With all the essences, peptides, retinol and hyaluronic acid in your bathroom cabinet, you'd be forgiven for thinking you need a science degree to understand skincare these days. The not-so-good news is, you’re going to need to add ceramides to that list of need-to-know ingredients.
The good news? According to the experts, they’re well worth it.
“Ceramides are a type of lipid proven to increase the skin’s hydration and barrier function,” says Elizabeth Arden national training manager Sheryll Thompson.
“Together with other lipids [such as fatty acids and cholesterol], they play a crucial role in maintaining the strength of the skin’s lipid barrier, keeping it hydrated, firm, plump and supple by preventing water loss.”
Found in the outermost layer of the epidermis, ceramides naturally begin to decline when we’re as young as 30. “Between the ages of 21 and 30, your skin may still be at 100 per cent ceramide volume,” says Thompson.
“However, from there it can decline to around 62 per cent, and in your forties that number drops again to 37 per cent – so it’s vital to replenish ceramides.”
Of course, the environment also plays a part in the condition of our skin, says Caroline Parker, head of education at Dermalogica.
For example, she says, “If we’ve been spending time outside in very cold, very hot or very dry weather, our skin can become itchy or feel dry and scaly.”
- Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum 60, $115. 2. Medik8 Hydr8 Eye 360 SPF30, $120. 3. SkinMedica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream, $120. 4. GlamGlow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer, $78. 5. Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream, $198. 6. Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum, $47. 7. Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum 60, $150. 8. Perricone MD Neuropeptide Night Cream, $407. 9. Dermalogica Overnight Repair Serum, $119. 10. Dr Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster, $108. *
Luckily, we can return what’s lost to the skin by way of topical skincare. “It’s important to make sure we’re including healthy fats and oils in our diet, but the topical application of ceramides is needed to help relieve dryness and irritation quickly, “ says Parker.
“It works so much faster than waiting to see the effects of boosting levels orally.”
When it comes to what products to choose, you can look to include ceramides in any part of your skincare regimen – in serums, moisturisers or masks.
“Our new Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules contain ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids to create a seal around the skin cells so moisture doesn’t escape,” says Thompson.
With the results clinically proven to take up to 10 years off – we’re starting now!