Ceramides & Hyaluronic Acid: Their Role in Achieving Beautiful Skin
You've probably heard about ceramides and hyaluronic acid, there’s been a lot of buzz about these two skincare ingredients. But is it just hype, why do you need them? And what exactly are ceramides and what exactly is hyaluronic acid anyway? Here is the short answer - Ceramides and hyaluronic acid both help to maintain moisture. A deficiency in either can lead to dry skin. But do these ingredients do the same thing? What are the benefits and differences of ceramides and hyaluronic acid? What happens if you have deficiencies and what can you do about it?
Ceramides & Hyaluronic Acid
Ceramides and hyaluronic acid are important for optimal health and hydration of the skin.They're both natural substances produced by the body, but act in different ways. Ceramides are lipids, which are fatty acids that are produced in the sebaceous glands.
Ceramides help to moisturise and strengthen the protective skin barrier, and protect the skin from external aggressors such as weather and pollution. Hyaluronic acid is a transparent, gel-like fluid that is not only produced in the skin but also in other areas of the body. Their concentration in the skin is particularly high.
Hyaluronic acid is classed as a humectant as it attracts and retains moisture in the skin.
What Do Ceramides Do?
A ceramide is a lipid molecule which plays an essential role in both water-retention function and barrier function in the stratum corneum – the outer layer of skin. Ceramides ensure that trans-epidermal water loss does not occur too quickly by holding onto water in the skin.
In addition, ceramides can reduce free radicals in the skin that destroy elastin and collagen. This helps prevent metabolic processes that can lead to hyperpigmentation and age spots. Ceramides hold skin cells firmly together in the uppermost skin layer. This not only keeps the fluid in the skin but also protects it from allergens and external aggressors.
Ceramides are not only important for a healthy appearance, but also for a healthy functioning skin.
What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do?
The name itself sounds abrasive. Is hyaluronic acid good for skin? Yes. It is vital for healthy, hydrated skin.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) primarily binds water in the skin - more precisely, in the extracellular matrix. This area has ability to store several litres of fluid per gram. A high concentration of hyaluronic acid therefore means a high content of water, which makes the skin firm and plump.
In addition, hyaluronic acid helps protects against damaging environmental influences and promotes cell renewal.
What Causes a Lack of Ceramides & Hyaluronic Acid?
There a few factors that affect ceramide and hyaluronic acid concentration levels in skin, some of which are age, skin conditions, and environmental and lifestyle factors.
A lack of ceramides and hyaluronic acid is a consequence of the natural aging process. From the age of 25 the body gradually produces less of both. Studies have found an association between a reduction in ceramides and skin condition such as atopic dry skin and aging skin. The consequence of this natural reduction is drier skin that appears less plump and shows wrinkles. Of course, this process varies by individual.
People with dry skin and conditions such as eczema, rosacea, and even acne have depleted levels of ceramides. This can affect the skin all over the body, which means that a lack of ceramides can manifest itself anywhere - such as dry, itchy skin on the legs.
Other reasons for a low concentration of ceramides and hyaluronic acid in the skin are environmental and lifestyle factors. Ambient temperature also has an influence on the fat production of the sebaceous glands; at low temperature they produce less ceramides and the glandular glands contract. That is why many people have more issues with dry skin in winter.
Why Are Ceramides & Hyaluronic Acid Important?
Lacking in ceramides and hyaluronic acid isn't just a cosmetic problem - it can also have skin health impacts. When skin is dry the protective skin barrier is not as intact as it should be, so warding off external aggressors can be affected. Therefore, complaints such as skin irritation, contact dermatitis or even atopic dermatitis occur more quickly. This is why a lack of ceramides and hyaluronic acid should always be addressed.
How Do You Improve Your Ceramide & Hyaluronic Acid Levels?
In order to balance or prevent a lack of ceramides and hyaluronic acid, the following three measures are important:
• A healthy lifestyle
• Dietary supplements
• Nourishing cosmetics
A healthy lifestyle supports the natural regeneration of the skin. This includes drinking plenty of water, avoiding stress and getting enough sleep. Hot showers and internal heating deprive the skin of moisture. In winter, the skin is exposed to a frequent change between warm indoor air and cold outside air. It is therefore not surprising that the skin tends to dry out especially in this season.
Skin care products have a direct effect on the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, where they counteract damage caused by missing ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Topical delivery of ceramide emulsions supplies lipid replacement and restores lipid balance to the epidermal barrier. Topically applying hyaluronic acid improves your skin’s natural ability to retain water. The skin is not only able to absorb moisture but retention is better as well. For those affected by dry skin conditions, acne or concerned about the signs of aging, it may be useful to nourish the skin with cleansers, moisturisers, or a serum enriched with ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
Moisturisers & Cleansers with both Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid
The skin care range offered by CeraVe replenishes skin immediately after the first application. For this purpose, CeraVe products uses contain hyaluronic acid as well as three essential ceramides. These are the so-called ceramides 1, 3 and 6-II, which also occur naturally in the skin and are important for a healthy skin barrier. If they are sufficiently abundant, it is more likely that the skin will keep moisture in and foreign bodies out.
In addition, CeraVe's products use MVE technology to provide long-lasting hydration to the skin. The technology is based on many small globules in which ceramides and hyaluronic acid are stacked on top of each other like the skin of an onion, gradually releasing them over 24 hours.