What Are Ceramides?

Jul 29, 2022
What Are Ceramides
Hello, Warriors! Welcome to The Breast Place blog and thank you for taking time out of your active schedule to visit! We appreciate our readers to the utmost degree, as we do our patients.

Hello, Warriors! Welcome to The Breast Place blog and thank you for taking time out of your active schedule to visit! We appreciate our readers to the utmost degree, as we do our patients. If this is your first visit to The Breast Place blog, we welcome you. We cover a range of topics here. From breast cancer management to anti-aging skin treatments to helpful tips for maximizing your overall health and wellness—The Breast Place is committed to sharing the best health practices and treatment options with you! Our offices are open and our staff is prepared to answer any questions you may have about your health, your breast cancer risk, and how to reach your aesthetic goals. 

At The Breast Place, we offer several oncoplastic surgical procedures, such as natural reconstruction, nipple-sparing mastectomy, Hidden Scar™, implant reconstruction, and breast lift with or without reduction. Oncoplastic surgery is distinct from both breast cancer surgery and plastic surgery–though you initially assume oncoplastic surgery to be a mixture of both. Rather, the aim of oncoplastic breast surgery is “to achieve good aesthetic outcomes for women with breast cancers who would have unacceptable outcomes with other BCS techniques, and in addition, enable breast-conserving surgery for larger breast cancers.” While breast cancer surgery prioritizes the eradication of cancerous tissue and plastic surgery prioritizes the cosmetic appearance of the breasts, oncoplastic surgery takes both of these aspects into account when planning for the final outcome. You can find out more information about what to look for in an Oncoplastic surgeon here. 

Our last article took a look at some easy DIY face masks that you can make at home! It was a continuation of one of our previous posts where we took a look at some other face mask recipes. Face masks can enhance your skincare routine and give your skin the moisture and nutrients it needs. Plus, when you make a mask at home you know exactly what ingredients are in it! If you are interested in learning more about how to make your own face masks at home to achieve glowing skin, we encourage you to check out our last post!

Before we continue with today’s topic, we’d like to make you aware of what we have to offer at The Breast Place this month. It’s July, summer is underway, and it’s certainly a hot one! Our product of the month for July is EltaMD sunscreen. EltaMD sunscreens help prevent sunburn and decrease the risk of skin cancer because they are formulated with zinc oxide, which helps heal damaged skin. Don’t worry– These products are transparent, so they won’t leave a white residue behind. They are also noncomedogenic, fragrance-free, and paraben free. Protect your skin from the sun by stopping by our office and purchasing EltaMD sunscreen! We can even ship products directly to your door! You can learn more about the products we offer by visiting our website

Today, we’ll be continuing our topic of skin care by discussing ceramides. You may have seen ceramides advertised in the skincare world, in products like moisturizers, creams, and even hair products. But what are ceramides, and why do we need them? To put it simply, ceramides are waxy lipid molecules found in skin cells that have benefits for your skin’s natural barrier. The benefits of ceramides can stretch beyond skin care, though. If you are interested in learning more about ceramides and how they benefit you, you’re in the right place! Let’s take a deeper dive into the world of ceramides.

Ceramides are a class of fatty acids called lipids, which are a class of organic compounds. They are found naturally in skin cells and make up approximately 50 percent of the outer layer of skin, known as the epidermis. Ceramides are made up of a substance called sphingosine, which is a chain of carbon atoms with amino acids attached to it. Amino acids are molecules that combine to form proteins and are often called “the building blocks of life” because we need them for vital processes such as building proteins, neurotransmitters, and hormones. It has different forms that bind to other fatty acids to form ceramides. The type of ceramide that is formed depends on the form of sphingosine and the fatty acid that binds with it. With that being said, there are 12 types of ceramides, named ceramide 1 to 12, respectively. In addition to the natural ceramides found in skin cells, there are also synthetic ceramides, which are man-made. Sometimes called pseudoceramides, they are free from contaminants and commonly used in skin care products.

All of this still poses one question: Why are ceramides important? Well, it turns out that they have a long list of benefits. First and foremost, ceramides help create a barrier that keeps your skin hydrated and healthy. This barrier prevents permeability, effectively locking moisture into your skin to prevent dryness and irritation. The barrier also helps protect the epidermis from environmental damage, like UV rays and pollution, to some degree. (No, this does not mean you can skip out on sunscreen!) Because ceramides help keep your skin hydrated, they also have anti-aging benefits. Fine lines and wrinkles can appear more prominent when the skin is dry, so keeping your skin hydrated can minimize their appearance. This is one of the biggest reasons why ceramides are so popular in the beauty industry. 

Even though your skin is naturally made up of ceramides, your ceramide levels will decrease over time. This can result in dull and dry skin, and if the levels continue to decrease, it may result in skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. With that being said, using skin care products that contain ceramides may help soothe irritation, strengthen your skin’s natural barrier, hydrate, and repair your skin. However, the products you choose to use will depend on your skin type. Generally, there are 5 different skin types:

  • Normal: This skin type is not too oily or too dry, and has no or very few imperfections. There is no severe sensitivity and barely visible pores.
  • Dry: A dry skin type may have a dull complexion, red patches, less elasticity, and cracking or peeling. 
  • Combination: Combination skin is typically dry in some areas and oily in others. There may be some blemishes and skin may appear shiny in some areas.
  • Oily: This skin type may appear shiny, have enlarged pores, and is generally prone to blackheads, pimples, or other blemishes. 
  • Sensitive: Sensitive skin may have a lot of redness and be prone to itching, burning, and dryness. 

Since ceramides are naturally occurring in our skin, the general rule is that they are suitable for all skin types. However, when choosing a product containing ceramides, you should take into consideration your skin type and find a formula that suits your skin, just as you would with any other skincare product. For example, if you have extremely dry skin, a cream or ointment may contain more moisture than lotions. Additionally, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, look for products that are oil-free or lightweight. 

In addition to skincare, ceramides can also be found in some hair products. Just like our skin, ceramides are naturally occurring in our hair as well! Ceramides can be found in the cuticle, the outermost layer of each hair shaft, and act as a sort of protective layer or film. When it comes to hair, ceramides help to keep the cuticle closed, which keeps moisture locked in and helps prevent breakage. Using products containing ceramides for hair provides a range of benefits including repairing damaged hair, protecting hair from further damage, strengthening hair, restoring shine, and improving texture. Talk about an all-star ingredient! You can find ceramides in a wide range of hair products, including shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, and hair serums. All hair types can benefit from ceramides, but those with dry, damaged, or frizzy hair may benefit most. 

As you can see, ceramides are packed with benefits for skin and hair! They are safe for daily use and safe to combine with most, if not all, ingredients. However, if you want to use ceramides as a remedy for an underlying skin condition, we recommend consulting with your dermatologist or other medical professional first. We hope you found this article informative and we hope to see you back on the blog soon! Here at The Breast Place, we are dedicated to helping you feel more confident in your skin. We offer injectable treatments such as Botox, Juvéderm, and Dysport, as well as other facial rejuvenation services such as laser treatment and more! Additionally, we offer breast imaging services and provide consultations, clinical breast exams, and dedicated treatment plans. We strongly encourage you to reach out to us for a consultation if you have any questions or concerns pertaining to our service areas– We are committed to empowering women, and we are proud to offer treatments and products to help you look and feel your best. Thank you for taking the time to read today’s article and we hope you’ll check back in for future posts about treatments, wellness, and more!