Here at Otto, we love dishing out as much educational content to you as possible. Why? Because we believe this empowers you to make the best decisions about a) how to care for your skin, b) which products to use and c) how to achieve your healthiest complexion yet. And speaking of your healthiest complexion yet, one of the most important steps in achieving this goal is in understanding how to choose the right ingredients for your skin.
But sadly, not enough people take this seriously. Instead, they often find themselves blindly trusting a brand without vetting the ingredients for themselves, which almost always leads to disappointment—or even worse, allergy, irritation or a worsening complexion.
To put your mind at ease, we’re committed to utilizing ingredients that actually do something for your skin. And we’re not just talking about any ingredients. I’m talkin’ tried-and-true clinical grade active ingredients that are proven to give your skin results.
So, as you move into winter—a season that’s notorious for wreaking havoc on our complexion—which ingredients should you be turning to?
In a word, ceramides!
These magical hydrating ingredients work wonders to soften and smooth your complexion. In fact, ceramides make up 50% of your skin’s barrier!
Psst...in case you’ve been living under a rock this year, the buzz of 2019 was how to improve your skin’s microbiome. But if your skin’s barrier isn’t intact in the first place, then this is certainly an impossible task. Instead, we should all be focused on a resilient skin barrier. And what will help you get there? You guessed it! Ceramides.
So, let’s learn a little more about this winter skincare must-have, shall we?
The Nerdy Stuff
Simply put, ceramides are lipids in your skin’s barrier. These fat molecules help your skin retain moisture, allowing it to function properly. And FYI, you skin barrier needs to be super healthy because it helps to protect your skin from harsh environmental conditions (aka, those pesky winter months), pollution and irritants.
So, why is it oh-so-important to add ceramides back into our skincare routine if our skin already makes the stuff naturally? A few things:
- After the age of 20, your skin starts producing less ceramides naturally, at a rate of 1% each year. Yikes! So, adding these back into your routine will help prevent accelerated skin aging.
- Seasonal changes can also deplete natural ceramides in the skin (think: cold, dry winter air).
- Overuse or improper use of harsh and exfoliating ingredients such as soap, physical exfoliants, and AHAs will strip away your complexion’s natural ceramides.
- Diet can also throw off your ceramide levels in your skin, so be sure to incorporate protein, green leafy veggies and healthy oils, such as avocado and coconut!
Not sure how to navigate the wild world of ceramides? Here are the specific ingredients to look for in your skincare products:
- Ceramide AP, EOP, NG, NP or NS
- Phytosphingosine and sphingosine (these ingredients help boost your skin’s own ability to make ceramides!)
- Fatty acids, glycerin or cholesterol
Convinced? While it may be tempting to run out and buy every skincare product containing this magical ingredient, there are only two main products to look for:
- Moisturizer: A high-quality night cream should always contain ceramides. Take a look at your current night cream’s ingredient list—if it doesn’t contain any of the ingredients above, ditch it and find one that does!
- Cleanser: Unfortunately, cleansing your skin is the one place in your routine that has the potential to strip your skin of natural oils, so adding ceramides back into your skin while cleansing can help combat dry, dehydrated skin!
The Inside Scoop
So, why all the talk about ceramides? My prediction for 2020 is that we’ll be less concerned by our skin’s microbiome and more concerned about protecting and strengthening our skin barrier! (Oh, and a little hint, hint for you: look for this amazing ingredient in the launch of our facial cleanser in early 2020!)
Have any questions about ceramides? If you’ve used them in the past, what has your experience been like? Leave a comment below!