When it comes to the components of the skin, it's the barrier function and microbiome that get most of the airtime. But there’s another part that is slowly seeping into mainstream skin conversation: the acid mantle. If even just the sound of it leaves you looking like 🤯, then fear not – Lion/ne’s own Alexandra breaks down the need-to-knows below…
What is the acid mantle?
The acid mantle is a thin, film-like layer on the skin's surface. It is made up of lipids which (in simpler terms) are the skin’s natural fats and come in two types: epidermal and sebaceous.
What does the acid mantle do?
Along with the microbiome (that yummy concoction of bacteria, archaea, fungi and even arthropods), the acid mantle clubs together to make a healthy barrier for the skin. This clever function protects us from all types of natives such as harmful bacteria, pollutants and moisture loss.
Is my acid mantle under attack?
None wants a damaged barrier, but what are the signs that yours might be? Skin concerns such as redness, flakiness, peeling, drones, dehydration and sensitivity could all indicate damage to the acid mantle and in turn, the skin's barrier.
What could be causing this acid mantle and barrier function violation?!
Without TLC, our acid mantle can become weaker which stops it from working at its full potential. The good thing is that a lot of the culprits causing acid mantle damage can be remedies or avoided with a few simple lifestyle changes. A few of the main baddies are…
- Over-exposure to the sun
- Exposure to harsh weathers without protection
- Alkaline-based products
- Harsh chemicals and surfactants
- Excessive chlorine from swimming
How do you protect and repair the acid mantle?
The great news is that the acid mantle can be repaired quite quickly when looked after properly. That means ditching those ‘squeaky clean’ cleansers, throwing out the shady scrubs and booking a Holistic Skin Session with Lion/ne!