If you’re doing everything right on the skincare front but it still feels like the routine is missing something, or your skin is missing something… then it’s probably missing ceramides. True, ceramides haven’t had their fair share of attention but it’s never too late to catch up. What are ceramides? Are they a must for my skin? Why and when do I need to incorporate them into my beauty routine? Find out all the answers below!
What Are Ceramides?
Ceramides are lipids or fat molecules that work on restoring and protecting the skin’s barrier. They are considered the body’s natural form of moisturiser much like hyaluronic acid, and they help the skin retain its normal functioning while keeping it well hydrated. As expected, and being the protectors of the skin’s barrier, ceramides also work on protecting the skin from the elements and environmental aggressors such as dry air and pollution.
Why Do We Need Them?
In addition to the reasons above, if the skin doesn’t have enough ceramides the skin’s barrier will be broken down resulting in dryness and irritation at the least. At its worst the skin will be prone to atopic dermatitis or better known as eczema.
How Do We Lose Ceramides?
#Age: Ceramides are naturally produced by our skin but much like everything else in life, they get depleted with age. And with age we unfortunately mean the ripe age of 20. After 20 the body will decrease the production of ceramides by a ratio of 1 percent per year.
# Seasons: Ceramides are also greatly affected by seasonal changes especially by the cold dry months.
# Soaps, cleansers and exfoliants: Over use of anything that strips the oil from the skin will ultimately deliver a hit to your ceramide levels.
# Detergents and hand sanitisers: Harsh detergents and solvents also affect ceramide levels for the same reason as above.
# Diet: Diets that greatly restrict fat intake will also affect your body’s ability to produce ceramides. Increase your intake of good oils such as avocado and coconut, and increase your intake of leafy greens and lean proteins.
How Do We Restore Ceramides?
In addition to the tips above, we should invest in suitable skincare products that are specifically formulated with ceramides in mind. The best tip to keep in mind when applying these products is to lather them on immediately after showering or cleaning your face while the skin is still damp to seal in the hydration. Read your labels well and check out our ceramide-loaded suggestions below…