Protecting the Acid Mantle

Our skin’s microbiome is our natural defence

“The acid mantle is our skin’s finely balanced defence system. Maintaining a balanced pH of this fragile microbiome is vital to keeping in moisture and keeping out bacteria and fungi.” Dr. Sam Asculai, Visible Youth’s Chief Scientist.

Healthy, balanced skin is vital for our overall health. It is the body’s largest organ, and a natural protective layer, fighting infection. For it to function at its optimum we must maintain a healthy, slightly acidic, pH. If the acid mantle is compromised, your skin will become dehydrated which leads to premature aging.

What is the Acid Mantle?
The acid mantle preserves the skins microbiome and it is our body’s first line of defence against fungi and bacteria. The acid mantle is a combination of sebum, the natural oils produced by the sebaceous glands, and amino acids from sweat. Upsetting the balance in your skin’s pH, you begin to destroy the fragile microbiome. Research shows this also has a direct correlation to acne, eczema and rosacea. Even if your skin appears mildly irritated or sensitive you may have upset your acid mantle.

Skin and the Microbiome?
Also known as the skin flora, is a vast community of microorganisms that thrive in an acidic, low-pH environment. They allow the skin to serve its critical protective functions, limiting the growth of bad bugs and fostering the growth of normal bacterial flora. It is the most important factor in fighting off infection and maintaining our overall skin health.

Damage and rebalance
Two threats to our acid mantle are incorrect cleansing and age. Though thoughtful hygiene is good, cleansers contain surfactants, (surface acting, agents) which is a precise chemistry. Too harsh or too mild and surfactants can destroy your acid mantle. As you age, the pH of your skin can destabilise and gradually become more alkaline. Research however shows that the use of a slightly acidic skincare product can normalise elevated skin pH and improve the acid mantle.

Steps to protect
Be gentle with your skin. Your acid mantle is a living, fragile microbiome. Don’t over exfoliate. If an exfoliator feels grainy it is bound to be too rough. If your skin feels tight after cleansing, it probably has too many surfactants and you should change to a gentler cleanser.

The Visible Youth™ line of products is specifically formulated to the skin’s natural slightly acidic pH, preserving and protecting the important acid mantle and a balanced microbiome.

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