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Updated: Mar 13, 2023

What it is, why it is an essential ingredient in dry and ageing skincare and 6 natural sources of ceramides

What are ceramides?

Ceramides are structural elements of the intercellular lipids found in the stratum corneum in the epidermis. They play an essential role in maintaining the integrity and water permeability barrier function of the skin.

Studies have shown that ceramides applied externally, in the form of moisturizers, can effectively reduce dry skin symptoms. These lipid molecules have been used increasingly in recent years in the treatment of dry skin and in cosmeceuticals.


  1. Ceramides help your skin perform its function of preventing TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) and keeping allergens out.

  2. Prevent dryness and irritation by locking in moisture

  3. Provide anti-ageing benefits by replenishing the skin with the proteins and lipids it needs to keep it supple and moist.


As we age, our skin loses the structural proteins and lipids it needs to maintain the skin barrier function. An absence of these essential proteins and lipids can lead to inflammatory and dry skin conditions and ageing symptoms like wrinkles and fine lines.

You can replenish your skin with ceramides topically through a moisturizer or foods rich in ceramides like:

  1. Oats

  2. Sweet potatoes

  3. Wheatgerm

  4. Beets

  5. Brown rice

  6. Soybean


  1. Choi, M.J., Maibach, H.I. Role of Ceramides in Barrier Function of Healthy and Diseased Skin. Am J Clin Dermatol6, 215–223 (2005).

  2. Coderch, L., López, O., de la Maza, A. et al. Ceramides and Skin Function. Am J Clin Dermatol4, 107–129 (2003).

  3. Li, Q., Fang, H., Dang, E., & Wang, G. (2020). The role of ceramides in skin homeostasis and inflammatory skin diseases. Journal of Dermatological Science, 97(1), 2-8.

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