From UV rays to pollution to dry air, our skin is constantly adapting to protect us from the elements. Its principal defense: the skin moisture barrier, a layer of cells and lipids that keeps the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. Ceramides are a key building block of this defensive layer, making them an important ingredient to incorporate in your skincare routine, regardless of your skin type.
Using ceramide moisturizers can help restore your skin’s moisture levels while strengthening the moisture barrier. Keep reading for a deep dive into this powerful moisturizing ingredient and the benefits of ceramides for skin.
“Ceramides are fats or lipids that are found in skin cells,” says Biossance Director of Product Marketing + Strategy Celeste Schreier. “As skincare ingredients, they’re important for keeping our moisture barrier intact and healthy and maintaining moisture levels.”
Ceramides make up between 30 and 40 percent of the skin’s epidermis. They act like glue, holding everything together to retain moisture.
All ceramides are made up of a substance called sphingosine, which is a chain of carbon atoms with an amino acid attached. Sphingosine has different forms that bond to fatty acids, forming different types of ceramides. There are natural ceramides, such as those found in your skin, as well as synthetic ceramides.
These man-made ceramides are free from contaminants and more stable, making them better ingredients to use in skincare. Many of these synthetic ceramides also start with plant-based ingredients.
“There are different types of ceramides in skin care products derived from plants or starches,” says Celeste.
The ceramides we use in Biossance products are vegan and cruelty-free, ensuring that you’re using ingredients that benefit your skin, and the planet.
“Ceramides are the building blocks that help keep moisture retained in the skin and help support skin barrier function,” says Celeste.
This translates into concrete benefits for the skin, including:
We use a variety of powerful moisturizers in our skincare products, including ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and our superhero hydrator, sugarcane-derived squalane. Each has a different role to play in keeping skin healthy and hydrated.
Ceramides and naturally occurring squalene are both produced by the body and work together to form the lipid layer within the skin moisture barrier. Unfortunately, we make less of these essential compounds as we age. Using ceramides and sugarcane-derived squalane in your skincare routine can help make up the deficit, resulting in deeply moisturized, smoother skin.
Hyaluronic acid is another compound naturally found in human skin. It’s a humectant, meaning it bonds to water molecules, pulling them into the skin and plumping skin cells.
“Ceramides and hyaluronic acid are amazing partners in keeping skin healthy and moisturized,” says Celeste. “Hyaluronic acid plumps the skin with moisture and ceramides help to keep it sealed in.”
While hyaluronic acid does a great job of pulling water into our skin, it can’t keep it from evaporating. Ceramides help the skin retain water by helping to repair and support a healthy skin moisture barrier.
“Ceramides are great for all skin types,” says Celeste. “For oily skin, ceramides play a key role in keeping moisture sealed in as dryness can lead to an overproduction in oil. “
People with dry and sensitive skin will notice visibly calmer, more moisturized skin with daily ceramide use.
Here is a quick and easy barrier repair routine: