Ceramide NP: What Is It, Skin & Hair Benefits & Side Effects

Priya Singh
Fact-Checker: Priya Singh
This article was last updated on: July 14, 2023
Table of Contents

Imagine the scenario—your eyes are squinting and your brow furrowed as you study the unpronounceable list of ingredients printed on the back of your newly purchased cosmetic product. Deciphering these scientific terms feels like trying to crack a mysterious chemical code. And there you stumble upon it, nestled between the more familiar words like glycerin and shea butter, an ingredient that’s equally enigmatic—Ceramide NP.

With its name reminiscent of a character from an intricate sci-fi novel, Ceramide NP might seem intimidating at first glance. You might wonder if it’s something your skin will thank you for or, conversely, protest against. Nevertheless, this peculiarly named ingredient pops up in skincare products more often than you might think.

This article will take you on a deep dive into the world of Ceramide NP. Serving as your tour guide, we’ll journey through its official CosIng functions, its benefits, and potential side effects.

What is Ceramide NP?

In the realm of cosmetics, Ceramide NP is akin to a trusted confidante for your skin. Also known by its mouthful of an official name—1,3,4-Octadecanetriol, 2-Octadecanamide, Stearoyl-C18-Phytosphingosine, Stearoyl-4-Hydroxysphinganine—this ingredient plays the role of a protector and rejuvenator. Its primary functions include conditioning the skin and hair, promoting moisture retention, and fortifying the skin’s natural barrier.

So, how does it work? As a type of ceramide, Ceramide NP is essentially a lipid that naturally occurs in the top layers of our skin. It works by filling in the spaces between skin cells, acting like mortar in the brick wall of your skin. This action fortifies the skin’s protective barrier, locking in moisture and shielding against environmental aggressors.

While Ceramide NP can be used as a standalone ingredient, it’s most commonly found as part of wider formulations, particularly in products designed for dry, aging, or sensitive skin. Concentration can vary, but it’s generally employed at lower levels, often in combination with other ceramides and beneficial ingredients to enhance its effects.

Who Can Use Ceramide NP?

It’s an inclusive ingredient, Ceramide NP. It plays well with all skin types—from oily and acne-prone skin to dry and sensitive complexions. Its conditioning qualities and barrier-boosting prowess make it a versatile ingredient suitable for a broad spectrum of dermal needs.

As for its compatibility with dietary and lifestyle choices, Ceramide NP is generally considered safe for vegans and vegetarians. It’s a bio-identical, synthetic ingredient that doesn’t rely on animal-derived sources.

And the good news keeps coming. Would-be moms and new mothers can also breathe a sigh of relief. Ceramide NP is usually considered safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Its skin-strengthening and moisturizing properties can even help alleviate some of the skin changes that come with these life events. Nevertheless, as with any ingredient, it’s always advisable to consult with your healthcare provider or a qualified dermatologist before incorporating new products into your skincare routine during these sensitive periods.

Ceramide NP Skin Benefits

Ceramide NP brings to the table a suite of benefits that are as impressive as they are varied. Here’s a deep dive into some of those:

  • Strengthens the Skin Barrier: By mimicking the natural ceramides found in our skin, Ceramide NP helps fortify the skin’s barrier function. It fills in the gaps between skin cells, akin to mortar between bricks, to reinforce the barrier that shields skin from external aggressors and prevents moisture loss.
  • Moisture Retention: Ceramide NP acts as a powerful ally in maintaining the skin’s hydration levels. It does this by sealing in moisture, preventing evaporation, and thus, helping to keep the skin looking plump and feeling supple.
  • Soothes and Conditions: Ceramide NP also has a soothing effect on the skin. It conditions the skin, reducing dryness and flakiness, and providing a smoother, softer texture.

However, it’s important to note that these beneficial effects, while significant, are dependent on the sustained use of Ceramide NP. The skin’s lipid levels naturally deplete with age and environmental stresses, so ongoing use is key to maintaining these benefits.

