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What are ceramides and how do they care for your skin barrier?

The Chill Cream.
1% CBD+1% Ceramides+2% Niacidamide.

The demand for ceramides in skincare products has been growing every year, and not without good reason. Ceramides are a key component in our skin's natural ability to maintain a healthy barrier and optimal moisture levels. However, to really understand what ceramides are and what they can do when added to your skincare routine, we first need to delve a little deeper into the science behind their mechanism of action.

The role of ceramides.

One of the key functions the skin performs for our body is to maintain a protective "wall" against the outside world. The surface layer of the skin (the epidermis) is made up of skin cells (keratinocytes) that replicate and mature as they grow outwards. When they reach the outermost layer of skin (the stratum corneum), they are called corneocytes, which are dead cells filled with skin proteins (keratin).

These corneocytes are encased in a waxy, fatty substance (lipids) that forms a protective seal that helps retain moisture within the skin and body, and prevents injury and intruders (i.e. bacteria) from the outside world. The classic way to describe this structure is "bricks and mortar", where the skin cells are the bricks and the waxy lipid substance is the mortar that seals it all together to create a strong wall.

This waxy substance, which is crucial for the formation of the skin barrier, is composed of a very specific proportion of ceramides, cholesterol and free fatty acids. Ceramides make up approximately 50% of the mass of this lipid layer, making it key to maintaining the skin barrier. Studies have shown that conditions where skin dryness is a major problem, such as atopic dermatitis and skin ageing, are associated with lower levels of ceramides.

How ceramides help your skin.

The world we live in is full of "threats" to our skin barrier. These threats include things like harsh soaps, hot water, low humidity/temperature, stress, ageing and genetic factors. When the skin barrier is compromised, the skin loses its ability to retain moisture. The water content of the skin evaporates when there is no seal to retain it, which can lead to dryness and cracking.

Dry skin and a compromised skin barrier are often the cause of many skin problems, which can manifest themselves in the form of redness, irritation, itchiness and even an increased risk of infection. That's why moisturising is a key step in any skincare routine. It should be part of your regular, preventative maintenance to help your skin function and look its best. However, everyone's skin is different, so some people need to moisturise more often than others.

In addition to helping us keep our guard up, maintaining proper skin hydration and barrier protection also plays a role in beauty and youthfulness, which is why ceramides appear in many cosmetic products. Moisturised skin creates a more supple glow by plumping and hydrating the skin. This helps minimise the appearance of fine wrinkles and excess skin laxity, as well as improving texture and tone.

The benefits of a perfectly hydrated skin barrier do not end there: The other concept suggested is that if the skin barrier is optimised, there may be less damage from environmental free radicals reaching elastin and collagen within the deeper levels of the skin. This is important because as we age, too much sun, faulty genetics and environmental factors cause stress on our skin that damages elastin and collagen, which can contribute to wrinkles, sagging and a sallow appearance. Therefore, reinforcing the skin barrier to help minimise external damage is another reason to include ceramides in cosmetic skin care products.

How can I incorporate ceramides into my skin care regimen?

Our Chill Cream has Ceramide NP al 1%.

One of the most common types of ceramides found naturally in the skin;
Naturally derived from plants for use as a skin care ingredient. Improves the look and feel of dry or dehydrated skin due to its water-retaining properties.
Reinforces the skin's barrier strength to better resist external stressors and contributes to supple, resilient and moisturised skin overall.


The ceramide NP is one of several types of ceramides that are found in natural form on the skin. It plays a key role as a major component of the outer layers of the skin (healthy skin is generally composed of 50% ceramides, many of which are of the NP variety.). The "N" represents the normal fatty acid type correlated with this ingredient and the "P" represents its phytosphingosine base.

Ceramides used in skin care can be created synthetically or can be sourced from a variety of sources. natural plant life. The research show that skin care products that contain ceramide NP can help improve the look and feel of dry or dehydrated skin thanks to their water-retaining properties.

Ceramide NP has also been shown to reinforce the strength of the skin barrier to better resist external stressors. Overall, it contributes to supple, resilient and moisturised skin.

The evaluation of the 2020 Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel concluded that ceramide ingredients are safe in cosmetics under current usage practices. Their study data analysed personal care products containing concentrations of up to 0.00005-0.2% ceramide NP.

Sources

Coderch, Luisa et al. "Ceramides and skin function." American journal of clinical dermatology vol. 4,2 (2003): 107-29. doi:10.2165/00128071-200304020-00004

Uchida, Yoshikazu, and Kyungho Park. "Ceramides in Skin Health and Disease: An Update." American journal of clinical dermatology vol. 22,6 (2021): 853-866. doi:10.1007/s40257-021-00619-2

Meckfessel, Matthew H, and Staci Brandt. "The structure, function, and importance of ceramides in skin and their use as therapeutic agents in skin-care products." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology vol. 71,1 (2014): 177-84. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2014.01.891

Fujii M. The Pathogenic and Therapeutic Implications of Ceramide Abnormalities in Atopic Dermatitis. Cells. 2021 Sep 10;10(9):2386. doi: 10.3390/cells10092386. PMID: 34572035; PMCID: PMC8468445.

Mutanu Jungersted, Jakob et al. "Ceramides and barrier function in healthy skin." Acta dermato-venereologica vol. 90,4 (2010): 350-3. doi:10.2340/00015555-0894

Written by:
Carlos Vera

Carlos Vera

CEO & Founder

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