Ceramides have become super popular in skincare products in the last few years. But what exactly are they? How do they benefit your skin? Who can benefit from using them? We’ve got the answers to those questions and then some in our guide to ceramide benefits.
What Are Ceramides
Ceramides are one of the key lipids in your skin. Lipids are fat components of your skin that make up the barrier to protect your skin from the outside world. As the skin is the largest organ of your body, keeping it well protected and safe is crucial to keeping your skin healthy.
Ceramides will decrease as you get older and when your skin becomes damaged from ultraviolet (UV) rays and harsh chemicals. Having ceramides in your skincare routine is a great way to build these lipids back up and keep your skin looking soft and youthful.
What Are The Different Types of Ceramides?
Ceramides are found naturally in your skin, in animals such as cows, and some plants. However, you are more likely to see artificial ceramides in your skincare products as they are easier to stabilize and free from contaminants.
There are 12 types of ceramides, appropriately named ceramide 1 to 12. The most common ones you’ll see in skincare products are:
- Ceramide 1, or ceramide EOS
- Ceramide 2, or ceramide NS or NG
- Ceramide 3, or ceramide NP
- Ceramide 6-II, or ceramide AP
- Ceramide 9, or ceramide EOP
Despite their different names, these ceramides will all give you the same benefits, and you will often find multiple types in your skincare products.
How Do Ceramides Benefit Your Skin?
The main benefits of ceramides are protecting your skin's natural barrier, helping your skin maintain the ideal amount of moisture, and preventing it from drying out. There are several ways that ceramides provide these benefits.
Because ceramides strengthen your skin’s barrier, this locks in moisture and the moisture you get from your skincare products. This can prevent dry air, UV rays, and environmental pollutants from drying out your skin.
In addition, this can also give you a hydrated, dewy complexion that makes your skin glow as it should!
Helps Minimize Acne Breakouts
Ceramides can also help in reducing breakouts for people with acne-prone skin. When the skin’s barrier is stronger and more durable, skin sensitivity is decreased, and therefore you are less likely to experience flare-ups.
Support Skin Affected by Various Skin Conditions
Many skin conditions can often leave your skin feeling dry, red, and itchy, but using ceramides in your daily skincare routine can help nourish your skin, lock in moisture, and protect it from drying out, which may help to lessen the severity of the symptoms associated with these conditions.
Ceramides may also be beneficial in reducing sensitivity in your skin by building up your skin’s barrier and keeping it protected.
Support Rosacea-Affected Skin
Rosacea is a common skin condition characterized by flushed-looking skin that can often feel tender and bumpy. Ceramides may help reduce Rosacea flare-ups by protecting your skin from external factors that can cause skin irritation.
They may also be beneficial in minimizing redness and swelling brought on by Rosacea to reduce tenderness in the skin.
To learn more about how to specifically treat rosacea-prone skin, click here.
Revitalizes Aging Skin
Ceramides decrease in your skin as you age. Therefore they are crucial for aging and mature skin as they can help the structural foundation of your skin to minimize the appearance of fine lines, helping your skin look and feel smooth, fresh, and youthful.
Ceramides are also beneficial in protecting your skin’s barrier, reducing exposure-related skin aging from UV rays and other external factors.
Prevents Loss of Moisture
Ceramides are also a great humectant, meaning that they can help your skin lock in moisture from outside sources and retain the moisture your skin naturally creates to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Utilizing ceramides in your skincare routine can also help with long-term skin hydration as you age by maintaining the levels of ceramides you have in your skin.
Softens and Smoothes The Skin
Ceramides aid in protecting the outermost layer of the skin from external factors like UV rays, cold air, and environmental pollutants. This can help your skin have a smoother and softer texture by minimizing the impact these factors have on your skin so you can continue to look and feel youthful and glowing.
What Skin Types Benefit From Added Ceramides?
The short answer? Almost everyone! Many people can benefit from having a ceramide skincare product in their routine, but ceramides can be especially beneficial for those with dry, sensitive, and mature skin types.
