What are ceramides: Best anti-aging skin benefits

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If you look at your skin care routine, you’re likely to find ceramides in the ingredient lists of a few products. They’re commonly found in moisturizers or serums, as ceramides have long been regarded as helpful components in rebuilding your skin barrier.

According to Dr. Sam Ellis, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Prequel, “Ceramides are a type of lipid (fat molecule) that plays a crucial role in maintaining the skin’s barrier function. The outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, is composed of cells held together by lipids, including ceramides. This barrier is essential for retaining moisture, preventing environmental irritants from entering the skin and maintaining overall skin health.”

Think of ceramides as a super ingredient. Not only do they naturally occur in the body but they make up over 50% of your skin’s composition. Dermatologists and skin experts alike emphasize the importance of incorporating them into your skin care routine. Aside from moisture retention and skin barrier health — pillars of anti-aging benefits — Ellis notes that ceramides also aid in “supporting [skin] elasticity to address signs of aging.” Rachael Chambers, licensed esthetician and in-house beauty expert at Oh Beauty, echoes this sentiment and states that those with mature skin are “strongly in need of ceramide replenishment,” explaining that “aging often reduces ceramide levels in the skin, leading to skin issues like dryness, sensitivity and a damaged skin barrier.”

If you are someone who has dry or sensitive skin or even has a skin condition like eczema, ceramides will be super helpful in soothing irritation. Essentially, if your skin is in need of a little extra TLC — especially during these dry winter months — ceramides are going to be your go-to ingredient to leave your skin “moist and supple,” according to Chambers.

Read on for a few of our favorite ceramide-packed products, along with the experts’ recommendations.

“This nourishing cream restores moisture to heal, mend and soothe severely dry, damaged or compromised skin,” says Chambers. “It helps to stimulate collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”

Containing a blend of five skin-identical ceramides along with other powerhouse ingredients like cholesterol, palmitoyl tripeptide-5 and watermelon seed oil, this moisturizer is a dream for a damaged skin barrier.

“This cream is amazing for those with extremely dry skin,” shares Ellis. “It’s renowned for its advanced lipid-replenishment formula, effectively restoring skin’s natural barrier for enhanced hydration, suppleness and skin comfort.”

This K-beauty moisturizer pairs ceramides with ectoin, a soothing skin care ingredient that’s great for anti-aging, for a daily dose of hydration and for skin barrier reinforcement.

This aptly named moisturizer-serum hybrid is packed with ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids, which are the three main components of your skin’s moisture barrier.

“This clinically proven serum combines a plant-derived retinol alternative with ceramides and niacinamide to work to strengthen the skin barrier, increase skin hydration, soothe and reduce irritation and plump and smooth the skin,” says Chambers.

This super-nourishing moisturizer is packed with ceramides, along with a buckwheat honey with propolis and royal jelly blend, which contain antioxidants that soothe and hydrate the skin. The fig fruit extract and osmolytes — organic components that are present in the skin — will help regulate the skin’s moisture retention, leaving it feeling smooth and supple.

If you’re looking for something that doubles as a brightening agent for any stubborn acne scars or hyperpigmentation, opt for this moisturizer. Along with ceramides, this contains peptides and snow mushroom, which will aid in visibly plumping and hydrating your skin.

“I love that this product is super affordable and can be used daily as a moisturizer for the face and body,” says Ellis. “It’s lightweight, rubs in quickly and also functions as a skin protectant cream that alleviates irritation, itchiness and dryness.”

This repairing and plumping moisturizer is perfect for all skin types. It also contains 5% gransil, which blurs the appearance of fine lines, a bonus for anyone with aging skin who wants to improve the health of their skin barrier.

A derm-favorite brand for skin of all ages, you can’t go wrong with this as your go-to ceramide-filled cleanser. Thanks to the moisture-retaining properties of ceramides and hyaluronic acid, it’ll never leave your skin feeling stripped and dry.

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