ceramide barrier serum *FAQ*

your questions about our new ceramide serum, answered!

Our ceramide barrier serum is finally here ! We’ve compiled the answers to some frequently asked questions below - let us know if you have any others! 

what are ceramides?

Ceramides are a type of lipid naturally found in the outermost layer of skin. Ceramides make up approximately 50% of the skin barrier and are an essential part of the skin’s extracellular matrix.

what is the extracellular matrix? what is the skin barrier?

The skin barrier is considered the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin) and the extracellular matrix. The extracellular matrix is composed mostly of lipids (ceramides, fatty acids, cholesterol) as well as collagen, elastin, and enzymes.

Think of the skin barrier as a brick wall, with skin cells as the bricks and the extracellular matrix as the mortar holding the bricks together. 

why are ceramides important?

Ceramides are crucial to maintaining a strong skin barrier! A strong barrier helps protect skin against dehydration, irritation, and signs of aging. Ceramides help prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by helping skin retain moisture. 

Additionally, around the age of 30, the extracellular matrix naturally starts producing fewer ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids; that’s why adding a ceramide product to your routine can be so helpful to keep your skin barrier strong! 

how does the skin barrier get damaged?

Lots of possibilities here: 

  • over-exfoliating
  • over-cleansing or using harsh products that strip the skin of its natural oils
  • exposure to extreme weather (hot or cold)
  • the natural aging process 
  • some skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis 
    • People with eczema have fewer ceramides in their stratum corneum, and people with psoriasis have different levels of different ceramides (study).

how can you tell if your skin barrier is damaged?

Is your skin dehydrated, dull, irritated, or otherwise uncomfortable-feeling? You probably have a damaged skin barrier!

how can you repair a damaged skin barrier?

Stop use of any harsh, stripping skincare products and replenish your skin with ingredients like ceramides, humectants, and emollients. Our ceramide barrier serum contains all three!

what ingredients work well with ceramides?

Ceramides are most effective when they are used with other ingredients that mimic the skin’s natural lipid layer. That’s why we formulated our serum with cholesterol and fatty acids!

we use 5 different types of ceramides..

...because different ceramides function differently! We also use ingredients that help encourage skin to produce ceramides on its own.

There are 9 different types of ceramides total, and the 5 that we use are listed below; the type and structure of each type determines its function.

  • Ceramide EOS helps bind the lipid layers of the stratum corneum and acts as a storage area for linoleic acid in the skin. 
  • Ceramide NS helps capture and bind water to keep the skin barrier hydrated. 
  • Ceramide NP and Ceramide EOS work together to improve the skin barrier function, preventing TEWL (transepidermal water loss) and keeping external irritants out. 
  • Ceramide AP acts as the building blocks of the skin lipid barrier.
  • Ceramide EOP helps hold together the lipid barriers.
  • Ceramide Precursors: these encourage skin to produce ceramides, help restore the skin’s barrier and prevent moisture loss!
    • Phytosphingosine: our serum contains caprooyl phytosphingosine
    • Sphingosines: our serum contains caprooyl sphingosine

where do ceramides come from?

Ceramides are naturally produced by animals and plants. The ceramides used in skin care are usually synthetic, because it’s difficult and very expensive to use naturally-derived ceramides; they are only found in very low concentrations in plants and animals. Additionally, the body doesn’t see the difference between synthetic and natural ceramides because they have the same structure.

We wanted to create a serum that was vegan and effectively helped repair the skin’s barrier. To achieve this, we chose a mixture of synthetically derived ceramides, plant-derived cholesterol, and plant-derived glycerin. 

Our synthetic ceramide production process involves vegetable-based fatty acids and fermentation from Tonka Bean yeast and corn sugar. 

what % of ceramides does a product need to contain in order for it to be effective?

Our ceramide complex manufacturer performed studies that demonstrated improved moisture content and skin barrier when used at 0.5%-5%. Our formula contains 3% of the ceramide complex. We chose 3% to see benefits quickly and at an affordable price!

what are some of the other important ingredients in this serum? why did we use them in this formula?

To put it simply, the skin is able to recognize ceramides more easily when they’re paired with skin-mimicking ingredients, like cholesterol and fatty acids. Lactic acid and beta-glucan also play crucial roles in our formula.

cholesterol

Cholesterol is a skin-conditioning lipid that can naturally be found in the skin barrier. The combination of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids in our serum mimics the skin’s natural lipid layer!

lactic acid

Lactic acid is a gentle alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps remove dead skin cells by loosening the bonds holding them there. It also works as a humectant, helping draw moisture into the top layer of skin. 

