If you have sensitive skin, it can be hard to know which skincare ingredients are best to add into your routine without making your face (and body) freak out. Especially when you’re already dealing with other seasonal concerns like dryness.
That's why it's time to talk about ceramides, the little-known skincare heroes for those of us with sensitive skin. Once you know all about them and what they do, you’ll understand why you're seeing them around a little more, and how they might be your moisturising saviour for that dry skin.
Speaking to Mamamia, CeraVe's Medical Relations Manager, Rachel McAdam told us everything you need to know about ceramides, from why they're important to which skin types respond best to them (hint: that's all of them!).
Here's what he had to tell us:
What are ceramides and why are they good for our skin?
To understand what ceramides are, let's think about our skin's protective barrier. This top layer of our skin keeps the good things like moisture in and the bad things like dirt out, according to McAdam.
"The substance which exists between the skin cells predominately consists of ceramides, which are a class of lipids (or fats)," McAdam explained.
Ceramides help our skin's protective barrier do its job by helping to retain moisture and keep our skin hydrated.
"Research has shown that ceramides can increase by up to 10 per cent when a ceramide-containing moisturiser, like CeraVe Moisturising Cream, is applied to the skin daily or four weeks."
What happens if ceramides are lacking in our skin?
Now that we know what ceramides are and what they do, it’s easy to see why skin that is lacking them is in a bit of trouble.
"Ceramides are important for a healthy skin barrier function, which allows the skin to do a better job at keeping moisture in and irritants out," McAdam said.
"When the skin lacks ceramides, we know that the skin becomes more vulnerable to both moisture loss as well as irritation which in turn leads to setbacks such as flaky, itchy, red and generally unhappy skin."
Which skin types benefit most from ceramides?
The good news is, all skin types can benefit from ceramides.
"But especially dry, irritated eczema-prove skin and skin that lacks hydration and luminosity," McAdam said.
That's because studies have shown that skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema and even acne are linked to a deficiency in essential ceramides.
"Providing the skin with a formula that contains skin-aligned ingredients such as ceramides can help reinforce the barrier function and hydration," McAdam added.