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Yoo In-young’s secret? It’s a C-Word.

Ladies, meet Mr Ceramide, the cosmetics champ you probably never knew existed.

Here’s why this intriguing ingredient is the one to watch: Ceramides are said to be anti-aging, anti-acne and anti-eczema – essentially an all-in-one superhero. 

WHAT IS IT?

Interest piqued? Let’s break it down, shall we. A blanket term for a bunch of fatty acids lining the skin, ceramides are, as their “ceramic” connotations suggest, a crucial component of the skin’s scaffolding.

What this means is that ceramides are incredibly important in staving off the sags and bags of age – indeed, studies show that there’s a precipitous slump in ceramide production once you hit your 30s. The implication? Without brick-and-mortar ceramides propping up your face, the rapidly crumbling foundation betrays itself in the form of brittle skin, fine lines and such.

What else does ceramide do? Well, now that we’ve established that ceramide levels correlate with a bouncy, babyfaced mien, it turns out the soothing substance is superb for alleviating acne.  And because they do double duty as moisture magnets for the skin, ceramides have also shown promise in dealing with the dryness and itchiness associated with dermatitis and eczema.

WHERE TO FIND IT

So, where can we get our paws on the good stuff? For one, any beauty buff worth her bathing salts will know that ceramides are the centerpiece of Elizabeth Arden’s suite of beloved skincare products.

Try the new Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide range of anti-agers, which are well, powered by ceramide, plumping peptides and brightening boosters like licorice and adenosine.

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On my #DieDieMustBuy list? The Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide Caplet Serum, a spectacular concoction of suspended capsules which shatter like crackly candy upon contact with your skin. One of the coolest cosmetic creations around, and so much fun to use!

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If you’re a long-suffering eczema survivor like me, you’ll be pleased as punch to know that ceramide’s also found in sensitive skin-specific products such as Cellnique’s deeply quenching Barrier Rescue Essence, a multi-purpose serum which I’ve found to be a bona fide skin saviour whenever I’m battling a bad bout of rashes. (Aside: It bears repeating that eczema cannot be passed on by rubbing up against a sufferer. Hugs for yours truly, anyone?)

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Ceramides are also the secret new weapon for zapping zits and squelching shine. Case in point? Curel’s Sebum Care Moisture Gel, which I massage into my mien in lieu of my regular moisturiser on days when my face feels like a sebum-glazed donut.

So yes, to recap. Ceramides are perfect for negotiating that no woman’s land between battling post-pubertal blemishes and warding off post-menopausal wrinkles. Keep an eye out for the ingredient the next time you’re browsing the beauty aisles – and do me a favour by bookmarking this page for easy reference. Sending you good skin vibes!

Cellnique Barrier Rescue Essence, $99, is available at all Cellnique counters. For more information, visit www.cellnique.sg and follow the brand on Facebook.

Curél Sebum Care Moisture Gel, $34.90 for 120ml, is available at selected Guardian and Watson’s stores. For more information, visit web.kao.com/sg/curel and follow Curél Singapore on Facebook.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide Caplet Serum, $99.00 for 30ml, is available at all Elizabeth Arden counters.  For more information, visit www.elizabetharden.com.sg and follow Elizabeth Arden Singapore on Facebook.