What’s your acid mantle, and why should you love it?

The invisible layer on your skin & why you should love it.

Pop quiz!

An ‘acid mantle’ is:

  1. a denim atrocity from the 80s, lurking in the back of your closet
  2. something a Marvel supervillain would sport
  3. a tart, lemony crust on a creme brulee
  4. a key player in the health of your skin

Did you guess the serious answer in a set of silly options?

Yes – it’s d).

And yes! it’s vital to know what your acid mantle is (and how to keep it happy), for healthy, glowing, radiant and blemish-free skin.

Before we get started, I’d like to explain why I’m so enthusiastic about education.

Great skin care advice is scarce. There’s an abundance of marketing fluff, but little meaningful info about the science of your skin. Helping you understand it – beyond the ads, fads and labels – allows you to make better choices and become an informed participant in the care of your skin.

There’s nothing more beautiful than empowerment.

So, back to that acid mantle…..

What the heck is it?

Your acid mantle is an invisible layer that sits on your skin. It’s made of a slightly acidic, fatty substance secreted by the sebaceous glands and deposited onto the skin’s surface.

The acid mantle is also known as the hydrolipid layer, which means water/oil layer: The oily secretions originate in the sebaceous glands & the water phase is from perspiration in the sweat glands, which exhibit a powerful bactericidal effect

It sounds gross, but actually has an incredibly important purpose. Read on!

What does the acid mantle do?

Three words: forms a barrier.

Your acid mantle is a barrier between your skin and the world. It prevents moisture loss, and at the same time stops bacteria, viruses and other contaminants getting through.

It’s literally your skin’s defence system.

What makes a healthy acid mantle?

A healthy acid mantle has the correct pH – which is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline something is.

It needs to remain ever-so-slightly acidic, between 4.5-5.5 on the pH scale (with pH 7 being neutral), to stave off bacteria and function correctly.

This means, you should only ever use pH balanced products on your skin.

‘Stripping’ your acid mantle with super alkaline or very acidic products is a no-no.

Things like bar soap are very alkaline, sitting between 8-10 on the pH scale – a far stretch from the correct pH of 4.5-5.5.

Ever washed with soap or a cleanser that left your skin feeling tight, dry or sensitive? It’s your skin saying yo – that pH is killin’ my acid mantle mojo.

Symptoms of a disrupted acid mantle

When your acid mantle is disrupted, stripped or had its pH changed it can:

  • Become dry and flaky
  • Feel tight
  • Overproduce oil
  • Break out
  • Become sensitive
  • Look red
  • Be irritated or itchy
  • Show premature signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and skin sagging
  • Have enlarged pores

We’ve all battled with those things, but who knew they could be attributed to an imbalanced acid mantle?

The #1 rule for a healthy acid mantle

Only use cleansing and exfoliating products that are pH balanced on your skin!

If you’re unsure, try it and your skin will tell you if it’s right or not. Learn to listen in.

My favourite products for skin health & acid mantle balance

It’s no coincidence that the range we use at Clarity is also our pick for natural, nourishing, effective and acid-mantle-friendly skincare. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Meet Y Natural

We absolutely love this local, organic and seriously yummy skincare range that respects the needs of your skin. We’ve had such great feedback from people about switching to Y Natural (but of course, it’s extremely personal! Always try it for yourself, first.)

Both cleansers from the Y Natural range are perfect for keeping skin clean whilst being gentle on the acid mantle.

For dry, mature & normal skin types

The 101 LUXURY cleansing lotion with Rose Otto and Calendula will be fantastic for you.

For combination to oily skin types

The 102 CLEAN foaming cleanser with Rosalina and Lavender will be your new best friend.

If you experience tightness after cleansing – or any of the above symptoms – never fear! Here’s my favourite remedy.

The 601 NOURISH luxury treatment from Y Natural mimics and improves the function of your acid mantle. It restores all that hydration, while repairing premature signs of ageing, bringing back the glow of healthy skin.

It’s a nourishing and delicious mix of the following certified organic oils:

  • Safflower (light yet moisturising)
  • Jojoba (mimics your skin’s sebum)
  • Macadamia nut (promotes suppleness)
  • Avocado (high in vitamins A, B and D)
  • Evening primrose (helps stop moisture loss)
  • Rosehip fruit (high in vitamin C, perfect for reversing sun damage and is the ultimate anti-ager)
  • Sunflower (high in vitamin E to reduce dryness and improve skin scarring)

It also includes a blend of Bulgarian Rose Otto, Myrrh, Patchouli, Frankincense and Carrot seed essential oils to further restore, hydrate and nourish. It’s really special!

I hope this illuminates an otherwise invisible part of your largest organ – the skin’s acid mantle!

If you’ve got problem skin, be sure to check the pH of your skincare products and consider giving love to your acid mantle. It plays a vital role in keeping moisture in, nasties out, and skin looking radiant and youthful.


Helping you Seek Clarity.


Like your own educational and personalised consult and facial with Chantal (as well as trying out the yummy certified organic Y Natural range)?

Book here with one click.

Can’t wait to see you soon!

Clarity Admin

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