Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Viddhi Patel (Journalist)  on 24th Sep 2020

Ceramides for Skin and Hair: Benefits & Uses 

Ceramides for Skin and Hair

Your skin and hair love ceramides! It’s high time you do too.

Ceramides have your skin looking plump, healthy, and cheery. The good, old-fashioned fat will help you replenish your lost beauty and self-esteem that deteriorated along with ceramide as you aged.

Fresher, moisturized, and rejuvenated beauty is what you were looking for, and we've got the answer for just that- Ceramides.

We all have ceramides but then we all lose it, with time, with age, with pollution, with unaccounted cosmetics. And that is the tragedy of it. Fats are something we run away from, but losing this fat can bring you only horror.

Fat! Exactly, fat is the answer to a dehydrated, dull, and wrinkly face. Since all of us have natural access to ceramides, why should we look for unnatural ways to give our face fat?

Let’s dive in! 

Are Ceramides Just Fat?

Are Ceramides Just Fat?

Well, you can say that. But let us try to understand!

The rarely explained and possibly overlooked ingredient is found on the uppermost layer of our skin. Over 50% of skin composition is formed with these lipids (fats). Ceramides hold your skin together and create a wall of protection between pollution, environmental damage, and your valued, delicate skin.

The appearance and reaction of the skin are to some extent, determined by ceramides, the under-praised face fat.

Found in the top lipids of skin, ceramides play an essential role in forming lamellar phases holding the door against the harmful tactics our skin goes through due to the environment and chemicals.

Phytosphingosine and sphingolipids are prominent precursors of ceramide that help form this lipid.

And coming to the main point, the use of ceramides for healthier skin has led to incorporating it in skincare products.  

Why the hype around Ceramides?

A research conducted in 2018 states the study's conclusion as, “Ceramide cream increases skin hydration and improves barrier function, which may make it suitable for use on dry skin.”

Ceramide is an anti-aging powerhouse that runs better than retinol, niacinamide, and peptides. Our dynamic skin needs the care and support of ceramides to shine brighter, feel rejuvenated, stay moisturized, and live healthily.

Ceramides puzzle over and form a net that helps retain the moisture and prevent it from vanishing in thin air. Dry skin, aged skin, atopic dermatitis show fewer quantities of ceramides in the skin.

The reason for your stunning, resilient, and younger look and picture-perfect beauty is, in fact, ceramide. The prominent component of intercellular lipids and moisture retention to the skin are ceramides. The depletion of it can cause a decrease in skin sensitivity and painful long-term dryness.  

Granactive Retinoid 2% (Emulsion)
Granactive Retinoid 2% (Emulsion)

Granactive Retinoid 2% (Emulsion)

₹ 695
Turn back the clock on aging and give your skin a youthful vibrancy with this gentle, safe & effective 2% Retinoid serum.
View details

Ceramides vanish though, don’t they?

Yes, they do. There are not enough defenses in your skin that can help combat environmental reactions on your face. Certain seasons, dry central heating and low humidity environment, pollution, UV rays, and sun blemishes are all the factors that worsen your already depleting good fat levels.

Then there is dehydration of skin to transepidermal water loss that adds on to the misery.
The loss leads to infections, acne, free radicals, skin damage, redness, irritation, premature aging, and the like. Heartbreaking, right?

Okay, there are many benefits to the fat, but it starts depleting! So what’s the use?
There are now products that incorporate them and will help you get your 20’s skin back.

Ceramides have tons of Benefits

1. Keep your skin together 

If you think of your skin as a mess, then ceramide acts as a drawer that fits it all in and doesn’t let the chaos break out.

Cells in the epidermis need a matrix to hold them together, and ceramide does just that and reforms the integrity of your skin.

Weak integrity may lead to skin vulnerabilities like a breakdown.  

2. Moisturize skin  

Pretty, fresh, and glowing with radiance is the face you will successfully snatch back what you lost to the environmental desecration of your skin.

