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· R&D

Ceramides: the real stars in skincare

20 December, 2021 · 3 minutes of reading

Ceramides are intercellular lipids that are found naturally in the stratum corneum. Their presence is key to skin hydration and integrity. This is why they are trending in cosmetics and are included in an attempt to strengthen the skin barrier, protecting it from dryness, irritation and ageing.

**Ceramides **are one of the most important components of the outer layers of the skin. They make up the largest part (40 per cent) of the intercellular lipids used as cement to strengthen the skin barrier. They stand out for their excellent capacity to protect, defend and repair the skin, and this is why they have sparked so much interest in the cosmetics industry.

The rest of the membrane lipids are formed by 30% free fatty acids, 25% cholesterol and 5% cholesterol sulphate. It has been demonstrated that the levels of these lipids, in particular ceramides, decrease significantly due to age, external agents (including climate, pollution and sun damage) and/or skin conditions (acne, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis). Interestingly, studies show that, at the age of 35, ceramides have reduced by 38% in the skin of the face and by 22% in the skin of the hands. As a result, the skin barrier weakens, dehydrates and ages. Applying ceramides directly to the skin helps maintain cohesion between the cells, forming a protective layer. The result is smooth, luminous skin.

Ceramides are most effective when combined with other ingredients such as amino acids, glycerin and cholesterol. These lipid mixtures are excellent for improving skin tone and texture and reducing signs of skin irritation.

Who are they for?

Ceramides are ingredients that naturally fill the epidermis. They are therefore perfect for all skin types, including the most sensitive, rash-prone skin and oily skin. They can also be applied around the eyes, as long as the product does not contain any fragrances or other irritants.

What types of ceramides are there?

There are different types of ceramides, but the most widely used in cosmetics are as follows:

Ceramide 3 (NP), Ceramide 6 (AP) and Ceramide 1 (EOP).

Deficiencies of these ceramides have been identified in some skin conditions. For example, in psoriasis there is a reduction in Ceramides NP, AP and EOP, in acne there is a reduction in EOP, and in atopic dermatitis there is a reduction in NP and AP.

How do they act?

  • They delay skin ageing.
  • They are a powerful barrier against aggressive external agents: environmental pollution, UV rays and extreme temperature changes.
  • They retain moisture and prevent dehydration.
  • They regulate sebaceous secretion.
  • They provide luminosity, making the skin look younger.

Here at Neftis Laboratorios, we have developed a cream with a combination of fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides (EOP, NP and AP) that are identical to those of the skin, in an attempt to restore the skin barrier. It is ideal for dry, sensitive or dehydrated skin, as it promotes skin comfort. It can also be used to fight ageing.

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