Whether you're a skin care newbie or a practiced skin aficionado, you likely think carefully about what ingredients work together and which ones are an absolute no-no. For instance, can you mix ceramides with vitamin C? Can you mix alpha-hydroxy acids with glycerin? Can you mix Retinol and ceramides? These are all common questions you should ask to create the perfect skin regimen.

Ceramides are one of the most popular skin care ingredients out there—and for good reason. They come with a ton of benefits and can be used in a number of ways. To learn more about this super ingredient, its benefits, and what ingredients you can mix it with, read on. Spoiler alert: this is one ingredient you'll want to be using ASAP.

The Benefits of Ceramides

Ceramides are fatty acids found in your skin. They make up a lot of the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. Their main functions are to support your skin barrier and retain moisture.

Ceramides are also important ingredients to incorporate into the skin care products you use for your daytime and nighttime routine. When used in skin care, they come with loads of benefits. Studies show that using ceramides can help improve overall skin health, strengthen the skin barrier to protect it from environmental aggressors, keep skin moisturized, soothe dryness and irritation, and offer anti-aging benefits.

How to Use Ceramides in Skin Care

It's pretty easy to incorporate ceramides into your routine. Many skin care products today contain this ingredient. Something like the EltaMD Barrier Renewal Complex contains ceramides, other lipids, enzymes, and vitamins to improve dryness in 24 hours, reduce the appearance of redness, and smooth out uneven texture.

You can also look for ceramides in your sunscreen. The sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase your risk of developing skin cancer and cause your skin to age faster than it normally would. The Skin Cancer Foundation has found that the sun is responsible for 90 percent of skin aging and those who use sunscreen daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who don't use sunscreen daily.

When pairing your SPF protection with ceramides, you can not only get a barrier from UVA and UVB rays, but you can also help strengthen your skin's barrier to protect it from other environmental aggressors and help lock in moisture when you're out in the sun.

Just remember to find products based on your skin type and targeted to your specific concerns to get the most out of ceramides.

What Can You Mix with Ceramides?

Unfortunately, you can't just mix and match whatever ingredients you want in your skin care routine. Some ingredients may cause irritation when mixed together, and that's something no one wants to deal with. Luckily though, ceramides play well with others. In fact, it's encouraged to use ceramides with ingredients like vitamin C and Retinol to enhance their functions.

Because of its ability to lock in moisture, it's often recommended that ceramides be paired with known irritating ingredients, like retinol, to balance it out and keep skin hydrated. Seeing as ceramides strengthen the skin barrier, adding an antioxidant like vitamin C can make it even harder for environmental aggressors to damage the skin.

So, can you mix ceramides with vitamin C? And can you mix retinol and ceramides? The short answer is yes. Ceramides are truly skin care MVPs, and you should take advantage of all their benefits. Before you do, consult a board-certified Dermatologist to make sure you can incorporate ceramides into your regular routine. While generally safe, you should make sure they—and any other new product or ingredient—are the right fit for your skin.


  • Audrey Noble

    Audrey Noble is a New York City-based reporter specializing in features, celebrity profiles, and beauty topics. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR, Allure, Vanity Fair, Refinery29, and more. She is a University of Southern California alumna with bachelor's degrees in print journalism and creative writing.