Ceramide NP Hair Benefits

Just like with the skin, Ceramide NP brings a roster of compelling benefits to the hair as well:

  • Restores and Strengthens Hair: Ceramides, including Ceramide NP, are naturally part of the hair’s cuticle—the outermost protective layer. Supplementing hair care routines with Ceramide NP helps restore these essential lipids, strengthening the hair and protecting it from damage.
  • Improves Moisture Retention: Ceramide NP helps lock in moisture by patching up gaps in the hair cuticle. This improves overall hair hydration, reducing dryness and brittleness.
  • Enhances Shine and Softness: By smoothing the hair cuticle, Ceramide NP can enhance the hair’s natural shine and softness, promoting a healthier, more lustrous look.

Just as with the skin, these hair benefits require continued use of Ceramide NP. Regular application is vital to maintaining and improving the overall health and appearance of your hair.

Ceramide NP Potential Side Effects

Firstly, it’s important to note that reactions to any skincare ingredient—including Ceramide NP—may significantly differ from person to person. This is predominantly due to variables such as skin type, sensitivity levels, and individual allergies. Therefore, understanding and determining your skin’s specific needs and characteristics is crucial. You can learn more about how to find your skin type here.

When it comes to Ceramide NP, potential side effects and interactions are relatively rare but could include:

  • Skin Irritation: In a small number of users, Ceramide NP could cause mild irritation or redness, particularly in those with very sensitive skin.
  • Allergic Reactions: While extremely rare, an allergic reaction could occur in some instances. This can result in itchiness, redness, and inflammation.

If you experience any of these side effects while using a product that contains Ceramide NP, it’s advisable to stop using the product immediately and consult a dermatologist or healthcare provider for guidance.

Despite these potential side effects, please remember that adverse reactions to Ceramide NP are generally quite rare. Meticulously designed and extensively tested, Ceramide NP stands tall as a safe and effective ingredient that’s earned its place in the cosmetic world.

However, safety first always applies in skincare. Embrace the habit of patch-testing any new skincare product before incorporating it into your routine. A patch test can help determine how your skin would react to the new product or ingredient. For a detailed patch testing guide, you can refer to our comprehensive article.

Comedogenic Rating

The comedogenic scale is a handy tool that measures the likelihood of an ingredient clogging pores. On a scale of 0 to 5, Ceramide NP is a comforting zero. This rating means it’s non-comedogenic and is not expected to block your pores. The reason for this rating lies in the nature of ceramides; they are naturally present in our skin and play a key role in maintaining skin barrier integrity and hydration without contributing to pore-clogging.

Therefore, Ceramide NP is an excellent skincare choice for those who are prone to acne or breakouts. Its ability to strengthen the skin barrier and retain moisture without causing congestion makes it a friend to those who battle breakouts, as well as those seeking to maintain healthy, balanced skin.


Navigating the world of skincare and haircare is a voyage of discovery and, occasionally, trial and error. Every person’s skin and hair vary, and what works wonders for one might not perform the same magic for another. This truth underscores the value of ingredients like Ceramide NP.

Opting for products containing Ceramide NP offers the benefits of a natural lipid that works in harmony with the skin and hair. Its role in maintaining moisture levels and fortifying our skin’s and hair’s protective barriers makes it a versatile and beneficial ingredient for most users.

Despite bearing an intimidatingly scientific name, Ceramide NP is far from an avant-garde ingredient. Rather, it’s a widely used and well-researched component in the world of cosmetics. It’s something of a workhorse—quietly going about its business of protecting and conditioning the skin and hair.

As with any ingredient, patience is key when it comes to seeing results from Ceramide NP. The positive changes won’t occur overnight. Instead, think weeks to a few months of consistent usage. It’s a journey rather than a sprint, but the endpoint—healthier, stronger skin and hair—is worth the wait.

In the face of any lingering concerns about Ceramide NP, remember that its safety and efficacy have been meticulously examined. While instances of intolerances and side effects can occur—as with any ingredient—these are rare. Ceramide NP remains a steadfast stalwart in cosmetic formulations, promoting healthy skin and hair one product at a time.

Tell us how you found this article in just a couple of clicks!
Delivered right to your inbox each week. Zero spam, all goodness, opt-out at anytime.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
How did you find this article?
Tell us how you found this article in just a couple of clicks!
Get all our top headlines in beauty.
Delivered right to your inbox each week. Zero spam, all goodness, opt-out at anytime.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Send good feedback:

All feedback is anonymous and will be used to improve the quality of our articles.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Send bad feedback:

All feedback is anonymous and will be used to improve the quality of our articles.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.