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Acid Mantle: Your Skin's Shield

Jan 16, 03:55 pm

     You may have seen “acid mantle” mentioned on skin cream labels or heard about it from that pushy saleswoman at the department store, but few of us have been educated about what role it plays, how it protects us, and how we can protect it. The acid mantle is a crucial component to our skin’s health and being aware of its role will help guide you in your journey to finding the right skin regimen.

What is the Acid Mantle?

     The acid mantle is a layer of oils on your skin made from a mixture of sweat and sebum (your natural oily fats). On a scale of 14, the skin’s pH falls within the 4-5.6 range (7 being neutral and 1 being the most acidic).

What Role Does it Play?

The acid mantle protects the skin in several ways:

1. The acid mantle inhibits bacterial growth on the skin. The acid neutralizes harmful bacteria which is usually alkaline in nature.

2.The acid mantle serves as a protective shield from the environment. The fats and oils within the mantle are sacrificially oxidized to prevent the underlying skin from oxidation. “Whiteheads”, for instance, are un-oxidized sebum in your pores, and as they become oxidized they form what we commonly know as “blackheads.”

3. The acid mantle protects our skin from blemishing and aging. Its pH keeps the keratin (a protective protein) in our skin hard, preventing the penetration of harmful toxins.
     When the pH balance of the skin neutralizes and becomes more alkaline, the keratin loosens and create gaps within the protective covering, allowing for allergens, bacteria and viruses to penetrate the skin. This explains why acne, skin allergies and other problems become more severe when the skin becomes more alkaline.



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