Why ceramides could be the key to youthful skin
Topping up on natural 'cement' can stop signs of ageing, says Katie Wright
You may have seen ceramides on the ingredients list of your serum or moisturiser, but did you know they naturally occur in your skin?
Similar to collagen, ceramides are an important factor in terms of ageing, which is why they're often found in skincare products.
But now experts are saying we should be ingesting them, as well applying them topically.
Here, skin expert and facialist Abigail James gives us the lowdown on ceramides and how they can help you to look more youthful...
What are ceramides?
"Ceramides are naturally present in the skin's uppermost layers - essentially, they make up part of the 'cement' that binds together protective cells in the outermost skin layer. An easy analogy would be that ceramides are part of the mortar between bricks, if bricks were your skin cells."
Why is the moisture barrier so beneficial?
"The skin moisture barrier is a central feature in maintaining hydrated-looking skin and plays an important role in protecting against the appearance of ageing skin. Ageing, sun damage, pollution and other lifestyle stressors can cause skin moisture levels to drop, resulting in skin that can begin to appear less hydrated, supple and smooth."
What do ceramides do?
"As the years go by, skin undergoes a number of changes. Epidermal cells don't slough off as easily, skin doesn't retain as much moisture due to a reduction in ceramides, and the collagen and elastin in the middle layer break down. As a result, the skin is less firm and less elastic."
Where can you get ceramides?
"While you can't stop the reduction of your natural levels of ceramides, you can help top up your ceramide levels. Until now, only topical ceramide creams have been available, but Seven Seas Perfect7 Renewal Advanced is a UK first-of-its-kind beauty supplement that contains ceramosides, a natural source of ceramides that can be taken orally rather than topically.