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If you have overly dry skin , there are certain skincare ingredients that can give you much-needed relief. Ceramides , for example, are a great place to start. Ceramides are lipids or fats that are naturally found in the epidermis . They help form a skin barrier that helps the skin retain moisture preventing water from evaporating. When your skin lacks ceramides in the proper ratio, its barrier can break down, causing problems such as dryness or redness.
Fortunately, you can effectively rebalance the ceramides in your skin with topical moisturizers. In fact, research shows that ceramide moisturizers can increase skin hydration, reduce transepidermal water loss, and maintain the skin's barrier function that protects against irritants, allergens, and germs.
Here are the best ceramide moisturizers on the market today.
If you don't have psoriasis or eczema, any ceramide cream on the market will generally be safe for you. If you have a skin condition, it's best to check with your doctor or dermatologist about any new products you want to try. If you're looking for a reliable all-in-one ceramide moisturizer, you really can't go wrong with La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Double Repair Facial Moisturizer (see on Amazon ). It provides the hydration and protection of the skin that it needs and allows the passage of any potentially irritating ingredients. However, if you want to get more for your money, CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin (see Amazon ) is a great option that easily fits in your pockets.
What to look for in a ceramide moisturizer
Your ceramide cream can contain up to "nine different ceramides that are found naturally in the skin and differ based on their chemical structure," says Tiffany Libby, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. "The good news is that they all work in similar ways to help repair and protect the skin's barrier, retain moisture, soothe and soften the skin, and reduce the visible signs of aging," she says.
The top layer of the epidermis contains nine different types of ceramides, which are conveniently referred to as ceramides 1 to ceramides 9. Although they are similar in nature, certain skin conditions can cause significantly less ceramides in the skin. If you have psoriasis, you can opt for a moisturizer with a higher ceramide level of 1-5, which is generally lacking in people with psoriasis. Talk to your dermatologist about which ceramides to look for in your moisturizer.
Ceramides are great for all skin, face, and body, and are best applied immediately after showering or bathing. Although there are ceramide creams on the market for the face, body and even hair, Dr Libby notes that 'the main differences are likely to be related to the vehicle in which the ceramides are delivered. For the face, you may need a lighter formulation, such as a lotion, while for the body, you may need a carrier cream to deliver the ceramides. Likewise, use a moisturizing conditioner or hair care product for your hair, ”she says.
Frequently asked questions
If you have acne prone skin, you should choose ceramide lotion like any other skin care product; make sure it's non-comedogenic, which means it doesn't clog your pores. Look for oil-free, water-based ceramide creams, such as La Roche-Posay Dual Recovery Moisturizer.
The optimal ratio for a healthy skin barrier can be explained by a 1: 1: 1 molar ratio of one part cholesterol, one part ceramide, and one part free fatty acids. However, over time, many dermatologists have learned that they can increase the ratio from one in three parts to 3: 1: 1 and help the skin heal faster. If your ceramide moisturizer has increased by three and is still one part cholesterol and one part free fatty acids, this is a great option to help you restore your skin's natural water barrier.
What the experts say
Dry skin can be easily treated with a variety of moisturizers. Some good ingredients to consider are ceramides, dimethicone, petroleum jelly, and hyaluronic acid. Apply to damp skin, such as after showering, to better retain moisture. Lotions are the thinnest and weakest, followed by the strongest creams and ointments, which are usually a bit greasy, but the strongest. Some people prefer pure oils and they work well too. " – Rebecca Bakst, MD , board certified dermatologist.
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