- Beauty Glossary
Ceramides – pronounced 'sarah-mides' – are a family of naturally occurring fat molecules that your skin can't live without (literally). As they work to keep your complexion firm, plump and full of life, there's no harm in adding an extra dose to your skin care routine. Here's all that you need to know.
To find out more about ceramides, check out our blog: Everything you need to know about ceramides.
See our ceramide guide to answer your questions like what are ceramides and why do we need them in beauty and what do ceramides do for your skin.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Ceramide products
What are ceramides and why do we need them in beauty?
To put it simply, ceramides are little fat molecules (also known as lipids) that keep our skin soft and hydrated. Together, they make up over 50% of our skin's barrier and are essential when it comes to efficiently retaining moisture and preventing dehydration.
What do ceramides do for your skin?
Ceramides act as one of your skin's essential building blocks, linking together your skin cells in the same way that mortar holds a wall in place. They form a protective barrier across the top layers of skin in order to strengthen, plump and lock in that all-important moisture. As well as keeping your complexion soft and smooth, ceramides shield your skin from environmental aggressors such as pollution, harmful rays and dry air. Not to mention, they're the key to preventing unwanted signs of ageing as they keep your appearance plump, firm and full of youth. The more ceramides, the better your chances of a healthy and youthful complexion.
Do ceramides help wrinkles?
Ceramides are ace when it comes to minimising the appearance of unwanted fine lines and wrinkles, but only if they're packaged properly. Ceramides are prone to losing their effectiveness if exposed to light and air, so in order to make the most of the anti-ageing effects, you should opt for formulas packaged in opaque tubes and bottles with airtight pumps.
What do ceramides do for your hair?
Ceramides do just as much for your hair as they do for your skin. As well as keeping hair cuticles flat and frizz-free, they also enhance shine and promote longevity. Plus, their ability to improve elasticity, strength and moisture retention makes them perfect for those with chemically-treated locks.
If ceramides are naturally found in our skin, why do I need them in my skin care?
While they may be naturally occurring, exposure to hot water, soaps, chemicals and environmental factors such as pollution can seriously affect the quality and quantity of ceramides. As a result, your skin barrier can weaken, resulting in dry, rough skin, wrinkles, redness, irritation and dehydration. Not to mention, much like collagen, our natural ceramide levels deplete as we get older. In fact, by the time we reach our thirties up to 40% of our skin's ceramides vanish, which is why it's so important to filter them into a regular skin care routine.
An extra dose of ceramides in your skin care routine simply encourages your skin to stay looking youthful, smooth and supple.
How do I know if a beauty product contains ceramides?
Ceramides are the ultimate anti-ageing powerhouse so if they are included in a formula, there's no doubt that the product labels will show it. But, if you are scoping the ingredient list, you'll want to look out for ceramide AP, EOP, NG, NP or NS. Phytosphingosine and sphingosine are worth keeping on your radar too, as they are ingredients that encourage the skin to create ceramides.
Many skin care formulas, such as cleansers, serums, masks, creams and lotions, are bursting with this complexion-perfecting ingredient, so finding a ceramide-infused product that works for you should be pretty easy-going.
Can you use ceramides alongside other skin care products?
Ceramides perform their best when combined with other skin-replenishing ingredients. Fatty acids, glycerine and cholesterol are all components that can be mixed with ceramides to improve skin tone, texture and sensitivity.
To ensure that you're optimising the anti-ageing benefits, be sure to check that your ceramide-enriched product also utilises antioxidants and skin-restoring ingredients like retinol, niacinamide, linoleic acid and peptides.
Written by Carly Cochrane, Beauty Editor