Are Ceramides Vegan? What Are Ceramides Made Of?

By Anett Rannamets. Published: October 2022.
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Ceramides are fairly new in skincare. They protect the skin and keep it well moisturized. Which is the basis for beautiful, healthy skin, of course. And luckily, in skincare, ceramides are sourced from plants or made synthetically. Therefore, ceramides are always vegan in skincare!

Ceramides are becoming a big thing in anti-aging cosmetics. However, they can do much more than just prevent wrinkles. Now, let’s learn more about ceramides and their superpowers.

What Are Ceramides? What Are Ceramides Made Of?

Simply put, ceramides belong to naturally occurring lipids. They are special fats that build up the skin’s barrier. So, ceramides are the main components of the top layer of our skin – the stratum corneum. In skincare, they are made of plants or produced synthetically.

The skin’s top layer consists of a mixture of water and lipids. This mixture binds many small skin cells together and creates a layer. Most know it as the skin’s protective barrier. Ceramides make up the main part of the fats in that layer. And they behave in the skin like a cement mixture between bricks.

The top layer of the skin serves as the first line of defense against external stresses. Such as pollutants, microbes, allergens, or other irritations. In order to keep the skin healthy, hydrated, and supple, the skin’s protective barrier has to be strong.

‘Ceramides’ is a collective term for a specific group of endogenous fats or lipids. The human stratum corneum actually contains 9 different types of ceramides. Ceramide 3, which is also called ceramide NP, is the most common in skincare. It has the most significant proportion of all the ceramides in the skin. 

Even though our skin contains ceramides naturally, everyday stress can reduce them. That can lead to a whole range of problems like wrinkles, dullness, or uneven texture. As well as dry, flaky skin that is exposed and prone to irritation.

Ceramides in skincare are always vegan. Sometimes they are produced from plants. However, most skin-identical ceramides are produced synthetically. And without the use of any animal products.

Different Types Of Ceramides

On this list, you will find all types of ceramides found naturally in the human skin. The letters after the ceramides are their exact designations. You can sometimes see these on your skincare packages and ingredient lists.

  • Ceramide 1 – EOS
  • Ceramide 2 – NS
  • Ceramide 3 – NP
  • Ceramide 4 – EOH
  • Ceramide 5 – AS
  • Ceramide 6 – AP
  • Ceramide 7 – AH
  • Ceramide 8 – NH
  • Ceramide 9 – EOP

In addition, scientists have also come up with modified ceramides. For example, the ingredient ceramide BP, or isostearoyl phytosphingosine, belongs to a new class of ceramides. 

Why Are Ceramides Used In Skincare?

Ceramides are used in skincare because they protect the skin from environmental influences. As well as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and moisture loss. Ceramides also prevent dry and aging skin.

Firstly, ceramides prevent dry skin. Since the natural skin barrier also includes water, ceramides ensure that the skin is sufficiently supplied with it. As ceramides strengthen the skin barrier, it becomes more impenetrable.

Secondly, ceramides can reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The better the skin is supplied with moisture, the slower wrinkles appear. And since ceramides make the protective barrier stronger, external factors such as dry air or sunlight do not drain the skin as much.

Ceramides also create an even complexion. They minimize dry patches and wrinkles and make the skin supple. That is why ceramides are often included in anti-aging skincare designed for mature skin. However, ceramides are safe and beneficial to use on every type of skin.

In addition, ceramides can help with concerns related to inflammation which is often associated with transepidermal water loss. These include, for example, eczema, acne, psoriasis, and rosacea.

Summary

Ceramides are the basic building blocks of our skin’s top layer. So, skincare products that contain ceramides, improve the skin’s protective barrier. When the stratum corneum is strong and healthy, the skin stays hydrated and young.

In addition, the strong protective barrier prevents exogenous irritants from penetrating the skin. Like bacteria, viruses, or fungi that play a role in damaged skin. And in addition to skin-strengthening properties, ceramides in skincare are always vegan-friendly.

Since ceramides make the top layer of the skin strong and keep it moisturized, they are popular in anti-aging skin care. In fact, ceramides are suitable for all skin types. Like dry, oily, acne-prone, sensitive, or combination skin. To get started with ceramides, see our guide to the best vegan ceramide skincare in 2022.

See also: Best Vegan Skincare Products, Vegan Skincare Trends

FAQ About Ceramides

Are ceramides vegan?

Yes. Ceramides in skincare are always vegan. Sometimes they are produced from plants. However, most skin-identical ceramides are produced synthetically. And without the use of any animal products.

Why are ceramides used in skincare?

Ceramides are used in skincare because they keep the skin’s barrier strong. They protect the skin from environmental influences like the sun or dry air. As well as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and moisture loss. Ceramides also prevent dry and aging skin.

What are ceramides?

Ceramides belong to naturally occurring lipids. They are special fats that build up the skin’s barrier. So, ceramides are the main components of the top layer of our skin – the stratum corneum.

Anett is a passionate journalist, writer, and magazine editor with almost 7 years of experience. Through engaging articles, she brings kinder and more environmentally-friendly choices closer to everybody.