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Spring is... not quite here! Ceramides to the Rescue!

The signs of spring are appearing! If you view crusty and shrinking snowbanks as signs of Spring, that is. Wait, is this how your skin feels too? Like a Toronto snowbank in February? Ugh. 

Here is what I am doing to keep my skin feeling nourished in colder weather: I am using gentle cleansers, hydrating toners, plumping essences and moisturizers - with lots and lots of ceramides.

What are ceramides?

Ceramides are lipids, or fats that are already present in your skin, that help form a protective barrier against environmental stressors, like cold temperatures, drying indoor heat, winter wind, UV rays and pollution. In fact, half of our skin is made up of fatty ceramides, to keep it protected and resilient. Ceramides are to skin cells what spinal fluid is for your vertebrae, literally cushioning and enveloping cells in plumping protection. As we age, our skin loses ceramides, resulting in wrinkles, dryness and even exacerbating conditions like eczema and rosacea. And then, winter...

But there is good news! Because ceramides are already found in our skin, it is possible to replenish them by using skincare products containing ceramides as an ingredient. Synthetically produced ceramides are perfectly safe and effective. Yay!

Ceramides are now included in many types of skincare products - from cleansers and toners, to serums and moisturizers, night creams and sunscreen. In the cold winter months, I like to include ceramides in as many products as possible - but I absolutely want them in moisturizers, as the moisturizing step strengthens my skin barrier, and seals in the goodness of products I've used in previous steps of my skincare routine. 

So, as you would make healthy food choices when you want to keep in shape, making healthy choices in your skincare helps improve the look and feel of your skin and can reduce the signs of aging. Look for products that contain ceramide 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, II, EOS, EOP, NG, NP, NS, AP, N-stearyl sphinganine, Hexadecanamide, Capryl sphingosine, caprylic/capric Triglyceride.

Ceramides' effectiveness is enhanced when added to other types of fatty acids, such as cholesterol (yes it is sometimes good), lipids and glycerin. Ceramides also work with ingredients which work to reverse skin damage such as retinol (wrinkles), niacinamide (brightening), and peptides (smoothing). 

Ceramides are now so popular that some companies are including the word Ceramides in product names, to draw attention to it as an ingredient, like COSRX Ceramide Comfort Cream. You can find it and other skincare products with ceramides here

So go ahead and do something great for your skin, while waiting for Spring and the end of the pandemic. Choose ceramides!