If you're interested in skin care, chances are the term "ceramides" is somewhat familiar. Perhaps you've heard that they're great for repairing distressed skin and keeping the moisture barrier supported. But what exactly are they? And what is it about them that makes them so good for you?
Well, it turns out, it's all pretty simple. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Purvisha Patel, ceramides are "lipid molecules that make up the protective coating on top of the skin and between skin cells." And it's precisely their lipidic nature that makes them ideal for protecting and strengthening your skin. "Since they are lipids and water-resistant, ceramides help act like a sealant between cells and on top of the skin," she says. "This prevents the skin from drying and cracking."
Patel also notes that ceramides work especially well for dry and/or aging skin since "estrogen loss decreases the ceramide content of the skin." Similarly, they're also great in drier climates, and pair well with products that promote skin turnover (like Patel's own AHA and retinol-packed VIsha Skincare Advanced Correcting Serum, $65). The emollient, barrier-forming effects can both "protect the skin from the elements" and "prevent dryness and peeling."
The stuff's only caveat? Well, ceramides can be a little too rich for acne-prone or oily skin, and can cause clogged pores — but that's definitely not the case for everyone. Keep on reading for some of our favorite ceramide-packed skin care products.
Image via Imaxtree
In addition to the ceramides in the formula, this creamy, balmy mask is packed with a decadent cocktail of nourishing vitamins and antioxidants as well anti-inflammatories that soothe, hydrate and brighten your skin.
It's in the name — the whole CeraVe line is predicated on ceramides and their hydrating, reparative effects. We especially like this lightweight night cream: It's safe for sensitive skin and helps strengthen and moisturize your complexion.
This cream does not mess around: It's formulated with 5-Cera Complex (aka five different types of ceramides) and it can hydrate and rehab even the driest of complexions, leaving your skin softer than soft.