Ceramides For Skin: Everything You Need to Know

Ceramides For Skin: Everything You Need to Know

Reference Lab

SEPT 25, 2022

Anyone researching “How to improve skin texture?” may have stumbled on the benefits of ceramides. If you’re a habitual label-checker, you’ve probably spotted the word “ceramide” and wondered, “What do ceramides do for the skin?” These powerhouse molecules deliver many benefits that promote skin health. From helping maintain a strong skin barrier to moisturizing lackluster dry skin, multifunctional ceramides work to maintain healthy, radiant skin. Continue reading to find out more about the benefits of ceramides for skin.

What are Ceramides?

Ceramides are a specific type of fatty molecule, otherwise known as lipids. Ceramides are composed of sphingosine, a chain of carbon atoms with an amino acid linked to the chain.
br> Although the brain and nervous system also use natural ceramides, it’s the stratum corneum – the topmost layer of skin – that contains ceramides in abundance. Intercellular stratum corneum ceramide lipids accounts for almost 50% of the skin’s makeup. Found naturally within the skin, these ceramide molecules function as the skin’s very-own built-in moisturizer and adhesive.1

Are there Different Types of Ceramides?

Twelve types of ceramides exist, each differing in the formation of atoms within the ceramide itself. The following are the most common ceramides used in cosmetic and skin care products.2
  • Phytosphingosine
  • Sphingosine
  • Ceramide 1, also called ceramide EOS
  • Ceramide 6-II, also called ceramide AP
  • Ceramide 9, also called ceramide EOP
  • Ceramide 2, also called ceramide NS or NG
  • Ceramide 3, also called ceramide NP
Fortunately, there’s no need to get bogged down regarding the names of these ceramides. As stated prior, ceramides occur naturally, but they can also be made synthetically. Natural ceramides come from natural sources, including plants and animals. Humans, cows, and some plants, such as soy, create their own ceramides.2 In contrast, synthetic ceramides, also known as pseudo-ceramides, are made in a laboratory. Because it's easier to control contaminants and maintain quality standards in a lab, synthetic ceramides are typically found in skin care products.2

Does Age Affect Ceramide Skin Levels?

As you get older, you might notice that certain areas of your skin are crepey. What causes crepey skin and can you avoid it? Aside from aging, crepey skin texture is triggered by sun damage and lack of hydration. Like collagen and hyaluronic acid, ceramide levels decline with age. Women, in particular, see a rapid reduction in ceramide levels as estrogen levels decrease during perimenopause and menopause. Estrogen plays a significant role in ceramide production and other skin-friendly molecules, such as collagen.

Studies show that women lose up to 40% of their skin’s naturally occurring ceramides by their 30s. This loss increases to approximately 60% in their 40s and even further with age. This reduction in ceramide levels contributes to the common shift in skin texture observed in later years, including skin dryness and wrinkles.3

What are the Benefits of Ceramides for the Skin?

It’s natural to worry about crepey skin. So, how do you get rid of crepey skin? Making up for the ceramides you lose with age can help. When it comes to skin, ceramides have a considerable impact. After all, ceramides can comprise up to half of all skin molecules. Ceramides strengthen the skin barrier, hydrate and moisturize skin, and smooth the skin.4 It goes without saying that ceramides are good for all skin texture types.
Meet OS-01: The Peptide that Extends Your Skinspan. Learn more!

Ceramides Strengthen Your Skin Barrier

Your skin barrier works as a shield for your skin. It keeps pathogens out, prevents injury from the external environment, and limits overall moisture loss. Due to its essential role, keeping the skin barrier strong is vital for healthy skin and overall physical health. The skin barrier affects the immune system and protects the body from ultraviolet sunlight.4 Ceramides are integral to maintaining the strength of the skin barrier. Reduced levels of ceramides can lead to skin conditions associated with a weakened skin barrier, like psoriasis and dry skin. Clinical studies into ceramides indicate that boosting skin ceramide levels bolsters the strength of the skin barrier.5,6

Ceramides Keep Skin Hydrated

Research into ceramides shows that topical application of ceramides increases skin hydration. Even one topical application of a ceramide cream on dry skin can boost skin hydration in as little as 24 hours. Routine application improves skin hydration and fortifies the skin barrier, which leads to healthier skin.7

Dry skin is typically caused by a process known as trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). TEWL is the process by which water evaporates from the skin through the skin’s various layers. When the skin barrier is weak, water loss increases. Ceramides shore up the spaces within the skin’s barrier, preventing water loss and locking in moisture. Research indicates that one application can significantly decrease TEWL over 24 hours.7

Ceramides Smooth Your Skin

Without enough ceramides to keep the skin hydrated, it becomes dry and wrinkled. These changes affect the skin's texture, creating a rough and mottled appearance. Instead of lining themselves up in structured layers, skin cells start to distance themselves from each other and take on a non-linear appearance. Like the walls in a broken down building, the skin’s “bricks” start to fall apart.5,6

Supplementing the skin with ceramides has a soothing effect, aligning cells and giving the skin more structure. Ceramides smooth skin by realigning these bricks and functioning as the “mortar” between them. Ceramides fill in the cracks between skin cells and hold the skin barrier together, resulting in smoother and softer skin.5,6

Ceramides Encourage Healthy Aging

Without enough ceramides to prevent water loss, the skin is more likely to show signs of aging. Studies show that reduced skin ceramide levels contribute to age-associated problems related to skin permeability. These age-associated issues can create low-grade inflammation, compromised skin barrier, and a loss of elasticity. The water-retaining and barrier-strengthening properties of ceramides foster healthy aging, and ceramide supplementation helps counter natural ceramide loss.8

Are ceramides consumed orally or applied topically?

You can add ceramides to your skin through two routes, orally or topically. A healthy diet, for example, introduces ceramides into the body through ceramides-containing foods like sweet potatoes. Unfortunately, oral consumption of ceramides are often not enough to make up for age-related ceramide loss. When applied topically, however, ceramides directly impact the skin and can reduce dryness, repair the skin barrier, and improve elasticity. Topical application of high quality ceramides keeps skin healthy and moisturized.

Ceramides in OneSkin Products

Looking for topical ceramides to include in your skincare routine? OneSkin’s OS-01 BODY contains ceramides as one of its star ingredients. The ceramides in OS-01 BODY reinforce the skin’s natural lipid barrier, which protects the skin and ensures moisture retention. Direct topical application of OS-01 BODY prevents water loss and skin damage by strengthening the skin barrier.

Main Takeaways

  • Ceramides, composing almost 50% of skin, are fatty molecules that keep skin cells aligned and fixed together.
  • The skin barrier requires sufficient ceramide levels to remain healthy and functional and prevent moisture loss. Unfortunately, ceramide levels naturally decline with age.
  • Supplementing ceramide levels by routine topical application can:
    • Smoothen skin texture.
    • Reduce dry skin and skin damage.
    • Prevent moisture loss.
    • Boost elasticity.
  • Along with the OS-01 peptide, ceramides are a key ingredient in OneSkin's OS-01 BODY, which reinforce the skin’s natural lipid barrier and improve skin’s appearance.
  1. https://lipidworld.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12944-016-0178-7
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ics.12399
  3. https://lipidworld.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12944-016-0178-7
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16060709/
  5. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13555-020-00426-3
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18717861/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30410378/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7138575/
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