The Ordinary is a skincare brand with a catalog of over 50 products that address many skin concerns, including dryness.
But if you have dry skin, you may notice that The Ordinary’s original moisturizer, Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, isn’t quite up to the task of providing the intense hydration that your skin needs.
That’s where Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides come in. The Ordinary’s newest moisturizer is designed especially for dry skin and contains a unique combination of Natural Moisturizing Factors and plant-derived ceramides.
I’ll discuss my initial impressions of the moisturizer and if I think it’s worth it in this The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides review.
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The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides takes moisturizing your skin to another level with its rich, replenishing formula.
If you’ve used The Ordinary’s original moisturizer, Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, but found that it wasn’t nourishing enough for your skin, then you’re in for a treat.
Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides contains almost four times as many moisturizing emollients and two times as many humectants as Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA.
The Ordinary’s clinical test on 30 people found that the cream immediately increases skin hydration by 68%.
The rich cream strengthens your skin barrier for long-lasting hydration. At last – a moisturizer from The Ordinary for dry skin!
The moisturizer uses three different kinds of actives, including PhytoCeramides, skin lipids, and skin-identical Natural Moisturizing Factors, to kick dryness to the curb.
Phytoceramides are plant-derived ceramides structurally similar to those found in human skin.
Think of ceramides as the glue that holds skin cells together. They are known to play an essential role in supporting the skin barrier function and preventing moisture loss.
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides Key Ingredients
- Glycerin: A humectant that attracts and retains moisture in the skin, helping to hydrate and soften it.
- Isosorbide Dicaprylate: A moisturizing agent that hydrates the skin for improved barrier function.
- Phytosteryl Canola Glycerides: Derived from canola oil, this emollient has anti-inflammatory and soothing benefits.
- Glycosphingolipids and Glycolipids: Lipid molecules that help strengthen and protect the skin barrier, improving hydration and preventing moisture loss.
- Linoleic Acid: An omega-6 fatty acid that helps to improve skin hydration and barrier function.
- Oleic Acid: A rich fatty acid with emollient properties and ideal for dry skin.
- Arginine, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Proline, Threonine, Glutamic Acid: Amino acids that improve hydration and bind moisture to the skin.
- Betaine: A humectant derived from sugar beets that helps balance hydration and moisturize the skin.
- Xylitylglucoside, Xylitol, and Anhydroxylitol: This trio joins forces under the trademarked active name of Aquaxyl to become an “anti-dehydration shield” that strengthens the skin barrier.
- Glucose, Maltose, Fructose, and Trehalose: A combination of sugars that hydrate the skin and prevent moisture loss.
- PCA, Sodium Lactate, and Urea: Found naturally in the skin as Natural Moisturizing Factors, these actives help bind water, keep skin hydrated, and prevent dryness.
- Allantoin: A soothing ingredient that helps calm and protect the skin while also promoting healing.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: The salt form of hyaluronic acid, this humectant attracts and retains moisture in the skin, helping to hydrate and plump it.
- Tocopherol: Also known as vitamin E, tocopherol is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals due to UV exposure and other environmental factors.
- Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone: This synthetic ingredient is similar to an active found in grains of paradise, a spice in the ginger family. It contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating properties.
As you can see from this ingredient list, this The Ordinary product is all about hydration, rich moisture, and strengthening your skin barrier.
You want a strong skin barrier because it helps retain moisture and protect your skin against external stressors and irritants.
A weakened skin barrier can lead to a number of skin issues, such as dryness, dehydration, inflammation and sensitivity, and even acne and breakouts.
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides Review
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides has a richer, thicker texture than NMF + HA, The Ordinary’s original moisturizer.
Since my skin leans toward the oily side, I wasn’t sure how this rich, thick moisturizer would feel on my skin.
It took a bit of trial and error. For the first few applications, I was using too much moisturizer, and my skin felt entirely too greasy.
Once I experimented with using less (just a little more than a pea size amount), I could better appreciate the nourishing benefits of the cream.
I used this at night when my skin was dehydrated and flaky after using acids. The following day, all of the flakiness was gone, and my skin was much softer and smoother.
While I think Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is better suited to my skin type, I think there is a place for this moisturizer in my winter skincare routine, especially in the evenings when I use retinol/retinoids and stronger actives.
If you have dry skin and Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA didn’t provide enough hydration and moisture, The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides might be just what you are looking for.
Even though it is formulated for all skin types, if you have oily skin, you most likely prefer Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA.
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides vs The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
As previously noted, Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides contains nearly four times as many moisturizing emollients and two times as many humectants as Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, so:
Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides = richer and heavier on the skin
Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA = lightweight and less greasy on the skin
Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides has a richer consistency and feel on the skin, making it best suited for those with normal to dry skin or if your skin is dehydrated and flaky and needs extra nourishment.
