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Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF)

Our complexion has a natural moisture layer (NMF). This layer is supported by the natural moisturizing factor, or NMF, in the skin. This is a component of the face that absorbs moisture from the environment — ensuring that your face is properly moisturized throughout the day. However, our natural moisturizing factor is soluble in water, which is why applying water to your face dries it out instead of moisturizing it, and why applying a moisturizer after bathing or cleansing the body is extremely important.

Over the layer of skin containing the NMF, there is a lipid layer designed to hold moisture in. But over time, this can break down. Making it very difficult for the skin to hold on to the moisture it needs. Now that scientists understand how and why it holds onto moisture, it is possible to add the natural moisturizing factor to lotions and creams. Applying creams will help carry the moisturizing component deep into the skin, storing it and releasing it throughout the day, as necessary.

Almost thirty percent of our facial moisture layer comprises this natural moisturizing factor, so it is vital that it remains happy and healthy. It is the skin’s first and last defense against dryness. If you are already experiencing dry skin, it is likely that your NMF is being starved of the hydration that it needs, either through using the wrong hydration regimen or simply because your complexion does not hold onto whatever moisture you apply.

When the face does not have enough NMF, the signs of aging are greatly pronounced. Wrinkles, roughness, lines, and even a feeling of tightness are all more extreme. The face is also less able to function properly, making this an all-around undesirable situation. While the solution may seem to be to apply more moisturizer, if the skin does not know how to hold to the moisture, if the NMF is impaired, it will not be able to utilize it.

Instead, the NMF much be restored. Look for a product that contains an ample amount of Natural Moisturizing Factor. When applied to the face, it can help to rebuild the skin’s natural layer, providing the components that the skin needs to regenerate that layer. When it is included in an effective moisturizer, it greatly increases the chance of regeneration, allowing the body time to rebuild its protections without devoting resources to producing moisture for the skin.

About the Author

Kari Thomas wrote this article.

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