Yesterday, I wanted to find out what make the no-washing regime work. It greatly contradicts Western beliefs of skin care and makes us feel icky. However, it's very effective against irritation, acne, and un-normal skin. I was reading a popular post that got me started on this regime in the first place,
and someone had mentioned the acid mantle. Although I took AP Biology, I had no idea what that was, but after a quick google search, I recognized it and headpalmed for being a dumb-dumb.
What is the acid mantle? The acid mantle is a film of sebum, sweat, dead skin, and dirt that maintains a pH of about 4-5 to fight off bacteria. This acid mantle applies to the skin all over your body, not just your face. When we are born, we have neutral pH of 7, but it gradually becomes acidic to fight off bacteria better. Don't confuse maintaining the acidity of your skin with inner body alkalinity. Your blood needs to stay alkaline in order for cells to work properly while your skin's external pH has to be acidic. After over-exfoliation or using harsh or non-acidic products , the acid mantle is worn down. The skin is now vulnerable to bacteria. As a result of your skin's natural barrier being broken down, your skin can retaliate by producing a lot of oil or becoming inflammed to keep the bacteria from passing through the epidermis that the acid mantle once protected.
The no-washing regime promotes regeneration of the acid mantle by keeping cleansers from disrupting the pH and barrier that your body is trying to rebuild. I read that it takes about 14 to 17 days for the acid mantle to completely rebuild, but a prolonged use of harsh products can prevent the acid mantle from ever coming back. I don't know how long "prolonged use" would be and how harsh a product has to be to keep the acid mantle away. I still wonder if the "flakiness" that one experiences during acid mantle regeneration is an indication of whether your acid mantle is completely back or not. I'd like to think that, but one person mentioned that after 2 months, the flakiness was starting to subside. 2 months?? I hope it only took that long because the person was slowing down progress by washing with water more often than I plan to.
My education about the acid mantle made me realize how acne was just a domino effect. It makes so much sense to me, I wish I had known this sooner... This is my own personal domino effect:
Over the years, I have eaten junk food, cooked food, less veggies, and a butt-load of white rice. All this food and the toxins have built up over the years and wasn't completely removed. My liver was overwhelmed and didn't deactivate hormones like it should resulting in an increase of hormone levels in my body. With the help of adolescence, my hormone levels increased and my first pimples appeared. Now my poor physical state (too many toxins) started affecting my mental state. Enter the stress hormones! I was worrying about my appearance causing even more hormone production. Now I was fed up with the acne. So I used scrubs, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, clyndamicin, tretinoin, toners, chemical sunscreens, masques, and the clarisonic to get rid of the acne. Most of the acne went down the drain and so did my acid mantle. More bacteria was able to penetrate the epidermis. My skin was hella oily, yet dry. I was ALWAYS red on my cheeks, and my skin was blotchy.
Now that I know how the acne started. I'm on the road to success. Candida feeds on the complex sugars that would get stuck in your body and ferment. By eating fruits, I can fuel my body with the simple sugars and starve the candida. I improved toxin elimination through exercise, more fiber for bowel movement, and hydration. My body can heal better with regular sleep thanks to exercise and improved diet habits (not eating too late). My liver isn't overwhelmed because I eat mostly fruits and veggies. I stopped washing my face. Now the substances in my clogged pores can be seen being pushed out, my face is less oily when I wake up, and my skin tone evened out. All this motivation as well as the stories and science to back it up is making me more optimistic about the outcomes. Also, I hate not being productive. I keep myself busy by reading the books that have made a tower in my room. Youtube videos (I LOOOVE YouTube! xD) make me laugh when my dogs aren't around to. All these things lower my stress levels- which lower my stress hormone levels.
I know that my own strategy against acne can help a lot of people, but not everyone. There's still vitamin deficiencies, severe candida infection, hard/soft water, etc. But I just want you all to keep fighting. Never give up. Just never. Don't even consider it. I didn't want to give up, and I just feel in my heart that I'm so close to the ultimate solution.