In this post, I am going to teach you about 3 really important aspects of the skin, which are the skin’s own protective barrier, its acid mantle, and the microbiome.
The Protective Barrier and Acid Mantle
On the surface of the skin, we have a really delicate protective barrier. Part of this protective barrier is called the acid mantle. The acid mantle is made of our skin’s natural oil, sweat and dead skin cells. It helps keep water in the skin. You can imagine the acid mantle as an invisible protective film on the skin, that the skin produces in order to protect itself. It’s almost like the skin’s invisible shield between the body and our external environment. It is really important that we respect and maintain this layer of the skin.
The pH balance of our acid mantle is around 5.5. When we use ingredients that are either too high or too low of a pH level, it strips the acid mantle, allowing water to escape the skin, which can cause dehydration.
While all skin conditions like sensitivities, dry skin, acne, eczema, dermatitis and rosacea are caused internally through biological programs, respecting the skin’s acid mantle and protective barrier helps the skin to be more resilient, healthier and hydrated.
A compromised protective barrier and acid mantle can occur due to a number of reasons, but harsh, improper skin care products, as well as over-exfoliation are the main factors. Once the acid mantle has been stripped from the skin, it takes 12 hours to rebuild and repair itself. For people who are using really harsh skin care products, like abrasive exfoliants, acids, peels, retinoids and retinols, or even detergent-like cleansers and toners, their acid mantle is basically never able to rebuild itself because every time the acid mantle just finishes rebuilding itself after that 12 hour period, they’re stripping it away again, morning and night.
This is one of the many reasons why using synthetic chemicals and artificial ingredients on the skin is not a good idea for the longevity of skin health.
All of the skin care products that I make at Her Soul Intention are gentle and pH balanced with the skin to help maintain and completely respect the skin’s protective barrier and acid mantle.
The Skin’s Microbiome
Another really important part of the skin is the skin’s microbiome. Just like the gut microbiome, that we’ve been hearing about a lot in recent years, the skin has its very own microbiome.
The human body contains trillions of microorganisms, about 200-500 different species, outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1. We have a massive amount of bacteria that live on and inside of the body. In fact, we have way more bacteria than human cells. These microorganisms are known as our microbiome or microbial ecosystem. These microbes make up a very delicate, highly organized network that support bodily functions (digestion and supporting us in the body’s healing and regenerating), and even healing.
Just like the microbiome within the body, the skin also has its very own microbiome, made of trillions of microorganisms. This beneficial bacteria is essential for our skin health and homeostasis.
Harsh skin care products, synthetic preservatives, detergent-like ingredients and synthetic antibacterial ingredients all kill and destroy the microbiome. In order for our bodies and skin to maintain proper homeostasis, it’s vital that we have this beneficial bacteria on and within the body.
All of the skin care products that I formulate are formulated with love and respect of the skin’s microbiome, especiallyRadiant Soul Moisturizing Honey Mask. Honey has been found to not only respect the skin’s beneficial bacteria, but to also feed and nurture it.
Antibiotics and the Microbiome
When it comes to acne, we know that antibiotics are way too often prescribed as a treatment by dermatologists and doctors. With knowing that the beneficial bacteria is really important for our overall health and skin health, we can begin to understand how antibiotics are not a good treatment choice for acne.
Unfortunately, most dermatologists don’t understand or look at the biological root cause of acne. The conventional beauty and medical industries both completely miss the adaptation phase that occurs in an acne breakout before the acne bacteria even shows up. Because of this, they blame the bacteria as being the root cause, when this is not the case at all. It is really important to understand what is going on inside of the body, so that we can treat the root cause of the skin condition rather than suppress it.
One round of antibiotics completely disrupts and even destroys the ecosystem that lives on and within the body. These microbes make up a very delicate, highly organized network that supports bodily functions and the body’s ability to heal itself, including the skin. Taking antibiotics can lead to a vicious cycle that prevents the body from properly being able to heal.
While antibiotics have their time and place in health care, taking antibiotics for acne, when there are far better, healthier ways of treating it, just doesn’t make sense at all. Instead, we need to understand the body’s biological root cause for acne, and then work to treat and heal the root cause. We always want to treat the root cause and never attack and suppress the symptom itself.