關於神經酰胺對皮膚的了解

What are Ceramides?

Ceramides are fats or lipids found in skin cells. They make up 30 to 40 percent of the outer layer of skin, or epidermis.

Ceramides are important for keeping skin hydrated and preventing bacteria from entering the body. If your skin’s ceramide content decreases (which often happens with age), it can become dehydrated. You may develop skin problems such as dryness and irritation.

Ceramides play a role in the skin's barrier function, which is the body's first line of defense against external pollution and toxins. They also promote brain development and maintain cell function.

They're often found in skin care products like ceramide moisturizers, creams, serums, and toners—all of which can help keep skin healthy by boosting ceramide levels.

Types of ceramides

There are natural and synthetic ceramides. Natural ceramides are found in the outer layer of your skin, as well as in animals like cattle and plants like soy.

Synthetic ceramides (also called pseudoceramides) are man-made. Because they contain no contaminants and are more stable than natural ceramides, synthetic ceramides are more commonly used in skin care products.

Ceramides are composed of a substance called sphingosine . Sphingosine is a chain of carbon atoms with an amino acid attached to it. It comes in different forms and can be combined with other fatty acids to form ceramides.

There are 12 types of ceramides, named Ceramides 1 to 12, depending on the form of sphingosine and the fatty acid to which it is bound. You may see the following ceramides on skin care product labels:

  • Ceramide 1, also known as Ceramide EOS
  • Ceramide 2, also known as Ceramide NS or NG
  • Ceramide 3, also known as Ceramide NP
  • Ceramide 6-II, also known as Ceramide AP
  • Ceramide 9, also known as Ceramide EOP
  • Phytosphingosine
  • Sphingosine

What do ceramides do to the skin?

Ceramides have many benefits for the skin. They can:

  • Improve skin cell health
  • Helps form a barrier to prevent moisture from leaving the skin
  • Prevent dryness and irritation by locking moisture into skin
  • Protect your skin from environmental damage
  • Protects your skin from allergies and infection-causing germs such as bacteria and fungi
  • Promotes anti-aging by keeping skin moisturized and supple

If your skin's ceramide levels drop, you may develop the following skin conditions:

  • Atopic dermatitis or eczema, which makes your skin red and itchy
  • Ichthyosis, which makes your skin look dry and rough like fish scales
  • Dry skin, which can occur due to environmental changes or other health conditions

Ceramide skin care products

Your skin is naturally composed of ceramides. But ceramide levels can decrease over time, drying out your skin. Research shows that dry skin is caused by reduced levels of ceramides 1 to 6 in the skin.

You can use ceramide moisturizers, toners, and serums to moisturize and repair the health of your skin. These products replenish the skin's natural ceramide production. Added ceramides lock in moisture and prevent moisture loss, leaving your skin soft, smooth, and healthy-looking.

Choose the right ceramide skin care products

Using products containing ceramides can be beneficial for your skin, but it's important to choose the right product for your skin type. For example, if you have very dry skin, using a ceramide-only cream may not be suitable for you. To heal dry facial skin, look for skin care products containing ceramides 1, 3, and 6-II or containing sphingosine or phytosphingosine.

Research shows that skin care products containing anti-inflammatory and penetration enhancers can improve skin absorption of ceramides, relieve skin conditions, and restore healthy skin.

Before using ceramide skin care products, talk to a dermatologist to see which ones are right for your skin.

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