Those with dry and cracked skin can benefit from a ceramide product as they can promote hydration in your skin and minimize the loss of moisture from harsh environments.
Ceramides can help build up your skin’s natural durability, which can help prevent damage that may dry out your skin.
If you have sensitive skin, you can also utilize ceramides in your skincare routine as they help reduce redness and swelling. Ceramides can also aid in preventing acne breakouts and clearing your skin from existing breakouts by protecting your skin’s barrier that can become weak in sensitive and acne-prone skin.
Because of their barrier-protecting properties, ceramides are super beneficial in minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which gives you youthful and glowy skin.
They also lock in moisture, so this will provide you with that dewy, hydrated, and supple appearance.
How Often Can You Use Ceramides?
Because ceramides are gentle and hydrating for the skin, there is really no limit on how often you can use them. Some products can strip your skin if used too often, such as exfoliants or certain cleansers, whereas ceramides keep you nice and hydrated!
Generally speaking, you should use ceramides in your daily skincare routine. Just make sure that the other ingredients in your ceramide product can also be used simultaneously.
How Do I Use Ceramides?
The best way to use ceramides is typically right after washing your face to help lock in moisture. You can use ceramides in your daytime or nighttime routine.
We highly recommend patch testing your ceramide products before adding them to your routine to ensure you don’t have any sensitivities or reactions to the product.
Once you’ve ensured that the product is compatible with your skin, you’re good to go to start incorporating ceramides into your skincare.
Before you apply any products with ceramides, always start with a good cleanser to thoroughly cleanse your skin.
There aren’t any products you need to use with ceramides, but some products can help give you the most benefits. After cleansing, you can use your normal skincare products such as toners, serums, eye cream, and SPF.
Lastly, you can add in your ceramide moisturizer. Because creams are easier for your skin to absorb, these can be put on top of other products that need to be closer to your skin’s surface.
What Skincare Products Contain Ceramides?
Ceramides are widely available in various skincare products, but the most common ones you’ll see are moisturizers containing ceramides. This is because ceramides build up your skin’s barrier, and your moisturizer is typically the last skincare product you will use in your routine.
What Products Should I Use With Ceramides?
What you use with ceramides depends on the benefits you hope to gain from them.
For dry skin, you may consider adding a hyaluronic acid serum, like our Dew Drops Mushroom Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum, to help get additional moisture into your skin.
For more sensitive skin types, you might want to try out a soothing cleanser, like our Purify Aloe + Amino Acid Cleanser, to get your skin fully prepped for the ceramides to get soaked up without stripping your skin of any nutrients.
Niacinamide is a common ingredient in skincare products that can be used with ceramides for a smoother, glowy complexion. It is also beneficial in minimizing pore size and softening the skin.
When Should I Stop Using Ceramides?
Your skin knows itself better than you do. If you feel like you are having any type of reaction, including redness, itchiness, or breakouts, stop using ceramides. Sometimes it can take your skin a few days to adjust to a new product, so you might want to consider using them every other day to start out with.
Always listen to your skin, though, to ensure that ceramides are right for you.
Are There Ingredients I Shouldn’t Use With Ceramides?
Another great benefit of ceramides? They can be used with anything! Because they are extra beneficial to those with dry and sensitive skin, using other hydrating products can help glowy, radiant skin.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Ceramides?
Consistency is key! You can begin to see results in as little as five days after using ceramides in your skincare.
Our skin cells shed and regenerate on average every 27 days, so using ceramides every day for one to three months has been shown to have visible improvements to the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and dry skin.
The Bottom Line
At Three Ships, We're on a mission to drive transparency about what is (and isn't) in your skincare routine.
For those with dry, sensitive, and mature skin types, ceramides might be exactly what you’re looking for in your skincare routine. For everyone else, ceramides can have tremendous benefits to your skin’s overall health.
No matter your skin type, we think everyone can and should try out ceramides for your skin and let the results speak for themselves!