What is Your Skin’s Acid Mantle and Why It’s So Important

Acid Mantle, how to restore it to prevent damage, including dryness, redness, and irritation

What is Your Skin's Acid Mantle and Why It's So Important
The term Acid Mantle was first used by German physicians in 1900.

It has recently become a big thing for moisturizers thanks to skincare products, which avoids acid mantle repair for its packaging. Yet very few of us know what it means and why it is important. So we asked the top dermatologists to give the scoop on the acid mantle of our skin.

What is the acid mantle layer of the skin and why is it important?

The acid mantle is used to describe the acidic nature of the surface of your skin. It is a very thin film on the surface of our skin that acts as an inhibitor for bacteria and other viral substances that are trying to penetrate. This slight acidity not only protects against bacteria, but preserves the skin’s microbiome, ensures its structural integrity, and helps maintain its biological processes. This is the first line of defense of our skin.

What is an acid mantle made of?

Skin acid mantle made of sebum, which is natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin and sweat of our body. The composition of the acid mantle is slightly acidic, due to the combination of amino acids from sweat and triglycerides, fatty acids, and wax esters in the sebum.


What is the reason for the acid mantle being obstructed and how can you tell if it is damaged?

There are several factors that can inhibit the acid mantle and the natural pH of the skin. This can give rise to dryness, redness, irritation, and an even more aged appearance. The most common include:

Cleaners and soaps

Cleansing can increase the pH of the skin, damaging its acid mantle, but it usually returns to its natural pH within a few hours. This withdrawal rate can be influenced not only by the pH of a product but also by the type of cleansing ingredients used. Syndicate cleansing bars, like Dove Beauty bars, quickly return the skin to its natural pH after use because they are slightly acidic/neutral and are mild cleansers compared to traditional bar soaps. Other times soaps usually have a higher pH, so the skin may take longer to return to its natural state after use.

Your age

Research has shown that age can affect the pH of the skin. During our lifetimes, the pH of our skin changes from near the neutral pH of newborn skin is slightly acidic within the first year of your life, and then gradually becomes more alkaline (higher pH) as we age. Become. As pH increases with age, the acid mantle may be compromised.


Skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), acne, and rosacea are associated with high pH and a disrupted acid mantle. Maintaining a normal pH is very important for treating these conditions.

How do you fix or cure acid mantle?

When the acid mantle is disrupted, it allows irritation and bacteria to enter, so it is important to protect the skin’s natural barrier. Here are the best ways to restore acid mantle and prevent future damage:

Be gentle with cleansing

Go for cleansers that are gentle and contain fatty acids, ceramides, and other barrier-repairing elements that cleanse the skin without destroying the acid mantle. For the body, swap your bar soap with a Syndicate bar, which has low pH and Gentler on the skin.

Think about how you exfoliate

reduce your use of exfoliating products, and avoid scrubs if you feel the need to exfoliate, which can damage compromised skin, and instead Chemically select exfoliating acids such as salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acid.

Apply the right moisturizer

Some research suggests that using a slightly acidic skincare product can normalize elevated skin pH and improve acid mantle, but skincare brands generally do not disclose the pH of their products. Instead of focusing on the pH of the product, use moisturizers that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and probiotics to help promote proper pH.

See a health professional

Some disruptions in the acid mantle are associated with the above-mentioned inflammatory skin diseases. Talk to your dermatologist to address any personal concerns and get recommendations for specific treatments.

Few Acid Mantle Protecting Products

1. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

2. Dove White Beauty Bar

3. SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore

4. EltaMD Barrier Renewal Complex

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