The natural moisturizing factor (NMF in short) naturally occurs in the outer layers of our skin. It is produced when a protein known as filaggrin breaks down to release individual components such as urea, amino acids, sugars, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, inorganic salts, etc.
Its primary function is to maintain skin hydration. As we already know, well-hydrated skin is the key to healthy skin. It reinforces the skin barrier and is thus more easily able to combat environmental stress, enables better healing and promotes normal desquamation (the process that causes exfoliation of dead skin naturally and prevents the ‘clogging’ of pores). Lack of it may lead to worsening of the skin and skin disease.
As we age, the production of NMF declines. Since NMF makes up about 20 to 30% of the outer layer of our skin – and in case the magnitude of it doesn’t dawn upon you, that’s a huge value – we need to ensure it’s present in our skin at optimum levels.
Here are some steps you can take to ensure the same:
It goes without saying that replenishing it from the outside when it’s not being produced on the inside is the sure path to take.
Our NMF skin-barrier cream is fortified with several ingredients that make up the skin’s NMF. You can consider it an option for topical application to your skin, morning and night. It’s light, silky and easy to absorb. Smaller than a pea-size quantity is required per use and a 15 g tub could easily last you one month!
2. Avoid frequent cleansing.
Twice a day (morning and night) is more than sufficient. Thrice, if you workout or are involved in intense activity that causes you to sweat. Once (at night), if you have normal to dry skin.
3. Use a pH-balanced cleanser.
This is more important than people realize. Most cleansers you get are alkaline (the pH of your skin is slightly acidic). The alkalinity can disrupt your skin’s natural balance, leading to acne, breakouts and other issues you do not want to be dealing with.
Soap on face is a strict no.
4. Avoid drying ingredients such as denatured alcohol for your face.
5. UV protection.
This goes without saying. Protect and preserve what you naturally possess and you will have no problems that you would need dealing with.