Most of us have probably heard of these terms but have yet to learn precisely what they mean when it comes to ceramides and peptides. Both ingredients are essential to any skincare routine, especially for those with mature skin.
Ceramides and peptides occur naturally in our bodies, but aging is inevitable, and we all must take care of our bodies as best as possible! Luckily, there are products and treatments we can use and apply to achieve the healthiest, best skin possible.
Below, we will go over what ceramides and peptides are, how to incorporate them into your life, the alternatives, and which ceramide and peptide products are best.
What Are Ceramides?
Ceramides are lipids (or fatty molecules) that support and create the skin's barrier. Ceramides are naturally present in the skin and help the skin stay hydrated and retain moisture. In addition, ceramides repair dry or cracked skin, helping especially with eczema-prone skin, atopic dermatitis, and even psoriasis.
Ceramides strengthen the skin's barrier to remove moisture, bacteria, and germs. Since ceramides keep our skin moisturized and plump, this reduces and prevents wrinkles and breakouts. Furthermore, ceramides make up about 30-40% of our skin's epidermis, but natural ceramides begin to decrease as we age.
So, what can we do about that? Well, many skincare products contain ceramides to boost moisture levels. Ceramides also minimize irritations, thus making it easier and less irritating to utilize ceramides with an active ingredient like AHA exfoliants or retinols.
How Can I Incorporate Ceramides into My Skincare?
Now that we know what ceramides are, how can we start using them in our skincare routines? Luckily, both synthetic and plant-derived ceramides are skin identical!
Meaning both forms of ceramides in beauty products are excellent and nourishing, no matter where they come from. Additionally, ceramides are safe to apply day or night and even throughout the day if you want! Ceramides are also safe to use together with just about any skincare ingredient.
Moreover, ceramides are not JUST in skin and beauty products. They are also naturally in many foods we eat daily! Ceramide-rich foods include soybeans, dairy, eggs, and brown rice. Eating healthy and nutrient-rich foods is equally important as applying safe and rejuvenating products to your skin.
Are There Alternatives to Ceramides?
There are a few alternatives to ceramides. Many skin and beauty products contain hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and squalene. Below, we go over the differences between these three ingredients:
- Glycerin – a humectant (a moisturizing agent) that draws water from the air and moisturizes the outer layer of skin. In addition, glycerin can be applied with more occlusive ingredients to help prevent trans epidermal water loss (TEWL).
Glycerin also improves the skin's ability to retain water, provides protection against irritants, and repairs the skin's barrier. Furthermore, glycerin soothes conditions such as psoriasis and scaly, cracked skin.
- Hyaluronic acid – retains moisture on the surface of the skin. Hyaluronic acid also speeds up wound healing and helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Moreover, hyaluronic acid is naturally present in our bodies, especially our eyes and joints.
Hyaluronic acid promotes the body to make more collagen and elastin, thus keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized. It attracts water molecules, increasing the water content of your skin.
- Squalene – mimics the skin's natural oils, making it perfect when soothing and softening the skin. Like hyaluronic acid, squalene is naturally present in our skin cells. As we age, the presence of hyaluronic acid and squalene decreases. Thus, it is essential to include both ingredients in your beauty products.
Squalene also boosts cellular renewal, making the skin appear and feel firmer. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, squalene is a fantastic alternative for facial oils that are too thick or greasy. Squalene is also non-comedogenic and lightweight.
What Are Peptides?
Peptides are amino acids that increase collagen and elasticity in the skin. Amino acids are the building blocks that make up protein in the body. Like ceramides, peptides naturally occur in the body. If we did not have natural peptides and proteins, we would have wrinkles and dry and brittle skin, nails, and hair.
Furthermore, peptides also help treat acne, heal wounds in the skin and protect the skin against UV rays. Due to peptides, the most notable factor of increasing elasticity, the skin appears and feels firmer and tighter, eliminating fine lines and wrinkles.
How Can I Incorporate Peptides into My Skincare?
Peptides are in many forms, such as moisturizers, serums, or cleansers. Regarding peptide cleansers, it is less effective because they will just be rinsed off anyways.
Peptides in serums and moisturizers will have a chance to stay on the skin and be able to penetrate your skin cells to work effectively. In addition, peptides work amazingly with other ingredients such as vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants.
What does this mean? Pairing peptides alongside ingredients (like vitamin C serum or toner) will boost your skin's barrier and nourish, hydrate, and repair your skin!
Are There Alternatives to Peptides?
There are a few natural, plant alternatives to peptides! Hibiscus, pomegranate, and seaweed extract are all fantastic alternatives to peptides.
- Hibiscus – works to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. It is rich in vitamin A, thus boosting cellular renewal and reducing redness and irritation. In addition, vitamin A is anti-inflammatory and helps speed up wound healing!
- Pomegranate – contains amino acids that fight free radical damage and promote collagen production. Moreover, pomegranates are anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, helping to prevent acne and rashes.
- Seaweed extract - cleanses and detoxes the skin while balancing sebum production and fighting free radical damage! Seaweed extract also prevents trans-epidermal water loss, producing smoother, hydrated, and bouncy skin.
Our Best Picks for Ceramide and Peptide Skincare
More specifically, when it comes to ceramides and peptides, the Rose Renewal Collection is perfect for achieving supple, moisturized and bouncy skin! The Rose Renewal Cleanser gently cleanses and dissolves sebum and makeup, while also hydrating the skin.
This cleanser contains a mix of ceramides, aloe vera, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, peptides and rose water and hibiscus to nourish and soothe the skin. As stated above, peptides and ceramides are completely safe to use alongside other ingredients, especially moisture-boosting and anti-inflammatory ones.
Furthermore, the star ingredient: 100% pure rose water and rose extract, is known to help calm and soothe irritated skin without causing clogged pores. Rose water has anti-bacterial properties as well, reducing acne and redness! Read here to learn more about the differences between rose water vs rose extract.
Additionally, after cleansing the face it is always best to apply a nutritious serum, and lock everything in with a moisturizer. Flora & Noor’s Rose Renewal 24/7 Ceramide + Tri-Peptide Moisturizer helps support and repair the skin’s barrier, while also hydrating the skin.
As stated, peptides stimulate collagen and elasticity, resulting in supple, plump and dewier skin! Similarly, if you want to start your glass skincare journey, the Rose Renewal Collection will be your best friend.