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Acid Mantle Barrier – Skin

What is an acid mantle barrier anyway?

Short answer is:  a very fine, slightly acidic film on the surface of human skin acting as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and other potential contaminants that might penetrate the skin. … The pH of the skin is between 4.5 and 5.5 slightly acidic and very comfortable in this range

It is important to maintain the acid mantle, because a damaged acid mantle barrier can lead to dehydration, oily skin, acne, and sensitivity, rash, redness. When the acid mantle is damaged it can take up to 2 weeks to repair itself, assuming that no other damaging products are being used. Many times it repairs itself within days.

Skin with a healthy acid mantle has the pH of 4.6-5.5 (the pH scale of 1, acid, to 10, alkaline). If the skin’s pH rises closer to 7.0, it becomes less functional to kill bacteria, which leads to acne causing bacteria to multiply rapidly in the skin. As the acne bacterium multiplies, the skin can’t keep up with the growth leading to more and more breakouts.

How might you damage your acid mantle?

With cleansers or products that are too high on the pH scale. Many store bought or commercial cleansers are high in  alkaline, usually close to baking soda, about  8.0, but some can even be as high as ammonia! When using a acid mantle damaging cleanser, it changes the pH of your skin for a short time, about 20 minutes until it recovers, but with long-term use of the products, it can prevent the skin from maintaining its optimal pH levels. You will want to find a cleanser in the pH range as close to the skin as possible to maintain healthy skin. A good cleanser cleans the skin without stripping it of oils or damaging the acid mantle.