What is acid mantle?

Stylish Spy gets under the skin of this protective layer

Despite only being talked about in recent years, your acid mantle – or your treatment of it – could be the reason behind complexion woes. Spots and dry skin could be a sign that your acid mantle – the thin film on the skin’s surface – is out of whack. It’s job is to keep the good stuff (moisture) in and the bad (bacteria, pollution) out.

Why would it be unhappy?

This is to do with your skin’s natural PH levels. Ideally, it should be a slightly acidic 5.5; if it is too alkaline it will misbehave. If you are seeing signs of premature ageing or have dry, flaky skin, it’s likely your alkaline levels are above the optimum. Abrasive products can also be the culprit.

What can I do to help?

It’s more about ditching or switching, rather than adding another element to your morning and evening routine. The first thing skin experts suggest is looking at your cleanser – does it contain detergent molecules or alcohol that will overpower the natural goodness? If it stings or burns on application – or your skin feels squeaky clean afterwards – switch it to something softer. Throw out facial scrubs that feel grainy or sandy, too – while these provide a deep clean for some, they can be too strong for others.

We recommend: Comfort Zones’ Remedy Cream to Oil Cleanser (150ml, £28), a gentle cleaning product formulated with Marula Oil which is ideal for skin in need of nourishment.

What about moisturisers/serums?

It’s always good to use a moisturiser, but go for a gentle version packed with hydrating ingredients such as ceramides, pro-biotics or Hyaluronic Acid. Serums add another layer of moisture so add them to your skincare routine – preferably morning and night – if time permits. 

We recommend: Sothys Ultra Lipid SOS Serum (30ml, £56.60) to soothe feelings of discomfort and restore balance to the skin’s ecosystem.

  • Author

    Stylish Spy

  • Age 40-something
  • Skin type Sensitive

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