Why preserving your acid mantle is key to plumper, softer and calmer skin

Dryness, flaky skin, sensitivity, clogged pores, breakouts, and premature aging… if any of these sound like you, it’s time to check in on your acid mantle!

But, what is the ‘acid mantle’?!

The “Acid mantle” is your skin's outermost layer. It is a protective film made up of natural oils, fatty acids, and amino acids, and is responsible for keeping the good stuff in (e.g., moisture) and the bad stuff out of your skin (e.g., bacteria, viruses, and pollution).

Protecting your acid mantle is key to achieving smooth, calm, and supple skin, as it is your skin's first line of defense against damage!

 

How do I know if my acid mantle has been compromised?

When your acid mantle is healthy and intact, your skin is plump, hydrated, clear, soft, and resistant to external stressors. The problem is, our acid mantle is constantly under attack and can be damaged by things like harsh winds, sun exposure, air conditioning, harsh beauty products (like foaming cleansers and chemical exfoliants), and pollution!

Eventually, as your acid mantle becomes compromised, your skin can become:

  • Dry
  • Flakey
  • Red
  • Sensitive and irritable
  • Clogged and congested
  • Susceptible to breakouts
  • Dull
  • Bumpy and textured
  • Sagging or droopy with a loss of plumpness
  • Fine lines and wrinkles are overly pronounced

If this sounds like you, don’t fret! Luckily, there are a few basic things you can do to repair and preserve your acid mantle and get your complexion back to its supple, smooth, and radiant self!

 

Things we love (and loathe) for preserving our acid mantle

1. Ensure you’re using the right cleanser

What we loathe:

  • Foaming cleansers – while these give the illusion of squeaky clean skin, they are actually stripping the acid mantle of its natural oils! Avoid cleansers containing foaming agents such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, which are known to strip the acid mantle of its good oils and irritate the skin, contributing to either dry, flaky skin or overproduction of sebum (hello greasy t-zone!).
  • Cleansers containing alcohol – Alcohol is often used in cleansers to allow other ingredients to penetrate the skin; however, it also strips our skin and can alter the pH of our acid mantle leading to dryness, fine lines, and skin cell death!
  • Using just water – you would think using plain water to wash your face would be harmless, right? Water has a pH of 7, which can disrupt the pH of our skin, which is naturally a little more acidic at 4.7-5.75.

What we love

  • Gentle and nourishing, oil-based cleansers – with natural cleansing agents such as coconut oil, citrus oils, and soapwort. These oil-based cleansers break down the ‘bad oils’, makeup, dirt, and grime without breaking down the ‘good’ oils that make up our acid mantle!
  • Natural AHAs – Seek out ingredients lists with fruit extracts, a natural source of AHAs which work to gently cleanse the skin whilst encouraging fresher, clearer, and brighter skin whilst reducing enlarged pores!
  • pH balanced cleansers – soapy and foaming cleansers that strip the acid mantle are generally overly alkaline and can disrupt our skin's pH balance. Opt for a pH-balanced cleanser that will maintain your skin's natural pH levels.
 

The ideal cleanser for preserving your acid mantle?

Our No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk is a gentle milky cleanser containing a blend of nourishing oils (such as Camellia Seed, Sunflower Seed, and Coconut Oils) along with Strawberry and Apple Extracts to gently yet effectively purify the skin by removing makeup and surface impurities whilst preserving the acid mantle. Skin is left fresh and clean and feels hydrated and glowing (no post-cleanse tightness here!).

Shop our No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk here.

 

2. Toners are your friend (only if you’re using the right one!!)

What we loathe

  • Alcohol-based, highly acidic toners (such as witch hazel!) – Toners were traditionally designed to restore the acid mantle’s pH balance after using a foaming and overly alkaline cleanser and were often alcohol-based and highly acidic - which as we know now is a no-no for a healthy acid mantle!

What we love

  • Natural, hydrating, and pH balanced toners – The best way to preserve your acid mantle is to avoid those stripping cleansers altogether and instead seek out a pH-balanced toner that deeply hydrates the skin and enhances the absorption of antioxidant and skin-boosting nutrients.

Our favourite acid-mantle-loving facial toner?

Our No.2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist is pH balanced at 5.3 to assist with maintaining the skin's natural pH levels and contains a unique blend of antioxidant-rich superfruits including Kakadu, Illawarra, and Burdekin Plums, clinically proven to improve skin hydration by up to 60% in just 30 minutes! Enhanced with Green Tea and Niacinamide, this formula minimizes pores, evens skin tone, and instantly calms the skin whilst enhancing the absorption of antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients.

Shop our No.2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist here. 

