Over the last 10 years or so, I’ve curated my skincare cupboard down massively, making sure I have a core range of basic ingredients that work to improve my skin on a daily basis: Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Salicylic Acid, Squalane, Niacinamide and (to a lesser extent) Retinol/Bakuchiol. These have been the core ingredients that have been the building blocks to getting my skin to where it is today: clear, plump and hydrated, honey!
Three years ago, I introduced a new core product into my regimen: Ceramides. I haven’t looked back since, and seeing as it seems Ceramides are having their moment right now, I thought it would be great to have a little chat about these nifty little building blocks, and how incredible they are when it comes to protecting the skin barrier.
What are Ceramides Exactly?
Ceramides are lipids (fats) that occur naturally in the skin and make up over 50% of our skin’s composition.
How do they help our skin?
They have anti-ageing effects primarily. Now personally, I’ve always considered anti-ageing products as a bit of a scam as there is absolutely nothing wrong with ageing. I’ve never been someone who has been concerned about lines and wrinkles; for me, as long as my skin feels plump, clear and protected against the elements, that’s all I care about.
Ceramides essentially hold the skin together and form a protective layer to help prevent moisture loss and the visible damage from the environment. Ceramides also help to keep the skin supple.
Now packaging is a very important factor when it comes to choosing Ceramides. Like with a lot of active acids, they can be unstable and so it’s important to choose packaging that is opaque. Transparent or translucent bottles reduce the effectiveness of the product due to it being exposed to light.
Synthetic or Natural Ceramides Though?
You *CAN* get plant-based ceramides, however, they won’t be as effective as the non-plant-based ones. Will they hydrate the skin? Absolutely, but that’s about it.
You can also get animal/human-based Ceramides that come from the skin, but this isn’t ethical and is not something I would suggest.
So! That leaves synthetic ceramides, as they are both efficient and ethical. It’s a stable ingredient and worth noting that back in the DAY, brands didn’t know how to harness the properties of ceramides enough for them to penetrate the skin properly, however in recent times, technology and science have improved to make them a lot more potent.
Ceramides are also safe to use around the eyes and work with oily skin, sensitive skin, and dry skin.
What Can You Combine Ceramides With?
Niacinamide, Peptides and Retinol. They also work incredibly well when used after an AHA/BHA exfoliant. More importantly, Ceramides work incredibly well with SPF. I’ve found that the combo of a Ceramide moisturiser + SPF on top works amazingly for protecting the skin barrier.
Recommended Products that Contain Ceramides
(The items below are all affiliate links)