Ceramides: everything you need to know.
Not just another buzzword to add to your skincare vocabulary, we break down the importance of ceramides, the skin barrier component essential for locking in moisture.
Living in Singapore, the chances are that you’re often exposed to the sun, frequently in air-conditioned environments, or both. Couple those with age and other forms of damage, and you have a potent recipe for dry skin.
Ceramides and skin
Dryness is a prevalent skin concern, affecting 1 in every 2 women*, but not many people know about ceramides, the component of the skin responsible for keeping it moist. Ceramides are present throughout the skin, and their function is to fill up the gaps between skin cells, so preventing moisture loss from the skin surface. They also play a major role in the skin’s barrier function, protecting the skin from external stimuli such as infections, free radicals and UV rays. Most people are so fixated on moisturising that it’s easy to forget that without a healthy, intact skin barrier, achieving good skin is next to impossible and no matter how much moisture we try to add back to our skin, it will be easily lost again.
The natural ageing process, external damage and even the use of harsh cleansers or exfoliants can deplete production of the skin’s ceramides. As a result, the barrier function of the skin will not function well, making it easy for moisture to evaporate from the skin and for the skin to be affected by external stimuli. A decrease in ceramides results in dryness, thinning skin, loss of elasticity, roughness and a heightened appearance of fine lines. But there’s still hope – skincare products can help to replenish them.
Skin type suitability
As ceramides are naturally part of our skin and considered a “skin-replenishing ingredient”, they are ideal for all skin types.
Topical VS oral
Topically-applied ceramide products may be effective for retaining moisture in the outermost layer of skin, but they are not able to reach deeper skin layers.
On the other hand, through ingestion, orally taken ceramides are absorbed into the bloodstream and their effects delivered to even the inner layers of the skin, effectively working from the inside out to hydrate, smooth and protect skin throughout the entire body. Moreover, they will not get rinsed off, unlike topically applied ceramides.
Ceramides in food
Certainly, ceramides can be found in various foods like seaweed and konnyaku. However, since ceramides in food are not present in a pure form, it is difficult for the body to absorb them and they may simply be excreted by the body. In order for ceramides to be properly absorbed by the body and delivered to the skin, extracting and consuming ceramides is a more efficient way.
Japan’s first and only oral skin care product approved by Japan’s health authorities for its safety and effectiveness in preventing moisture from escaping the skin, DEFENCERA contains DF-Ceramide, a rare and highly purified form of ceramides. DF-Ceramide creates a 3-layer barrier by strengthening cells and filling up gaps in between cells, thereby preventing moisture from escaping the skin. With research and testing spanning 10 years and having achieved government certification as a “Food for Specific Health Uses”, DEFENCERA’s effects have been proven to work on dry skin on the entire body, including the back, elbows, palms and heels – areas prone to dryness and often neglecting proper care.
*Results based on a survey conducted by POLA Chemical Industries.