Pseudo-Ceramides Overview

Uses for Pseudo-ceramides

Products that contain manufactured ceramides can help with a variety of skin and hair problems. These intensive moisturizers can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, prevent dry skin and keep hair soft and healthy [source: WebMD]. Some pseudo-ceramide skin care products can even repair the stratum corneum [source: Loden].

You'll often find pseudo-ceramides listed as "hydroxypropyl bispalmitamide MEA" on the labels of hand creams, foot moisturizers and other skin care products. But moisturizing products may also simply list these synthetic lipids as ceramides 1, 2, 3, III, or 6-II. Ceramide 3 is one of the most common types of pseudo-ceramides used -- it can be found in facial lotions, foundations, sunscreens, hair conditioners and lip care products. Ceramides are also used in many aftershaves, anti-itch creams and rosacea ointments [source: Cosmetic Safety Database].

If you want to break the cycle of dry hair and skin, look for cosmetics that contain ceramides. To learn more about pseudo-ceramides, see the links on the following page.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Choi, MJ. "Role of ceramides in barrier function of healthy and diseased skin." (Accessed 10/15/09)
  • Elias, Peter M., Williams, Mary L. K. "Structure and Function of the Stratum Corneum."American Academy of Dermatology. 2009. (Accessed 9/14/09)
  • The Lipid Library. "What is a Lipid." 10/10/08. (Accessed 9/15/09)
  • The Lipid Library. "Ceramides." 7/28/09. (Accessed 9/15/09)
  • Loden, Marie. "Role of Topical Emollients and Moisturizers in the Treatment of Dry Skin Barrier Disorders." American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2003. (Accessed 9/14/09)$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed
  • Samora, Dulce. "How Your Skin Can Survive Summer." WebMD. 2006. (Accessed 9/14/09)
  • Uchida, Yoshikazu, Holleran, Walter M., Elias, Peter M. "On the Effects of Topical Synthetic Pseudoceramides: Comparison of Possible Karatinocyte Toxicities Provoked by the Pseudoceramides, PC104 and BIO391, and Natural Ceramides." July 2008. (Accessed 9/14/09)
  • U.S. Patent Office. "U.S. Patent 6099826: Use of ceramide for the treatment of nails." (Accessed 10/15/09)
  • World Intellectual Property Organization. "Synthetic Ceramides and Their Use in Cosmetic Compositions." 6/22/95. (Accessed 9/14/09)