The protective acid mantle
The surface of our skin is covered by a fine film of sebaceous lipids, lipids of the skin barrier and water – the hydro-lipid film. This film has a slightly acidic pH value and is hence called protective acid mantle of our skin.
What is the task of the protective acid mantle?
Microorganisms such as bacteria or yeast fungi need a neutral or basic pH value for their undisturbed growth. An acid pH value, in contrast, provides an antibacterial microclimate. It repels environmental pollutants causing irritation, itching or impurities on your skin. Additionally, the acid mantle supports your skin with a better dermal retention of moisture.
What is the pH value?
pH stands for "potentia hydrogenii" from Latin. The pH value indicates the concentration of the hydrogen ions in a solution, ranging between 0 and 14. A pH value of 7 is neutral. Acid fluids have a pH below 7, basic fluids have a pH between 7 and 14. Pure water, for example, has a pH of exactly 7. Our body has a slightly basic pH of about 7.4. This is optimal for the vital metabolic processes of our internal organs. In contrast, our outer skin has a slightly acidic pH around 5.2 to 5.6.
Why do we have different pH values inside and out?
This is due to the function of our skin as a protective outer shell against pollutants and bacteria from the environment. The outer skin of an embryo before birth, in the mother's body, still has the same slightly basic pH of about 7.4 as the inner organs. Why? The skin of the embryo in the placenta is not yet a border to the outside, but part of the surrounding mother’s inner organs. The embryo skin does not yet have a protective function against the environment. This will change with birth. Only from then on lipid-splitting enzymes (lipases) form our protective acid mantle from dermal horn cells, sweat and sebum. A proper skin care has to preserve and strengthen our delicate protective acid mantle.
What does it mean for your skin care?
If your skin care products are too acidic, they irritate your skin. If the products have a pH basic more than 7, such as classic soaps, moisture-binding minerals are washed out of your skin when it comes in contact with water. Skin care products with a basic pH value dry your skin out in the long term, weakening its defense against harmful environmental substances. PH basic skin care favors irritations, itching, redness or scaly skin with tendency to eczema.
Hence all myrto care products are adjusted to a slightly acid pH of approx. 5.0 to 5.5. They strengthen the protective acid mantle as a natural defense shield of your skin against harmful microorganisms and moisture loss – providing essential factors for a healthy and radiant skin in balance.