If you want to enjoy healthy skin that maintains a good level of moisture and elasticity it is essential that you take steps to look after your acid mantle, or your pH level will become imbalanced.
If you want to understand a bit more about your acid mantle and the role it plays in keeping your pH level healthy you can see information here, in the meantime, here is an overview of what your hydrolipid barrier, otherwise known as the acid mantle, is about and some pointers on how to keep your skin’s pH level properly balanced.
A protective film that looks after your skin
In basic terms, your acid mantle is a natural protective film that is naturally secreted and it comprises of amino acids, fatty acids, lactic acid, and oils, all of which combine to create what could be broadly described as your skin’s own version of a moisturizer.
This protective film is moderately acidic and usual has a pH balance of somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5.
The problem comes when your acid mantle becomes ineffective and neutralized by soaps with a high alkaline content, for example, and that means your skin becomes vulnerable to infection and damage.
Your acid mantle will restore itself, but this can take a good number of hours to do so, meaning that your skin could be vulnerable during this period
With that in mind, you will want to go easy on your skin to try and maintain that layer of protection at all times.
Be careful with your soap
Washing your face and body is a daily routine but you should be mindful that soap is one of the primary causes of creating an imbalance of your skin’s pH.
Using bar soap is a primary cause of disrupting your skin’s pH balance and when you consider that the typical pH level of a regular bar os soap is somewhere in the region of 9 you can quickly appreciate that this is much higher than the level your skin is comfortable with.
When you apply a bar soap to your face it deposits an alkaline residue that is going to create a level of vulnerability to skin damage.
Look for face wash products that are gentle on your skin and have a low pH level.
Soaking up the sun’s rays can be damaging in more ways than one
Most of us are acutely aware of the issues attached to prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays and besides the threat to your long-term health that you need to be wary of there is also a short-term issue, which is that those UV rays can attack your skin’s acid mantle.
The result of this exposure is an increased level of alkaline and this can impact on pigmentation and make your skin lose its natural shine.
Don’t take too long in the shower
If you like to luxuriate in the shower you might want to rethink how long you spend under the water when you consider that this action could easily strip away your skin’s acid mantle and leave it vulnerable for a good part of the day ahead.
Hot water can easily disturb your pH level and scrubbing too hard can have the same effect.
Make your own facial toner
When it comes to maintaining and restoring your skin’s pH balance there are a number of things you can do to help keep your pH number in the right zone and help prevent damage to your skin.
One of those things is to use apple cider vinegar to create your own facial toner that has the ability to regulate your pH levels.
You must dilute the apple cider vinegar with water before applying to your face and if you put the mix in a spray bottle it becomes easy to use as a toner.
To make your own facial toner the mixture should consist of one part apple cider vinegar to four parts water.
Protect your skin with what you eat
A good way of maintaining a healthy pH balance with your skin is to pay attention to your diet and include foods that can help that cause.
What you should be looking out for are foods that are renowned for their anti-oxidant properties.
This includes a selection of leafy vegetables, with spinach being a good choice as it can have a positive impact on your overall health as well as your skin, and fruits that are relatively low in natural sugars, such as berries and bananas.
One of the key food groups to try and avoid where possible is processed foods.
In the main, processed foods have the capacity to increase your body’s acidity levels, which will clearly impact your skin’s pH levels when consumed.
One of the big problems you face when you are trying to keep your pH level within the desired range is that it is not always that easy to tell what the number os for the product you intend to use.
If you use skincare products that are derived from natural and organic ingredients it should improve your chances of keeping that pH range somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5.
Natural and organic products should not contain any chemicals that could create a pH imbalance and they are often designed to achieve a perfect balance with your skin’s pH.
In summary, your aim should be to do what you can to keep your skin in its ideal pH range for as long as possible throughout the day.
To achieve that aim you should be looking at avoiding harsh cleansing products and soaps which have a high alkaline level. Search out natural products that are designed to help you maintain a healthy skin pH balance and create a weekly diet that are renowned for their anti-oxidant properties.
If you didn’t know how important your acid mantle was beforehand, you do now, and that should provide you with the motivation to do what you can to maintain the right pH level for healthy skin.