Natural moisturizing factor (NMF) is your skin’s own natural moisturizing and hydration tool. NMF is a naturally occurring human function that maintains, protects and enhances healthy skin function.
NMF consists of naturally occurring humectants that are present in the top layer of your skin.
It is composed mostly of water-soluble compounds called amino acids. Amino acids are capable of binding with water and have the ability to retain water in your skin. Your natural moisturizing factor is formed during differentiation of your skin’s epidermis.
The skin cells that make up the epidermis form an outer layer of dead cells known as “stratum corneum”. This layer is involved in the production and storage of NMF in order to hydrate the surface layer. Other ingredients that are involved in the composition of natural moisturizing factors include urea, lactic acid, sugar, peptides and carboxylic acids.
How the NMF works.
Components of NMF are wonderful humectants as they have the ability to attract and bind water from the outside environment, and then draw it into the stratum corneum. NMF components have the ability to work even at low humidity.
NMF interaction with keratin fibers results in increased elasticity and flexibility of the stratum corneum. Increased elasticity helps your skin to appear healthy, supple, and prevents flaking or cracking during mechanical stress.
Normally, inner layers of your skin maintain moisture it is rich in amino acids and other water-loving molecules, acting as water binder. If your NMF is not working properly, your skin may become dry and irritated. Reduced levels of NMF are associated with conditions like ichthyosis, and psoriatic skin.
Your NMF does the following for you:
Keeps your skin elastic and supple
Activates enzymes that are essential in the the natural shedding process of your skin.