In this article, we will take a closer look at the ingredients that are becoming increasingly popular, due to a greater awareness of the damage caused to the skin’s hydrolipid barrier and the need to soothe the skin after excessive exfoliation or retinol use. Let’s examine the functions of these wonderful ingredients and where we can find them.
Ceramides – what are they and what do they do?
Ceramides are naturally occurring building substances found in the epidermis. They are organic chemical compounds that belong to a broad range of lipids, specifically sphingolipids. There are seven subclasses of ceramides in the stratum corneum of the epidermis. They differ slightly in chemical structure and are labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-I, and 6-II. Organisms and their tissues are capable of biologically synthesizing ceramides.
Ceramides fill the intercellular spaces of the skin and act as a kind of adhesive. Together with other lipids, they form the structure of the stratum corneum (of which ceramides are the most numerous group of lipids – about 40% of the adhesive).
How do ceramides work?
- They create a protective barrier against external harmful factors (UV radiation, frost, pollution),
- They protect against excessive loss of water from the epidermis,
- They make the epidermis elastic and tight.
These main functions of ceramides cause the skin to be moisturized, elastic, and firm, which in turn slows down the aging process. As time passes, the body synthesizes fewer ceramides. Changes in hormonal levels and excessive damage to the hydrolipid barrier through the use of cosmetics containing alcohol (ethanol) or daily use of cleansing products with SLS and SLS can also contribute to a reduction of ceramides. Therefore, supplying ceramides through cosmetics can help rebuild the hydrolipid barrier to restore its key functions.
Who are ceramides for and how should they be used?
Ceramide-based cosmetics have a nourishing effect and can be used by anyone, but they are particularly recommended for people with very dry skin, atopic dermatitis, or psoriasis. They also work very well for acne-prone skin whose problems stem from a damaged hydrolipid barrier. Ceramides should be used during acid or retinol treatments. They can be used daily, even in the morning and evening. Ceramide-based skincare can be classified as anti-aging skincare, especially for people around the age of 30 who can already incorporate them into their daily routine.
What are ceramides called in the INCI list of ingredients?
In the cosmetics industry, synthetic or plant-based ceramides are used. They were previously used mainly in dermocosmetics, dedicated to dry, atopic, or psoriatic skin. Today, they can be found more and more frequently in drugstore creams, balms, and serums. They are listed in the ingredients as:
Ceramide 1, Ceramide 2, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 5, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide NS, Ceramide AP, Ceramide NG, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AG, Ceramide AS, Ceramide EOS, Ceramide EOP.
Do ceramides clog pores?
We call the clogging of the sebaceous gland opening “pore-clogging.” As a result, inflammatory conditions appear. Since ceramides are lipids, it may seem that the usually rich consistency of the cosmetic can cause clogging. Although it is a very individual issue, ceramides do not belong to comedogenic substances, i.e., those that clog pores, and there is a small likelihood that they will cause pore-clogging.
Ceramides for Hair
The most popular ceramide cosmetics are those used on the skin, but you can also use hair cosmetics that contain these ingredients! They also occur naturally as a building block of hair. As with the skin, they provide moisturization, elasticity, and protection against harmful external factors. Ceramides can be found in conditioners, masks, or shampoos. Examples include Ziaja Intensive Reconstruction Shampoo or L’Oreal Elseve Cica Repair Conditioner.
The Best Ceramide Cosmetics
Usually, ceramide cosmetics for the face also have a range of supporting and nourishing substances in their composition, such as squalane, shea butter, or vitamins. The best and most popular face cosmetics containing ceramides are:
- Bielenda Professional Supremelab Barrier Renew cosmetics series
- Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream – a cream with ceramides from Sephora
- Basiclab – pink serum and regenerating cream
- Your Kaya, Your REMEDY face cream
- Nacomi Next Lvl Serum
- Ziaja Moisturizing Cream – Naturally We Take Care
These are just a few suggestions, and you will surely be able to find more cosmetics with this ingredient easily. I recommend including them in your skincare routine as they are definitely worth it!
In conclusion, ceramides are an essential component of healthy, youthful-looking skin. By incorporating products containing ceramides into your skincare routine, you can help to strengthen your skin’s barrier, reduce moisture loss, and maintain a healthy, hydrated complexion. Whether you have dry, sensitive, or acne-prone skin, there’s a ceramide-infused product out there that’s perfect for you.