Aging Skin and Natural Moisturizing Factor: How Are They Related?

When in comes to basic skincare, keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized is arguably one of the most common pieces of advice. But as it turns out, there’s more to properly moisturizing your skin than slathering on a cream or lotion when you perceive your skin starting to feel dry. Our skin has its own complex built-in moisturizing system that utilizes specific ingredients, referred to as natural moisturizing factor (NMF). In skincare products, we can use ingredients that mimic the skin’s NMF to appropriately and effectively replenish lost hydration and restore a smooth, healthy look and feel to our skin.

What Is Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF)?

The skin’s NMF is comprised of a variety of humectant and moisturizing ingredients, including amino acids, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, fatty acids and triglycerides. These components help to bind water molecules to the surface of the skin and prevent its evaporation, essentially sealing in vital moisture. Proper skin hydration is crucial to the barrier function of the stratum corneum, which is the outermost layer of the epidermis, and to essential cell functions within the skin (The Analyst).

As we age, the NMF content of our skin begins to decline and as a result, the skin’s elasticity and structure can break down. When this occurs, not only does the skin look and feel dry or brittle, but it can also give way to many of the common signs of aging, including the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.


Some products contain harsher ingredients that may have the opposite of the desired effect.

Although the most obvious answer to this problem is to simply use enough lotion or cream on your skin, it’s crucial that you’re choosing the right ingredients for the job. Some products contain harsher ingredients that may have the opposite of the desired effect and lead to irritation. So while you do want to be sure to help your skin stay hydrated, knowing which ingredients to look for is an important step in an effective anti-aging and general skincare regimen.

How to Help Increase Your Skin’s NMF

As part of a comprehensive approach to anti-aging skincare, it’s important to take the NMF of your skin into account in order to help replenish moisture. To do this, look for the same NMF components that are naturally found in your skin when shopping for skincare products, and avoid drying or irritating ingredients such as sulfates, preservatives, fragrances and dyes.

AlphaRet™ Overnight Cream FACE by skinbetter science, for example, contains a hydrating blend of ceramides, fatty acids and niacinamide to help provide deep moisture, while also smoothing away the appearance of lines and wrinkles with a unique blend of a retinoid with lactic acid. Similarly, Intensive Treatment Cream LINES employs the revolutionary InterFuse™ delivery system to deliver high molecular weight, injectable-grade hyaluronic acid deeper and faster.

Skinbetter science Daily Treatment Cream EYE contains jojoba esters to act as a lavish moisturizing ingredient.

In addition, some plant-based ingredients like jojoba esters and olive oil are molecularly very similar to our skin’s natural oils, making them excellent additions to your regular skincare routine. Skinbetter science Daily Treatment Cream EYE contains jojoba esters to act as a lavish moisturizing ingredient, while Daily Treatment Cream FACE utilizes the natural moisturizing power of olive extract to help provide a smooth, luxurious look and feel.

The Importance of Skin Hydration

Whether the look and feel of aging skin or chronically dry, brittle skin are ongoing concerns for you, regularly hydrating and moisturizing your skin can help to alleviate these symptoms. In fact, the most effective anti-aging skincare regimen will incorporate NMF and similar ingredients to promote a soft and supple skin texture and a radiant, healthy glow.