Ceramides – What is it?
One component of the skin’s barrier is ceramides, which are lipids (also known as fat molecules). It helps the skin retain moisture & allow proper function. According to the New City dermatologist, York Sejal Shah. Put differently, ceramides help keep skin hydrated and smooth. Ceramides are a vital component of the skin. It is the body’s natural moisturizer and barrier against dehydration.
What do Ceramides do?
Ceramides are like the mortar between the bricks if the bricks are your skin cells. Ceramides help firm skin by forming a protective film that limits the loss of moisture and protects against visible damage from pollution and other stressors in the environment.
Additionally, ceramides, just like retinol, peptides, and niacinamide, are one of the anti-aging “forces” responsible for supporting the dynamic nature of the skin.
Ceramides made of long-chain fatty acids that bind to other important molecules to improve cell functions. Ceramides help create a barrier to inhibit permeability. This locks in moisture in the skin, which helps prevent irritation and dryness. It can also help protect your skin from environmental damage. It can have anti-aging effects. Wrinkles and fine lines are usually more noticeable when the skin is dry. Retaining moisture can reduce its appearance.
So how and why does the skin lose its ceramides?
As with many things in life, there are many contributory factors. For starters, like hyaluronic acid, ceramides are naturally produced by the skin, but they deplete over time as we age. Specifically, after the age of 20, the body produces fewer ceramides at a loss of one per cent each year, so explains Harold Lancer, MD, a Beverly Hills dermatologist.
While we cannot prevent our skin from aging (no matter how hard we try), there are other, not so inevitable, situations that can reduce the number of ceramides in the body. Ceramide levels in the skin can also be affected by excessive use of soaps or scrubs, which can lower the pH balance of the skin.