Skin Care and Treatments of Melbourne Dermatology - Ceramide 3

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Ceramide 3

Kinerase Pro Plus with Ceramide 3

Approximately 40-50% of a healthy skin's stratum corneum is composed of ceramides, a kind of lipid composed of sphingosine and fatty acid which the skin needs to hold onto water and function correctly.

The use of glycolic acid, cholesterol-lowering medications, cleansers containing sulphates (particularly sodium lauryl sulfate), retinoids and microdermabrasion can reduce skin's ceramide content, leading to drier, uncomfortable skin which repairs itself and responds to active ingredients less efficiently.

For years, it was assumed that ceramides were purely structural elements. One of the most fascinating aspects of ceramide is that it can act as a signaling molecule. The most well-known functions of ceramides as cellular signals include regulating the differentiation, proliferation, programmed cell death and apoptosis of cells.

Ceramide 3 is a human skin-identical ceramide which helps repair and protect skin prone to sensitivity or dryness.

Unlike occlusive moisturizers (e.g. "natural" and mineral oils) and humectants (e.g. sodium hyaluronate) which are only effective so long as they remain on skin, daily application of Ceramide 3 to skin builds up over time to create more persistently humid skin.

Products formulated with Ceramide 3 include Kinerase Pro+ Therapy Cream, Kinerase Pro+ Ultra Rich Night Repair, Nia24 Intensive Recovery Complex and Colorescience F.A.C.E. Liquid Foundations. Several SkinMedica products also contain Ceramide 3 (SkinMedica TNS Hydrating Masque, Ultimate Daily Moisturizer, Body Lotion, SPF 20 and SPF 30).

Millet is a natural source of ceramides, found in Prevage MD and SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream.

Products containing growth factors (SkinMedica TNS, Citrix CRS), cholecalciferol (PCA pHaze 16+ C-Strength 20%, Exuviance Vespera Bionic Serum) and niacinamide (Nia24, La Roche-Posay Rosaliac) are also claimed to stimulate ceramide production within the skin.

To avoid stripping the skin of ceramides and the other lipids it needs for healthy function, choose gentle cleansers and consider using products containing lipohydroxy and/or lactic acid instead of glycolic acid.

Dietary modifications and supplements (VitaMedica Flax Seed Oil, VitaMedica Dry Skin Formula) can also help enhance the condition of skin prone to dryness or irritation.

Reference: Menon GK, Norlen L. Stratum corneum ceramides and their role in skin barrier function. In: Leyden JJ, Rawlings AV, eds. Skin Moisturization. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker; 2002:31—60.

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