Benefits of Ceramides for Skin Care & its Natural Food Sources
What are Ceramides?
Ceramides are the fatty molecules that are linked with other vital molecules to promote cellular function, these are found naturally in the skin cells and are about 50% constituent of the epidermis (skin’s outer layer). These ceramides are known to have an important role in nervous system development and the brain but recently ceramides have gained a lot of interest in the fields of skin care for their potential skin benefits. So today we will talk on ceramides and its significance in skin care. Let’s start!
Significance of Ceramides in Skin Care
Ceramides belong to the class of lipids known as sphingolipids that help create a barrier to prevent the permeability. This locks the moisture in the skin and which helps in preventing the irritation and dryness of the skin.
The absence of ceramides the skin can undergo transepidermal water loss, that leads to the dry skin. Fine wrinkles and lines on the facial skin are often more noticeable when the skin is dry. Moreover, the dry skin can be classified into two types: Dry dehydrated skin and dry alipidic skin. The dry dehydrated skin with a low moisture content, in these conditions, skin can be shiny, with enlarged pores and even blackheads. Whereas there is low sebum production in the skins of dry alipidic people, and causing the skin to be reactive/sensitive and fragile.
Ceramides keep the skin supple and soft. These ceramides help in locing the moisturizer and minimize the appearance of these lines and wrinkles. Thus, ceramides may have anti-aging effects. In other words, the ceramides repair the skin barrier, and restore the hydrating agents that prevent the loss of skin. This protective barrier also helps in protecting the epidermis from damage by environmental aggressors. The environmental pollution, UV radiation overexposure, use of harsh skin care products or extreme temperature conditions lead to the depletion of ceramides in the skin.
How can we get ceramides Naturally from Food?
- Phytoceramides, are the plant derived ceramides, are present in many foods, especially in wheat flour. Sphingolipids, which can boost the levels of ceramides, are present in large amounts in eggs, dairy products, and soybeans. The diet of a being has a very beneficial role in skin too. The lack of essential fatty acids disrupts the natural skin barrier against moisture loss. These fatty acids are found in seeds, nuts, fish oils and avocados like dietary items.
- Phytoceramides rich dietary items include wheat germ, spinach, beet root, brown rice. These diets help to protect the outer layer of the skin.
- Antioxidants rich foods such as carrots, kale, tomatoes, and pumpkin are also beneficial in protecting the skin and reversing the damaged skin.
- Fermented foods such as probiotics, regulate the good bacteria in the gut and improve the digestion, which help in reducing the endotoxins and help the skin look healthy. Fermented vegetables are the rich source of probiotics.
- Green Leafy vegetables mostly kale, broccoli, mustard greens and spinach will help in keeping the skin healthy and is the rich source of ceramides.
- Jojoba oil – There is up to 97% of ceramides in the complex composition of Jojoba oil, this property makes this oil stable to oxidation and heat. The phytoceramides present in the jojoba oil are quite similar to those present in the skin, help in maintenance and repair of the skin structure, contributing to sebum regulation. Also, there is higher content of Vitamin E in the composition of Jojoba oil, and this vitamin is having fundamental roles in skin and here as photoprotector, helping in reducing the damage induced by free radicals, which are the main reason behind the premature aging.
- Sunflower oil contains approximately 78% ceramides along with the richness of Vitamin A and Vitamin E, these all help in making it a perfect for promoting skin health. This oil is non-greasy and light, and thus absorbed in the skin easily. Moreover, the vitamins act as antioxidants that help in regenerating the damaged skin cells.
- Other sources of natural ceramide include Garpe seed oil- 73% ceramides, Poppy seed oil- 70%, Sunflower oil- 68% ceramides, Hemp oil- 60% ceramides, Corn oil- 59% ceramides, Wheat germ oil- 55% ceramides, Cottonseed oil- 54% ceramides, Soybean oil- 51% ceramides, Walnut oil- 50% ceramides, Sesame oil- 45% ceramides, Rice bran oil- 39% ceramides, Pistachio oil- 33% ceramides, Peanut oil- 32% ceramides, Linseed oil- 15% ceramides, and Olive oil- 10% ceramides.
Best Ayurvedic Herbal Formulation for Boosting Ceramide and Skin Wellness
The ingredients of this oil include multiple herbs i.e. Elachi (Elettaria cardamomum), Badi Elaichi (Amomum subulatum), Tuvaraka (Hydnocarpus laurifolia), Kushta (Saussurea lappa), Priyangu flowers (Callicarpa macrophylla), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Jaladhyamaka (Coleus zeylanicus), Sprikka (Anisomeles malabarica), Choraka (Angelica archangelica), Dalchini (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Tagara (Valeriana wallichii) Sthauneya (Taxus baccata), Javitri (Myristica fragrans), Hirabol (Commiphora myrrha), Shukti (Ostrea edulis), Vyaghranakha (Capparis sepiaria), Devdaru (Cedrus deodara), Agaru (Aquilaria agallocha), Sarala (Pinus longifolia), Kesar (Crocus sativus), Keukand (Costus speciosus), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Sal Tree (Shorea robusta), Shallaki (Boswellia serrata), Punnaga (Calophyllum inophyllum) and Nagkesar (Mesua ferrea) like herbs, that are being processed in the water and oil base of murchita tila taila Sesame oil – Sesamum indicum). These all the herbal ingredients when are processed in the Sesame oil, makes a perfect classical herbal formulation which was used for treating various skin disorders since ages. The herbal enrichment of this oil makes it the best oil for the local application on the skin. It will help in eliminating the facial wrinkles, dryness, cracked skin, It is having demulcent, anti-urticarial, antipruritic and anti-inflammatory properties. This oil helps in pacifying the vata and kapha dosha, thus relieving the dryness and loss of moisture from the skin.
Usage– Take a few drops of this taila and apply it on the affected skin part. Leave the part for overnight. Repeat the procedure 2-3 times per day.
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Thus, by including these natural dietary supplements in the diet will help in making the skin healthy and moisturized. Applying these oils locally on the skin surface is also beneficial in providing the adequate nourishment and supplement for the production of ceramides, and protect the skin cells from damaging
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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