Ceramides in Skincare: Reparative and Barrier-boosting
What Are Ceramides? Ceramides are a fundamental component of your skin barrier. A family of waxy lipids (fats), ceramides comprise about 50% of the skin's outermost layer and are crucial for maintaining its barrier function.
How do ceramides benefit the skin?
Think of ceramides as a "glue" that holds the skin cells together. Essentially they act as a waterproof barrier for the skin and serve two key purposes;
Sealing in moisture to minimize transepidermal water loss (TEWL) which can lead to dry, flaky, cracked and rough skin.
Acting as a shield to prevent bacteria, pollutants, and other environmental allergens from entering the skin and causing infection or irritation.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of ceramides:
Hydrate the skin
Ceramides help to retain moisture in the skin, keeping it hydrated and soft. Creating a moisture-retaining shield across the skin’s surface, prevents dryness and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Repair the skin barrier
Not only do ceramides prevent dry and cracked skin, but they also help in the healing process. In instances where the skin's barrier becomes damaged, ceramides act to repair it by filling in any gaps, preserving moisture levels and keeping out harmful allergens.
Ceramides' anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe irritated skin and reduce redness. They are the ideal to counteract inflammation and itchiness, especially for skin concerns such as psoriasis and eczema.
Improve skin texture
Overall, ceramides can improve the texture of rough skin, encouraging a smoother, more supple complexion.
How to replenish ceramides for your skin
Maintaining a robust level of ceramides is key for resilient, radiant skin.
Without sufficient ceramides (“glue”) to hold the skin cells together, cracks form in the barrier. Through these cracks, moisture escapes and pathogens enter.
As the skin ages, the levels of protective ceramides naturally decline. If you have persistent skin issues, such as eczema, psoriasis, and excessively dryness, your skin generally produces fewer ceramides.
Seasonal changes (dry, cold weather) and pollution can also strip away the protective layer of ceramides leading to temporary bouts of dryness and irritation.
Fortunately, there are ways we can support the skin in maintaining and replenishing these important lipids.
Choose ceramide-based skincare
Ceramide-based products work to mimic the skin's natural moisturizing system and reinforce the protective barrier to better retain moisture. In turn, this boosts hydration, minimizes signs of aging and comforts irritated skin.
Ceramides are considered a safe skincare ingredient, with minimal risk of irritation. As they are naturally produced by the body, topical application simply replenishes an element the skin recognises, rather than introducing something foreign.
The right type of cleanser is a key factor in keeping your skin's barrier intact and healthy. Strong alkaline, soap-based cleansers strip away the skin's natural ceramides and leave the barrier weak and vulnerable.
An oil-based cleanser is the ideal choice for preserving ceramides as it promotes balance and hydration while deeply cleansing and purifying the skin.
We recommend: Pure Marula Cleansing Oil or the Fleur de Rose Cream Clenaser.
Make daily SPF non-negotiable
We are aware the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation has a detrimental impact on the skin; this damage includes destroying ceramides on the surface layer. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF (at least 30) to protect against both UVA and UVB rays and the loss of ceramides.
Other environmental and seasonal factors such as pollution and cold seasons of low humidity also contribute to their decline.
What are phytoceramides?
Phytoceramides, derived from plants, are a natural alternative to synthetic or animal-based ceramides. With a similar molecular structure to ceramides naturally present in the skin, certain phytoceramides can also offer additional anti-aging benefits.
African Botanics Ceramide Repair Booster
Our Ceramide Repair Booster is a highly potent and super concentrated reparative treatment that strengthens the skin’s barrier and locks in moisture.
Experience the benefits:
Formulated with a combination of Omega 6 and 3, stabilized Ceramides help improve the skin's barrier function and increase hydration. This aids in the restoration and maintenance of moisture in the skin, leaving it feeling soft and supple.
Helps repair and restructure the skin's barrier function, which can become damaged due to environmental factors such as pollution and UV exposure. Skin health is improved overall for a more radiant and youthful appearance.
The anti-inflammatory and anti-redness properties aid in soothing and calm irritation leaving skin looking more even-toned and balanced.
The regenerative formula increases skin resilience, elasticity and radiance while smoothing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Featuring a unique waterless oil-cerate formula, this deeply emollient-rich treatment is powered by active ceramides (5%), raspberry-derived plant-based lipids, that mimic the naturally occurring ones found in the outer layer of skin, and Rose Flower Butter harnessed in an Olive Squalane base to fortify skin tissue, quench dry and dehydrated skin and seal in hydration. Marula, Rosehip seed and Calendula Oil soothe and calm the skin.
Ceramides in the Ceramide Repair Booster are naturally derived, vegan friendly, and certified by ECOCERT and COSMOS.
You’ll also find skin supporting ceramides in our Resurrection Eye Cream, Eye Contour Gel Serum, Intensive Recovery Cream and the Lucent Pearl Booster.