“Cleanliness is next to godliness” may have applied centuries ago but we have over done it when it comes to scrubbing away our acid mantles. We are literally scrubbing away our protection, a bit like what we are doing to our global protective layer … the ozone layer.
What Is The “Acid Mantle”? The acid mantle is a combination of the sweat from your sweat glands and the sebum (your skin’s natural oil). The two are a gift from nature secreted onto the surface of your skin. Please take note: the difference between secretions and excretions – both being very important to the skin. Secretions are used by the body, where as excretions are substances the body has no use for, like toxins. The combination of these two secretions, sweat and sebum, form an acidic environment which provides protection for your skin from ‘bad bacteria and germs’. I use the word ‘bad’ bacteria because there are friendly bacteria and organisms living on our skin over our entire body. For example; did you know that there are microscopic ‘friendly bugs’ that live in our eyelash roots that clean out the follicles of our lashes to keep eyelashes healthy? This is a good reason to stop using harsh waterproof mascaras as you could be unknowingly killing off these useful and friendly guys. Like everything in nature there is a very delicate balance and unknowingly we often mess it up.
So when it comes to soaps a good rule is … if it foams, it will strip. Use sparingly.
And it seems there are others thinking the same with great agreements.
From an article in Business Insider by Rafi Letzter … “a compelling argumentsuggests that showering regularly rids your skin of essential oils and organisms – and is therefore bad for your health, your scent, and the balance of life on your body. A growing body of evidence, in fact, suggests that our shampoo-scrubbed lifestyles, along with a number of other factors, are damaging a complex system that science does not yet fully understand: the human microbiome.”
And James Hamblin, MD, comes from a different angle. How much time we use to wreaking havoc on our acid mantles … “12,167 hours of washing our bodies. That’s how much life you use, if you spend 20 minutes per day washing and moisturizing your skin and hair (and you live to be 100, as we all surely will). That adds up to nearly two entire years of washing every waking hour.”