Do ceramides heal the skin?
We hear a lot about ceramides being good for the skin, especially in healing the skin barrier which is the protective layer of the skin. Ceramides are found naturally in this layer and as lipids or fats that make up the oils in the skin. They prevent the loss of moisture and keep things like pollution out. However over time sun damage and the aging process slows down the number of ceramides in the skin making it dry, cracked and thin. This makes it vulnerable to external factors, breakouts and infections.
So it makes sense to apply ceramide creams to replenish the natural stores, enhance and repair the skin barrier, lock in moisture and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The ceramides in many creams come from plants which seem to work better to repair damaged skin barrier than synthetic ceramides.
Ceramide creams work best on damp warm skin straight out of the shower and can be the first thing you put on your skin. As with any new skincare product see how it feels and behaves. If you notice a reaction, itching, irritation or dryness stop using it.
Can you take ceramide supplements to help the skin barrier also? Yes, but there are some concerns about doing this. There are no official doses for supplements and there are definite links that ceramides (which are fats) can actually cause heart problems and stroke by increasing the fat content of the blood! I believe in being safe first and foremost, so my personal take on this is to be stick to topical creams and get a ceramide boost from your diet. Foods such as eggs, brown rice, wheat germ, soybeans and sweet potatoes can boost ceramides and give the skin suppleness.
Phytoceramide creams are considered safe and non-irritating. However, people’s sensitivity varies so it’s best to take it slow with any new skin care product. In the meantime if you want to talk about mechanical means of improving your skin, we can try anything from collagen induction therapy and IPL to chemical peels and Morpheus8 RF Microneedling!