Your skin has it’s very own moisturiser.
That’s right it cleverly regulates itself.
It’s kinda like a mini water maintenance provider system.
Its role, to keep your skin looking fabulously hydrated.
It serves four super cool functions:
- To maintain the skins plasticity and flexibility
- Maintain and protect the barrier function
- To lock in moisture, preventing water from escaping between the skin cells
- Ensure the enzymes that keep your skin healthy, function correctly during natural exfoliation
YOUR NATURAL SKIN MOISTURISER
Next to anti ageing, finding the mechanism whereby the skin remains naturally moisturised, is the holy grail of skincare science.
For many years cosmetic chemists were convinced, that there must be a chemical compound that the body used to prevent our skin from becoming dehydrated, finally they found an unusual substance and dubbed it the natural moisturising factor.
THE SCIENCY BIT
Research found that a substance referred to as profilaggrin found in the epidermis, is broken down to filaggrin, an important component which helps regulate and keep our epidermis stable.
As keratinocyte cells mature to the skins surface, the filaggrin appears to break down with protease enzymes.
This creates the natural moisturising factor your skins mini hydration system, which regulates the water content and keep your barrier function in balance, which is ultimately what keeps your skin looking healthy.
WHAT MAKES UP OUR NMF
- 165 ions
- 40 % Amino acids
- Sodium PCA 12%
- Glycerol makes up about 9%
- Urea makes up around 8.5%
These are the components responsible for keeping your skin lovely and moist, attracting and binding water from the atmosphere and drawing it into the skins cells.
Think hydration, hydration, hydration, perfect for all you dry skin sufferers out there.
Without getting to technical, these components form ionic interactions with keratin fibres, thus reducing the friction between the protein fibres, which increases the elasticity of our skin.
It is this elasticity that makes your skin appear youthful and supple, it prevents your skin from drying out and cracking.
Your natural skin moisturiser also corrects the balance of excess water influx, which causes our skins cells to shrink back; recognisable in the form of wrinkles, think about how your skin looks and feels when you have been in the bath to long.
THE NMF REQUIRES TLC
When your skin is exposed to low humidity or harsh environments, the water content of your skin reduces.
When water gets depleted, natural oils and ceramides that protect against moisture loss decline, this sets off a vicious cycle, creating a number of skin conditions:
- Imbalanced acid mantle
- Impaired protective barrier
THE NAKED CHEMIST
Once you understand the importance of the natural skin moisturiser, you begin to understand why a moisturiser is important for your skin.
If you do suffer from any of the above conditions, it helps you to know what ingredients to look out for.
All of these ingredients are hygroscopic and draw water to the skin from the atmosphere, helping to keep our skin tissues hydrated for longer.
Want to know more about dry skin but don’t quite know where to start? Then my guide to dry skin is the perfect platform to get you started.