7 FAQs About Ceramides for Skin

AgataAgata
Jun. 8, 2020
What are ceramides?
You might not have come across the term ceramides before, but to your body they are essential. Ceramides are fats that are naturally found in the uppermost layers of the skin. In fact, they make up over half of the skin’s composition!
Why does your skin need ceramides? 
If you are looking to achieve a healthy and glowing complexion, ceramides are key. 
Firstly, they will moisturize your skin. The fats help the skin retain its moisture by fortifying its protective barrier and allowing it to hold onto its hydration. This also means that your skin is in a stronger position to tackle any dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. 
Secondly, ceramides make the skin look youthful. In young skin you can naturally find high levels of ceramides. They work to visibly reduce any lines and wrinkles leaving you with a fresh-faced complexion. 
Thirdly, ceramides work as a barrier in your skin against outside threats such as pollution and other environmental stressors.
Why should you ensure your body is getting ceramides? 
You might be wondering why you are reading an article about using ceramides when they are already naturally found in the skin. This is because ceramides are gradually lost over time. As you age and your levels of ceramides decreases your skin risks appearing dull, dry and in the worst cases, irritated. 
The good news is that there are ways of giving your body extra ceramides! And as they are already found naturally in the skin, they are effective for all skin types. This means that every person can safely build ceramides into their skincare regime or diet. Very rarely can you find an ingredient that works just as well for dry and sensitive skin as it does for breakout prone oily skin. What’s more, ceramides are fragrance and irritant free so can be used on all areas of the body at all times! 
Should you apply ceramides topically or via your diet?
You might be wondering which is the better path to go down: to apply ceramides topically to your body or to build the fats into your diet? The answer is not clear–cut.
For those wishing to apply ceramides topically, the main options are through creams and moisturizers or cleansers. Creams and moisturizers containing ceramides are particularly effective when applied in the morning or at night or immediately following a shower or bath. When applying ceramides as a cleanser it is recommended to be used twice a day. It is worth noting that as you wash away cleansers, the number of ceramides that are absorbed by your skin are not as great as when using a cream or moisturizer which stays on the skin.  
To boost the benefits to your skin, most skincare experts recommend purchasing ceramide products that also include cholesterol and other fatty acids. 
And for those who want their skin to absorb the maximum number of ceramides you can even look into accessing prescription versions of them. These prescriptions are classified as medical devices due to the much higher concentrations of ceramide. Notably, you should speak to your dermatologist or doctor before doing so. 
While applying ceramides topically can ensure they reach the outer layer of your skin, the one downside is that they treat the exterior skin but fail to treat the interior. Which is a shame because as well as strengthening your skin cells, when ingested ceramides are known to be highly beneficial for other cells such as brain cells and hair cells.  
If you are looking to reap the benefits of ceramides beyond a glowing complexion, you might want to look at introducing ceramides into your diet. Fortunately, you can steer clear of supplements as many types of food naturally contain ceramides. Just some examples are soy beans, diary, wheat and brown rice.
However, before you go rushing to the supermarket and revolutionising your diet keep in mind that ceramides are a fat. And you must always be very careful when increasing the amount of fat in your diet. A drastic increase in sources of fat can cause detrimental effects to your cholesterol, triglycerides and internal lipids. This in turn can leave you more vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. 
Should ceramides be synthetic or natural?
Ceramides do not just naturally occur in the human skin. As previously mentioned, they can also naturally be found in whole host of food and plant products! 
Unfortunately, unless you are ingesting them, it is are to find ceramides in their natural form. This is because natural ceramides are unstable products and costly to maintain.
Instead, you are far more likely to find that skin care products contain synthetic ceramides. But do not worry, they are made so effectively there is little to no difference in the quality or efficiency of the synthetic ceramides. Your skin will just as readily accept these ceramides as it will natural ones. 
How about packaging? 
It is important that you are purchasing ceramides that have been packaged effectively. You should look for products that have been packaged in opaque and airtight bottles and tubes. Stay away from jars as this will leave the bulk of the product exposed to light and air that might reduce the effectiveness of the ceramides. Also always make sure you pay attention to the expiration dates on your product.
Are there any side effects of ceramides?
Remember, ceramides naturally occur in your body already so they are not going to pose a danger. 
However, if you choose to apply ceramides topically, as with any skin care product you should be precautious. Always undertake a skin patch test where you dab the product onto a particularly sensitive area of the skin and leave it for 24 hours to make sure your body does not have an allergic reaction. If not, you are free to use the product to your heart’s content! 
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