopping moisture from getting out and germs from getting in.
Where’s the catch?
Ceramides work. But, if you want to make the most out of them, you need to use them with their BFFs. You know, the other stuff that makes up your skin’s protective barrier.
Studies show the best combo is ceramides (50%) with cholesterol (25%) and free fatty acids (15%). They form what scientists call “crystalline lamellar structures,” which have amazing moisture-retaining properties.
What are the best products with ceramides?
- CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion ($13.99): available available at Dermstore and Walmart
- Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift and Firm Night Cream ($60.00): available at Dermstore, Feel Unique, Harrods and Ulta
- Paula’s Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Moisturizer ($31.00): available at Dermstore, Look Fantastic and Paula’s Choice
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The Bottom Line
Ceramides are those reliable friend you always take for granted, yet are always there for you. Pay them more attention and your skin will never crack again.
Are you using products with ceramides? Share your faves in the comments below.