There are so many products, recommendations and information on the internet regarding active and medical grade skincare, but not too much information (until recent times) on our skin’s naturally occurring ‘acid mantle’ and how these stronger products can do damage.
Chemical peels and acid-infused products are necessary and proven worthy a spot in your beauty cupboard. They are an important and effective step regarding properly cleansing and saying ‘bye-bye- to dead skin cells. A buzzword and (factual) concept that has been re-educating the industry and skincare enthusiasts is you skin’s ’Acid Mantle’; the protective layer of your dermis that is effected and altered by pH levels, which put simply, stops the bad stuff (i.e. pollution) getting in and the good stuff (hydration) getting out.
The term pH refers to the concentration of hydrogen in water, and with our skin being made up of mostly water, it is important to manage your skins pH levels (through research into the topical products you use) so that your skin is kept at an optimum pH level; not too acidic (ph level 1) or alkaline (pH level 14). Our skin is happiest in a slightly acidic state, a pH level between 4&5, to ensure that your skins barrier function is working like armour, to stop the effects of external invaders.
When your skin barrier is disrupted, it causes sensitivity, dehydration and premature ageing as your skin is slightly more vulnerable and less resilient. This in turn can result in a whole range of skin issues such as over production of oil, congestion, pimples, redness and irritation.
IMAGE SOURCE: eminenceorganics.com
CHEAT SHEET TO PROTECTING YOUR SKIN’S LINE OF DEFENCE:
- Avoid of cleansing or the use of foam cleansers
- Don’t over exfoliate - twice per week is plenty. Chemical exfoliation is more tolerated than manual exfoliation. (Remember that a wash cloth, depending on which you use, can be considered manual exfoliation).
- Limit use of pore strips or anything too harsh for your skin
If you feel like you have disrupted your acid mantle, follow our guide to repair, below:
- Cleanse at night using a gentle wash, and in the morning, use a hydrating, alcohol free micellar water or even just splash face with warm water to dissolve excess oil and wash away dirt.
- Lay off the actives and stick to nourishing, hydrating products while it repairs.
- Look for ingredients such as Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid and Cica.
A list of our favourite products to repair your skin barrier is below.
Bioderma Cicabio - RRP $15.99 (Adore Beauty)
Avene Cicalfate - RRP: $27.00 (Priceline)
Ultraceuticals B2 Hydrating Serum - RRP: $102.00 (Ultraceeuticals)
Rationale #1 The Serum - RRP: $174.00 (Rationale)