3. Soothe Skin

Eczema and atopic dermatitis are caused by the very barrier that ceramide protects. So it plays a prominent role in repairing them and soothing the flare-ups these chronic diseases cause. Ceramide leads to speedy recovery and restoration of skin moisture.

Low ceramides lead to dry skin, inflammation, and irritation, which further leads to skin conditions.
Skin water permeability is successfully restored, and the barrier strengthened, thanks to ceramide.

Immediate comfort and skin repair can be looked forward to with skincare products enriched with natural or synthetic ceramides.

Formulations containing lipids identical to those in the skin and, in particular, some ceramide supplementation could improve disturbed skin conditions.  

4. Blocks acne breakouts

Millions of people go through new popped-up acne on their face every day worldwide. One reason is due to depleted levels of ceramide in the skin.

Ceramide’s primary function stops many defiling things from happening to our skin. The function being that of a barrier, acne breakouts too can be diminished with improved ceramide levels.  

5. No more flares.

Dryness, itchiness, and redness are all significantly acted upon by ceramides.

Ceramide’s skin moisturization and hydration function indirectly act on skin damage, inflamed skin, and irritated blemishes.  

Hello, Youth

The lipids' levels start depleting at the age of 30, and topical application of ceramides and supplementation of existing lipids helps revive the plump and bounce your skin once had.

Firming and hydrating skin around the eyes is also now relatively possible with the help of topical ceramide. Rough skin, fine line, and dry surface leave the skin looking duller, environmental damage causes the skin to lose its natural barriers.

Since inflammation is acted upon effectively by ceramides, it helps the skin turn resilient over time.

Skin barrier function, maintenance of lipid content, and structural conformation of skin are improved significantly, and the results are reduced wrinkles and fine lines.  

As a matter of fact-  

High fat (essential fatty acids) diet helps maintain ceramide levels while a fat-free diet leads to dehydrated, loose, and dry skin!

Topical ceramides and its uses:

How can you include these lipids to gain what your skin has lost?

  • Moisturizers, serums, masks, and treatments, any of these can be your base for ceramides inclusion.
  • Do not use ceramides in cleansers, as the cleanser will cleanse away the ceramides you specifically included for an extended stay.
  • The serum stage can be a perfect time to include ceramides in the routine. 
  • Ceramides are friendly to all kinds and types of skin and believe in harmony. However, if you have a skin condition, it is advised that you consult your doctor before use.
  • AP, NP, EOP, NG, and NS are common ceramides labeled on skincare products.  
  • Opaque, airtight containers and packaging are advised since ceramides do not work well if exposed to sun, light, and air. Ceramides can break down if exposed, and hence bottles with narrow-lids help the solution retain its efficacy for a longer time.
  • Ceramides work on moisturization within 5 days of application.
    Devoted use for 2-3 months can show the signs of anti-aging and plumper skin.  
  • If you are suffering from dry skin, cream and moisturizers infused with ceramides work best for you as it is the last step in the routine.
  • Application of ceramides enriched products can be made at any time of the day or even all day.  
  • Body, hair, and lips can benefit from ceramide-induced products.

Types of Ceramides

Ceramides have nine types- numbered 1-9.

They differ in the length of their fatty acid chains, the nature of their sphingoid bases, and how these entities are attached.

Many characteristics make them different from one another in terms of adaptogenic properties. All of them serve in an almost similar fashion. Any ceramide will do the same thing as any other.  

  • Ceramides 1, 3, or 6 are used for healing dry, sensitive skin.
  • Ceramides 2 and 3 are used in products designed for the face and the neck
  • Sphingosine is an amino acid chain, including ceramide, as a molecule.

There is another bifurcation of ceramides.

Natural and synthetic.

  • Natural ceramides, the ones we are gifted biologically, are the oily waxes also found in plants and animals.  
  • Skincare products contain ceramides that are synthetically designed.  

Apart from its making and occurrence, both of these ceramide types are bioidentical.

