We often hear about ceramides without knowing exactly why they are used in skincare formulations. So, what is their purpose? What are their benefits for the skin?
What are the benefits of ceramides for the skin?
The benefits of ceramides for the skin, in brief.
are a vital component of the intercellular cement of the corneal layer.
Strengthen the skin barrier.
They hold the corneocytes together to form a protective horny layer.
What are ceramides?
The ceramides are a structurally heterogeneous and complex group of epidermal sphingolipids containing derivatives of sphingosine bases in amide linkage with a variety of fatty acids, due to differences in chain length, type and degree of hydroxylation, saturation, etc. In combination with other lipid constituents (cholesterol, free fatty acids), they are transported to the extracellular regions of the horny layer during epidermal differentiation, where they represent about 50% of the total amount of lipids in the stratum corneum, playing a crucial role in structuring and maintaining the skin's water permeability. Thus, formulations containing a certain supplementation of ceramides, identical to those of the skin, would improve the barrier function by strengthening their natural synthesis by the epidermis. Without a minimum of ceramides, the skin tends to become dry, irritated, dull and more sensitive to various aggressions.
Moisturising and restructuring, a dual effect of ceramides on the skin to compensate for a deficiency.
With age and various factors that can damage the skin barrier, such as cold, excessive sun exposure, pollution, humidity, dry weather, etc., the ceramide content in the skin tends to decrease. The skin barrier weakens and becomes more permeable, which can lead to skin problems such as irritation, dryness or even redness. Skincare products containing ceramides can help improve these symptoms. Similarly, psoriasis, acne and eczema are often signs of a ceramide deficiency. Moreover, numerous studies have shown that ceramides play a crucial role in the skin's water retention capacity.
Used in skincare, they repair and strengthen the skin's hydration barrier against urban aggressions. By occupying the space between each of the cells in the corneal layer, they create a barrier for the skin to prevent dehydration and signs of sensitivity, while protecting the skin from environmental damage that assaults the skin's protective surface. Ceramides thus help to hold together the corneocytes to form a protective layer. The result? Its contribution will bring suppleness to the skin, revitalise it, restore radiance and ensure a hydrated skin.
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BRANDT S. & al. The structure, function, and importance of ceramides in skin and their use as therapeutic agents in skin-care products. American Academy of Dermatology (2014).
DEL ROSSO J. Q. Ceramide- and keratolytic-containing body cleanser and cream application in patients with psoriasis: outcomes from a consumer usage study. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (2019)
WANG G. & al. The role of ceramides in skin homeostasis and inflammatory skin diseases. Journal of Dermatological Science (2019).