The Benefits Of Ceramides In Skincare, Explained

Ceramides are a relatively new trending ingredient in skincare products. Somewhere in the back of your mind, after researching the best fill-in-the-blank must-haves, you know enough to know that you've found something good if it contains ceramides. But do you know why? You won't see many summer skincare best-of lists featuring ceramides. However, as trends seem to change with the seasons, ceramides are becoming more popular as cooler weather approaches.  


Ceramides help to improve the skin's barrier function and hydration, and are often recommended for dry or sensitive skin. They are not only a natural element found in our body's cells and organ tissue, but they are also found in foods like soy and wheat germ. While they are still studying the effectiveness, there are even dietary supplements that claim to provide ceramides to support skin wellness at the cellular level. So, what makes ceramides so special? And why do we want them in our skincare products?

Do we need ceramides? What are they?

As our largest organ, the skin's main function is to protect us from the elements and prevent water loss. Since hydration is such a crucial part of a healthy body, our skin's moisture retention plays an important part in telling us when and how often we need water. Ceramides are essential not only to prevent infection and water loss, but they act like a conduit between cells, helping to signal to each other certain needs to protect against external irritants or deficiencies that need attention.


Ceramides are a type of sphingolipid, which is a complex molecule that contains both lipids (also known as fats) and sphingosine that acts like a binding base keeping cells together. They are a natural component of the skin's outermost layer, the stratum corneum, playing a fundamental role in the structure of the skin and other tissues throughout the body, as well as serving the integrity of the skin's overall barrier functionality.

The wonders of ceramides at your finger tips, literally

As we age, the skin's natural ceramide levels tend to decrease, contributing to fine lines and wrinkles, and can also look like general sensitivity like dry or red patches. Skincare products that contain ceramides are known for their ability to retain moisture and help skin appear to age more slowly.


For people who live with acne, eczema, and psoriasis, ceramide-rich products like sunflower oil can help support necessary hydration. Where the skin's barrier function is often impaired, the application of ceramides can assist in repairing and fortifying the skin barrier, reducing symptoms such as itching, redness, and flakiness.

Ceramides are also generally well-tolerated by most and are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions. They can serve as a delivery system for other active ingredients in skincare products by transporting other ingredients deeper into the skin, enhancing the effectiveness.

As with any skincare product, individual results may vary so choose products suitable for your skin type and concerns. As always, if you have chronic skin conditions, consult a dermatologist to determine the best approach to incorporating ceramides into your skincare routine.