We look at the glossy pictures in the magazines and on bill boards and dream of the same healthy glow. To have clear, healthy and radiant skin is more than just a trip to the store and getting some products. Of course, there are many factors that need to be considered, but one that is of utmost importance is the acid mantle.
Let us break it down for you in simpler words as you continue to read with us.
What is an Acid Mantle?
The term acid mantle, also referred to as skin shield, was first introduced by German physicians in the 1920s. It is a thin film that covers the surface of one’s skin which acts as a barrier to protect the skin from bacteria and contaminants. The acid mantle and the pH of your skin affects the ability of your skin luminous and hydrated. When sebum is secreted by the sebaceous glands (oil glands), it combines with the sweat from our body and forms the acid mantle.
The acid mantle is related to our skin’s pH levels. It is slightly acidic due to the amino acids from our sweat mixing with the contents found in sebum, such as fatty acids. It is the skin’s ideal pH level of 5.5. If our pH level becomes too high, reaches an alkaline level, then the acidic mantle won’t properly function.
In simple words….
Do you remember using a new cleanser and experiencing a tight or dry feeling? This my friend was due to your acid mantle being disrupted!!!
Why is it Important?
The acid mantle is crucial when it comes to your skin’s protection.
· It acts as a shield to keep bacteria and environmental contaminants out while keeping moisture within your skin.
· It is composed of natural oils, dead skin cells, lipids, and sweat that defend the skin from destructive pollutants.
· These pollutants are usually alkaline and can penetrate and destroy the skin.
· Keep the skin supple and free from abrasions.
What Causes Your Acid Mantle to Become Damaged?
You can tell if your acid mantle is damaged if your skin has become dry, red, and flaky. Your skin would start to peel and become irritated.
Damage to the acid mantle is caused by the use of cleansers and bar soap, skin diseases, and age.
When you use a cleanser, it can cause your pH levels to increase but, it usually returns to normal afterwards. Adding, you should not wash your face with bar soaps. They have high pH and tend to interfere with skin’s ability to repair itself. They leave the skin less elastic.
As we age the pH of our skin becomes more alkaline. Using activating enzymes that chew away the debris and the acidic products can restore the pH of your skin.
Skin diseases which include acne and rosacea, can disturb your acid mantle as they correlate with high pH levels. Medical treatments, like chemotherapy also disrupt our skin mantle. To treat these skin conditions, you would have to control your pH levels to bring them back to normal. Enzyme facials, properly formulated chemical peels are recommended to keep the skin healthy.
A person’s age also plays a huge role when it comes to the acid mantle. As we age, our skin becomes rougher, dryer and the pH levels also start to increase.
How to Take Care of Your Acid Mantle
· Step away from gazillion products you see all around you.
· Discard products that are too abrasive on your skin. Swap out your physical exfoliants, such as scrubs, for chemical ones. Look for ingredients that can help exfoliate as well. Examples include salicylic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid
· For dry skin once a week exfoliation is enough and two t three times for an oily skin.
· Lastly, you must moisturize your skin within 60 seconds of washing your face. Products that include hyaluronic acid are great to keep the skin hydrated and to help it recover.
To recover and restore the compromised acid mantle there is no quick fix, it’s a journey you embark upon with, your skin therapist. You have to discover together the skin routine that is best suited for your skin.
· Enzyme facials
· Chemical peels
· Diamond microdermabrasion
Some of our products from the Corpa Flora botanical skin care have earned the seal of approval from Oncology society of Canada.
AlumierMD has wide range of products to choose from, some we will list here for you for quick reference.
Retinol 0.25%, 0.5%