Is your skin constantly battling dry skin and irritation? Chances are, your skin is lacking a very significant skin ingredient known as ceramides. Often side lined or overshadowed by other popular anti-aging ingredients like retinol or collagen, ceramides are an almost-forgotten ingredient.
The role of ceramides in skincare might just surprise you. So, let’s break down this little-known powerhouse anti-ageing ingredient.
WHAT ARE CERAMIDES?
Simply put, ceramides are lipid fats that form the outermost layer of the skin which work as a protective barrier to maintain the skin’s moisture level. They make sure that your skin remains soft and well-hydrated.
ROLE OF CERAMIDES IN SKINCARE
Our skin’s topmost layer is called the Epidermis, whose thin and outer layer, called the stratum corneum forms the main skin barrier. It is this stratum corneum, the protective skin barrier that comes with three different types of lipids called the ceramides, cholesterol and free fatty acids.
Ceramides are responsible for holding together the proteins that help your skin to stay young. In other words, they are like the glue that holds the skin cells together. Ceramides boost the skin barrier, helping to seal in moisture, while protecting the skin from all kinds of outside aggressors.
WHEN CERAMIDES DECLINE….
Ceramides are a natural component in our body. They form a major portion of lipids in the outermost layer and protects the skin. But sadly, as nature takes its course, ceramides begin to diminish as we hit our early thirties. When ceramides decline with age, the inevitable happens. The skin barrier starts to weaken resulting in dryness, redness, skin irritations, thinning of skin, fine lines and wrinkles.
Then, there are other environmental factors that can also deplete the ceramide level. Our skin can take a toll from harsh weather conditions like extreme, dry and cold winters. They can disturb the pH balance of the skin, and cause the skin barrier to break down. When this happens, your skin is no longer protected.
Even using harsh soaps, chemicals and over-exfoliations can strip the skin off its natural oils. When these habits strip off your natural oils, the ceramide levels in our skin goes for a toss.
Diet is another important factor that can alter the level of ceramide in our body. A diet rich in healthy oils, green vegetables and proteins can improve the skin barrier function that protects your skin.
ITS IMPORTANCE IN SKINCARE
Ceramides play a crucial role in keeping our skin young and healthy. As they form a major part of the skin’s protective layer, they protect the skin from environmental aggressors like pollution, or bacteria and keep the skin healthy, soft and supple.
When the ceramides begin to deplete, it can compromise your skin barrier. Without the extra protection, the skin becomes dry and irritated. Furthermore, ceramide depletion can lead to visibly aging skin. This is because it can no longer keep the skin proteins together that makes our skin look plump and youthful.
Without a good dose of ceramides, the overall health of our skin is at stake.Not all is bad news though, as there is a way of making up for the loss of ceramides. There are a lot of skincare products out there that contain ceramides and can target fine lines and signs of aging.
You can opt for rich creams and serums that can replenish the skin of depleting ceramides. Go for deep moisturizers like glycerine and cholesterol that are believed to show maximum benefits when combined with ceramide-infused creams.
Ensure a good anti-ageing skincare routine to protect your skin barrier. And you can enjoy a healthy, smooth and youthful glow.
Read about other skincare ingredients here. And if you want to start shopping for your favorite Korean skincare essentials, go here.
By Khumpila Limi