Natural sources of ceramides are soybeans, eggs, sweet potatoes, dairy, corn, wheat germ, and brown rice.

There is no difference in plant-based ceramides and the one’s epidermis when it is young and pumped.

And the difference does not make a big dent in its effectiveness. The presence of ceramides, in whatever form, replenishes skin.  

Ceramides enriched routine 

Maximum efficacy in results can be achieved by adding the lipid with other skincare ingredients.

Adding some antioxidants and skin-enriching ingredients to a ceramide-enriched product help increase the efficacy of anti-aging in the lipid.

The following are products with which ceramides can be amalgamated. 

  • Antioxidants
  • Peptides
  • Retinol
  • Niacinamide
  • Linoleic acid 
  • Acid exfoliants
  • Vitamin E
  • Lecithin
  • Plant oils- Macadamia, sweet almond, olive.
  • Carrageenan
  • Hyaluronic acid.
Lactic Acid 10% + Hyaluronic Acid 1%
Lactic Acid 10% + Hyaluronic Acid 1%

Lactic Acid 10% + Hyaluronic Acid 1%

₹ 589
A skin-regenerating daily serum with 10% Lactic Acid and 1% Hyaluronic Acid that mildly exfoliates without drying the skin to reveal clear, radiant, and hydrated skin.
View details

Skin-identical ingredients such as amino acids, glycerine, and cholesterol are beneficial when combined with ceramides.

Skin-tone and texture can be replenished with these lipid mixtures.

AHA or BHA exfoliants can also be combined with ceramides to reach deep layers and moisturize the skin and absorb the goodness. 

Benefits of Ceramides for your lustrous hair

We loved the role of ceramides for skin; the same will follow here. Just like skin, the hair also has a natural component, lipid. The ceramides in the hair are found in the cuticle and provide strength for the hair shaft.

Smooth, silky strands or dull, coarse, and dry strands have to do with ceramide levels in the hair cuticles. Healthy hair is a result of ceramides binding the scales (the dead cells that overlap each other and resemble roof shingles). Damaged hair is a result of the absence of ceramides.

Excessive use of chemicals, unmanaged use of heat appliances, over-cleansing are all the reasons for which your natural ceramide count depletes.

Synthetic or natural, applying ceramides will restore the natural binding of scales on cuticles and revive your natural, lustrous hair. 

Infusing ceramides with strands

Ceramides-infused conditioners lock the nutrients in the hair and strengthen the overall hair shaft and overall appearance of your damaged and dull hair.

Demonstrations suggest that ceramides effectively improve the strength of single hai fiber, decreasing the number of broken hair fibers after repetitive combing. The application of formulas rich in ceramides helps take care of damaged hair inside out.

Hair cuticles are flattened, hair is smoothened, shine enhanced, the endurance of wear and tear retained, all due to the simple addition of ceramides.

Natural oils, when infused with ceramides, help the chemically damaged hair, including colored and bleached.

Apart from bolstering the hair's health and keeping the keratin tightly bound, ceramide also holds the cuticles tighter, giving you enhanced shine and silkiness.

Data from a research study strongly suggest that biologically active pseudo-ceramide promotes hair growth by stimulating do Novo synthesis of sphingolipids in DP cells. 

Side effects of Ceramides

Adverse reactions have not yet been recorded to date, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Conduct a patch test before slathering it all over.

Phytoceramides provide more ‘ground material’ to be incorporated into skin cells, topically or orally.

Although the craze suggests otherwise, it is safe to practice caution.  

Topical side effects-

There are not many reports of allergic reactions or side effects related to the topical application of ceramides. In rare cases, there may be- 

  • Irritation
  • Itching
  • Redness

The Conclusion

Ceramide induced skin products hydrate, plump, reduce sensitivity, and cease the formation of lines and wrinkles. Skin hydration is of utmost importance if you have sensitive skin. Plump, smooth, and firm skin are what we are all looking forward to now.