 

3. Exfoliate – but not too much and with the right products!

What we loathe

  • Over-exfoliating – can break away at our acid mantle and leave our skin exposed to harsh elements, bacteria, and moisture loss! Our recommendation is to gently exfoliate the skin once a week for dry and sensitive skin types and no more than 3 times per week for oily and acne-prone skin types.
  • Peels and chemical exfoliants (e.g., BHAs) – these wreak havoc on the skin's naturally healthy state by overly stripping it of oils and disrupting the ideal pH, leaving the skin red, irritated, and sensitive to UV damage and hyperpigmentation.

What we love

  • Natural micro-exfoliants – such as rice, walnut husks, cranberry, or wattleseed. These gentle exfoliant beads ensure the skin is not damaged in the process of scrubbing.
  • Natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) – from fruit extracts such as lime, strawberry, and apple. Natural AHAs work to remove dead skin cells, stimulate collagen production, and soften fine lines.

So, which exfoliant is best for my skin?

Our & Desert Lime Flawless Micro-Exfoliant contains natural beads of rice and Australian Wattleseed in a coconut oil base to remove dead skin cells without destroying and drying the skin. Naturally-occurring AHAs from Strawberry and Lime fruit extracts boost skin’s radiance for a renewed complexion. Enriched with a nourishing blend of organic cold-pressed oils like Camellia Seed and Cocoa Butter, this unique polish gently exfoliates without stripping skin of its natural oil balance.

 

4. Feed your acid mantle with omegas and ceramides

What we loathe

  • Skipping this important skincare step – always, I repeat, ALWAYS moisturize! No matter your skin type! The benefits of moisturizing stretch far beyond simply treating dryness; it helps support your skin's acid mantle, fight free radical damage, nourish deep into the dermis, and treat concerns such as acne and fine lines.

What we love

  • Omega-rich moisturizers – essential fatty acids are a key structural component of the acid mantle. Look for ingredients such as Camellia Seed Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Candelilla Wax.
  • Natural Ceramides – ceramides help to hold the skin together by forming a protective layer limiting moisture loss and protecting the skin from pollution and other external stressors.

Best omega and ceramide-rich moisturiser?

Edible Beauty’s & Coco Bliss Intensive Repair Creme blends omega-rich botanicals (such as Camellia Seed, Jojoba, and Babassu Oil) with clinically proven natural ceramides for the ultimate hydrating cream, designed to restore the skin’s moisture barrier and visibly enhance skin radiance.

Pro tip: If your acid mantle is particularly compromised, apply a thick layer of this restorative cream to the skin as an overnight repair mask.

Shop our Coco Bliss Intensive Repair Creme here.

 

5. Throw out the retinol and other harsh chemicals (sorry!)

Have you ever used a retinol hoping it will be the quick fix to your fine lines, wrinkles, textured skin, and congested pores, only to find it has exacerbated the issues AND caused sensitivity, redness, and flaky skin?

This is because harsh chemicals used in many skincare products like retinol actually strip the acid mantle, leading to premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles, and red, dry, flaky, and irritable skin!

What we loathe

  • Retinol
  • Benzyl peroxide
  • High-dose salicylic acid

What we love

  • Phyto-retinol – AKA Bakuchiol; a plant-derived extract that has been shown to possess the same skin-plumping, brightening, and smoothing results as retinol without damaging your acid mantle!

Our favourite natural and gentle retinol alternative?

Our Beauty Reset Drops! This gentle, age-defying formula blends Bakuchiol with Squalane and Orchid extract to create an age-defying skin treatment to visibly plump and firm the skin without the side effects of retinol. Designed to be used as an anti-aging treatment, and suitable for even the most sensitive skin, Beauty Reset Drops are your ticket to a luxurious and powerful skin reset!

Shop our Beauty Reset Drops here.

  6. Swap your conventional skincare for pure, protective skincare products.

The easiest way to preserve your acid mantle? Opt for pure, botanically powered skincare formulas that are formulated with your precious skin barrier in mind. 

Here at Edible Beauty, we base all our formulas on the philosophy of preserving your skin acid mantle and ensuring the skin barrier is kept strong and intact, through ingredients that are ultra-pure, gentle and nourishing. 

You won’t find harsh chemicals, foaming agents, toxins and endocrine-disrupting chemicals in our formulas! Instead, see beautiful exotic seed oils, butters, beauty-boosting vitamins, herbs, fruits, clinically proven botanical extracts and wildcrafted Australian natives along with high-performance active ingredients such as niacinamide, squalane, ceramides and bakuchiol. This means that our formulas are not only teeming with antioxidants and skin-transforming actions, but they are also kind to your skin, preserving your precious acid mantle!

Shop our pure, acid-mantle-friendly skincare range here.

Want expert skin tips and advice sent straight to your inbox?

You may be interested

Go to Shop
Zit-zapper
Rated 4.8 out of 5
Based on 309 reviews
$64.00 AUD
Plumper
Rated 4.8 out of 5
Based on 247 reviews
$64.00 AUD
30% OFF
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 22 reviews
$64.00 AUD
Redness fix
Rated 4.8 out of 5
Based on 43 reviews
$64.00 AUD