I’ve had my fair share of skin issues from bad dermatology run in’s to using stripping products that caused my skin to dry out and leave behind hyperpigmentation and flaky skin.
Through my skincare journey, I’ve found, one of the most important things in achieving smooth, luminous, and acne-free skin is protecting the Acid Mantle.
I figured if we were going to address the skin then the Acid Mantle should be the first topic we discuss when introducing skin care. It’s a simple concept and one of the fundamental basics when understanding skincare, but it’s rarely talked about in the skincare community.
What the heck is an Acid Mantle?Basic Explanation: Have you ever used a skincare product and it left your skin feeling dry, raw, inflamed, red or itchy? Chances are yes. This is your acid mantle crying for help.
When a product is extremely harsh and everything you put on your face causes a sensitive reaction this is your acid mantle being out of whack and can take days to weeks to recover depending on the severity.Technical Explanation: Your skin’s acid mantle is the thin film on the skin’s surface that helps act as a barrier against bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants. It also holds in moisture and liquid, retaining the skin’s hydration levels.
The acid mantle is actually made up of sebum – that waxy, oily substance that is secreted by the sebaceous gland under the skin. When the acid mantle is mixed with amino acids from sweat, this creates our skin’s PH level.
What exactly is a PH?
From the foods, we eat to the products we use; everything has a PH level and so does your skin.PH is a scale of measure from 1 to 14 that tells you how acidic a product is.7 is a neutral Ph and 14 being the most alkaline and anything below 7 is on the acidic side.
With Skincare you want your skin to stay on the acidic side with a Ph of 5.5/6
- Acts as a barrier between skin and viruses, bacteria, impurities
- Helps maintain hydration and moisture for supple skin
- Helps protect skin from abrasions and cracks
While an excess in sebum can lead to unwanted oiliness and clogged pores, sebum is essential to make up the acid mantle and therefore protects the skin. Harsh, soapy and foaming cleansers can be damaging to the acid mantle, as they strip away ALL oils of the skin. This leaves your skin susceptible to bacteria and environmental stressors!
The acid mantle must be protected at all costs. It is the only way you will achieve clear, glowy, and healthy skin.
So now that I know what the acid mantle is what products should I use?
For cleansers, you want something that’s aired on the 5.5/6 side of things that’s gentle and that doesn’t strip your natural oils from your skin. Check PH balanced cleansers on “Products I Love” page.
For me personally, I find that any kind of bar soap whether all natural or not irritates my skin and throws it out of whack ( which I’m currently experiencing since I wanted to try out new cleansers. That’s okay because I know the steps to get it back right.)
When cleansing NEVER use hot water as it dries out your skin further use cool or lukewarm water when cleansing the face.
Organic PH-Balanced Cleansers
Ingredients:SAPINDUS MUKOROSSI (Wild Soapberry) JUICE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF (Organic Aloe Vera) JUICE, DECYL GLUCOSIDE (from Coconut), EUTERPE OLERACEA (Organic Açaí) EXTRACT, MATRICARIA CHAMOMILLA (Organic Chamomile) EXTRACT, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL (from Coconut) & DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL & GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE (from Coconut), BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (Organic Shea Butter)
Ingredients:Organic Aloe Barbadensis Gel (Aloe Vera), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (derived from Coconut), Organic Glycerin, Leptospermum Scoparium Mel (Manuka Honey), Tocobiol (Vitamin E), Cehami (Centipeda Cunninghamii), Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Starch, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide
Ingredients:Organic Phytonutrient Blend™ [Aloe Juice*, Cucumber Juice*, Willow Bark Extract*, Rosehip Seed Extract*, Grapefruit Peel Extract*, Comfrey Leaf Extract*, Lavender Flower Extract*, Horsetail Leaf Extract*, Peppermint Leaf Extract*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Beetroot Extract* And Vegetable Glycerin*], Sweet Almond Milk, Lauryl Glucoside, Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Vegetable Glycerin, Sorbic Acid, Yogurt, Cucumber Extract, Citric Acid, Menthol, Tea Tree Oil*, Biocomplex2™ [Acai*, Lemon*, Barbados Cherry*, Indian Gooseberry*, Baobab*, Camu Camu*, Carrot*, Coconut Water*, Goji Berry*, Tapioca Starch (from Cassava Root)*, Alpha Lipoic Acid And Coenzyme Q10], Vegetable Glycerin*.
Next, you want a toner preferably a rose water toner and when I say rose water I mean the pure Bulgarian Rose Water. this is going refine your pores and keep it supple and hydrated and bring it back into the ph balanced zone.
I use this one.
Heal and Hydrate
After cleansing, you want to heal with the infamous Aloe Vera Gel. Aloe is great for inflamed, dry, and chapped skin. Using it will help to bring your skin’s mantle back into harmony.
For the last step, you want to use oils and butter to seal and protect your skin. My favorite is Pomegranate oil it’s great at rejuvenating the skin and healing marks and discoloration. Another oil I’d suggest is Tamanu oil it’s also great at healing dry, chapped skin, and it’s antibacterial.
As always eat a clean diet, unlike skincare you want to eat alkaline foods like vegetables and fruits. This plays a huge role in keeping skin supple and clear. Try implementing these steps into your skincare routine to reverse skincare damage. I really hope this article was helpful.