Anti-aging creams and serums are rich with ceramides these days. The power of these products is enhanced when combined with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid

Your skin and hair love ceramides! It’s high time you do too.

Ceramides have your skin looking plump, healthy, and cheery. The good, old-fashioned fat will help you replenish your lost beauty and self-esteem that deteriorated along with ceramide as you aged.

Fresher, moisturized, and rejuvenated beauty is what you were looking for, and we've got the answer for just that- Ceramides.

We all have ceramides but then we all lose it, with time, with age, with pollution, with unaccounted cosmetics. And that is the tragedy of it. Fats are something we run away from, but losing this fat can bring you only horror.

Fat! Exactly, fat is the answer to a dehydrated, dull, and wrinkly face. Since all of us have natural access to ceramides, why should we look for unnatural ways to give our face fat?

Let’s dive in! 

Are Ceramides Just Fat?

Are Ceramides Just Fat?

Well, you can say that. But let us try to understand!

The rarely explained and possibly overlooked ingredient is found on the uppermost layer of our skin. Over 50% of skin composition is formed with these lipids (fats). Ceramides hold your skin together and create a wall of protection between pollution, environmental damage, and your valued, delicate skin.

The appearance and reaction of the skin are to some extent, determined by ceramides, the under-praised face fat.

Found in the top lipids of skin, ceramides play an essential role in forming lamellar phases holding the door against the harmful tactics our skin goes through due to the environment and chemicals.

Phytosphingosine and sphingolipids are prominent precursors of ceramide that help form this lipid.

And coming to the main point, the use of ceramides for healthier skin has led to incorporating it in skincare products.  

Why the hype around Ceramides?

A research conducted in 2018 states the study's conclusion as, “Ceramide cream increases skin hydration and improves barrier function, which may make it suitable for use on dry skin.”

Ceramide is an anti-aging powerhouse that runs better than retinol, niacinamide, and peptides. Our dynamic skin needs the care and support of ceramides to shine brighter, feel rejuvenated, stay moisturized, and live healthily.

Ceramides puzzle over and form a net that helps retain the moisture and prevent it from vanishing in thin air. Dry skin, aged skin, atopic dermatitis show fewer quantities of ceramides in the skin.

The reason for your stunning, resilient, and younger look and picture-perfect beauty is, in fact, ceramide. The prominent component of intercellular lipids and moisture retention to the skin are ceramides. The depletion of it can cause a decrease in skin sensitivity and painful long-term dryness.  

Granactive Retinoid 2% (Emulsion)
Granactive Retinoid 2% (Emulsion)

Granactive Retinoid 2% (Emulsion)

₹ 695
Turn back the clock on aging and give your skin a youthful vibrancy with this gentle, safe & effective 2% Retinoid serum.
View details

Ceramides vanish though, don’t they?

Yes, they do. There are not enough defenses in your skin that can help combat environmental reactions on your face. Certain seasons, dry central heating and low humidity environment, pollution, UV rays, and sun blemishes are all the factors that worsen your already depleting good fat levels.

Then there is dehydration of skin to transepidermal water loss that adds on to the misery.
The loss leads to infections, acne, free radicals, skin damage, redness, irritation, premature aging, and the like. Heartbreaking, right?

Okay, there are many benefits to the fat, but it starts depleting! So what’s the use?
There are now products that incorporate them and will help you get your 20’s skin back.

Ceramides have tons of Benefits

1. Keep your skin together 

If you think of your skin as a mess, then ceramide acts as a drawer that fits it all in and doesn’t let the chaos break out.

Cells in the epidermis need a matrix to hold them together, and ceramide does just that and reforms the integrity of your skin.

Weak integrity may lead to skin vulnerabilities like a breakdown.  

2. Moisturize skin  

Pretty, fresh, and glowing with radiance is the face you will successfully snatch back what you lost to the environmental desecration of your skin.

