Good skin: Lesson 1

The first thing we need you to understand about your skin is the acid mantle.
Never heard of it? Don’t worry. Science class is now in session..

Covering your whole body is a fine layer, a film, a veil.. imagine it.
It’s made of skin cells mixed with the secretions of your body. That means cells + oil, sweat, tears.
Mixed together, this film is acidic. That’s important.

Because it’s acidic, it kills off a lot of things that would like to come and live inside your body: little mites, bacteria, viruses, disease… It’s your first line of immunity. Mess with it at your peril.

It has other jobs too.
As a physical ‘thing’ that sits between you and the outside world, it stops things from touching you. Pollution in the air, dust, fumes. These things touch the acid mantle, not your cells.

As a film of oils, it stops evaporation. Water stays inside your skin partly because of it.

And as a natural lubricant, it keeps your skin feeling comfortable & flexible.

If we all lived in a utopia of trees & wilderness, the acid mantle would do it’s job without any problems. But we don’t. We live in an industrialized world, with air pollution, traffic fumes and many things in the air that we haven’t yet evolved to deal with.
These things get stuck in our acid mantle, and they need removing.
We apply makeup, which needs removing.

Enter the need for Cleanser.
However you feel about cleanser, it’s a modern necessity for healthy skin. You simply can’t leave all that stuff on your face and not suffer the consequence of accelerated aging & inflammation.

Cleanser needs to be worked into the skin to mix with & break down the acid mantle, so when you wipe it away, the waste goes with it. However you cleanse, know that afterwards your skin has less acid mantle & it needs time to secrete another one.

The good news is that you have a moment in time, with the acid mantle down, where your skin is more susceptible to penetration. Use this moment to dose in some nutrients, the kinds that negate environmental damage & help skin to build healthier new cells.
This is what serum is about.
People get really confused about serum - do they need it, what does it do, should I buy one.
Everyone who cleanses should use serum. It’s a bio-hack really, making skin behave as if it’s younger, delivering nutrition as if you were eating perfectly, directly where we want it on the skin cells.

Which serum you use is actually very simple: use the one your skincare professional recommends.
It should have a base of hydrators that mimic your own natural skin hydration. Plus antioxidants for day, peptides for firming and vitamin A at night to replace the vitamin A we all lose during the day.
Sound confusing? Actually it is. That’s why your trained skincare professional is the one to choose for you.

Next you need a cream, gel or lotion. You’ve heard this called moisturiser. It’s a misnomer.
Moisturiser neither adds moisture, nor improves moisture levels. What it does is replaces the oils you washed away when you cleansed in an attempt to replace the acid mantle.
If it’s a good one, it will be formulated to be very close to bio-identical. That means it will be extremely similar in composition to your own acid mantle, if the acid mantle was very very healthy.
’Moisturiser’s’ job is to sit on the surface & throw up a shield between your skin, and the world.
It is now your fake acid mantle.

Any moisture it gives you is for the uppermost layers only. That doesn’t mean it’s pointless, far from it. But just remember it’s SUPPOSED to be for the upper layers. The ones that are nearly dead. So if you’re expecting your moisturiser to make your dry, parched skin dewy, you might be disappointed. Moisturiser can sometimes give you that effect temporarily, but really great skincare will make your skin truly healthier, allowing you to skip a day and still have glow.

After moisturiser we suggest a layer of SPF. There are lots of reasons for it, mostly sun protection, but also to reflect radiation and other waves coming from modern tech.

Makeup comes next. And that’s a whole other lesson.

I hope these articles help someone out there to navigate their skin choices, even if it’s a little bit clearer for you than before, I’m happy.
I will be writing more of them over time, and you are welcome to send in requests for topics you’d like to read more about. Personalised advice is available by appointment, myself & my team offer phone, skype & in-person consultations, which you can book online.
xxNatasha Smits