Ceramides are an undeniable buzzword in the current world of skincare. While they're anything but new or an innovative breakthrough in ingredient technology, it is certainly a positive that they are experiencing their time in the spotlight. Here is everything you need to know about ceramides, and what they do for skin health.
What exactly are ceramides?
Ceramides are waxy lipid (oil) molecules that make up a large portion of the skin’s composition – over half in fact! They play an essential role in the structure and integrity of the skin, especially its barrier function.
Ceramides are found in high concentration in the cell membranes within the tissue, and also in the extracellular spaces between epidermal skin cells. The integrity of these two components determine how well the skin functions and protects itself. Therefore, ceramides may be considered key to barrier function and ongoing skin maintenance.
What happens without ceramides?
Since ceramides are so pivotal within the cell membranes and the epidermal lipid complex, it means that if ceramides are depleted, skin health may suffer. Compromised cell membranes and/or barrier function can lead to microbial infections like breakouts or skin fungus, sensitisation, inflammatory skin conditions like dermatitis, oxidative stress, and accelerated ageing.
Is ceramide skincare for me?
The best way to prevent or address the aforementioned concerns is to ensure our skin’s natural ceramides remain in good supply. Over-stripping the skin, applying excessive levels of active and/or exfoliating ingredients, or receiving too many potent clinical treatments can disrupt natural oil levels and barrier function, and it is at this point that ceramides can assist greatly. Even without the presence of sensitisation or inflammatory concerns, ceramides are a great choice to maintain skin health and function, because of their natural presence in the skin.
Due to their barrier-boosting properties, ceramides are often found in gentle cleansers, facilitating a cosmetic formula which cleans the skin and replenishes ceramides without over-stripping lipid content. They can also be commonly found in fortifying and strengthening serums, and replenishing moisturisers. You can find Mukti’s signature ceramide complex contained within our newly launched Queen of the Night Crème: Mukti’s answer to the ultimate barrier-restoring, nourishing, and skin-protecting concoction.