3. Soothe Skin

Eczema and atopic dermatitis are caused by the very barrier that ceramide protects. So it plays a prominent role in repairing them and soothing the flare-ups these chronic diseases cause. Ceramide leads to speedy recovery and restoration of skin moisture.

Low ceramides lead to dry skin, inflammation, and irritation, which further leads to skin conditions.
Skin water permeability is successfully restored, and the barrier strengthened, thanks to ceramide.

Immediate comfort and skin repair can be looked forward to with skincare products enriched with natural or synthetic ceramides.

Formulations containing lipids identical to those in the skin and, in particular, some ceramide supplementation could improve disturbed skin conditions.  

4. Blocks acne breakouts

Millions of people go through new popped-up acne on their face every day worldwide. One reason is due to depleted levels of ceramide in the skin.

Ceramide’s primary function stops many defiling things from happening to our skin. The function being that of a barrier, acne breakouts too can be diminished with improved ceramide levels.  

5. No more flares.

Dryness, itchiness, and redness are all significantly acted upon by ceramides.

Ceramide’s skin moisturization and hydration function indirectly act on skin damage, inflamed skin, and irritated blemishes.  

Hello, Youth

The lipids' levels start depleting at the age of 30, and topical application of ceramides and supplementation of existing lipids helps revive the plump and bounce your skin once had.

Firming and hydrating skin around the eyes is also now relatively possible with the help of topical ceramide. Rough skin, fine line, and dry surface leave the skin looking duller, environmental damage causes the skin to lose its natural barriers.

Since inflammation is acted upon effectively by ceramides, it helps the skin turn resilient over time.

Skin barrier function, maintenance of lipid content, and structural conformation of skin are improved significantly, and the results are reduced wrinkles and fine lines.  

As a matter of fact-  

High fat (essential fatty acids) diet helps maintain ceramide levels while a fat-free diet leads to dehydrated, loose, and dry skin!

Topical ceramides and its uses:

How can you include these lipids to gain what your skin has lost?

  • Moisturizers, serums, masks, and treatments, any of these can be your base for ceramides inclusion.
  • Do not use ceramides in cleansers, as the cleanser will cleanse away the ceramides you specifically included for an extended stay.
  • The serum stage can be a perfect time to include ceramides in the routine. 
  • Ceramides are friendly to all kinds and types of skin and believe in harmony. However, if you have a skin condition, it is advised that you consult your doctor before use.
  • AP, NP, EOP, NG, and NS are common ceramides labeled on skincare products.  
  • Opaque, airtight containers and packaging are advised since ceramides do not work well if exposed to sun, light, and air. Ceramides can break down if exposed, and hence bottles with narrow-lids help the solution retain its efficacy for a longer time.
  • Ceramides work on moisturization within 5 days of application.
    Devoted use for 2-3 months can show the signs of anti-aging and plumper skin.  
  • If you are suffering from dry skin, cream and moisturizers infused with ceramides work best for you as it is the last step in the routine.
  • Application of ceramides enriched products can be made at any time of the day or even all day.  
  • Body, hair, and lips can benefit from ceramide-induced products.

Types of Ceramides

Ceramides have nine types- numbered 1-9.

They differ in the length of their fatty acid chains, the nature of their sphingoid bases, and how these entities are attached.

Many characteristics make them different from one another in terms of adaptogenic properties. All of them serve in an almost similar fashion. Any ceramide will do the same thing as any other.  

  • Ceramides 1, 3, or 6 are used for healing dry, sensitive skin.
  • Ceramides 2 and 3 are used in products designed for the face and the neck
  • Sphingosine is an amino acid chain, including ceramide, as a molecule.

There is another bifurcation of ceramides.

Natural and synthetic.

  • Natural ceramides, the ones we are gifted biologically, are the oily waxes also found in plants and animals.  
  • Skincare products contain ceramides that are synthetically designed.  

Apart from its making and occurrence, both of these ceramide types are bioidentical.

Natural sources of ceramides are soybeans, eggs, sweet potatoes, dairy, corn, wheat germ, and brown rice.

