What is a natural moisturising factor (NMF)?
- Effective lubrication – increased plasticity of skin
- Facilitates desquamation (exfoliation)1
- Aids in the maintenance of barrier function
Not unlike dry, parched Earth that won’t easily absorb rainfall, skin lacking in NMFs will be less able to absorb the moisturising nutrients in skin products and moisturisers. By using griffin+row Hydrate as part of your daily skincare regime, you will replace the NMFs lacking in your skin so that your skin will be able to efficiently absorb the nutrients in your moisturiser to ensure your skin is protected, plump and dewy.
Before using an NMF mimicking hydration spray such as Hydrate, we recommend the gentle use of Exfoliate, our 4 layer muslin cloth to aid in the desquamation or removal of the dead surface skin cells
What happens when skin is deficient in NMF?Skin can become deficient in its natural moisturising factors because of both external and internal causes. The most well-known external causes resulting in a reduction of NMF are;
- Exposure to sunlight
- Use of cleansing agents (specifically cleansing products with high alkalinity)
What ingredients are found in skins natural moisturising factor?The ingredients present in skins natural moisturising factor, aid in hydration, plasticity and barrier function of the stratum corneum. When these ingredients are present in optimal concentrations, skin is able to perform all of its functions efficiently. When these ingredients are lacking or low in concentration, deficiencies in hydration, plasticity and barrier function arise as recognisable dry skin conditions e.g. eczema. Therefore understanding how to replenish skin’s NMF can help in the treatment and reversal of these conditions. Skins natural moisturising factor is comprised of 8 grouped types of ingredients11;
- Free amino acids (40%)
- Ions – chloride, sodium, calcium (18.5%)
- Pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA, 12%)
- Lactates (12%)
- Sugars, inorganic acids, peptides (8.5%)
- Urea (7%)
- Ammonia, uric acid, glucosamines, creatinine (1.5%)
- Citrate (0.5%)
Hydrate contains natural ingredients, sodium PCA and amino acid, to mirror and mimic the NMFs in your skin.
How can skincare help to protect and replenish skin’s natural moisturising factor?Two of the most effective ways to alleviate a skin concern is to supply skin with the ingredients it’s lacking and to protect the ingredients it already possesses. In the case of skin affected by dryness, sensitivity, irritation and eczematous symptoms – replenishing and protecting ingredients found in skin’s NMF has beneficial results. There are 3 primary changes you can implement into your skin routine to achieve this;
- Use of skin-identical ingredients
- Avoidance of over-washing
Cleanse is a gentle, yet highly effective cleanser that won’t strip or damage the precious acid mantle of your skin. Unlike many other cleansers which will leave your skin feeling dehydrated and tight immediately after use, Cleanse will leave your skin correctly balanced and hydrated.
- Daily application of sunscreen
- Dry skin, moisturization and corneodesmolysis. C. R. Harding, A. Watkinson, A. V. Rawlings, I. R. Scott Int J Cosmet Sci. 2000 Feb; 22(1): 21–52. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.2000.00001.x
- Stratum corneum moisturization at the molecular level. A. V. Rawlings, I. R. Scott, C. R. Harding, P. A. Bowser J Invest Dermatol. 1994 Nov; 103(5): 731–741.
- Molecular analysis of elastic properties of the stratum corneum by solid-state 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Y. Jokura, S. Ishikawa, H. Tokuda, G. Imokawa J Invest Dermatol. 1995 May; 104(5): 806–812.
- Dry skin, moisturization and corneodesmolysis. C. R. Harding, A. Watkinson, A. V. Rawlings, I. R. Scott. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2000 Feb; 22(1): 21–52. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.2000.00001.x
- Marstein S, Jellum E, Eldjarn L. The concentration of pyroglutamic acid (2-pyrrolidone-5-carboxylic acid) in normal and psoriatic epidermis, determined on a microgram scale by gas chromatography. Clin Chim Acta. 1973; 49(3):389-95.
- Horii I, Nakayama Y, Obata M, et al. Stratum corneum hydration and amino acid content in xerotic skin. Br J Dermatol. 1989; 121(5):587-92.
- Scott IR, Harding CR, Barrett JG. Histidine-rich protein of the keratohyalin granules. Source of the free amino acids, urocanic acid, and pyrrolidone carboxylic acid in the stratum corneum. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1982; 719(1):110-7.
- Smith FJ, Irvine AD, Terron-Kwiatkowski A, et al. Loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding filaggrin cause ichthyosis vulgaris. Nat Genet. 2006; 38(3):337-42.
- Brown SJ, Sandilands A, Zhao Y, et al. Prevalent and low-frequency null mutations in the filaggrin gene are associated with early-onset and persistent atopic eczema. J Invest Dermatol. 2008; 128(6):1591-4.
- Palmer CN, Irvine AD, Terron-Kwiatkowski A, et al. Common loss of-function variants of the epidermal barrier protein filaggrin are a major predisposing factor for atopic dermatitis. Nat Genet. 2006; 38(4):441-6.
- Clar EJ, Fourtanier A. Pyrrolidone carboxylic acid and the skin [in French]. Int J Cosmet Sci. 1981; 3(3):101
- Pyrrolidone carboxylic acid and the skin. E. J. Clar, A. Fourtanier Int J Cosmet Sci. 1981 Jun; 3(3): 101–113. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2494.1981.tb00275.x
- Jacobson TM, Yüksel KU, Geesin JC, et al. Effects of aging and xerosis on the amino acid composition of human skin. J Invest Dermatol. 1990; 95(3):296-300.
- Jokura Y, Ishikawa S, Tokuda H, et al. Molecular analysis of elastic properties of the stratum corneum by solid-state 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. J Invest Dermatol. 1995; 104(5):806-12.
- Rawlings AV, Davies A, Carlomusto M, et al. Effect of lactic acid isomers on keratinocyte ceramide synthesis, stratum corneum lipid levels and stratum corneum barrier function. Arch Dermatol Res. 1996; 288(7):383-90.
- Harding CR, Watkinson A, Rawlings AV, et al. Dry skin, moisturization and corneodesmolysis. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2000; 22(1):21-52
- Lodén M. Role of topical emollients and moisturizers in the treatment of dry skin barrier disorders. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2003; 4(11):771-88
- Rawlings AV, Harding CR. Moisturization and skin barrier function. Dermatol Ther. 2004; 17(suppl 1):43-8