We included lactic acid in this formula because studies (1, 2) have shown that it helps encourage ceramide production; additionally, most ingredients work more effectively on gently exfoliated skin!

beta-glucan

Beta-glucan is a humectant that draws moisture into the top layer of skin. It also deeply hydrates, plumps, and soothes skin! Some studies have shown that beta-glucan at 0.4% is 20% more hydrating than hyaluronic acid at 0.4%.

squalane

Squalane is a fatty acid-rich emollient that helps prevent transepidermal water loss by sealing in moisture. It’s great for helping maintain your natural skin barrier, while also providing antioxidant protection!

Squalane is a shelf-stable version of squalene, a substance naturally produced by your sebaceous glands. Natural squalene production tends to decrease around the age of 30, so using skincare that contains squalane can be extremely helpful. 

is the ceramide barrier serum vegan? 

Yes! Like all cocokind products, it’s also 100% cruelty-free.

is the ceramide barrier serum gluten-free?

All of our products are formulated without gluten or peanuts! 

what is the pH of the formula?

The pH of this formula is between 4.5 and 5.5, which is slightly acidic (a pH of 7 is neutral). Ideally, the pH of our skin is around 5.5-6, which is also slightly acidic. Read more about your skin’s pH on our blog.

who can benefit from using this serum?

Anyone’s skin will benefit from this product, but ceramides are especially beneficial to those with a compromised barrier, caused by exposure to extreme environments, over-exfoliation, irritation, sun damage, etc.

Additionally, around the age of 30, the skin begins to naturally produce less ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. As a result the skin barrier is weakened and more prone to dryness and irritation. A ceramide product, like our ceramide barrier serum, can help replenish those ceramides. 

when will I see results?

It depends on your skin’s current condition and what you’re looking for! You might experience immediate results like improved hydration and skin that feels soothed. However, it may take a few weeks to see sustained improvement of your skin’s overall condition.

Results vary depending on the individual, but here are a few findings from consumer studies we conducted on these products: 

  • After 4 weeks, 87% of probiotic acne serum users agreed the product reduced their acne*
  • After 4 weeks, 86% of probiotic acne serum users agreed the product reduced clogged pores*
  • After 4 weeks, 86% of probiotic acne serum users agreed the product reduced the appearance of inflammation caused by acne*

*based on 83 participants who experience acne

  • After 2 weeks 96% of ceramide barrier serum users agreed that this product improves hydration**
  • After 2 weeks 96% of ceramide barrier serum users agreed this product smooths & softens skin**
  • After 2 weeks 93% of ceramide barrier serum users agreed this product improves moisture retention**

**based on 100 participants with a variety of skin concerns 

can I use this product along with the probiotic acne serum?

Yes! You can use both serums together although it isn’t necessary. We recommend starting with what best matches your biggest skin concern - barrier support or acne.

where does the ceramide barrier serum fit into my routine?

Use it after cleansing and toning, but before moisturizer! Allow to dry for 1-2 minutes before applying other products. We also recommend using SPF during the day.

can I use this product if I have acne?

Yes, you can use the ceramide barrier serum if you have acne. Its lightweight texture and replenishing ingredients can help soothe skin stressed from breakouts!

Is the ceramide barrier serum safe to use during pregnancy?

All of our products are formulated to be effective yet gentle; but if you’re expecting, we recommend showing our ingredients lists to your doctor or dermatologist to confirm safety for you specifically! 

how should I store the ceramide barrier serum? how long does it last before it expires?

Store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight! After opening, this product lasts for 12 months.

how do I recycle my ceramide barrier serum packaging?

  • The carton is fully recyclable and made from responsibly-sourced FSC paper.
  • Rinse out the bottle and peel off the labels. Gently pull the glass tube out of the dropper cap. Toss the bottle and glass tube in your recycling bin. Unfortunately, the remaining parts of the cap are not recyclable due to their small size. 
  • Check out this blog post on how to dispose of all our product packaging!

where can I buy the ceramide barrier serum

This product is only available online and in Target, until further notice!


any other questions? shoot us a DM on Instagram or an email at info@cocokind.com!