What Are Ceramides for Skin? Benefits, Uses, Best Products of 2023

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No matter your beauty goals, achieving healthy, balanced skin is always ideal. And right now, the skin-care market is looking to ceramides for skin as the go-to ingredient. “Consumers continue to invest in beauty as we’ve adjusted to a new normal, and we’re seeing a focus on conscious and at-home beauty treatments,” said Jen Coccaro, vice president of Whole Body merchandising at Whole Foods Market, in a news release. (The retailer was ahead of the curve; its Trend Council named it a trending ingredient to watch out for in 2022.) The focus on conscious beauty ushers a renewed interest in what comprises the products in our routines.

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Alexis Stephens says that the increased interest in the ingredient stems from social media “as the public has grown more interested in skin-care ingredients,” she tells Vogue. “Viral videos have made easily accessible brands like CeraVe mainstream, whose center and star ingredient is indeed ceramide.”

Here, experts walk us through how ceramides are beneficial to the skin, along with the best ways to incorporate them into your ever-evolving regimen.

Best Ceramide Skin-Care Products

Ceramide Benefits for Skin

“Ceramides are very important lipids that are naturally found within our body, [which] help to maintain the integrity of the skin barrier and hold hydration in the skin,” says Stephens, explaining that as we age, the fatty acid levels in our skin reduce over time. That’s why, she says, ceramide-infused products are key to aging gracefully because they “help to keep the skin looking healthy, firm, and plump by minimizing the appearance of fine lines.”

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According to New York City–based dermatologist Dr. Morgan Rabach, they have become a powerhouse ingredient for people with dry, itchy skin. “We know that ceramides are a missing component in people that have eczema, or clinically dry skin,” she says. “Putting on moisturizer with ceramides greatly helps restore the outer layer of the skin.” Stephens, however, emphasizes that the ingredient can be beneficial for any and everyone—as they “are a crucial component to healthy, hydrated skin.” For what its worth, there are 12 different types of ceramides, often numbered one to 12, or listed on your skin-care products with a certain acronym like “ceramide EOP” or “ceramide NP.” Generally speaking, using any of the different types will prove beneficial for your skin.

How to Incorporate Ceramides

“This is one of the few times when you can see a product start to work immediately since hydration begins right after application,” she says. And so, once you start using a product with ceramides, expect to see results anywhere from right after application to the next day.

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