Often overlooked, ceramides make up most of skin’s barrier function, together with cholesterol and free fatty acids. Naturally present in the epidermis, ceramides are lipids with an amazing capacity to limit moisture loss and protect against damage from environmental stressors. As we age, ceramide levels decrease, making skin more susceptible to dryness, redness, and more irritation.
There are different ceramides known to human skin, some of which are used in skincare products. In the INCI label, you can find these listed as ceramide AP, ceramide EOP, ceramide NG, ceramide NP, ceramide NS, phytosphingosine, and sphingosine. They can either be derived from wheat or a synthetic source, depending on the type of formulation.