Ceramides: The Anti-Aging Powerhouse

We’ve all been through the usual suspects when it comes to anti-aging creams. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin A (retinoids and retinols), collagen, and niacinamide. Maybe you have been through this list and then some (think of those more obscure actives like galactomyces and snail slime), and right now you’re looking for something new to add to your arsenal.

Look no further than ceramides! Let’s talk ceramides before we list some of the best anti-aging creams in Australia that contain this fantastic active ingredient.

What Are Ceramides?

Did you know that ceramides are anti-aging “powerhouses” that are responsible for supporting your skin’s many-faceted roles – making them even more important than retinol, niacinamide, and peptides when it comes to aging gracefully. 

Ceramides are lipids (fats) that are found in the uppermost layers of skin, making up more than 50% of your skin’s composition. They are the building blocks that make up your skin barrier, which inhibits the loss of moisture and protects the body from damage as a result of pollution and environmental stressors. 

If your skin is low on ceramides, the skin barrier function is weakened, leading to dryness, dehydration, chapped skin, irritable skin, acne, redness, sensitivity, and eczema. While our skin makes ceramides, there is a natural decrease in its production as we age. Once we are into our thirties, 40% of our skin’s ceramides have been lost, by our forties this number reaches 60%.

Our Skin Versus Time

Visible signs of aging in our skin are a direct result of the rate at which our body’s cells renew themselves combined with damage from environmental stressors. 

Our skin loses its elasticity and even tone as it ages, leading to fine lines and wrinkles. Our skin often becomes prone to being rough and dry, eventually thinning to a point where it appears transparent. Over time, sun exposure will cause freckles, sunspots, and pigmentation changes to occur.

From the age of 25 onwards, your skin’s collagen production decreases by around 1% each year, which when coupled with a decline in functional elastin, fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear. As your skin matures, elasticity continues to reduce, and deeper wrinkles form. Hyaluronic acid production slows down, resulting the skin being prone to dryness, damage, and broken capillaries. Reduced micro-circulation means hampers the delivery of nutrition and oxygen to the surface, leading to a decrease in skin radiance.

There is a reduction in the size and number of lipid-storing cells, resulting in sagging and a loss of volume that can lead to deeper wrinkles and a hollowing of the temples and cheeks in the subdermal layers.

The Sun: Balancing This Relationship

Ultra-violet exposure (‘photodamage’ or ‘photoaging’) is a major contributing factor for wrinkles and fine lines. Nighty percent of the changes seen in aging skin (roughness, dryness, deep wrinkles, sagging, uneven texture and tone, white spots, and broken vessels) are caused by exposure to the sun.

Your Anti-Aging Routine

When it comes to figuring out your best anti-aging routine, it is vital that you get to know your skin. If you have more than one skin concern (for example: pigmentation, acne, uneven skin tone, or melasma), creating a simple, no-fuss routine will help limit the number of products and ingredients that are being applied (more is not always better). 

First, We Cleanse

Cleansing eliminates impurities like dirt and pollution that accumulate on our skin throughout the day (in the time of COVID-19 this is especially important now that we are often required to wear face masks throughout the day – trapped moisture and bacteria are never a good thing!). That being said, face-washing can be as damaging as leaving your skin dirty. 

How often and with what products your cleanse your face will be influenced by your lifestyle and habits. You can choose to wash your face thoroughly in the evenings, removing make-up, skincare products, and dirt after the day is done. With this method, you can splash your face with water or use a toner in the morning. 

Washing your face thoroughly in the morning would then mean that at night you can choose a product like an oil cleanser to use in the evening – to remove any build up and give your skin an extra boost of hydration.

Aging Gracefully and Glamorously 

While you can buy anti-aging creams with ceramides from beauty stores and pharmacies, these products produce less noticeable results and are usually overpriced and overhyped. We suggest you contact a telehealth skin care provider, our favourite is the Brisbane-based Qr8 MediSkin, who can prescribe you an all-in-one cream or serum that tackles multiple skin concerns. They will also help you maximise the benefits of powerful active ingredients safely. 

Topically applied ceramides (when combined with fatty acids and cholesterol) can penetrate skin to supplement our skin’s natural ceramide production. They improve skin barrier function, moisturise skin, and provide long-lasting protection against water loss, even when used at very low concentrations.

Qr8 MediSkin’s cream base, specially designed to support the skin barrier, also contains cholesterol and D-panthenol. Cholesterol makes up around 1/4 of the lipids in our skin barrier, and is an essential component of the structures (‘lamellar bodies’) that contain other pro-barrier skin lipids. So, while some cholesterols might not be good for our arteries, it is definitely essential for keeping our skin healthy. 

Dexpanthenol (known as D-panthenol, the bioactive form of panthenol) has been shown in multiple studies to have moisturising and skin barrier-enhancing properties. It helps prevent skin irritation, promote wound healing, and aids in the regeneration of the epidermis. D-panthenol is very useful when it comes to treating dry, dehydrated, and sensitive skin.

Keep Your Skin Moist-urised

PAI SKINCARE The Light Fantastic, Cacao & Schisandra Ceramide Face Oil

This fast-absorbing dry oil is your skin’s daily defence against burn out. It is packed with ceramides to soften the skin and strengthen its moisture barrier without leaving it feeling and looking greasy.

Pixi Rose Ceramide Cream

This deeply hydrating, ultra-rich face cream is infused with ceramides and rose oil is full of antioxidant botanicals that also help to improve skin elasticity and protects against environmental stressors. It leaves your skin feeling plump, youthful, and soft.

Block That Sun

The best anti-aging cream in Australia is arguably sunscreen. A broad-spectrum SPF of 30 and above is a vital part of your daily routine. Don’t forget that UVA and UVB penetrates cloud cover, and UVB can get through water. 

Amit Kumar

Amit Kumar is a Digital Marketing Strategist in a leading organisation. A creative marketing strategist with over 8 years of experience developing digital marketing strategies and guiding business development