Lo-Mo: Support the Natural Performance of your Skin

With a beauty market saturated with skincare products promising to clean, soothe, restore, reinforce and protect your skin, we often go beyond meeting our skin’s basic needs. Instead, we plaster layers and layers of skincare products on the outer layers of our skin, which act only on the surface and create an addictive effect as opposed to helping our skin function optimally.

Dr. Gray, leading dermatologist and founder of Skin Institute and Ao Skincare, is a proponent of skincare that optimizes skin's function instead of slathering moisture on the surface of the skin. He believes that less is best when it comes to moisturizing. A low moisture (LoMo™) approach helps your skin to produce more of its own natural moisture, both on and below the surface.

Dr. Gray treats skin as a responsive organ that adapts and evolves. His approach makes skin healthy and strong, so it can protect and defend itself naturally. He has seen that it takes 2-3 weeks for visible results of his LoMo™ Treatment to appear. But once his patients see the change, they never turn back. 

In this series of two blog posts we'll dive into the role that moisture plays in the skin (part one) to then discuss how low moisture supports skin's natural performance (part two).

Part One: Understanding the Role of Moisture in the Skin

The surface of the skin is called the the stratum corneum. It is a dynamic structure in which numerous enzymes function. These enzymes require a certain amount of liquid water to perform.

Approximately one-third of the water contained within the stratum corneum is “bound”, with the remainder being “free” water. Increasing the level of free water has no effect on the elasticity of the stratum corneum.

Therefore, it is the “natural moisturizing factor-bound” water that provides the skin with its elastic qualities and contributes to optimum stratum corneum barrier function (protecting the skin from environmental stressors).

When some or all the natural moisturizing factor (NMF) is removed, our skin appears dry and show signs of scaling, flaking, or even fissuring and cracking.

There are few factors that have been shown to remove the NMF from the superficial layers of the stratum corneum:

  • Routine soap washing of the skin - eg. bathing.
  • Exposure to UV light.
  • Aging - through a reduction of the amino acid content in the stratum corneum.


Now that you understand the important role that moisture plays in our skin, we'll discuss how a low moisture approach to skincare supports skin's natural performance. Stay tuned for part two of this blog series.


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Understanding the Role of Natural Moisturizing Factor in Skin Hydration. By Joseph Fowler, MD, FAAD

Journal of Investigative Dermatology . Mar87 Supplement, Vol. 88, p2s-6s. 5p. By Downing, Donald T.; Stewart, Mary Ellen; Wertz, Philip W.; Colton, Sabin W.; Abraham, William; Strauss, John S.



"Skincare science needs to be on the very edge of social change and evolution in order to succeed."

Dr. Mark Gray