What Are Ceramides & How Do They Benefit Your Skin?

What Are Ceramides & How Do They Benefit Your Skin?

Just like the big buzzword “peptides”, you’ve definitely heard of ceramides. Ceramides aren’t only found in our skincare, but also occur naturally in our skin. Ceramides are a fundamental component of healthy skin and play a crucial role in maintaining its overall well-being. In the world of skincare, they're often referred to as the "building blocks" of the skin's barrier. They make up 50% of the outermost layer of your skin!

What Are Ceramides?

Ceramides are naturally occurring lipids (fats) found in the outermost layer of your skin, known as the stratum corneum. This layer acts as a protective barrier, shielding your skin from environmental stressors, pollutants, moisture loss, and potential irritants. Ceramides make up a significant portion of this barrier, alongside other lipids like cholesterol and fatty acids. Just like collagen decreases with age, so do ceramides. That’s why adding ceramides to your skincare is essential for not only moisture and protection, but also the prevention of fine lines and wrinkles.

Types of Ceramides

When it comes to ceramides, there are 12 different types, typically labeled as Ceramide with a number or acronym to follow.

The main types of ceramides found in skincare are:

  1. Ceramide 1 (Ceramide EOS):

Ceramide 1 is a crucial component in the skin's barrier function. It helps bind the outermost layer of skin cells together, preventing moisture loss and protecting against environmental stressors. This ceramide type is essential for maintaining a healthy skin barrier and preventing dryness.

  1. Ceramide 2 (Ceramide NS or NG):

Ceramide 2 also contributes to maintaining skin hydration and barrier integrity. It works alongside other ceramides to support the overall structure of the stratum corneum, ensuring that the skin remains protected and resilient.

  1. Ceramide 3 (Ceramide NP):

Ceramide 3 is known for its water-retention properties. It helps the skin retain moisture, keeping it hydrated and plump. This ceramide is especially beneficial for those with dry or dehydrated skin, as it aids in preventing moisture loss.

  1. Ceramide 4 (Ceramide EOH):

Ceramide 4 plays a role in reinforcing the skin's barrier against external aggressors. It assists in maintaining the cohesion between skin cells, ensuring that the barrier remains strong and capable of fending off irritants.

  1. Ceramide 5 (Ceramide AP):

Ceramide 5 is instrumental in soothing and calming the skin. It helps to alleviate redness and irritation by promoting a healthier skin barrier. This ceramide is often found in products aimed at sensitive or reactive skin types.

  1. Ceramide 6 (Ceramide AS):

Ceramide 6 contributes to overall skin hydration by preventing water loss. It's particularly helpful for improving the skin's moisture levels and can aid in achieving a smooth and supple complexion.

  1. Ceramide 6 II (Ceramide EOS):

Ceramide 6 II works alongside other ceramides to enhance the skin's barrier function. By maintaining the integrity of the skin's structure, it ensures that the barrier remains intact and effective.

  1. Ceramide 7 (Ceramide A-1):

Ceramide 7 supports the skin's natural protective barrier and helps improve its resilience. It's often included in formulations that target skin repair and rejuvenation.

  1. Ceramide 9 (Ceramide EOP):

Ceramide 9 is found in the outermost layer of the skin and is essential for maintaining barrier integrity. It helps to keep the skin hydrated and protected against external stressors.

What Are Peptides?

Peptides are parts of proteins. Keratin, collagen, and elastin make up a large portion of proteins within the human body. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and peptides are small chains of amino acids that can help stimulate collagen production. While there is an array of peptides, these powerhouses work on a cellular level to stimulate specific functions. Peptides are like worker bees in signaling other cells to produce collagen and elastin - without the side effects of AHAs, BHAs, and retinoids that may cause irritation.

How Ceramides Benefit Skin:

  1. Maintains Skin Barrier Integrity

Imagine your skin's barrier as a brick wall. The skin cells are the bricks, and the lipids, including ceramides, are the mortar that holds everything together. Ceramides ensure that the skin cells are tightly packed, preventing water loss and keeping irritants out.

  1. Retains Moisture

Ceramides also contribute to your skin's ability to retain moisture. They create a protective seal on the skin's surface, preventing water from evaporating too quickly. This is particularly important for maintaining hydration, preventing dryness, and achieving that coveted healthy glow.

  1. Defends Against Irritants

Your skin encounters various external aggressors daily, such as harsh weather, pollution, and even skincare products. Ceramides help fortify your skin's defenses by acting as a barrier against these potential irritants, reducing the likelihood of sensitivity and redness.

  1. Soothes Sensitivity

If you're dealing with skin issues like eczema or psoriasis, ceramides can aid in restoring the compromised barrier and relieving discomfort. When your skin barrier is compromised from over-exfoliation, harsh cleansers, clogged pores, or harsh weather conditions, ceramides step in and repair the damage.

Ceramides Vs Peptides: What Are the Differences?

Ceramides and peptides are both essential for skin health, but they both serve different roles for the skin. Ceramides primarily focus on maintaining the skin’s barrier function and moisture, while peptides target specific concerns like wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and collagen production. Ceramides are a nourishing skin component, while peptides signal cells to serve specific functions.

How to Apply Ceramides in Skin Care?

Typically, ceramides are a lot thicker in texture, as they contain fatty acids. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to layer skincare from lightest to thickest. Ceramides are best used in moisturizers and serums, as they help lock in moisture and reinforce the skin barrier.

Which Skin Types Benefit Most from Ceramides?

Ceramides are beneficial for all skin types, particularly those that struggle with compromised skin barriers, dehydration, or sensitivity. As we age, our skin's natural ceramide levels decrease. Using ceramide-rich products can help skin maintain its elasticity, firmness, and moisture balance. Ceramides are exceptional in aiding and reinforcing compromised skin due to conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and over-exfoliation. They allow skin to heal and become resistant to dryness and itchiness.

Which Skin Types Benefit Most from Peptides?

Peptides offer targeted benefits for various skin concerns such as dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, and dullness. When incorporating peptides into your routine, consider your specific needs and look for products that contain peptides suitable for your skin type and concerns. Consulting with a dermatologist or skincare professional can provide personalized guidance on incorporating peptides effectively into your skincare regimen.

Best Skin Care Products with Ceramides from MIRACO

  1. S-Cell Serum
  2. S-Cell Super Cream
  3. S-Cell Supreme Dry Oil

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