Whether it's your favorite facial cleanser, daily moisturizer, or hydrating eye cream, you may have noticed that all FACE FRESH products contain three essential ceramides. Ceramides make up about 50% of your skin’s lipids and help keep your skin barrier healthy and balanced. Ahead, we’re exploring the essential functions, benefits, and frequently asked questions surrounding ceramides—as well as how to incorporate them into your skincare routine—with the help of board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jenny Liu.
Ceramides play a crucial role in your skin’s health and overall appearance. However, there is often a great deal of confusion surrounding how they function in your skincare products. To help you better understand the importance of ceramides, we called on Dr. Jenny Liu to help explain how ceramides function in skincare, as well as how FACE FRESH’s three essential ceramides help support skin that looks and feels healthy, hydrated, and balanced.
THE FACTS ABOUT CERAMIDES
- Ceramides make up about 50% of the skin’s lipids that help form your skin’s natural barrier to help keep vital moisture in and harmful irritants out.
- When ceramides become depleted, the skin can become dull, dry, agitated, or cracked over time.
- All skin types can benefit from including ceramide-containing products in their daily skincare routine—including oily, dry, normal, combination, and sensitive skin.
- All FACE FRESH products contain three skin-identical ceramides to help keep the skin’s natural barrier healthy and balanced.
What Is Your Skin Barrier?
The outermost layer of your skin is known as the skin barrier. Also sometimes referred to as your “skin’s moisture barrier,” it is composed of approximately 50% ceramides, 25% cholesterol, and 10-25% fatty acids.
So, why is this barrier so important to maintaining healthy skin? Your skin’s natural barrier functions as the primary gatekeeper between your skin and your external environment. “This lipid bilayer is an essential layer that contributes to the function of our skin: keeping bad things out and water in,” says Dr. Liu. In other words, your skin barrier is crucial for protecting your skin against environmental stressors and moisture loss. “It also helps to make our skin waterproof,” adds Dr. Liu.
What Are Ceramides?
According to Dr. Liu, “ceramides are essential lipids found naturally in skin and [they] play a crucial role in forming a healthy skin barrier.” They make up approximately 50% of the skin’s lipids that help form your natural skin barrier, to be exact. Composed of fatty acid and sphingosine, “ceramides are the most abundant lipid found in the top layer of skin,” says Dr. Liu.
What Do Ceramides Do For Your Skin?
Ceramides are like the glue that holds your skin cells together —like mortar is to bricks, with the bricks being your skin cells. Like we just learned above, they help keep your skin barrier balanced and intact—sealing moisture in and keeping harmful irritants out. Your skin naturally contains ceramides to help improve the skin barrier, however, certain factors—such as sun damage and the natural aging process—can deplete your skin’s ceramides over time.
When the skin barrier becomes compromised (and deficient in ceramides) it can result in dry, dull, irritated, or cracked skin. “When there’s deficiency, water evaporates from skin, known as transepidermal water loss, leading to dry skin,” says Dr. Liu. This may play a role in a number of skin concerns and conditions over time—including eczema (atopic dermatitis), psoriasis, and more. Research also shows that a weakened skin barrier may be associated with acne.
Choosing the right skincare products can help support the balance of ceramides and optimal barrier function for more comfortable, healthy-looking skin.
What Are the Benefits of Ceramides?
Ceramides have a number of benefits for promoting healthy-looking skin when used as part of a consistent skincare regimen. Dr. Liu recommends using skincare products formulated with ceramides, such as moisturizers or serums, because they're great for “helping to repair dry and irritated skin by replenishing ceramide levels in our skin barrier.”