Oilygirl1980

Acid Mantle And Products That Damage It.

7 posts in this topic

Cbiot, bryan, bailey and other seasoned members: id love to hear from you on this.

Bailey first told me of the acid mantle. And ive been reading so many interesting things about it.

Here are some of my questions:

Is it imperative to use a cleanser with a ph of less than 6 or 7?

Does benzoyl peroxide damage the acid mantle?

How long does it take to repair a damaged acid mantle? Google has told me anywhere from 14 hours to 3 to 4 weeks. What is it really?

Will apple cider vinegar balance the acid mantle immediately after using a cleanser of more than 6?

Does adding drops of oil to a cleanser take the ph down or can it at least make it less damaging?

I wear makeup. Trying to stay minimal in my face care but how do i clean makeup, oil and air pollution off my face without a slightly harsher cleanser?

Is it best to use a cleanser at night only and then in the morning just use hot water, a washcloth and some toner? (I use witch hazel)

What are some other ways to fixed a damaged acid mantle? Or maybe some preventative measures other than avoiding stripping soaps?

Input is much appreciated.

Thanks!

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Hey smile.png

This is something I looked at awhile ago, and I still have mixed ideas about it.

I don't believe that the "acid mantle" is an actual physical thing to be honest with you. I think it's more or less a general expression used to describe how strong and healthy our skin is. When we think of our skin as having a sort of acidic barrier in it, while likely not true it more or less allows us to visualize how what we do to our skin affects its over all health. SO while I don't think the acid mantle is a real, medical entity I still use the expression because it is equivalent to describing the resiliency of your skin. And also, your skin is naturally slightly acidic; so I think that is where the expression comes from and why for people with problem skin watching the pH can be a good idea.

My dad can wash his face with Irish Spring soap, or my sister can wear makeup for over 36 hours, and neither of them ever has had a problem with their skin. For me, I'm a guy and don't wear makeup but washing my face with bar soap would be disastrous lol. I don't get many zits anymore but my skin would be red, itchy, irritated, taunt, dull, and flaky for days if if I tried that.

My theory is that normal facial products and makeup are not strong enough to affect your skin too much. BUT those of use with acne tend to go to significantly stronger products like BP or salicylic acid to wash our face. We are thoroughly cleaning our face when we do, but at the same time we are probably causing a little bit of damage to our skin. And over time I think this can cause our skin to become less durable (what some might say a weakened Acid Mantle) and more sensitive to external stimuli.

I think it is no way imperative to use a neutral pH product on your skin. See what works for you. I wouldn't recommend something super acidic like a 1 or 2 nor something super alkaline like an 11 or 12, but anything within those ranges is probably fine if your skin seems to like it. The key is just to look for irritation.

Unfortunately I do think BP wrecks our skin. What makes it so good at clearing acne also makes our skin sensitive and strips it of moisture; but for people with acne it is still a good option UNTIL their acne clears.

Timeframes are pretty tough Oilygirl1980 haha. I'd say you can provide a good environment for your skin and see noticeable improvements in a week, but if you have been hard on it for awhile it could take 3 months.

Personally I use ACV, and I like what it does for my skin. I don't use it to neutralize anything, just because my skin looks good when I do. I wouldn't use it to neutralize something unless you're putting something extremely basic like ammonia on your face lol. ACV itself is very acidic by the way, so if you use it I strongly suggest diluting it. I also wouldn't add it to any moisturizers or creams as it's so acidic I'd have to think it could affect something in the creams.

I think the most important thing with your skin is to clean it without stripping it. That means no bar soaps, only wash it 2-3 times a day, use a mild cleanser every now and then when washing, and gently blot as necessary. Some people aggressively use chemical warfare to treat their problem skin, and some people do the "caveman" routine. I've done both but neither are good in the long term as you tend to go from one side of the spectrum to the other, and your skin is only good as you're passing through that golden moderation zone en route to an extreme where everything goes downhill lol.

Just my thoughts on the topic ha

Edited by CBIOT13

People never cease to amaze me. Some with their brilliance, others with their ignorance. eusa_think.gif

Here's A Few Acne.org Threads Of Mine You May Find Useful/Interesting (updated 7/25/13)

-- DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

-- How to Ice Inflammed or Picked at Cysts

-- Milk of Magnesia Uses

Other Threads Worth Looking At

-- Oily Skin Research Thread: This shows some of our previous efforts and explains the mechanisms behind oily skin.

-- My failed but enlightening experiment going the "less is more" route, aka "The Caveman Routine"


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I think i agree with you on the "acid mantle" thing maybe being something we have created. Like most things, we have to give it a name. I feel like some sort of barrier does exist only because when i wake up, my skin has a different glow or texture. Its not oily but its definitely got a film on it. Experimenting with just water and my toner in the am seems to be making my skin calm down. Had another recent breakout which was my normal hormonal cycle but like an idiot, i took my new routine to level 1000 and overdid it, my face was not happy and broke out. Im easing up on that. But i feel like i damaged my skin barrier and like everything ive been reading, it seems like it did just what they said- opened it up to new bacteria. I think you are right, paying more attention to the ph is probably a smart idea.

