Inflammation in your skin?
This could be an indication your acid mantle is impaired
- Premature ageing
Well, if your skin is sensitive and easily irritated, then chances are, your skin is looking unhealthy.
And I know, with so many different conditions it’s easy to get exasperated and not know which way to turn when treating these conditions.
But, if you follow my advice, you can be on your way to beautifully balanced skin; an important factor, especially when you think we’re quick to make a judgment about someone based on their skin.
Whether that be the amount of stress they’re under, their dietary habits, general health, or how sun damaged they are.
GETTING TO GRIPS WITH YOUR SKIN’S pH
pH is one of the most important things you should know about your skin.
On average, a skin’s pH sits around 5.5 – which is slightly acidic – but it can range from 4.5 – 6.5 depending on your skin’s chemistry and the products you’re using.
There’s a reason for this acidity; it inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.
THE ROLE OF THE ACID MANTLE
Both sebum and sweat form a barrier on the skin known as the acid mantle.
This mantle is crucial, it forms a protective shield and if disrupted, it becomes permeable to harmful bacteria, harsh chemicals, and pollutants.
Concerned your protective mantle may be impaired?
Stop, don’t panic, because I have you covered with an entire article on everything you need to know about your acid mantle.
SKIN, IT’S AN ACID MANTLE, pH THING
So, let’s return to why skin pH is so important.
Well, if your SKIN is NATURALLY ACIDIC, then ideally, you should be APPLYING PRODUCTS that are CONSISTENT with the NATURAL pH of your skin. Makes sense, right?
You don’t want to change the pH, because this will disrupt your skins protective mantle.
For instance, in a facial, a skin professional giving a chemical peel will always bring the skin’s pH back to normal after the acidic treatment is completed.
WHY AVOID STRONG PRODUCTS?
Higher pH ingredients, such as alcohol, are often referred to as astringents.
They are damaging for the skin because they break down keratin, stripping the acid mantle – which increases the permeability of the skin.
Manufacturers often use clever marketing claims to say they reduce pore size; this is one claim that really infuriates me.
Because what these ingredients are really doing is causing the skin to swell temporarily, which dilates the pore.
And remember, skin that is more permeable is more vulnerable to microorganisms.
There are quite a few skin care products that are pH-inappropriate.
And whilst I’m not in the habit of naming and shaming, I think you would be really surprised just how many popular brands fall into this category.
ACID MANTLE CREAM… WHAT’S THAT, THEN?
If you’re a sensitive-skinned gal like me and many of my clients, I suspect your skin has seen its fair share of frustrating flare-ups.
But be warned, repeated inflammation in the skin can lead to many things as discussed, including premature ageing.
But can an acid mantle cream really balance the pH and restore an impaired mantle and barrier?
Whether one cream alone is enough, or whether you need to focus on layering, depends on the severity of your skin’s impairment; what I mean by this is how much has the skin broken down, what level of inflammation currently exists in the skin, and has the lipid barrier been compromised.
Addressing these concerns with my clients is a three step process, that you to at home may like to consider:
- The first step is to bring the pH back into balance. The only way to achieve this is to use very gentle, calming formulas with minimal additives and fragrance. This also means avoiding the use of sunscreens, because their ingredients are too strong (tricky, I know, because environmental rays play a big part in inflammation). Saviour calming day cream is the perfect antidote, a nourishing, repairing, moisturising serum designed to minimise frustrating flare-ups and bring the delicate microflora back into balance.
- Before you address the acid mantle; you are first going to have to work on barrier repair, especially if your skin is lipid-dry, itchy, or flaky. This can be done by restoring the protective film that coats your skin. At this stage, the focus is building your skin’s resistance to pathogens and bacteria.Try Bio Lipid Complex, an oil-based serum specifically formulated with skin-identical ingredients that will bring your delicate skin back into balance.
- Finally, you need to focus on the acid mantle. This is all about creating an environment where the delicate micro flora will once again flourish. This is achieved by using skin-identical ingredients such as copper peptides, ions, and vitamins; these strengthen and increase the density of your skin, returning it to optimum health so it’s less likely to suffer from damaging inflammation. DNA Complex is the next step up, a skin-restorative, strengthening treatment that repairs fragile skin and signs of premature ageing.
THE NAKED TRUTH
On a final note, bar soap for the body is at an alkaline pH that typically sits around 8.0-11.0 – this is far too alkaline when you consider your skin’s pH sits around 5.5.
So, cleansing your face with body bar soap is a big no-no in my beauty book, which you can read all about here.