What are ceramides?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 6:33pm

Ceramides are lipids (aka fat molecules) that are found in high concentrations within cell membranes. Lipid’s have one of three functions -- they make up part of the structure of a cell’s membrane, storing energy or signaling actions in cells. Ceramide is a structural and signaling molecule. It is made up of a fatty acid called sphingosine and is located within the membrane of cells, in great concentrations.

Ceramides are located in the top layer of the skin and hold skin cells together, much like mortar holds bricks together in a brick wall. They are the body’s natural moisturizer and help form the protective waterproof barrier to help plump the skin, retain moisture and protect skin from pre-mature aging. Ceramides also help the skin protect against environmental aggressors like irritants, pollution and dry air.

There are nine different types of ceramides in the stratum corneum, which are conveniently named ceramide 1 through ceramide 9, and they account for 40 percent to 50 percent of the lipids in this outermost layer.



  • Ceramide 1 = Ceramide EOS
  • Ceramide 2 = Ceramide NS = N-stearoyl sphinganine
  • Ceramide 3 = Ceramide NP = N-stearoyl phytosphingosine (The most common type found in skincare formulations)
  • Ceramide 4 = Ceramide EOH
  • Ceramide 5 = Ceramide AS
  • Ceramide 6 = Ceramide AP = α-hydroxy-N-stearoylphytosphingosine
  • Ceramide 6 II = Caproyl sphingosine
  • Ceramide 7 = Ceramide AH
  • Ceramide 8 = Ceramide NH
  • Ceramide 9 = Ceramide EOP
  • 2-oleamido-1,3-octadecanediol : Plant-derived ceramide commonly found in skincare and hair care products as a conditioning agent.


Ceramides are known to relieve skin conditions for people that suffer from acne, eczema, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Colder temperatures outside along with central heating inside has a real impact on how our skin feels, and it can feel dry and parched of moisture. Using a moisturizer that contains ceramides can help to replenish the skin with the lipids it needs and also improve the skin’s barrier function. This means less moisture loss, and it will also improve the condition of the skin.




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