I did pick up some aloe vera liquid. Its very watery but i know aloe is good for its calming effects. Works well on my sunburned shoulders so im giving it a shot. That also seems to be helping. But like everything, each thing i do all plays a part in harming and healing so i never know what exactly is doing its magic. I also picked up some acv. I will definitely dilute it and see how it goes.

Im not sure if i could wash it more than twice a day, nor feasibly could i. I would have to reapply my make up and i cant do that at work.my skin is sensitive like yours and i know that if i put a third wash in there, i would probably break out.

Ive been going strong with my baby mild castile soap and i like how its working. Cleans well, no super tightness feeling and it removes everything. When people say that they still find dirt or makeup on there toning cotton round, i cringe. I feel like that should not happen if you are using a good cleanser.

My biggest problem is the bp. I want off of this stuff but i dont know how to do it without making my face go bananas. I break out in less than two days if i stop it and im using neutrogenas dose. 2.5. Its low, why wont my face let me get rid of it?

Or maybe i just need to accept that its in my genes to be an oil slick. I just dont want that to be the case. It was good there at the start but the oil during the day is back like it was before.

Thanks for your help, i give you the credit for helping me to try not to overthink which i know you know is what ive been doing. A calm face is a happy face so i need to knock it off with bombarding it before it has a chance to process.

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Cbiot!! I did the acv and i loved it! The texture of my skin was immediately better. Its like it just ate all the dead cells and though i have some bumps from my recent breakout, my fingers smoothed over them when i put my grapeseed oil on.

Properly exfoliating is difficult because my skin is thin and sensitive. The last year, ive been cutting lemons and using the juice. Kept my cystic acne at bay nicely but i stopped because i was trying to find a way to prevent the bumps all together. I was exfoliating very gently with baking soda until bailey explained about its alkalinity. (is that a word, haha)

Im going to try skipping the grapeseed oil tomorrow and use the aloe vera liquid instead as my moisturizer. I noticed yesterday when i put it on my forehead that my skin wasnt as oily within a few hours. Maybe you could try that as well and let me know how it works for you? The brand i got is aubrey organics i think and doesnt have the same ingredients as the gel or creams. Its watery since there are no emollients in it but i think thats a good thing.

If i could pick your brain about another thing- pores. Ive use indian clay powder with water as a mask once every 2 weeks and for about 2 days my pores on my nose are smaller. When i was in highschool, two of my pores on the tip of my nose got severely infected and swelled up to the size of maybe a very small pea. The blackheads i pull out of them are gross and large. Im always amazed at how much comes out. I know i shouldnt face pick, but i cant help it with the blackheads on my nose. No products are effective as extraction for me. But i wrap my fingers in kleenex, double if my nails are too long and squeeze gently without pinching. Doesnt cause break outs for me. I think its true that pore size cant be changed permanently, but my two nose pores are what i judge by. I wish i could send you a picture of these things. But since ive been washing with the castile soap and using grapeseed oil, they "appear" to be smaller. Not as small as the day after using the clay mask, but still a big difference. I guess my question for you is what do you think makes pores appear larger? Is it an illusion because of our oily skin or is it the oil itself making the opening bigger? I had some pretty bad sun damage as a child and i smoked for 15 years so that sucks. At the very least, im grateful. Im pulling smaller blackheads out now. Maybe once every 7 or 8 days which is definitely better. Please let me know your thoughts. Youre really helping me a great deal. 33 isnt old by any means, but its old enough to regret some the damage i did to my skin and its a wake up call to make sure im not hurting it further. 40 is going to come quicker than i think and i want to preserve healthy skin for as long as i can. I swear, if i could tell every young girl to stay out of the sun i would because they have no idea what they are in for when they look in the mirror when they get older. And im lucky! I didnt tan for my entire 20s! But the damage from higschool tanning is not reversible. :(

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Cbiot!! I did the acv and i loved it! The texture of my skin was immediately better. Its like it just ate all the dead cells and though i have some bumps from my recent breakout, my fingers smoothed over them when i put my grapeseed oil on.

Properly exfoliating is difficult because my skin is thin and sensitive. The last year, ive been cutting lemons and using the juice. Kept my cystic acne at bay nicely but i stopped because i was trying to find a way to prevent the bumps all together. I was exfoliating very gently with baking soda until bailey explained about its alkalinity. (is that a word, haha)

Im going to try skipping the grapeseed oil tomorrow and use the aloe vera liquid instead as my moisturizer. I noticed yesterday when i put it on my forehead that my skin wasnt as oily within a few hours. Maybe you could try that as well and let me know how it works for you? The brand i got is aubrey organics i think and doesnt have the same ingredients as the gel or creams. Its watery since there are no emollients in it but i think thats a good thing.

