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What is the role of ceramide in our skin?

1. Moisture-retention function in stratum corneum (skin’s outer layer).
Although ceramide is a type of lipid; it is also able to bind water molecules together, effectively locking moisture in skin. However, when skin is ceramide-deficient, water molecules cannot be held together and escape from skin easily, decreasing moisture in skin. Skin is then likely to become dry.

2. Barrier function that blocks external irritation.
Ceramide can retain water or lipid in skin cells in the stratum corneum to form a lamella structure (water x ceramide x lipid x water). Because of the sandwich-like structure, ceramide creates a wall of water and lipid among the skin cells, strengthening skin’s barrier function. Ceramide can also create a tight bond between cells to enhance skin’s barrier function.