Ceramides - The Dermatology Review

Ceramides

ARTICLE

09.28.18 AD DISCLOSURE

Ceramides and Their Importance to Skin Care             

One of the most important factors in shopping for skin care products is taking the time to research the ingredients they contain; and if you have dry, flaky, or itchy skin, then you may have already heard that ceramides skin care items can be an essential part of your skin care kit. Ceramides may not be as well-known as other effective skin care ingredients, such as retinol and collagen, but they do play an important role in keeping skin healthy. For example, ceramides skin care items can help treat several different skin problems, especially if you’re concerned with hydration. If you want to add items to your current skin care kit that contains this ingredient, it is important that you understand how it functions and the role it plays in healing damaged skin. Ceramides skin care products can be used by anyone and are widely available without a prescription.

What Are Ceramides?

Before you use any ceramides skin care products, you should take the time to understand what ceramides are and how they function. Ceramides occur naturally within the body and are one of nine lipids that are present in the epidermis of the skin. This lipid prevents the epidermis, or the top layer of the skin, from losing moisture. When people experience dry skin, it is because of a loss of ceramides in the skin, which can also cause itching, flaking, peeling, and scaling. Using ceramides skin care products can help replace lipids that have been lost due to chronic dryness, environmental factors, and skin damage caused by certain skin conditions.

Treating Skin Problems with Ceramides

If you are considering the purchase of a ceramides skin care product, you should first understand what types of skin care issues they treat so that you can choose one that is the most effective. For example, many studies have shown that people who suffer from eczema, which causes redness, peeling, and flaking of the skin, and those who suffer from psoriasis, which presents with dry, itchy, thick scales on the skin, have a significant absence of ceramides in their skin.

However, these ceramides can be replaced with a topical treatment that contains them, in order to restore the proper balance and help the skin heal faster. This is why typical moisturizers don’t have much of an effect on these chronic skin conditions, and why the presence of ceramides in skin care products are so important when it comes to treating them.

Choosing a Ceramides Skin Care Product

If you suffer from psoriasis or eczema and want to use a ceramides skin care product to treat it, there are several ways to choose one to ensure effective results. One way to choose a product like this is to work closely with your dermatologist. He or she will not only help you understand why ceramides are vital for the health of your skin but also diagnose your skin care issues so that you don’t purchase a product that is intended to treat another issue.

As you shop for ceramides skin care products, be sure to read the ingredients, as not all moisturizers have the same formulations. A product that contains ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol will deliver the greatest amount of healing to skin that has been damaged by eczema and psoriasis, as these ingredients make the ceramides more effective and deliver superior hydration to the area.

When you’re shopping for a ceramides skin care product, try to avoid products that contain irritants such as parabens and alcohol-based ingredients, as they may irritate and dry out the skin even more and delay healing. While ceramides skin care products can be good for the skin, choosing the right product with non-irritating, effective ingredients is vital to achieve the best results.

Ceramide 3
Ceramide 3 is composed of a phytosphingosine base and stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid. It accounts for approximately 22.1% of the total ceramide pool in the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of skin). Ceramide 3 may also be referred to as Ceramide NP, or N-stearoyl phytosphingosine. The “N” indicates the type of amide-linked fatty acid, which in this case is a Non-hydroxy fatty acid (stearic acid), and the “P” refers to the Phytosphingosine base. Ceramide 3 and ceramide 1 work synergistically to improve the skin barrier function, which helps to keep harmful environmental irritants out and also prevents skin dehydration. Ceramide 3 can be found in various skin care products that are intended to moisturize and replenish the skin.

Ceramide NP
Ceramide NP is composed of a phytosphingosine base and stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid. It accounts for approximately 22.1% of the total ceramide pool in the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of skin). Ceramide NP may also be referred to as Ceramide 3, which is based on the original INCI nomenclature. Topical application of Ceramide NP improves the skin barrier function, which helps to keep harmful environmental irritants out and also prevents skin dehydration. Ceramide NP can be found in various skin care products that are intended to moisturize and replenish the skin.

Ceramide AP
Ceramide AP, also known as α-hydroxy-N-stearoylphytosphingosine, is a type of ceramide that is naturally found in the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of skin). It accounts for approximately 8.8% of the total ceramide pool in the stratum corneum. Ceramide AP may also be referred to as ceramide 6 on a product’s ingredient label, which is based on the original INCI nomenclature. Topical application of Ceramide AP improves the skin barrier function, which helps to keep harmful environmental irritants out and also prevents skin dehydration. Ceramide AP can be found in skin care products that are intended to moisturize and replenish skin.

Ceramide EOP
Ceramide EOP is a type of ceramide that is naturally found in the skin, accounting for approximately 1.1% of the total ceramide pool in the stratum corneum. The “EOP” in the ingredient name is based on the structure of this ceramide. The “E” indicates that there is an Ester linked fatty acid. The “O” stands for the type of amide-linked fatty acid, which in this case is Omega hydroxy fatty acid. The “P” refers to the Phytosphingosine base. Ceramide EOP may also be referred to as ceramide 9 on a product’s ingredient label, which is based on the original INCI nomenclature. Topical application of Ceramide EOP improves the skin barrier function, which helps to keep harmful environmental irritants out and also prevent skin dehydration. Ceramide EOP can be found in skin care products that are intended to moisturize and replenish skin.

Ceramide 1
Ceramide 1 was the first ceramide to be discovered back in 1982. It has a unique structure in that it is composed of a sphingosine base and linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid with significant roles in the epidermal lipid barrier. Ceramide 1 accounts for approximately 6.5% of the total ceramide pool in the stratum corneum. Ceramide 1 may also be referred to as Ceramide EOS on a product’s ingredient label. The “E” indicates that the structure of this ceramide is an Ester linked fatty acid. The “O” stands for the type of amide-linked fatty acid, which in this case is Omega hydroxy fatty acid. The “S” indicates that this ceramide has a Sphingosine base.

Ceramide 1 is thought to play a binding role in the lipid layers of the stratum corneum. Its unique structure enables it to function as a molecular rivet, binding the multiple bilayers of the stratum corneum. According to Dr. Leslie Baumann, MD, this explains the stacking of lipid bilayers in lamellar sheets observed in the barrier. Furthermore, Ceramides 1, 4, and 7 play a vital role in the integrity of the epidermis by serving as the primary storage areas for linoleic acid. Ceramide 1 and Ceramide 3 work synergistically to improve the skin barrier function, which helps to keep harmful environmental irritants out and also prevents skin dehydration. Ceramide 1 can be found in skin care products that are intended to moisturize and replenish skin.

Ceramide 6-II
Ceramide 6-II is a type of ceramide that is naturally found in the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of skin). It accounts for approximately 8.8% of the total ceramide pool in the stratum corneum. Ceramide 6-II may also be referred to as Ceramide AP on a product’s ingredient label, which represents the new INCI nomenclature for this ingredient. The “A” stands for Alpha-hydroxy fatty acid and the “P” refers to the Phytosphingosine base. Topical application of Ceramide 6-II improves the skin barrier function, which helps to keep harmful environmental irritants out and also prevent skin dehydration. Ceramide 6-II can be found in skin care products that are intended to moisturize and replenish skin.

Highly Recommended 
We recommend Advanced Dermatology and Formulyst skin care products.

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