Due to its lighter texture and formula, The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is best for normal, combination, and oily skin types.
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides Drawbacks
I couldn’t discuss this moisturizer without addressing the price.
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides is currently $22.50. This is pricey for The Ordinary, but you need to consider the moisturizer’s size, as it’s 3.4 oz. (There is no small 30 ml (1 oz) tube of the moisturizer.)
Also, it’s very rich, and you only need a small amount. So the large tube will last a while.
Still, it is priced much higher than the 3.4 oz tube of The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, which is currently $13.50. (The 30 ml tube of Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is only $6.50.)
The Ordinary has noted on social media that some of their newer formulations are more complex and may contain more innovative ingredients.
So yes, this is much more expensive than the original Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, but it does contain extra nourishing ingredients.
If you are on a tight budget, you can start with Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (and optionally supplement with an affordable face oil if extra dry).
If that doesn’t provide enough hydration for your skin type, you may consider investing in Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides.
How To Use The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides
Apply a small amount to your face and neck in your morning and/or evening skincare routine after cleansing, toning, and any serums or treatments.
You don’t need to apply a lot since it is so rich. Start with a small amount, and you can add more if you feel like your skin needs it.
If you want to use this moisturizer with other The Ordinary products for dry skin, consider starting your routine with The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser to remove dirt, makeup, and oil.
Follow with The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum and/or Amino Acids + B5 serum for a boost of hydration.
Finish with The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides for a layer of extra protection and nourishment.
As with all new skincare products, The Ordinary recommends patch testing this moisturizer before you use it for the first time to avoid an adverse initial reaction.
The Ordinary For Dry Skin
If you are looking for more The Ordinary products that are excellent for dry skin, be sure to check out my post on the best The Ordinary products for dry skin.
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides Alternatives
If The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides doesn’t work for your skin, there are many other moisturizers available that offer similar ingredients and benefits:
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
If Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides is too rich or heavy on your skin, The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA contains similar ingredients but isn’t quite as rich.
It is formulated with moisturizing amino acids, fatty acids, triglycerides, urea, ceramides, phospholipids, glycerine, saccharides, sodium PCA, and hyaluronic acid to replenish your skin and support a healthy skin barrier.
The moisturizer is lightweight and non-greasy, making it better suited for oily and combination skin types.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is formulated with three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid (in its salt form of sodium hyaluronate) that work together to hydrate, protect and restore your skin’s natural barrier.
Ceramides help keep skin soft and smooth while minimizing water loss.
Hyaluronic acid helps to retain moisture, leaving your skin feeling softer and smoother after each application, plumping fine lines and wrinkles.
Ideal for normal to dry skin, the cream uses CeraVe’s MVE Delivery Technology, which provides a slow release of hydration to your skin throughout the day.
The cream is rich yet lightweight and non-greasy. It’s also non-comedogenic and won’t clog pores or cause breakouts.
As a bonus, you can also use it on your body in addition to your face.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is a nourishing moisturizer formulated with ceramide-3, niacinamide, glycerin, and La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water to deeply nourish and repair your skin.
The non-greasy moisturizer has a lightweight, non-greasy texture that helps strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier, allowing it to better fight external aggressors like pollution, allergens, and other skin irritants.
It provides up to 48-hour hydration and improves your skin barrier after just one hour.
It’s designed to be gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types.
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2
If you can’t find a moisturizer that works for your dry skin and are willing to splurge, I haven’t found a better moisturizer for dehydrated, flaky, dry skin than SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 Anti-Aging Lipid Replenishment Treatment.
It’s the exact opposite of affordable, but it’s pretty incredible. (I really did not want to love this moisturizer due to the price!)
Skinceuticals calls it an anti-aging cream. It contains a patented lipid ratio of 2% pure ceramides 1 and 3, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids, which is optimal for restoring the skin’s protective barrier.
While it’s ideal for aging, normal, and dry skin, it’s also suitable for oily, combination, and sensitive skin types.
I love the texture. It’s a much more lightweight and less greasy formula than The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides.
The Bottom Line
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides is an effective The Ordinary moisturizer with an advanced formula that quenches dehydrated and dry skin.
Yes, it’s a little more expensive than the original Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, but it’s still relatively affordable for the 3.4 oz tube.
The phytoceramides complex, moisturizing amino acids, and lipids make this an excellent choice for dry skin or a weakened skin barrier that needs extra nourishment.
For more The Ordinary guides, don’t miss these posts:
Thanks for reading!