Remember when hyaluronic acid first hit the mainstream market and skincare companies began spruiking its inclusion in their products? One multinational brand even made a television commercial about how to pronounce the word, such was its selling power. Every so often a new name is plucked from obscurity in such a fashion, and well-established ingredients that used to be listed among a raft of others now take centrestage on packaging and in associated advertising. Now ceramides is the new buzzword. So what are they? Without wanting to sound like a chemistry lesson, ceramides are lipid molecules found naturally in the skin. They make up more than 50 per cent of skin's composition and are like the glue that bind cells together to create the skin barrier. Our production of ceramides decreases with age and sun exposure, which can result in dryness, redness and irritation. Adding ceramide-based products into your skincare routine can therefore help restore your skin's barrier and assist with moisture retention. Because ceramides are so hot right now, finding them in your local chemist, supermarket, beauty counter or favourite online beauty store shouldn't prove too tricky. Just this week frank body launched its new Super Ceramide Barrier Oil at Mecca stores, joining a brigade of other offerings. Nu Skin aligns its Nutricentials Ceramide Pumps with the benefits it can provide your skin barrier during the upcoming change in seasons, while essano's Sensitive Support Concentrated Ceramides serum is targeted towards sensitive skin. Dr. LeWinn's Recoverëderm Intensive Overnight Barrier Repair Balm champions the inclusion of ceramide, and Sunday Riley's ICE Ceramide Moisturising Cream namechecks one of its key ingredients with a tasty sounding line-up that includes beetroot, coconut and pomegranate sterols.