Guest Post — Let’s Talk About Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs)

The following is a guest post written by Bea Kinnear, a USANA Associate and author of Your Skin & You. She is owner and moderator of the Yahoo! Sensé Help Site, where she works with Kathleen Rockney, Jacquie Malinowski, and Janet Bernstein to educate members about skin care.

The site is where a version of this and other articles in the “Let’s Talk” series originally appeared. Bea has agreed to share select articles with What’s Up, USANA? as a resource for readers to learn more about Sensé products.

Read previous posts here.

While we all experience the aging process, we may not fully see it as it’s happening. The rate at which we age is determined by many factors, some of which we may have an effect on, others are beyond our control.

Damaged protein has already accumulated in the skin. Surface roughness, flaking, fine lines, and a tight uncomfortable feeling start occurring as we age. This indicates that both the skin’s surface and healing process are impaired because the skin’s intercellular matrix is now less effective.¹

One of the primary elements in keeping your skin healthy is making sure the outer layer of skin is intact. The components that do this are usually called Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs), ingredients that mimic the structure and function of healthy skin.

The Importance of Water

The most important substance for the suppleness of the skin is water. When we were young our skin was smooth and soft to the touch. That changes when we get older. We will start to see visible changes like smile lines between the age of 25 and 30.

Aging enzymes affect our skin, as does the loss of compounds that help maintain skin firmness. While oil and fat components of skin prevent evaporation and provide lubrication to the surface of skin, Natural Moisturizing Factors are between skin cells and in the lipid content on the surface of skin.

Should water content be lost, the skin will lose its tone, become less elastic and flexible. Less volume will also make the skin dry, rough, and not able to function properly.

Water is the carrier medium for nutrition as well as for detoxing. Your skin cells need proper moisture and hydration; without this, nutrients cannot be delivered to the living cells. A cosmetic formulation can directly moisturize the skin by feeding it with NMF ingredients.

Lack of moisture in your skin contributes more to aging than the following:

  • Sun exposure (promotes wrinkles and skin cancer)
  • Smoking (suffocates skin and destroys collagen, skin tissue that cannot be replaced)
  • Caffeine (dehydrates the skin)
  • Polluted air (DNA damage)
  • Weight variation (weakens the muscle tone)
  • Estrogen changes
  • Alcohol
  • Fragrant volatile essential oils (found in some skin care products)

USANA Sensé Products

NMFs and Sensé

Just as you would expect in any state-of-the-art skin care line, Sensé offers NMFs throughout the product line.

NMFs make up an expansive group of ingredients. Listed below are the NMFs found in Sensé products:

  • Amino acids
  • Olive oil
  • Glycerin
  • Sodium PCA
  • Lactic acid
  • Urea
  • Jojoba oil
  • Shea butter
  • Squaline (from olives)

When any of these ingredients are included in skin-care products, they help stabilize and maintain the complex intercellular-skin matrix. This support helps prevent surface irritation from penetrating into the skin, which helps keep bacteria out and aids the skin’s immune/healing system.

Moisturizers should not be just about moisturizing your skin; they should also prevent moisture loss through ingredients like NMFs. Using moisturizers of any kind that contain NMFs (whether the products are labeled as anti-aging, antiwrinkle, serums, lotions, or sunscreens) will allow your skin to do its job of repairing and regenerating itself.

Keep in mind that moisturizers should not be applied to dry skin because it can seal germs into the pores. The correct way to apply a moisturizer is to dampen your face first. When you do this you minimize the chance of sealing germs in the pores.

When you start your Sensé routine with the Gentle Daily Cleanser on pre-dampened skin you are also on track for your moisturizer application.

Hydrated, Healthy Skin

While a person cannot alter the genetic component of skin aging, an individual can certainly change one’s behavior to reduce the risk of incurring the signs of extrinsic aging.

Maintain your skin’s hydration and tone by using Sensé’s anti-aging products. This allows your skin to do its job of regenerating itself without the impediments brought on when skin is suffering from dryness and irritation.

NMFs are the skin’s own self-moisturizing tool. The NMF ingredients found in Sensé mimics the structure and function of healthy skin and is one of the most important things you can do for your face.

Learn more about Sensé. For an application to join the Sensé Help Site, please contact Bea.

¹ Sources: Skin Research and Technology, August 2000, pages 128-134; and Dermatologic Therapy, 2004, volume 17, Supplement 1, pages 43-48

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