Before we discuss what a ceramide moisturizer is all about and how it benefits our skin, let's first get introduced to ceramide, the titular ingredient of such moisturizers, skin creams, and other similar medical and cosmetic preparations. The word ceramides is used to denote a group of lipids and fatty molecules. These lipids belonging to the ceramide family are made up of an 18-carbon amino alcohol, known as sphingosine, and a fatty acid.
Within our bodies, ceramides are found in the most basic building blocks of our biology - the cells. Generous concentrations of these lipids are found in the cell membranes of our bodies and they act as cellular signaling agents, performing several crucial functions, including cellular differentiation, cell growth and division (proliferation), and programmed cell death via apoptosis.
Ceramide is a bio-active lipid agent that plays a significant role in several pathological conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, neurodegeneration, inflammation, and diabetes. Its apoptosis function is responsible for maintaining normal homeostasis of cells by inducing programmed cellular death. This is an essential function, as in its absence, new cells would keep getting produced within the body without any of the older cells dying out to make place.
This causes cellular stress and is the major indicator of a cancerous growth. Due to this function, ceramides are often known as the "tumor suppressing lipids". Now, coming back to ceramide moisturizers, let's see what good it does to your skin, given all the hoopla over its ability to diminish dermal signs of damage and aging.
Most cosmetic and pharmaceutical products for topical application which claim to be effective for the reduction of skin abnormalities, like excessive dryness, appearance of spider veins, damaged skin tissues, etc., as a consequence of other skin diseases (such as eczema, contact dermatitis, etc.) and inflammation. Most ceramide creams also include a number of other chemicals and nurturing agents that act as anti-aging catalysts by firming up the collagen in the skin.
Therefore, ceramide 2 is an active ingredient in most anti-aging skin care products. Almost all creams that tout themselves as having spider vein reducing properties include ceramide 2, as it is known to be excellent for initiating collagen generation and is effective in regulating the moisture levels of the skin. It works by rejuvenating the extracellular network that is present on the walls of the veins, which leads to the strengthened venal walls. The effect of this process is seen as visibly reduced spider veins.
Ceramide 3 is used in most anti-aging moisturizers that aim at arresting severe dryness. It is extremely effective in locking in moisture, which it does by accelerating the rate at which the epidermis renews itself. It hastens the skin's ability to heal the damages that any of its layers have undergone. This fortifies the skin and helps it lock in all the essential moisture that it needs to stay smooth, supple, and glowing. This makes it an excellent active ingredient for products that deal with sensitive and dry skin issues.
Following are some of the most trusted and well-known skin moisturizers and other products that use active ceramide additives to treat various skin disorders. Some of these moisturizers for dry skin are available only on prescription.
- Remergent Barrier Repair Formula
- Soothing Barrier Repair Moisturizer
- Mimyx Cream
- KINERASE Pro+ Therapy Cream
- Mario Badescu A.H.A. & Ceramide Moisturizer
- SkinMedica TNS Ceramide Treatment
- Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Plump Perfect Lip Moisture CreamCeramide
- Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Network Night Cream
- Ceramide Time Complex Moisture Cream SPF 15
- AKTA Moisturizer with Ceramides by Gunilla of Sweden
Ceramide-based moisturizers work great on dry, damaged, and cracked skin and are especially effective in arresting these symptoms in difficult areas, like the heels and the elbows, that get dry and cracked easily but don't heal as fast. Also, where regular moisturizers fail to make a difference, a ceramide-enriched moisturizer might just do the trick.
However, these moisturizers should be resorted to only in case of sever dryness or sensitivity, as unnecessary application may weaken the skin's inbuilt mechanism to heal and renew itself. Also, while contemplating such a product for problematic skin, it's best to consult a dermatologist instead of turning a guinea pig for experimenting the product's efficacy. Being aware and soliciting the right advice is the first step towards a healthy tomorrow, so don't undermine the importance of expert consultation.
Disclaimer: This BeautiSecrets article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.