If i could pick your brain about another thing- pores. Ive use indian clay powder with water as a mask once every 2 weeks and for about 2 days my pores on my nose are smaller. When i was in highschool, two of my pores on the tip of my nose got severely infected and swelled up to the size of maybe a very small pea. The blackheads i pull out of them are gross and large. Im always amazed at how much comes out. I know i shouldnt face pick, but i cant help it with the blackheads on my nose. No products are effective as extraction for me. But i wrap my fingers in kleenex, double if my nails are too long and squeeze gently without pinching. Doesnt cause break outs for me. I think its true that pore size cant be changed permanently, but my two nose pores are what i judge by. I wish i could send you a picture of these things. But since ive been washing with the castile soap and using grapeseed oil, they "appear" to be smaller. Not as small as the day after using the clay mask, but still a big difference. I guess my question for you is what do you think makes pores appear larger? Is it an illusion because of our oily skin or is it the oil itself making the opening bigger? I had some pretty bad sun damage as a child and i smoked for 15 years so that sucks. At the very least, im grateful. Im pulling smaller blackheads out now. Maybe once every 7 or 8 days which is definitely better. Please let me know your thoughts. Youre really helping me a great deal. 33 isnt old by any means, but its old enough to regret some the damage i did to my skin and its a wake up call to make sure im not hurting it further. 40 is going to come quicker than i think and i want to preserve healthy skin for as long as i can. I swear, if i could tell every young girl to stay out of the sun i would because they have no idea what they are in for when they look in the mirror when they get older. And im lucky! I didnt tan for my entire 20s! But the damage from higschool tanning is not reversible. :(

Hey I'm glad you like the ACV. I think it's great, except for the smell lol. If the things I'm going to try over the summer don't pan out and I see myself using the ACV alot, I'll have to do something about that smell, like cover it up with some essential oil or strong frangrance.

And as for what causes larger pores, I really don't know. I'm studying mostly math and physics at my university, and I'm really only knowledgeable about oily skin treatments because I've done a TON of self research looking for a cure. That's where I came across ACV and the acid mantle concept. But when it comes to pore size and the actual mechanics/processes of our skin, I am woefully uneducated on the subject lol and probably can't give you a good answer.

If I had to guess, I'd say pore size is genetic, but oily skin can make them seem larger just as makeup can make them seem smaller. I do think certain things can make them expand, like hot weather and sweating; or shrink, like freezing water or an alcohol toner; but the effect is only temporary (like 5 minutes).

Edited by CBIOT13

People never cease to amaze me. Some with their brilliance, others with their ignorance. eusa_think.gif

Here's A Few Acne.org Threads Of Mine You May Find Useful/Interesting (updated 7/25/13)

-- DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

-- How to Ice Inflammed or Picked at Cysts

-- Milk of Magnesia Uses

Other Threads Worth Looking At

-- Oily Skin Research Thread: This shows some of our previous efforts and explains the mechanisms behind oily skin.

-- My failed but enlightening experiment going the "less is more" route, aka "The Caveman Routine"


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I'm surprisingly ok with the smell. But I like the smell of witch hazel and tea tree oil and it seems most people do not. I've used acv on hair as well and the smell seems to evaporate after a few minutes of being dry. But I also use a moisturizer after the acv so that makes it even better.

All i know is that my nose pores are "smaller" since I've been using the castile soap and witch hazel. My old day moisturizer was one that had a high spf. I kind of wonder if that was making them "bigger" since it's very thick. The pores on my cheek haven't changed and I doubt they ever will. I think the sun damage is just not reversible at this point. But keeping them clear of bacteria is more my goal.

I know the tightness feeling is something that most people avoid, but i have that slight feeling now and it makes my skin look smoother, so I'll take it. :)

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The acid mantle is the layer of sweat and sebum that is slightly acidic. The acidity protects your skin from microbes, enzymes and whatnot that breakdown the intracellular matrix only work at the right PH. And normal sebum contains/produces quite a few things involved in normal healthy skin, dermal barrier, etc. When you wash it away, you hamper your skin's function and leave it vulnerable to microbes until you've sweated and secreted enough to recreate it.

That's all off the top of my head. You can find more info and described more accurately in the linoleic acid thread. Normal sebum should be predominantly linoleic acid. Acne prone and all kinds of other skin problem prone people (and other mammals) have been found to have a deficiency of linoleic acid in their sebum. That's the difference between sebum that keeps skin healthy and makes it glow and sebum that looks greasy and clogs pores.

A lot of pro 'caveman' people believe your acid mantle gets destroyed and takes months of no washing, often no water touching skin, to restore. But the truth is, it restores itself daily. Albeit, without enough linoleic acid in our case.


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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