Quick trip to Delhi, India !

Hello folks!

Apologies for the lack of posts! It has been a very busy 2 weeks with travelling home, battling flu situations in the house and then a quick trip to Delhi! I was in Delhi, India for 4 days total..which is a shame since the place has so much to see, do and of course eat! I had accompanied the husband on a business trip and because he was so caught up with what he was in Delhi for, we barely saw anything 😦 Plus he was still recovering from the flu and he was tired after work related activities everyday so we did not explore areas too far way from where we stayed.

I tried to make the best use of my time there and did manage to go shopping 😉 and explore the local food scene. We stayed at a really nice part of the city at a guest house/hotel at The India Habitat Centre. The Lodhi Gardens which is a public park was walking distance from where we stayed and so I did spend a good amount of time there. The park houses the tombs of the Lodhi dynasty kings who ruled much before the Mughals.

The structures which house the tombs are quite impressive and the place was teeming with couples taking wedding photo shoots! The first structure that greets you upon entering the gardens is the Bara Gumbad.

The Bara Gumbad

The Bara Gumbad pictured above is a mosque and not a tomb. The facade inside the dome has largely worn off however some regions of the structure notably the area to the left with the smaller domes still has intricate inscriptions.

Inside the Mosque (Bara Gumbad)

Walking further into the gardens , there is a water canal with an ancient bridge build by Akbar the great (a Mughal ruler). The tomb of one of the Lodhi kings overlooks this water body. The structure housing his tomb was decorated with intricate tile work, traces of which you can still see.

Other places I saw include the India Gate and the city in general while commuting from one point to another. I did manage to do a teeny tiny bit of shopping at this place called Khan Market where I was thrilled to see an Innisfree shop! I will post my mini haul soon 🙂 Stay tuned for that!!

Overall, I enjoyed my really short stay in Delhi..hopefully the next time I travel to the city I will have more time to explore the older parts of the city!

Until next time, ciao!!

 

 

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The skincare ingredient must have : Ceramides

Hello folks!!

Sorting through all the anti ageing skincare products in the market, I am pretty sure you might have come across the term ceramides at some point. They are often touted as miracle workers for ageing and dehydrated skin. So what exactly are ceramides?

Imagine that the brick and mortar structure you see in the picture below is the outer later of your skin. If the bricks are to be your skin cells, then the ‘glue’ or mortar holding your skin cells together is ceramide.

File:Brick and mortar (5110740610).jpg

Brick and Mortar (image source: wikicommons)

To nerdyify things a bit.. the intercellular spaces between skin cells are occupied by lameller sheets. The major lipid component of these lamellar sheets is ceramides. In addition to ceramides, cholestrol and free fatty acids are also found in the lipid domain. Together, they play an important role in maintaining skin hydration by preventing water loss and holding on to moisture. Unfortunately, as we age our ability to produce ceramides decreases and hence our skin gets dry and dull. Ceramides also play an important role in keeping our skin firm and thus when the production declines with age, our skin starts to sag 😦

An important thing to note is that ceramides refer to a family of molecules, in other words there are many different types of ceramides occurring naturally in our skin. There are 9 different types found naturally in human skin: they are labelled ceramide 1 thru ceramide 9.

So how do we go about choosing the right moisturiser that helps us maintain firm healthy moisturized skin ?

Ideally, for ceramide creams to work optimally to restore skin balance and function , cholestrol and fatty acids should be present along with ceramides . As you may recall, these 3 components together form the majority of the intercellular spaces between the skin cells naturally.

Ceramides found in skin care products are usually synthetic or plant derived. When looking through the ingredient lists, you will  notice that ceramides are often labelled in the following fashion:

Ceramide 1 : Ceramide EOS
Ceramide 2 : Cermamide NS = N-stearoyl sphinganine
Ceramide 3 : Ceramide NP = N-stearoyl phytosphingosine
Ceramide 4 : Ceramide EOH
Ceramide 5 : Ceramide AS
Ceramide 6 : Ceramide AP = α-hydroxy-N-stearoylphytosphingosine
Ceramide 6 II : Caproyl sphingosine
Ceramide 7 : Ceramide AH
Ceramide 8 : Ceramide NH
Ceramide 9 : Ceramide EOP
Ceramide E : Cetyl-PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide and Hexadecanamide

If you are curious to know more about the different ceramide containing moisturizers in the market, I suggest checking out the following website : https://www.verywell.com/ceramide-moisturizers-1069550. The author has detailed 6 ceramide containing moisturizers.

Is there proof that ceramide containing moisturizers work?

Now this is where things get a bit complicated. There are so many different types of ceramides and depending on the other ingredients present, the concentrations etc the story can change. Here is a sampling of different studies showing the efficiency of ceramides as a skincare ingredient:

There are of course, more studies outlining the efficiency of ceramides as a skincare ingredient. As I mentioned earlier, this is just a sampling of different types of studies done with ceramides which prove that they can be effective in fighting atopic dermatitis, wrinkles and also hyper pigmentation.

After reviewing quite a few research publications, I personally believe that ceramides can be a beneficial skincare ingredient. Have you tried any ceramide creams? If so what do you think of them?

References:

  1. Hashizume H. Skin aging and dry skin. J Dermatol. 2004 Aug;31(8):603-9.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12553851
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492545
  4. http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/cerami122014tent.pdf
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24656726/