Here's Why Ceramide Cream Should Be Part of Your Skincare Routine
In the pantheon of ingredients touted to be the best new thing in skincare, there are… actually so many different things that it can be difficult to keep track!
With science constantly marching forward and companies discovering more ways to help you get your glow on—it might seem like every time you open up your favorite magazine or blog, there’s a new ingredient or formula that’s meant to be life-changing for your skin. One such ingredient is Ceramides, and they’re making a huge splash when it comes to keeping your skin bouncy and hydrated.
Whether you struggle with dry skin or sensitive skin naturally or can’t use certain products to treat specific skincare issues because they’re too drying, Ceramides are a great ingredient to consider. They have amazing moisturizing properties and are also thought to help improve visible signs of aging, like the appearance of fine lines and texture.
As with any ingredient you’re not familiar with, you may be wondering if Ceramides are worth the hype or if they’re going to be yet another jar sitting untouched in the darkest corners of your medicine cabinet. Luckily, there’s actually a lot to be said for Ceramides and a lot of reasons you should think about working them into your daily skincare routine!
What Are Ceramides?
Ceramides are actually completely natural in skincare because they’re something our bodies produce already. They’re a class of fatty acids known as lipids, and not only do our bodies produce Ceramides naturally — but they make up about half of your epidermis or outer layer of skin. So, yeah. Even if you don’t use a Ceramide product, they’re still pretty important!
Ceramides serve other purposes too, but for our purposes, what’s most important is what they contribute to the protective layer known as your skin barrier. They’re key when it comes to trapping moisture in your protective skin barrier, and can also ward off certain types of environmental damage. Basically, they keep you hydrated, and they keep you safe — what more could you ask for?
Why Are Ceramides Good for You?
You may be wondering why you need to use a Ceramide product if your skin is so heavy in Ceramides, to begin with. It’s for the same reason that it’s often recommended that you get into Retinols or other products heavy in Vitamins that your body uses on its own anyway. As we get older, our bodies replace these necessary things less efficiently.
During your adolescent years, your skin tends to be brighter and bouncier than it ever will be again because your body has no trouble replacing collagen lost over time, turning over old cells at a rapid rate, and making fatty acids like Ceramides. As we age, lipids like Ceramides get lost in that process. That’s where Ceramide products come in — it allows you to replace these lost puzzle pieces to get your skin back on track and reduce transepidermal water loss.
If your main skin concern is visible signs of aging and you’ve tried everything under the sun to try to reverse the laugh lines you can see starting to work their way across your face, Ceramide might be a great option for you. One of the things that contribute most to fine lines and wrinkles is dehydrated skin, so using something that can be so effective at quenching that thirst can be super effective when it comes to looking as young as you feel.
In general, Ceramides are a powerful tool for keeping your skin hydrated and your skin barrier healthy. So not only can Ceramide products be crucial if you’re looking to turn back the clock when it comes to your skin, but they can also be a key part of nourishing and soothing your skin if you struggle with dry skin conditions no matter what your age is.
The other skincare concern is that Ceramides are thought to be especially helpful for blemishes. If you struggle with severe acne, you know how difficult it can be to find the right moisturizer for your skin. Not only can certain moisturizers exacerbate your breakouts, but if you’re on heavy-duty medication or use a prescribed acne cream, your skin can very quickly become a warzone.
And while you may be confident that you’ll come out on the other side of the war victorious, with clear and glowing skin, all that dryness, redness, and flaking you’re battling in the meantime can be incredibly frustrating. It can also make it hard to convince yourself to stick with your acne treatment until you get results because, in many ways, it might feel like it’s making your skin worse rather than better!
This is where Ceramide moisturizers come in. If you’re struggling with your skin’s reaction to deep treatments like acne treatments — or even if your skin isn’t tolerating something as commonplace as a Retinol without dryness and flaking — using a Ceramide moisturizer can actually nullify those negative reactions, help to repair your skin’s barrier and get your skin looking better faster than it would with acne treatments alone.
How Do You Choose a Ceramide Product?
Like many skincare ingredients, there are many different ways you can use Ceramides for different skin types. Because they’re primarily hydrating ingredients, they’re mostly going to come in cream form, like your average moisturizer — only better!
If you’re looking to select a ceramide cream to handle serious dryness or irritation, you’ll want to check the label to see which type of ceramide is used. Ceramide 1, 3, and 6-II are the top dogs, although Ceramide 2 and 3 are often used in skincare products.
Whichever product you select, you’ll want to patch test it before you slather it all over your face or other parts of your body to ensure that you don’t have a sensitivity or allergy you didn’t know about. In general, Ceramides aren’t known to have any severe side effects, so you’re probably going to be fine! But out of an abundance of caution, it’s worth applying a small amount to somewhere like your forearm and waiting for a day to make sure your skin doesn’t have any negative reaction before you begin using Ceramide.
It’s also possible to up your body’s intake of fatty acids when it comes to your diet. Foods like sweet potatoes, rice, and corn are rich in Ceramides, and it’s possible to get Ceramide supplements as well. However, if you’re dealing with a skin issue, treating it topically is generally the most direct way to go about it.
How Do You Use Ceramide Cream?
Because Ceramide cream is essentially a super-effective moisturizer, you’ll work it into your skincare routine the same way you’d work in any other moisturizer. If you want to make sure it’s having a positive effect before jumping in head first, you can replace your evening moisturizer application with your Ceramide cream.
Applying your best skincare products, like moisturizing creams, in the evening is often a great call because that’s when your body has the most time to restore itself, enabling ingredients like Ceramide to do the most work possible. Ceramide also plays nicely with the usual bedtime routine suspects like Retinol, so you shouldn’t need to make any changes to your regimen otherwise!
Once you’re confident that your skin is happy with your Ceramide cream, you can replace your AM moisturizer with Ceramide cream as well. It’s always important to cleanse your skin properly before applying your moisturizer and apply an SPF afterward if you’re using your Ceramide cream in the morning.
Although you may not have heard of Ceramide cream before, it’s a super-effective ingredient to work into your skincare routine if you’re fighting dryness, struggling with your skin’s barrier function, or trying to help your blemish-prone skin improve after prescription-strength acne treatments have done a number on it.
By restoring these necessary lipids to your skin’s moisture barrier, you’ll find yourself hydrated and glowing in no time.