What are Ceramides?
Ceramides are lipids contributing to holding the epidermal cells. Is it produced in the body? Yes, ceramides alongside cholesterol and free-fatty acids form the Stratum corneum. So, why do we need these lipids in our skincare products? Our skin’s ability to produce these ceramides and maintain the balance of fats decreases over time. Thus, with age, ceramide production decreases.
Before we understand the way we can prevent ceramide depletion, let us first know how it works. Ceramides help to keep our skin hydrated. How? They form a waterproof layer on our skin’s surface, preventing water loss, thus maintaining healthy skin and keeping the skin hydrated. They seal the moisture, which helps our skin appear plump and smooth. We must know that in various conditions such as eczema, acne, or dry skin, ceramide deficiency is observed. Therefore, in the case of ceramide deficiency, our transepidermal layer quickly loses water and turns red, rough, dehydrated, or dry.
One can experience a premature depletion of ceramide due to extreme environments. How can we stop the depletion?
- Take a 10-minute shower and use lukewarm water, mild soap, and cleanser.
- Pat skin dry after the shower instead of rubbing to ensure we do not irritate.
- Apply moisturizer immediately after a shower when your skin is damp. This way helps us to seal some moisture.
- If your skin turns dry and itchy in winter, use a humidifier.
- Ensure that your skincare product comprises ceramide. Such products prevent water loss. These are especially helpful for eczema-prone patients as ceramides assist in repairing damaged skin.
Nine types of ceramides differ in their fatty acid chain length, their sphingoid bases’ nature, and the way these entities are attached. Although their adaptogenic properties differ, they have the same effect. Thus, the presence of any type of ceramide would help your skin in the same way.
Is there a difference between natural ceramides nad the ones formulated for skincare? There is no significant structural difference as mixing with cholesterol and fatty acid, synthetic ceramide is obtained. They resemble the ceramides present on the outermost epidermal layer. Further, ceramides are produced by plants which, when used, provide extra moisture. Skincare ceramides also include phytoceramides and pseudo-ceramides. Also, ceramide-containing products are safe for all skin types as this lipid is found in our skin.
If you do not wish to apply ceramide-containing skincare products, you can take the supplements. Experts do not recommend this alternative as it does not seem to have any proven benefits. However, you can consume foods that are sources of natural ceramides. They include brown rice, wheat germ, soya beans, dairy, spinach, and eggs.
Apart from skincare, ceramides are beneficial for your hair. They are naturally present within your hair’s cuticle, helping to hold the cuticle and keep the keratin tight in position. Dry, coarse hair can be treated using ceramide-containing hair masks.Please share and like: