Ceramides are the natural lipids (fats) that make up between 40-50% of the skin’s outermost layer. It’s a layer that is only about one tenth the thickness of a piece of paper, but it’s the skin’s main barrier that keeps chemicals and irritants from absorbing into the body, and it keeps water inside the skin from leaching out. People who suffer from eczema have a deficiency of ceramides. And people who suffer from psoriasis have an abnormal balance of ceramide sub-types. Many moisturizers and creams contain synthetic ceramides to replace those lost in the aging process. The healing effect of ceramides has been studied in eczema, but there are no studies yet for psoriasis. Ceramides can also simply help those who suffer from dry skin. Research has also shown that in order for ceramides to be absorbed into the skin, the moisturizer must also contain cholesterol and fatty free acids, which are the other two components in the outer skin layer.

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