When ceramide levels decline, it can lead to drier, more sensitive skin or other issues.

 They create a barrier that helps prevent moisture loss — keeping skin hydrated, plump, and supple. The barrier also protects the skin from harmful irritants, bacteria, and other environmental toxins.

Maintains skin barrier

The natural aging process and the overuse of harsh soaps or exfoliants can lead to ceramide loss in the skin.

When ceramide levels decline, the stratum corneum or protective outer barrier of the skin becomes compromised, and tiny cracks can form. This breakdown in the skin barrier can make it easier for infection and skin inflammation to occur.

Replenishing lost ceramides keeps the skin barrier healthy and functioning as it should.

Boosts hydration

Ceramides can lock in moisture and boost hydration. When skin is dehydrated, it can become rough, and cracks can develop.

When the skin’s barrier becomes compromised, it can lead to transepidermal epidermal water loss (TEWL). This water loss refers to the amount of water that passes through the epidermis, a layer in the skin, and evaporates on the skin’s surface. As a result of TEWL, the skin may then become dry and inflamed with an increased risk of developing inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis, acne, and eczema.

Research shows that ceramide cream can significantly decrease TEWL, which, in turn, boosts skin hydration and improves barrier function.

Some studiesTrusted Source also suggest that using ceramide moisturizers in conjunction with acne treatment can help combat the dry skin and irritation these treatments cause.

Increasing hydration also helps soften and smoothen the skin, which improves its overall look and feel.

Rejuvenates aging skin

As people age, their skin changes as it loses structural proteins, such as collagen, elastin, and keratin. This, and the other processes involved in the degradation of the skin barrier, leads to thinner skin and visible signs of aging such as wrinkles, lines, and sagging.

Ceramides haveTrusted Source water-retaining properties that prevent moisture loss from the skin. Hydrated skin can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which are often more visible when the skin is dry.

Ceramide creams can also stimulate the production of keratinocytes, which make keratin. The increase of keratin helps rejuvenate the skin barrier and reduce signs of aging.

Protects against UV damage

Exposure to sunlight and UV rays is responsible for 90% of the visible skin changes such as wrinkles, fine lines, and pigmentary changes. Dermatologists refer to this as photoaging, and it is the direct result of cumulative sun damage over a lifetime.

A 2021 study found that using ceramide-containing moisturizers and sunscreens can protect the skin against UV damage to the skin barrier. In addition, the products seemed to improve skin hydration, help maintain normal cell turnover, and combat redness and hyperpigmentation.