Ceramide Helps Damaged Skin To Restore Health And Vitality
Ceramides are natural ingredients found in our skin. They not only help the skin lock in moisture but also promote the self-repair of the skin barrier.
Scientists have discovered 9 naturally occurring ceramides.
In addition to natural ceramides, there are also plant ceramides, pseudo-ceramide, and synthetic ceramides.
Ceramides are expensive, and natural ceramides extracted directly from animals are even more expensive. The content of ceramide extracted from plants is too low. In most cases, the ceramides used in skin care products are artificially synthesized, and the concentration is basically below 1%.
The chemical structure of ceramide
What Is Ceramide?
The outermost layer of the skin has a barrier called the stratum corneum, which is the most loyal protector of the skin. It is through this barrier that no harmful substances from outside can enter the body, nor can the water and nutrients in the body be lost.
The structure of the stratum corneum of the skin is similar to the structure of a brick wall. The keratinocytes are bricks, the intercellular lipids are cement, and ceramide is an important part of the intercellular lipids.
Ceramide is similar to the cement of a wall, used to glue all the bricks on the wall. Without it, the wall is prone to cracks or even collapse, causing bacteria, ultraviolet rays, pollutants, and other damage to the skin.
We can find ceramides in two places in the skin: intercellular lipids and sebum films.
1. Intercellular lipids in the stratum corneum
Ceramide mainly exists in the stratum corneum, and it binds keratinocytes together with cholesterol and fatty acids. This combination usually includes 3 parts ceramide, 1 part cholesterol, and 1 part fatty acid.
2. Sebum film
The ceramide in the sebaceous film is leaked from the stratum corneum to the surface of the skin after the keratinocytes collapse. The source of ceramide in the sebaceous film is leaked from the stratum corneum.
The sebum film contains ceramide to enhance the moisturizing function of the skin, but the amount of ceramides contained in the sebum film is relatively small.
What Happens If The Skin Lacks Ceramide?
Many skin diseases, such as dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, sensitive skin, dry skin, and rough skin. The ceramide content of skin suffering from these diseases is significantly lower than that of healthy skin.
In addition to these, under normal circumstances, as people age, the ceramide content will gradually decrease, resulting in dryness, wrinkles, and skin inflammation, and the skin will naturally age.
Certain skin diseases may be the lack of ceramide in the corresponding skin area:
Psoriasis: lack of ceramide 1, ceramide 3, ceramide 6.
Ichthyosis: lack of ceramide 1, ceramide 6.
Atopic dermatitis: lack of ceramide 3, ceramide 6.
Dermatitis caused by over-cleansing: lack of ceramide 3.
The following actions can easily cause the loss of ceramide and damage your skin barrier:
1. Use products containing hormones or antibiotics: such as skin creams containing hormones and anti-acne products containing antibiotics.
2. Harsh external conditions: such as very cold, dry, and very strong ultraviolet rays.
3. Wrong way of skin care: the most common is excessive cleansing and frequent exfoliation.
The Function Of Ceramide
1. Barrier function
Ceramide combines fatty acids and cholesterol to form a fine bilayer structure. This structure is filled between keratinocytes, prevents the loss of water, nutrients, and electrolytes in the body, and acts as a skin barrier.
2. Moisturizing function
As a water-soluble lipid substance, ceramide is easily soluble in water and can attract water molecules to connect them into a large net, thus locking in moisture.
3. Adhesive function
Ceramide is a part of the intercellular lipid. It sticks the keratinocytes together like super glue to prevent dryness and desquamating of the skin. Desquamate is the non-sticky keratinocytes.
How To Distinguish Ceramide In Skin Care Products?
Our body will automatically replenish the lost ceramide, but if your skin barrier is severely damaged and the loss of ceramide is too much, the body is difficult to repair, you can choose repair products containing ceramide to help repair damaged skin.
The ratio of ceramide, cholesterol, and free fatty acids in the stratum corneum is 3.6: 1.2:1.
An excellent skin barrier repair cream will mimic the ratio of the various components in the intercellular lipid so that the ceramide can penetrate the skin more easily and exert its repair function.
If the ingredients in skin care products only contain ceramide, then its repairing effect is no different from ordinary moisturizing products. Therefore, when using ceramide products, the formulation of skin care products is very important.
When you select ceramide products, it’s best to pay attention to whether the formula contains ceramide, cholesterol, and fatty acids at the same time, but you probably don’t know the ratio between them, and the merchant will not tell you.
If you see that some skin care brands recommend ceramide stock solution, it means that only ceramide is included in the formula, and the repair effect of the product is very poor.
If you see the following names in the ingredient list, they are all ceramides.
Ceramide 1 = Ceramide EOS
Ceramide 2 = Ceramide NS = N-stearoyl-sphingosine
Ceramide 3 = Ceramide NP = N-stearoyl-phytosphingosine
Ceramide 4 = Ceramide EOH
Ceramide 5 = Ceramide AS
Ceramide 6 = Ceramide AP = α-hydroxy-N-stearoyl-phytosphingosine
Ceramide 6 II = Hexanoyl sphingosine
Ceramide 7 = Ceramide AH
Ceramide 8 = Ceramide NH
Ceramide 9 = Ceramide EOP
Ceramide E = Cetyl-PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide
Among them, Ceramide 1, Ceramide 3, and Ceramide 6 are very effective in repairing damaged and sensitive skin. When buying skin care products that focus on soothing repair or sensitive skin, you can carefully observe the ingredient list.
Ceramide is an indispensable part of our skin. It provides barrier function, moisturizing function, and adhesion function for the skin.
The skin lacks ceramide and is prone to various skin diseases.
If your skin is damaged, give preference to skincare products containing ceramide.