Updated: Jun 18
You've probably heard about the importance of the skin barrier. It's what protects your body from bacteria, allergens, and other harmful substances while keeping the moisture locked inside the skin.
The skin barrier comprises a complex network of lipids (fats) and ceramides, which help keep dirt at bay by creating an impenetrable shield between you and what lies beyond it.
But this barrier can break down if you have dry skin or eczema or if you use certain products that are too harsh on the surface of your skin. In these cases, ceramides may help rebuild your skin's protective barrier so that it stays strong and resilient—even when you're not using any topical products at all!
The skin barrier is important, and ceramides can help replenish it.
In this article, we'll cover what ceramides are and why they're important for healthy skin; how they work; where to find them in food products and skincare products; and what else you can do for your own personal skincare routine if ceramide levels fall below optimal levels.
Table of contents:
What Are Ceramides?
Ceramides are a type of fat made by the skin, which forms an important barrier against water loss and helps keep your skin cells healthy. They're also found in other parts of the body, including our brains and digestive tracts.
Ceramides play an important role in keeping your skin hydrated by forming a protective layer between your skin cells and water molecules. This prevents moisture loss from occurring so that you stay protected against dryness or inflammation caused by environmental factors like pollution or heat exposure—and it keeps your pores open to allow easy breathing through them!
Why Do I Need Ceramides?
While ceramides are found in healthy skin, they can be depleted by aging and environmental factors. In fact, the average person loses about 1% of their body's ceramide content every year. And if you're over 50 years old or have any kind of skin problem (like acne), your ceramide levels may be even lower than that!
Ceramides help create a protective layer on the skin called "fatty acid sphingomyelin," which helps keep moisture in and harmful substances out. They also work as a barrier against bacteria so that no one gets through our defenses—which is why they're so important when it comes to preventing infections like pimples (caused by clogged pores) and infectious eczematoid dermatitis (infected eczema).
How to Increase Ceramides in Skin? Where Can I Find Ceramides?
You can find ceramides in some foods, like soybeans, that are used to make products such as tofu and tempeh (a fermented soybean dish).
Ceramides are also known as “lipid-like” emulsifiers because they help keep water in place when applied on top of other products—but don't worry: most people don't need these ingredients in their skincare routine! If you're having trouble finding them at retail outlets near you, try searching online instead; they're easier to find there than anywhere else I've been so far!
Ceramides can be added to skin care products because they help keep your skin hydrated and looking young. Ceramide-containing products are on the market today, including serums, moisturizers, eye creams, and body lotions.
Oral Ceramides for Skin
As the name suggests, oral ceramides are capsules or tablets containing ceramides that help replenish ceramides in the skin. There are clinical studies that have proven the efficacy of consuming ceramides orally.
Ceramide Cream, Serum and Other Product Recommendations
Here are some products you can consider using:
Ceramide Serum: Dr. Sheth's Cica & Ceramide Overnight Repair Face Serum
Ceramide Moisturizer: The Derma Co Ceramide + HA Intense Face Moisturizer
Ceramide Eye Cream: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
Ceramide Body Lotion: PILGRIM Squalane Body Serum Lotion with Ceramides
Do I Have Enough Ceramides?
If you have enough ceramide, it shows on your skin by the virtue of its suppleness and smooth texture. But what if you don’t?
You might think that as long as you’re using moisturizer and sunscreen every day, all is well. But there are other factors at play here—like genetics and age—that can affect how well your body produces ceramides (and therefore affect how much of them remain in the skin).
And when it comes to aging itself, there are many reasons why some people lose their ceramides more quickly than others do: dryness due to aging causes more moisture loss from the surface layer of cells; pollution causes build-up on top of dead cells; sun damage damages collagen fibers underneath foundation or sunscreen which may make you more susceptible to aging since they encourage water loss from deeper layers where most repair processes occur; stress leads us into an unhealthy lifestyle with poor eating habits which means fewer nutrients being taken up by our bodies so they become depleted sooner than normal (which can further exacerbate issues like dryness).
Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid
Both ceramides and hyaluronic acid help in maintaining the skin barrier and retaining moisture in the skin. Together, they are the perfect combo for healthy skin. Hyaluronic acid attracts moisture, and ceramides ensure that the skin barrier is healthy so that the moisture is kept locked in.
What Else Can You Do for Your Skin Barrier?
If you've been following the advice of your dermatologist, you've probably already done some things to help keep your skin barrier healthy. But don't forget that there are other options available to you as well! Here's what else you can do:
Use a ceramide moisturizer. Ceramides-infused moisturizers contain naturally occurring lipids that form the main component of our stratum corneum (SC) and help keep it smooth and supple. They also play an important role in keeping water in contact with the SC, which helps prevent dryness and irritation caused by any kind of friction, such as rubbing against clothing or brushes when washing dishes at home.
Use a hydrating serum or eye cream before going out into harsh sunlight or harsh weather conditions for long periods of time, like hiking through snow fields during winter months (winter does suck). This will help protect against signs like wrinkles around eyes caused by aging caused by lack of moisture deep down within layers."
Other Surprising Ways to Rebuild Your Skin Barrier
Drink plenty of water.
Exercise, and eat a balanced diet.
Use a good moisturizer and sunscreen daily. (You can also use an oil-free one if you want.)
Use a good cleanser in the morning and at night; this will help keep your skin barrier healthy by removing dead cells from your face and making room for new ones to grow over time! It's also important that you don't use harsh cleansers like soap or scrubbing cloths on your face as these can strip away the natural oils needed by our bodies to protect against infection or damage caused by external factors such as weather conditions etc., so try using gentle foaming products instead! Don't forget about those little nooks around our eyes, either :). A good toner will help keep everything looking fresh too :)
So, there you have it – ceramides are a super important part of the skin barrier, and they can help with everything from keeping your skin looking young to help to fight off aging. Plus, they're easy to find and inexpensive! Try adding some ceramides into your routine today so you'll be on the path towards healthy, youthful skin tomorrow.
Tsuchiya Y, Ban M, Kishi M, Ono T, Masaki H. Safety and Efficacy of Oral Intake of Ceramide-Containing Acetic Acid Bacteria for Improving the Stratum Corneum Hydration: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study over 12 Weeks. J Oleo Sci. 2020 Nov 1;69(11):1497-1508. doi: 10.5650/jos.ess20115. Epub 2020 Oct 15. PMID: 33055441.
Leo TK, Tan ESS, Amini F, Rehman N, Ng ESC, Tan CK. Effect of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Ceramides Supplementation on Improving Skin Barrier Functions and Depigmentation: An Open-Label Prospective Study. Nutrients. 2022 Jun 30;14(13):2737. doi: 10.3390/nu14132737. PMID: 35807914; PMCID: PMC9268538.