Let’s talk about the Acid Mantle and its function.
I started writing this blog last night and I woke up to find my skin needing my own advice. The change in seasons can cause your skin to become imbalanced. It can become dull, flaky, and feel tight. Getting your skin to become balanced again can be a bitch. There are a few tips I can leave you with that can help get your skin back to looking supple and balanced.
The acid mantle is the protective barrier to our skin. It is made up of water, sweat, lipids, and sebum. This combination of these creates a Hydrolipidic (water+oil) film on the skin.
Acid Mantle = Hydrolipidic Film
This protective barrier is what keeps our skin looking balanced with moisture and hydration. The Acid mantle can be easily disturbed. The phrase “stripping the skin” is talking about removing the oils from the acid mantle causing damage to the skin. This often happens with soapy facial cleansers.
The Acid mantle has a pH balance of 5.5. The pH can be thrown off with cleansers.
How to Help
You may have heard this a million times, or maybe not. If your face feels extremely tight and dry after you get out of the shower, your cleanser is too harsh. Switch that ISH up. Try a creamy or oil-based cleanser. Clean ingredients is a bonus.
Adding a toner into your routine will help balance your skin’s pH back to normal. Do not use a toner with acids to do this. Hydrating toners only.
A hyaluronic serum will help you add hydration back into your skin. Hyaluronic acid carries 100x its weight in water, so adding this serum to a face wet with a hydrating toner can help trap the hydration in the skin.
After you’ve added your water products to your skin, you will occlude them with oil-based products.
Occluding means to seal. The oil-based products are going to act as a seal to the water, so it can’t evaporate.
If you are doing all of these steps, but your barrier function is still not balanced, adding in a heavy cream may be your answer. It is important to be gentle with your skin and let the flakes run their course. After a shower, you can use the pads of your fingers and gently rub your skin to remove anything that is ready to go. Doing any more manual exfoliation will damage your barrier even more.
It is easier for your skin to dry out during fall and winter, so it’s normal to switch up your routine to accommodate the seasons. Finding a heavier cream that works for your skin is a great idea for those winter months. A good rule of thumb is when you start to layer and wear thicker clothing, it is time to do the same with your skincare.
An extra tip for you is to add hydrating and moisturizing masks into your routine. Using these a few times a week can be the added boost some people need.
For more information read my related blog “Why Water and Oil are Important for Healthy Skin”
I hope this information has helped you. It’s important to remember, I have not seen your skin, so I can’t give you individual advice. These are general tips that may help you understand your skin better.