Beauty file

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Beauty -

Top­ping up on ce­ramides could help pre­vent the signs of age­ing, says Katie Wright

You might have seen ce­ramides on the in­gre­di­ents list of your serum or mois­turiser, but did you know that they are ac­tu­ally nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring in your skin? Sim­i­lar to col­la­gen, ce­ramides are an im­por­tant fac­tor in terms of age­ing, which is why they’re of­ten found in skin­care prod­ucts. But now ex­perts are say­ing we should be in­gest­ing them as well ap­ply­ing them top­i­cally. Here, skin ex­pert and fa­cial­ist Abi­gail James gives us the lowdown on ce­ramides and how they can help you to look more youth­ful...

What are ce­ramides?

“Ce­ramides are nat­u­rally present in the skin’s up­per­most lay­ers — es­sen­tially, they make up part of the ‘ce­ment’ that binds to­gether pro­tec­tive cells in the out­er­most skin layer. “An easy anal­ogy would be that ce­ramides are part of the mor­tar be­tween bricks, if bricks were your skin cells.”

Why is the mois­ture bar­rier so ben­e­fi­cial?

“The skin mois­ture bar­rier is a cen­tral fea­ture in main­tain­ing hy­drat­ed­look­ing skin and plays an im­por­tant role in pro­tect­ing against the ap­pear­ance of age­ing skin. “Age­ing, sun dam­age, pol­lu­tion and other life­style stres­sors can cause skin mois­ture lev­els to drop, re­sult­ing in skin that can be­gin to ap­pear less hy­drated, sup­ple and smooth.”

What do ce­ramides do?

“As the years go by, skin un­der­goes a num­ber of changes; epi­der­mal cells don’t slough off as eas­ily; skin doesn’t re­tain as much mois­ture due to a re­duc­tion in ce­ramides; the col­la­gen and elastin in the mid­dle layer break down. As a re­sult, the skin is less firm and less elas­tic.”

Where can you get ce­ramides?

“While you can’t fully stop the re­duc­tion of your nat­u­ral lev­els of ce­ramides, you can help top your ce­ramide lev­els up. “Un­til now, only top­i­cal ce­ramide creams have been avail­able - but Seven Seas Per­fect7 Re­newal Ad­vanced is a first of its kind beauty sup­ple­ment, con­tain­ing Cer­amo­sides, a nat­u­ral source of ce­ramides, that can be taken orally. “Creams are ap­plied to a sec­tion of your skin, whereas orally tak­ing a sup­ple­ment means it is car­ried into your body.”

Cer­aVe Mois­tur­is­ing Cream, ■ €4.50, FeelU­nique

Pixi Rose Ce­ramide Cream, ■ €22.45, look­fan­tas­tic

Paula’s Choice Clin­i­cal CeramideEn­riched ■ Mois­turiser, €49.60, Cloud 10 Beauty

Seven Seas Per­fect7 Re­newal 30 ■ Day Trio Pack, €42.99, Boots

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