The term ‘natural moisturizing factor’ was first coined in 1959, and refers to the natural substances that occur within the body that moisturize the skin. This natural moisturizing factor makes up a significant portion of the skin, and not only helps to keep all of the skin’s different elements balanced, but is crucial when it comes to skin hydration. However, whether due to age or excessive sun exposure, the skin’s natural moisturizing factor will soon start to decline and break down, making it important to understand exactly how to begin restoring it when this happens.
Body soaps and harsh chemicals are known to have the effect of damaging the skin’s natural moisture barrier, primarily due to the way in which they strip the skin of its natural oils. To reverse this, immediately switch to a gentler cleanser, preferably one that has a low pH level, as this will help to optimize your natural moisturizing factor while still cleaning the skin.
In addition to only using mild products on your skin, you also need to ensure that you are being physically gentle when touching your skin. This means never aggressively scrubbing it, while avoiding any contact with hot water, as both of these will only degrade your natural moisturizing factor even more.
Regular Use of Moisturizers
Many believe that the purpose of a moisturizer is to add moisture to the skin, but, in fact, it barely does this at all. Instead, a moisturizer is designed to create a thin protective film over the surface of the skin, preventing any moisture loss through evaporation, while providing the optimum environment at which your skin cells can thrive. In order for a moisturizer to help you in restoring your skin’s natural moisturizing factor, you need to use one immediately after washing your face or showering, as this will trap all of the existing moisture on your skin beneath the moisturizer’s protective layer.
Replace Depleted Lipids
In order to thoroughly heal your skin, which, in turn, would boost your natural moisture barrier, you need to replace and restore your protective barrier lipids. The best way to do this is by using products that contain plenty of antioxidants, such as Argan oil and rose oil, while also ensuring that your skin is receiving plenty of topical vitamins, from vitamin A to vitamin C.
When the body is stress, it sends the stress hormone, known as cortisol, shooting around the body, and this can have some severely detrimental effects on the skin. Stress has been proven to be one of the biggest triggers for a variety of different skin conditions, including the decline in the skin’s natural moisturizing factor, meaning that reducing your stress levels will give your skin a chance to really heal itself.
To be able to fully restore your natural moisturizing factor, there are several different steps that you need to take. From switching to gentler products to increasing the frequency at which you moisturize, taking the time and effort to rejuvenate the health of your skin now will go a long way towards keeping your complexion bright, soft and smooth in the future.