This post is sponsored by QV.
If you have dry skin, ceramides are an ingredient that deserve more of your attention. Here’s what they are, what they’re good for, and an overview of the QV Intensive with Ceramides range.
What are ceramides?
Ceramides are oily substances that are naturally found in the top layer of your skin, the stratum corneum. They’re one of the main intercellular lipids (along with cholesterol and free fatty acids) that sit in between dead skin cells in the stratum corneum, sticking them together and forming an effective barrier.
This barrier is important for protecting the living layers of your skin against irritants and microbes, as well as slowing down how quickly water evaporates.
In the lipid “mortar” of the stratum corneum, there’s around 40-40-50% ceramides, 25% cholesterol and 10-20% free fatty acids. A lack of ceramides or changes in the types of ceramides has been associated with some forms of dry skin. If this is the case, the stratum corneum is prone to losing water too quickly, resulting in dehydrated skin. This dryness can also lead to itchy skin.
Using ceramide-containing products can help support a healthy skin barrier.
QV Intensive with Ceramides range
There are three products in the QV Intensive with Ceramides range, formulated for people with very dry and itchy skin: the Light Moisturising Cream, Hydrating Body Wash and Sting-Free Ointment.
There are a lot of different ceramides in skin – a ceramide consists of a sphingosine base and a fatty acid, so there are quite a few combinations possible! The products in the QV Intensive with Ceramides range contain ceramide EOP (ceramide 1) and ceramide NP (ceramide 3):
All of the products are dermatologically tested, suitable for use on sensitive skin, vegan-friendly, budget-friendly and fragrance-free.
QV Intensive with Ceramides Light Moisturising Cream
QV Intensive with Ceramides Light Moisturising Cream ($26.99 for 350 mL) is a non-greasy moisturiser that absorbs quickly. It’s based on lots of well-researched, bland moisturising ingredients including the hydrating humectants glycerin and sodium PCA, as well as occlusive petrolatum, mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum) and dimethicone. These synthetic ingredients aren’t favoured by people who prefer natural cosmetics, but dermatologists usually recommend these ingredients since they’re so gentle.
Related post: Video: Are Natural Beauty Products Better?
The cream also contains niacinamide (vitamin B3), a do-everything skincare ingredient that helps skin maintain its normal barrier function. It’s also been shown to help stimulate the production of ceramides in the skin, and helps to improve the appearance of skin tone and texture. There’s also lactic acid, which has also been shown to help stimulate the production of ceramides in the skin. Safflower oil, a fantastic emollient plant oil for skin, is also included.
I really like how effective this cream is at moisturising my skin in cold weather, despite not feeling heavy. After showering in winter, my skin tends to try out and get itchy, but with this cream that doesn’t happen. This works as well as a heavy, thick cream, but it’s much faster to rub in, plus the pump top bottle is very convenient. In a clinical study it was found to be more effective at hydrating skin for 24 hours after application than other moisturisers.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Petrolatum, Niacinamide, Paraffinum Liquidum, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lactic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Ceteareth-20, Sodium PCA, Stearic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Laureth-3, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Ceramide NP, Cholesterol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Ceramide EOP.
QV Intensive with Ceramides Hydrating Body Wash ($23.49 for 350 mL) is a gentle cleanser that is designed to help hydrate the skin while cleansing. It’s pH-balanced with a rich cream texture. Like the Light Moisturising Cream, there are lots of bland and effective moisturising ingredients (petrolatum, glycerin, sodium PCA) as well as niacinamide, lactic acid and safflower oil. It uses gentle surfactants that won’t strip the skin or dry it out. It also comes in a convenient pump top, and is great for avoiding post-shower dry, itchy skin.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Petrolatum, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Lauryl Betaine, Lactic Acid, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium PCA, Xanthan Gum, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Ceramide NP, Cholesterol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Ceramide EOP.
QV Intensive with Ceramides Sting-Free Ointment ($12.95 for 100 g or $21.95 for 200 g) is a water-free ointment that’s designed to be used on dry, cracked skin. It contains the same ceramides, in a thick moisturising base, and acts as a barrier that keeps your irritated skin hydrated. It’s a lot like petroleum jelly, but with the added benefit of ceramides.
I prefer the tub to the tube, since the product’s very thick – in cold weather it can be a bit difficult to squeeze out from the tube, although it’s not a dealbreaker since you never need to use very much and a little goes a long way. I’ve found it really fantastic for soothing and protecting dry, cracked cuticles and heels.
Ingredients: Paraffinium Liquidum, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Myristate, Polyethylene, Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ozokerite, Silica, Dimethicone, Ceramide NP, Cholesterol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Ceramide EOP.
Have you used skincare products with ceramides before? What did you think?
This post is sponsored by QV; however, the content is all based on my independent research and my honest experience. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.