There is no difference in plant-based ceramides and the one’s epidermis when it is young and pumped.

And the difference does not make a big dent in its effectiveness. The presence of ceramides, in whatever form, replenishes skin.  

Ceramides enriched routine 

Maximum efficacy in results can be achieved by adding the lipid with other skincare ingredients.

Adding some antioxidants and skin-enriching ingredients to a ceramide-enriched product help increase the efficacy of anti-aging in the lipid.

The following are products with which ceramides can be amalgamated. 

  • Antioxidants
  • Peptides
  • Retinol
  • Niacinamide
  • Linoleic acid 
  • Acid exfoliants
  • Vitamin E
  • Lecithin
  • Plant oils- Macadamia, sweet almond, olive.
  • Carrageenan
  • Hyaluronic acid.
Lactic Acid 10% + Hyaluronic Acid 1%
Lactic Acid 10% + Hyaluronic Acid 1%

Lactic Acid 10% + Hyaluronic Acid 1%

₹ 589
A skin-regenerating daily serum with 10% Lactic Acid and 1% Hyaluronic Acid that mildly exfoliates without drying the skin to reveal clear, radiant, and hydrated skin.
View details

Skin-identical ingredients such as amino acids, glycerine, and cholesterol are beneficial when combined with ceramides.

Skin-tone and texture can be replenished with these lipid mixtures.

AHA or BHA exfoliants can also be combined with ceramides to reach deep layers and moisturize the skin and absorb the goodness. 

Benefits of Ceramides for your lustrous hair

We loved the role of ceramides for skin; the same will follow here. Just like skin, the hair also has a natural component, lipid. The ceramides in the hair are found in the cuticle and provide strength for the hair shaft.

Smooth, silky strands or dull, coarse, and dry strands have to do with ceramide levels in the hair cuticles. Healthy hair is a result of ceramides binding the scales (the dead cells that overlap each other and resemble roof shingles). Damaged hair is a result of the absence of ceramides.

Excessive use of chemicals, unmanaged use of heat appliances, over-cleansing are all the reasons for which your natural ceramide count depletes.

Synthetic or natural, applying ceramides will restore the natural binding of scales on cuticles and revive your natural, lustrous hair. 

Infusing ceramides with strands

Ceramides-infused conditioners lock the nutrients in the hair and strengthen the overall hair shaft and overall appearance of your damaged and dull hair.

Demonstrations suggest that ceramides effectively improve the strength of single hai fiber, decreasing the number of broken hair fibers after repetitive combing. The application of formulas rich in ceramides helps take care of damaged hair inside out.

Hair cuticles are flattened, hair is smoothened, shine enhanced, the endurance of wear and tear retained, all due to the simple addition of ceramides.

Natural oils, when infused with ceramides, help the chemically damaged hair, including colored and bleached.

Apart from bolstering the hair's health and keeping the keratin tightly bound, ceramide also holds the cuticles tighter, giving you enhanced shine and silkiness.

Data from a research study strongly suggest that biologically active pseudo-ceramide promotes hair growth by stimulating do Novo synthesis of sphingolipids in DP cells. 

Side effects of Ceramides

Adverse reactions have not yet been recorded to date, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Conduct a patch test before slathering it all over.

Phytoceramides provide more ‘ground material’ to be incorporated into skin cells, topically or orally.

Although the craze suggests otherwise, it is safe to practice caution.  

Topical side effects-

There are not many reports of allergic reactions or side effects related to the topical application of ceramides. In rare cases, there may be- 

  • Irritation
  • Itching
  • Redness

The Conclusion

Ceramide induced skin products hydrate, plump, reduce sensitivity, and cease the formation of lines and wrinkles. Skin hydration is of utmost importance if you have sensitive skin. Plump, smooth, and firm skin are what we are all looking forward to now.

Anti-aging creams and serums are rich with ceramides these days. The power of these products is enhanced when combined with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid