A New Derm-Backed Study Names This Ingredient as the Best for Hydrating and Strengthening Skin

Photo: Getty Images/zoranm
If you’ve ever been to a dermatologist, your doctor may have conjured the image of a brick wall to describe your skin’s barrier. In this apt metaphor, the "bricks" are microscopic skin cells filled with keratin, natural moisturizers, cholesterol, and ceramides. This wall of cells plays a crucial role in protecting your body against environmental stressors, pathogens, and sun damage. But if you want your skin barrier to protect you, you have to protect it.

So how do you do that? By keeping your complexion hydrated and pH-balanced, and by calming any existing inflammation or irritation. And a new study out of the Journal of Dermatologic Therapy just crowned ceramides as the best ingredient for getting the job done.

The study was performed on 24 people, all of whom had mild-to-moderate dry skin. Researchers tracked how ceramides performed on their skin after 24 hours, 7 days, and 28 days, and found that it significantly increased hydration, pH balance, and barrier strength.

Though we've all got naturally occurring ceramides in our skin, our reserves deplete over time. As we age, our "brick wall" contains fewer and fewer ceramides, so we need to supplement the supply topical. Incorporating a moisturizer rich in ceramides into your routine will strengthen your skin barrier, lock in moisture, calm irritation, and may even produce anti-aging effects—which is why derms are constantly recommending the ingredient for all skin types.

Ready to add the best-of-the-best skin strengthener into your own regimen? Keep scrolling for the best ceramide moisturizers your skin will slurp right up.

Paula's Choice Oil Free Moisturizer — $29.00

This moisturizer naturally soothes with antioxidants sourced from pumpkin and blueberry, which calm redness, while ceramides work to strengthen the skin barrier.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream — $10.00

All CeraVe products are formulated with three essential ceramides to help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier, and this moisturizer, in particular, will increase the skin’s own level of ceramides significantly after four weeks of use.

Mario Badescu A.H.A. & Ceramide Moisturizer — $20.00

Mario Badescu’s A.H.A. & Ceramide Moisturizer is a fast-absorbing cream that can be used day and/or night to boost hydration and brightness.

Cetaphil Intensive Healing Lotion — $17.00

This drugstore healing lotion employs ceramides to hydrate and smooths rough, dry, flaky skin, while also helping to ramp up your skin barrier’s own defenses.

Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer — $20.00

This moisturizer is formulated with dermatologist-recommended ingredients including ceramides, niacinamide, and glycerin. These ingredients help repair the skin’s natural protective barrier immediately after you apply, and provide up to 48 hours of hydration.

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