The Vital Importance of the Skin’s Acid Mantle October 20, 2016 – Posted in: Education, Skincare Philosophy, Uncategorized
Balance is the foundation of life. When it comes to skin, the element that arguably requires the most balance for optimal health and youthful resilience is the acid mantle.
Also known as the hydrolipid barrier, the acid mantle is your skin’s protective layer made up of an acidic film that keeps bacteria out of our skin cells. The acid mantle is a mixture of secretions and inoffensive bacteria that protect the skin from pollutants, UV rays and temperature changes. It also adds moisture to the skin that helps with elasticity and secretes enzymes that help break down oil.
If your acid mantle becomes disrupted, or even temporarily removed, your skin becomes more susceptible to bacteria, pollutants and harsh chemicals. Your skin will also become quite dry as water escapes the skin faster and you become more prone to breakouts.
Keeping your pH level in check is ideal for the performance of our acid mantle. When it comes to keeping your skin at that optimal state, there are lots of different things we can do (that don’t require much effort).
Here are some tips for protecting your acid mantle:
Cleanse and tone correctly
Overcleansing can irritate the skin and can cause either surface dehydration or even more oil production, as your skin begins attempting to compensate for the dryness. It’s generally encouraged to cleanse once or twice a day (ask your esthetician what’s best for you), but avoid using harsh, drying treatments.
It’s definitely possible to purify your pores without disturbing your skin barrier. Try a clay- or milk-based cleanser to thoroughly dissolve makeup and other impurities while delivering fresh, hydrating balance back into skin.
Regardless of what cleanser you use, the best way you to ensure a perfect pH is by toning after washing. Our best-selling signature product DEW refines your skin and restores your acid mantle back to perfect balance.
Stay hydrated and moisturize
pH stands for potential of hydrogen which measures how acidic and alkaline a substance is. Your skin generally needs to remain at a pH of 5.5. When you are under-hydrated, your pH levels often become thrown off balance. To avoid this, hydrate from within (drink fresh water whenever you’re thirsty) and eat healthy fats like organic avocados and walnuts. From the outside, use moisturizers that work synergistically with your skin, like our ABO +/- Face Serum. You can also rely on a facial oil to lock in moisture no matter how harsh the outside environment is.
Avoid sensitizing ingredients
Everyone possesses different sensitivities, but there are a few ingredients notorious for causing irritation and redness, such as non-natural fragrances or anti-acne ingredients like benzoyl peroxide. Anytime you use a new skincare product, perform a patch test (we know it’s tempting to slather something new and promising all over, but patience is worthwhile in this case). Also, do not add more than one product at a time so that if something causes a reaction you know what’s triggering it.
Be careful not to mix certain potent and active ingredients together, such as retinol and vitamin C or glycolic acid.
Protect your skin
Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day is your #1 anti-aging strategy, but it’s also an excellent way to nourish and defend your skin from aggressors that may cause irritation and disrupt your acid mantle.
It can take anywhere between two weeks and two months to fully restore the skin’s barrier after using harsh skincare and/or disrupting the acid mantle. Balancing our pH level is crucial for allowing the acid mantle to perform its best. This is one of the most important ways to care for our skin as it affects the overall health and appearance of our skin.