Skip to main content
Beauty

This one skincare ingredient is a must-have for moisturizing

A dermatologist explains the importance of ceramides.

A young person looks into a mirror and applies a cream to her face. Credit: Getty Images / ridofranz

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Keeping your skin moisturized is essential to how well it functions, not just how it looks or feels. When your skin is moisturized, it has a stronger skin barrier, the outermost layer that wards off bacteria and microorganisms that can cause damage. Of course, using a moisturizer treats or quells symptoms of dryness or conditions such as atopic dermatitis, a.k.a. eczema. And when you’re looking for a product that’ll excel in moisturizing your skin, you should look for one ingredient: ceramides. To explain the important role ceramides play in skin health, we consulted Dr. Suzanne Friedler, board-certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC.

Related content

What are ceramides?

A clear substance lays on a blue background and a clear liquid dropper is dipped into it.
Credit: Getty Images / Beton studio

Ceramides make up the protective layer of the skin.

Ceramides are lipids that contribute to the skin barrier, which keeps moisture in. “Deficiency in ceramides can lead to severely dry skin and may aggravate inflammatory conditions of the skin such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis,” Friedler says

As you age, your skin produces less ceramides, making supplemental products a helpful addition to a regimen. “Adding [ceramides] to our skincare routines can restore the skin’s barrier function, prevent water loss, and make the skin feel softer and firmer and appear more lustrous,” Friedler says. And as a plus, there are no drawbacks to adding this ingredient into your routine, regardless of how sensitive your skin is or what other products you use.

For a cleanser with ceramides: Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser

On the left: A white pump bottle of cleanser. On the right: A closeup on a person's face as their hands spreads cleanser onto the skin.
Credit: Cerave

Cleanse and hydrate the skin with the Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser.

Every product from Cerave contains ceramides, making the brand a great one-stop-shop if you want to add this ingredient into your skincare routine. If you’re unsure where to begin, start with the brand’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser, which also contains hyaluronic acid that hydrates and plumps the skin. The cleanser is best suited for normal to dry skin types that need extra hydration but can work for anyone—it’s even fragrance-free for sensitive skin.

Get the Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser from Amazon for $17.80

For a serum with ceramides: Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Redness Relief Serum

On the left: A light green glass bottle of serum, On the right: A closeup of someone's face holding a bottle of serum up to their face.
Credit: Glow Recipe

Soothe your skin with the Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Redness Relief Serum.

To relieve itchy, irritated skin, try using this serum from Glow Recipe. Along with ceramides to help with moisture and redness, it contains avocado butter and extract to soothe and moisturize and allantoin to calm irritation. It claims to be suited for all skin types and the brand recommends applying it to clean skin before moisturizer in the morning and at night.

Get the Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Redness Relief Serum from Sephora for $42

For an eye cream with ceramides: Youth To The People Dream Eye Cream

On the left: Several tiny yellow jars of eye cream grouped together. On the right: A closeup of someone's face with cream under their eye.
Credit: Youth To The People Dream Eye Cream

Hydrate the under-eyes with the Youth To The People Dream Eye Cream.

If you have dry under-eyes that could use some TLC, this Youth To The People eye cream could make for a great addition to your routine. It contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides to hydrate the skin, vitamin C to firm the area, and goji stem cells to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Gently pat the cream into your under-eye area at night for the best results.

Get the Youth To The People Dream Eye Cream from Sephora for $48

For a moisturizer with ceramides: Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides

On the left: Two jars of moisturizers laying next to each other. On the right: A purple an white jar of moisturizer floating on a purple background.
Credit: Drunk Elephant

Moisturize your skin with the Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides.

Post-cleansing, seal in your skin’s moisture with a cream, like this one from Drunk Elephant. It contains ceramides to prevent water loss, an African oil blend to moisturize the skin, and phytosphingosine (a plant-derived lipid) to soothe the skin. You can apply the cream in the morning or at night, but don’t forget to finish with a sunscreen in the AM.

Get the Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides from Sephora for $60

For a body lotion with ceramides: Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Body Lotion

On the left: A tube of Dr. Jart body lotion on a yellow background. On the right: A hand squeezing lotion from a white tube.
Credit: Dr. Jart

Moisturize all over the body with the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Body Lotion.

For all-over hydration, try the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Body Lotion. It claims to feel lightweight and moisturizes and hydrates with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, respectively. Coat the skin post-shower to lock in moisture.

Get the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Body Lotion from Sephora for $25

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or Flipboard for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Up next