Anti-aging skincare can include a wide range of products from retinol to bakuchiol serum which are intended to slow down the aging process and reduce the appearance of existing fine lines and wrinkles while preventing more from developing. These products help to increase collagen production in the skin which will also improve the elasticity of your complexion, making it so your skin will be less likely to droop or sag with age.
However, aside from these common skincare tactics, there are lesser known ingredients such as ceramides which can also have a profound effect on the surface of your complexion as you age, building up your skin’s barrier in order to effectively reduce signs of aging. Haven’t heard of ceramides before? You’re probably not alone, so we checked in with NYC dermatologist Dr. Hadley King to give us the rundown on this anti-aging powerhouse from how often you should be using it, to what exactly this ingredient is.
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Put simply, ceramides are essential for preserving the outer layer of your skin which will allow for a youthful texture and appearance to shine through, even as you age. “[Ceramides] support the skin barrier function, which is necessary to maintain skin hydration, which helps it look more plump and youthful,” notes King.
Because of this, ceramides are essential to include in your skincare routine at any age, but particularly if you’re hoping to keep signs of aging at bay. As an emollient, ceramides often work well in combination with skin emulsifiers, such as squalene, fatty acids, and fatty alcohols.
As for how to integrate ceramides into your routine, it’s quite simple: your moisturizer. “Moisturizers ideally contain three components: humectants, emollients and occlusives. It’s important to look for products that contain all three,” explains King. One common humectant you may find in your products is hyaluronic acid, so a moisturizer which contains this as well as ceramides in the ingredients list will be especially beneficial for boosting the barrier of your skin and allowing for a hydrated and plump glow to shine through.
Seeing as you can get ample ceramides in your moisturizer, using this product twice a day or more if you struggle with particularly dry skin will be beneficial overall for anti-aging purposes while enhancing your skin in the present as well.
In terms of fine lines and wrinkles, ceramides can help to plump and brighten the skin, creating a more youthful glow. While unlike retinol or a bakuchiol serum they cannot work to target fine lines or reduce the existence of wrinkles, your skin will be less likely to show these signs of aging over the years if you work to take care of your complexion in the interim, keeping it hydrated and moisturized from morning to night.
Anti-aging skincare is about so much more than age rewinding ingredients, and just as prepping your skin with SPF before you head into the sun is vital for protecting against damage, so too is using moisturizer to keep your skin from becoming cracked, dull, and aged.
The bottom line is the next time you’re heading out to purchase a new moisturizer, your skin would be well served having ceramides included as one of the primary ingredients in that formula. Preserving your skin’s barrier, providing ample hydration and promoting a solid base for the years to come, ceramides should become an integral part of your skincare routine moving forward.
While they may not be able to fade fine lines or prevent wrinkles from forming, they can allow your skin to age gracefully, and when combined with more powerful anti-aging ingredients can make a profound difference in your complexion. Ultimately you should be taking care of your skin from all aspects through getting plenty of sleep and drinking enough water each day, but a strong skincare routine is a great second line of defense for the years to come.