When it comes to keeping your skin healthy, it’s easy to believe that as long as you are using clean products you're all set. That's a good start but a healthy complexion comes down to more than just the products you are using externally.
The acid mantle and the pH determine how healthy your skin is, in terms of your skin’s ability to hold onto water, maintaining a healthy bacteria balance and so much more.
If you’re feeling a little confused right now then don’t worry, we will break it all down in today’s post! By the end we hope that you feel like you have learned something! It’s always empowering when we start understanding more about our skin so we are able to give it exactly what it needs to function at its best!
First you need to understand your skin’s pH…
Before we start talking more about the acid mantle you need to understand what pH is and how it relates to your skin.
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 and is a measure of alkalinity and acidity. The number 7 falls right in the middle and is neutral, whereas anything above 7 is alkaline and anything that falls below is considered more acidic.
You may assume that your skin’s pH is more neutral or even alkaline so you may be a little surprised to learn that a healthy pH balance is slightly acidic, falling around 5.5 on the pH scale. This natural acidity plays a key role in the health of your skin.
Okay, so what is the acid mantle?
The acid mantle is the slightly acidic, thin, protective layer on the surface of the skin, also referred to as the hydro-lipid film.
The main function of the acid mantle is to provide a protective barrier between the skin and invading microbes. It achieves this by creating an environment where harmful microbes cannot survive, while also promoting the growth of healthy microflora.
Using the right ingredients externally is key to ensuring you don’t disrupt your skin’s delicate pH balance, putting your acid mantle at risk, but we will get more into that a little later on.
You’ll know if you have ever disrupted your acid mantle by the way your skin felt after using an ingredient that may have been too harsh. If you have ever washed your skin and experienced a tight or dry feeling afterwards then chances are your skin was stripped of natural oils and your acid mantle was affected.
The acid mantle is made up of many secretions, including lactic acid, water and fatty acids, all of which provide lots of skin benefits:
- Prevents bad bacteria from entering the bloodstream
- Protects against external, environmental damage
- Keeps the skin soft and smooth
- Breaks down excess sebum
- Produces fatty acids and ceramide molecules, essential for healthy, hydrated skin
- Boosts immunity
If you are able to maintain a healthy pH balance of 5.5 your skin will stay soft, smooth, and free from breakouts. When your acid mantle is disrupted you will immediately become aware of the issue by how your skin behaves. You will notice increased redness, sensitivity and irritation with increased breakouts. Your skin will not look or feel its best at all.
But don't fret! This DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner will bring your skin's pH to a healthy range in no time.
Why your products matter
Every single product you use on your skin will have some kind of impact on your acid mantle, and of course, your goal is to ensure this is a positive impact.
Many conventional products are filled with harsh, synthetic ingredients that completely disrupt your skin’s pH, putting your acid mantle at risk.
Many products targeted towards acne use ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide that only work at a pH of 4 or lower, which isn’t going to help to maintain a healthy pH.
You will never find harsh, unnatural ingredients in our products, in fact, one of our signature oils, used in all our scrubs and serums is Jojoba oil, an oil your skin absolutely loves. It is the only oil that most closely resembles your skin’s own natural sebum, meaning your skin readily drinks it up and it will always leave your skin perfectly balanced with just the right amount of hydration. Trust us, your acid mantle will love jojoba oil!
More tips for maintaining a healthy pH balance
Do not over-cleanse
Over-cleansing is a surefire way to strip your skin of natural oils, even if you’re using a natural cleanser. We love our scrubs for a 2-in-one cleanse and scrub, but we will get to that in just a second!
If you have a face full of makeup and need a more intense cleanse then you may opt to double cleanse, using an oil like jojob, avocado, or coconut to melt off your makeup before following up with one of our heavenly scrubs.
Use the right type of exfoliant
Regular exfoliation is key for healthy, glowing skin, that is until you use an exfoliant with harsh abrasives that cause microscopic tears in your skin and put your acid mantle at risk.
Our scrubs are formulated with mineral-rich sea salt in a base of jojoba oil and gorgeous essential oils for a luxurious and healthy exfoliating experience every time.
Be sure to follow up with our serum!
Fill up on more alkaline foods
A wonderful way to maintain a healthy pH balance from the inside out is to limit those processed foods that increase acidity and therefore, inflammation. Instead, fill up on alkaline foods that will help to maintain the pH of your skin from the inside out.
Here’s a hint, think fresh fruits, veggies, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, all those nutrient-rich foods that leave you feeling good and full of energy! The food you eat affects your skin more than you might know!
Maintaining a healthy acid mantle doesn’t have to be complicated, follow our tips and you will be well on your way!
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