The symptoms of dry skin can be improved by increasing the hydration levels of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin), through replenishing the Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF). These are the water-soluble components like free amino acids, organic acids, urea, and inorganic ions that determine the skin’s water-holding properties. NMF’s are efficient humectants, attracting moisture and playing an essential role in maintaining the stratum corneum’s physical properties, allowing the skin to function optimally. Dry and damaged skin is no longer able to produce NMF’s and an abnormality in this pathway is thought to be responsible for causing atopic dermatitis. Thankfully the skin can benefit greatly from the topical application of these skin-identical components.

The NMF is composed of:

  • 40% Amino acids
  • 18.5% Minerals (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium)
  • 12% PCA
  • 12% Lactates
  • 8.5% sucrose, organic acids and peptides
  • 7% Urea
  • 1.5% Uric acid, glucosmine and creatine
  • 0.5% Citrates

The skin is constantly regenerating and replenishing these components, but this process decreases as we age. By adding NMF components into your skincare routine, the skins protective barrier is strengthened, signs of aging are diminished, the skin is hydrated, less prone to irritation and is healthier.

Urea is a naturally-occurring component of the Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) of the skin that have a function in retaining moisture and preserving the integrity of the skin.  Urea comprises about 7% of the NMF and is associated with the management of skin disorders including dermatitis and psoriasis. When used topically in concentrations of <10% it functions as a moisturizer and in concentrations >10% it is able to exert keratolytic action by dissolving the horny substance (keratin) that holds the top layer of dead skin cells together. Urea has been used in dermatological therapy for over 20 years and has five main functions; to retain moisture, maintain barrier function, exfoliate, increase permeably and provide pain and itching relief to the skin.

 Glycine, Alanine, Creatine are amino acids, the building blocks of protein molecules. Amino acids are widely used as a skincare additives and function as skin-conditioning agents. Amino acids are involved in various biochemical pathways for the formation of collagen or the prevention of collagen breakdown within the skin.