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Understanding the Acid Mantle and Why Choosing the Right Skincare Products Matters for Gen z Skin.

Is It Safe For Gen Z to Use Adult Skincare Products?

Growing up, gen z (especially daughters) think that their mother’s vanity is a secret chamber from where she will ‘steal’ constantly. She’ll go through a skincare product in weeks, which is meant to last for months. But it’s not just quantities she's using, you must keep her away from things like aggressive ingredients in your products that can cause her skin to breakout.

But in the age of selfies and XYZK beauty, routines are rarely so streamlined, for mothers or their skincare-curious children.

Gen z are all armed with more knowledge, more reviews, and maybe more confusion than ever before. So, although a gen z can look to YouTube for most cosmetic suggestions, the lure of the products that parents use remains especially in the absence of a gen z-focused range of skincare products combined with all the peer/’social’ pressure (more on that in our subsequent articles)

Before you can know how to work with and support your skin, you need to know what skin type you have. Because yes, there are different skin types. Everyone’s skin is different!

That’s why you cannot buy a product that someone raved about on Instagram or TikTok and not see the same results. That product might have been great for their skin but not so great for yours.

When you know your skin type, you can take better care of your skin now and in the future.

Younger skin is thicker, it can be more sensitive to harsh chemicals. Even though the dermis is thinner in older skin, the epidermis is thicker and harder to penetrate.

You simply don’t need skincare heavy hitters when you are a gen z, as most of them are meant to repair environmental and intrinsic damage, reanimate collagen and elastin production, and target specific areas like the eyes and neck.

For a lot of preadolescent and adolescent boys, hygiene isn’t their first priority. Getting them to use a daily face wash that addresses the antimicrobial needs of gen z skin is key. It’s a low bar, but the message is: Keep it simple but use something, not nothing.

When you hit puberty, there's an increase in sex hormones called androgens. The excess hormones cause your oil glands to become overactive, enlarge, and produce too much oil, or sebum. When there's too much sebum, the pores or hair follicles become blocked with skin cells. Skin cells are like fish and they need water to live. The biggest thing for the health of the skin is keeping the barrier intact and keeping moisture in.

Have you ever wondered some products make your skin goes absolutely crazy? It’s all about your acid mantle, never heard of this right? Neither had I until I went down the skincare rabbit hole and discovered just how important understanding the acid mantle is to maintaining healthy skin. Here, I talk about pH balance, how the acid mantle protects your skin, why certain products are more effective and the best products to restore your skin's acid balance if it is out of whack.

WHAT IS PH?

First to understand the acid mantle we need to talk about pH. pH is a method of measuring the acidity or alkalinity of any substance and ranges from 0 the highest level of acidity to 14 the highest level of alkalinity and 7 which is neutral. Different body parts have different pH levels from 0-14 and maintaining their specific pH is crucial to health. Most substances fall on one side of the spectrum as either acidic or alkaline, except water which is neutral with a pH of 7.

WHAT IS THE ACID MANTLE?

It is a thin protective slightly acidic water-lipid (oil) film found on the surface of the skin which acts as a barrier between you and the outside elements. It also protects the skin from acne-causing bacteria and helps it to maintain its moisture balance. When your acid mantle is fully functional and intact your skin will look and feel great. The acid mantle is made of a mixture of dead skin cells, oils (sebum), and other skin secretions and sweat. This helps keep one’s skin at an optimal, slightly acidic pH between 4.5- 6.2 which is a protective barrier and the body’s defense.

Maintaining the pH of the skin is crucial for its health, and a pH above 7 creates an alkaline environment that is bad for the skin. Healthy skin has a pH below 7 and a pH of 5.5 is optimum for the skin’s health. Good skincare products are specially formulated to maintain the acid mantle. Most of the adult skincare products which parents use for mature skin are simply richer and packed with active ingredients resulting in higher pH whereas the plant-based skincare products we @Beauprty have designed have the most optimum and balanced pH between 5.5 to 6

HOW TO REPAIR A DAMAGED ACID MANTLE

The skin can restore its pH naturally within about 30 minutes of it being disrupted. The damage to the acid mantle, on the other hand, takes longer to repair depending on the severity. The first step is to stop any activity which may have caused the disruption in the first place which includes

  • Stop using skincare products that are not based on your skin type and age group
  • Stop exfoliating until your skin feels like it is back to normal,
  • Use only cold or lukewarm water when washing or rinsing your face
  • Use Face cleansers with an acidic pH to avoid more trauma to the acid mantle.
  • Use skincare products with ingredients that restore the skin’s pH and prepare them for other moisture attracting ingredients to your skincare regimen

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