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* A family of lipid molecules comprising of sphingosine and a fatty acid. Its found in high concentrations within the cell membrane of cells. See Truth In Aging's Ceramide article.
Works as a hydrating agent. Making up for of 50% of our skin's natural protective barrier, ceramides retain moisture levels in the skin and help regulate cell activity. Some studies have shown that adding ceramides to skincare products effectively replenishes the skin's reduced ceramide levels. Further studies have that topical application can actually help rebuild and restore the epidermal barrier, strengthening the skin's appearance and maximizing its moisture levels.
For years, ceramides were thought of simply a structural component to the lipid bilayer of all cell membranes, including the upper layer of skin. Interestingly though, recent studies reveal that they can also act as a signaling molecule that send messages to the rest of the body. The 'signal' they perform is apostosis, programming a cell to die. This has made ceramide the subject of numerous studies on its role in treating cancer patients.
While many cosmetic companies advertise this ingredient as an "anti-ager," it has yet to demonstrate antioxidant or collagen building capabilities, and appears to function only as a moisturizer (there's nothing wrong with that). Some studies have also shown it to effectively strengthen the skin's barrier only when used in conjunction with cholestoral and three fatty acids. Because there are 9 types of ceramides (numbered 1-9), you will usually find a number following the name ceramide on an ingredient list. This class of ingredients is usually contained in cosmetic products such as facial moisturizer, eye cream, anti-aging serum, foundation, sunscreen shampoo/conditioner, lip gloss/lipstick and body firming lotion.
Recommended Products w/ ceramides:
Skinn Wrinkle Balm, Terralina Facial Moisturizer, MD Skincare Lift & Lighten Eye Cream, Aveda Green Science Firming Face Cream