In the first segment we discussed the ongoing need of our skin for proper moisturization to prevent premature aging and to maintain a healthy, youthful skin appearance. As also mentioned previously we said that …
Moisturization of the skin means: 1) increasing water holding capacity, 2) increasing lipids in the outer skin layers, 3) aiding intra-cellular hydration for living skin cells, and, 4) prevention of loss of water to the external environment. Each of these plays a part in maintaining the proper water and lipid balance for healthy skin. The very best moisturizing products, using all-natural ingredients, will implement all four of these techniques, and thus, address your total moisturization needs for an outstanding skin appearance.
In the first segment we addressed point #4 which discussed proper prevention of water loss to the external environment by using lighter, less greasy occlusive barrier oils. In this email let’s address point #1 and discuss how an outstanding moisturizer can increase your skin’s water holding capacity.
The skin is a living organ it must have water to remain healthy. Certain substances called humectants (water retainers) aid in keeping water in the skin. The more water retained in our skin, the healthier and younger looking the skin. There are certain key humectants that every good moisturizing product should have. Some of these are Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF) that are normally produced within our skin; aging often reduces the production of these important components. NMF components are highly efficient humectants that attract and bind water from the atmosphere, drawing it into the outer skin layers. This process can occur even at a relatively low humidity, allowing the outer skin layers to maintain an adequate level of water despite low humidity environments. The water absorption is so efficient that the NMF essentially dissolves within the water it has absorbed. The top three NMF components in terms of water retention ability are 1) Amino Acids, 2) Lactates, 3) Pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA). As we age, our natural production of the necessary amount of NMF substances becomes a problem and the result is dry skin. A good moisturizing product will supplement our natural NMF with all three of these natural humectants and help mitigate the dry skin problem. In addition to the NMF components, there is another very important humectant that is naturally produced in the lower dermal area of our skin … Hyaluronic Acid. It is a special humectant that is naturally found in the extracellular matrix of human tissue. It is the most potent water retainer in nature. It has amazing ability to hold water (1000 times its weight), allowing the skin to retain needed water. Topically applied, it penetrates the dermal area boosting hydration and elasticity of the skin. Our own production of Hyaluronic Acid in the body reduces with age, thus it is often necessary to supplement it. Every outstanding moisturizing product must have a good percentage of Hyaluronic acid.
In addition to these natural humectants there are others that serve as water retainers as well such as Glycerin, and Panthenol (Vitamin B5). Stemology Moisture Complete and Stemology HydroPlus Night Cream both have rich concentrations of the NMF components – amino acids (no animal sources), lactates, and PCA. In addition, they both have an effective percentage of Hyaluronic acid, Glycerin (vegetable), and Panthenol. When you use either, or both, Stemology Moisturizers you can be sure you are getting all the best water-retainers available in one product. In the next segment we will talk about point #2, our need for lipids in the outer skin layers.
Dr. Hal Simeroth
Chief Science Officer
Stemology Skin Care