Natural moisturising factor (NMF) is responsible for balancing the skin’s moisture levels, keeping this in balance is key to preventing dry skin. This mixture of various metabolic products, sweat and sebum absorbs the moisture and protects the skin from drying out.
When the natural moisturising factor is depleted, skin can become dehydrated, causing dry and flaky skin. Skin lipids play an crucial part in regulating the moisture balance. These lipids form a natural protective barrier and minimise water loss and reducing dry skin.
When the skin has a lack of these important lipids symptoms of dry skin such as tightness and redness can occur. Finally, there is also dry skin that suffers from both too low a moisturising factor and from a lack of lipids. The individual severity of redness, irritation or flakiness in dry skin depends on the particular skin structure.
You can find out more about very dry skin and how to look after it here.