Ceramides: The Trending Skincare Ingredient You Should Know About

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You take your beauty products seriously. You know there are heaps of products on the market, each claiming to have more advanced ingredients than the next, and new ingredients being touted as the next best thing in skin care almost every other day. To some, all this information may seem hard to keep track of; some have long stopped trying – but not you. You know the importance of finding a product that really works, and that means you need to be aware of what every ingredient does as soon as they hit the market. That’s why you need to know about ceramides. What are they? Do they work? Read on to find out about the latest trending ingredient you need to know about.

What Are Ceramides?
Ceramides are an oily wax that forms a waterproofing barrier in the upper layers of our skin, helping the skin retain water while repairing the skin’s natural barrier and regulating cells. As we age, out production of ceramides lessons, resulting in wrinkles, dry skin, and even dermatitis.

Topical Application Of Ceramides
While there is some evidence that ceramics have a positive effect on skin when ingested, topical application is the preferred and more common method.

Do Ceramides Retain Water?
Ceramides waterproof skin. They do this best when combined with other oily materials. When combined with cholesterol and free fatty acids in a certain ratio, they have been found to have moisture retaining qualities.

Do Ceramides Penetrate?
Ceramides are “skin identical.” This means it is naturally occurring in skin’s upper layers. This allows topically applied ceramics to move into the upper layer of skin easily, in a method known as “tape stripping.” This means that the ceramides stick to your skin, much like a piece of tape, analyze it and then “tear it off” enabling it to move into the next layer of skin, eventually penetrating quite deeply.

Is There Proof They Work?
Although not every study is dependable, due to control issues, here are a few findings from some pretty credible sources.

A study done on mice that ran in the J Clin Exp Dermatol showed that topical ceramides can not only keep the skin barrier intact, they can protect it from future damage.

According to a Japanese study, plant derived ceramides have more skin hydrating properties than placebos.
A study by the Kao Corporation showed that creams containing ceramide E increases water content in the skin, and reduces symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

The Textbook of Cosmetic Dermatology found that some combinations of ceramides work better than placebos at repairing the function of the skin barrier.

Picking the Right Ceramide
Not all ceramides were created equal. Some just provide an occlusive layer that locks in moisture, In this case, ceramides may work no better than petrolatum for skin care Others penetrate and moisturize from within, and have a longer lasting effect than other conventional treatments. The best formulas combine with fatty acids and cholesterols to imitate the natural moisture of the skin. While it is impossible to know the best lotion without seeing the formula, you can be pretty sure that price is a good indicator. Unfortunately, when it comes to ceramides, you usually get what you pay for. However, as you know, the savvy consumer always gets his or her money’s worth.

Have you used a ceramide? What do you think?Which do you find work best on your skin?

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