THE IN-TRAY

Ceramides: what they are, and why you need them in your skincare routine

You’ve heard about retinol; you’ve done your research on vitamin C and you’re well versed when it comes to hyaluronic acid. But, what about ceramides? You might’ve heard this ingredient thrown around or spotted it on the back of your nightly moisturiser and not thought too much of it. Well, ceramides are the unsung hero of the ingredient world, the quiet overachievers that you have to thank for keeping your complexion well hydrated and looking juicy. A fun fact about ceramides? Your skin naturally produces them. But, as we grow older (and wiser) our body runs out of ceramides. Don’t worry though, there’s ways and means of still incorporating them into your skincare routine so you can keep up that plush complexion.

Ceramides (both the type our skin produces and those found in skincare) are a good type of fat; you can think of them almost like magnets that bond our skin cells together to create a barrier within the skin’s surface. This surface creates a protective layer that plumps the skin and locks in moisture. When your skin barrier doesn’t have enough fat, the hydration and moisture that keeps your face plump, supple, and comfortable can evaporate.

If you’re keen to incorporate ceramides into your current routine, you’re in luck—as ceramides in beauty products are almost (skin) identical and are the perfect ingredient to introduce into your skincare routine (especially as our own production of them slows down as we age), because they’re naturally found in skin. This means your skin recognises ceramides and absorbs them without any risk of breaking out or congestion.

Incorporating a moisturiser that’s packed full of ceramides will ensure that the last step of your routine effectively creates a protective shield or barrier and locks everything in place. Here’s our quick edit of ceramide-rich moisturisers to get you started.

SUNDAY RILEY ICE MOISTURISER

This rich and buttery moisturiser is suitable for all skin types, but if you’re particularly dry then apply a generous amount so you can make the most of its ceramide-rich formula. This one also contains beetroot, coconut, vitamin F (which, similar to ceramides, replenishes lipid levels in the skin resulting in a strengthened moisture barrier) and pomegranate sterols which protects against environmental stressors. You’ll notice the immediate results of plump, hydrated skin the moment it’s applied—with long lasting results throughout the day.

DRUNK ELEPHANT LALA RETRO WHIPPED CREAM

This tub of whipped deliciousness is up to nearly 800 five-star reviews on mecca.com.au, so you know it’s worth a look if adding ceramides to your routine is on your to-do list. This restorative cream has a lightweight, whipped texture that’s incredibly nourishing. It’s infused with a plant ceramide complex, African oils, omega acids and antioxidant-rich fermented green tea. Apply this one morning or night and enjoy the protective layer it forms, while still allowing your skin to function at its optimal level.

TATCHA THE DEWY SKIN CREAM

It’s a Beauty Election winner and a constant bestseller here at MECCA—this purple pot of goodness is the ultimate choice for instant glow. It’s spiked with the brand’s special blend of Japanese superfoods, green tea, rice and algae to deliver nutrients to the skin, while hyaluronic acid helps maintain the skin’s natural moisture reservoir. According to Tatcha founder, Vicky Tsai, The Dewy Skin Cream is the perfect combination of effective skincare and Japanese ingredients. “The Dewy Skin Cream showcases the true magic of our team of scientists at the Tatcha Institute in Japan. This formula is a perfect example of how they are able to innovate using both time-tested Japanese ingredients and advanced skin science to create clean, efficacious skincare.”

DR. DENNIS GROSS SKINCARE B3ADAPTIVE SUPERFOODS STRESS REPAIR FACE CREAM

Stressed out skin is unhappy skin. If things like redness, inflammation or a tight, uncomfortable feeling is something you endure on the daily then this calming moisturiser is one to consider. It’s hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and packed with nutrients—plus, is loaded with niacinamide (B3) and superfoods to strengthen skin’s moisture barrier to help correct and prevent signs of stress-induced ageing (redness, dry patches, dullness, and worry lines).

Want to know more about stressed out skin? Read this.

LANCÔME HYDRA ZEN NEOCALM CREAM

For skin that’s feeling a little out of whack or unbalanced, there’s this gentle cream formulated with a blend of aloe vera, rose extract, 14 amino acids and hyaluronic acid to get your complexion back on track. These ingredients work to mimic the skin’s natural moisturising function and provide deep hydration and visibly de-stress and strengthen skin's moisture barrier for an instant glow. Its rosy scent also makes for the perfect calming product to apply before your head hits the pillow.

PERRICONE MD NOURISHING MOISTURISER

Part of their ‘Hypoallergenic’ range, this dermatologist-tested, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic moisturiser is formulated with olive polyphenols, vitamin C and squalane to not only deeply hydrate but reduce the appearance of fine lines and correct discolouration over time. This is an absolute must-try for anyone who has super sensitive skin. The squalane in this is derived from olives and will mimic your skin’s natural oils, so it’s perfect for dry skin lacking in natural oils that needs a boost of hydration no matter the time of year.

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