What is your acid mantle?

Our skin is a pretty incredible organ – it regulates body temperature, protects our immune system and keeps the condition of our nerves, tissues and other organs in check.

It’s the skin’s acid mantle that’s responsible many of its super powers.

So why is this layer of sebum so important for keeping your skin calm, healthy and happy?

The acid mantle protects the skin against infection and keeps it soft and supple.

Most importantly it’s our body’s first line of defence – shielding us against viruses, bacteria and a whole host of other impurities.

A healthy acid mantle boosts the body’s immune system, by producing antigens close to the skin’s surface. It is these antigens that make the skin an inhospitable environment for bad bacteria.

They feed on sebum cells or corneocyte debris (renewable particles of the skin’s barrier) and act continually as ‘cleaners’, which prevent harmful bacteria from developing.

An average skin pH level hovers between 4.5 and 6.2 – making it slightly acidic, hence the name acid mantle. Changes to the condition of your skin can alter the pH of the skin and damage the delicate acid mantle.

What disrupts the acid mantle?

So many things can upset your skin’s pH balance – be it harsh products, certain weather conditions, or your cleansing routine.

Here are the five most common causes of damage to the acid mantle- plus how to combat them!

  1. First up, steaming your complexion is something to avoid. Steam reduces the moisture stored in our skin, which dehydrates the acid mantle.

    Dry, parched skin damages the acid mantle; this results in the appearance of easily avoided wrinkles – which commonly start showing around the mouth and eyes.

  2. Environmental elements can pose a threat to your skin’s healthy pH. It’s important to use sunscreen in hot weather and to moisturise thoroughly in cold and windy conditions.

    Without proper care, overexposure to the sun and the wind can severely alter your complexion and disrupt the acid mantle.

  3. Some of the biggest culprits are detergents or foaming-bases in cleansers. These alkaline formulas strip the skin, upsetting its balance.

    The changing pH of your skin impacts the acid mantle, stripping it down and turning your complexion into an ideal “breeding ground” for blemishes – as pathogenic bacteria thrive under alkaline conditions.

  4. Steer clear of over-cleansing. Excessive washing and exfoliation can result in the skin’s natural lipids being stripped, which will wreck the acid mantle.

    Unfortunately, once destroyed, it’s a long and tricky journey to repair it.

    Rebalance your pH levels immediately after cleansing, with a spritz of our BioAffinity Tonics. The unique “living waters” match the pH of healthy skin, so help restore balance.

  5. Keeping your pH in balance is the first step to maintaining healthy skin.

    Avoid harsh steroid or topical acne treatments that commonly contain ingredients like Benzyl Peroxide.

    These can cause serious disruption to your acid mantle, which can take a long time to repair.

Want some more advice on which products would be right for you? Drop our customer service team an email on support@paiskincare.com for personalised skin and wellbeing advice.

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