Tending to your mantle is actually not that hard: The most important lesson we can impart on you is to simply be gentle and kind. Since your acid mantle happens naturally, you don’t need to do anything proactive to encourage its formation.
Instead, just be mindful of the cleansers you are using: Make sure they are not too stripping (hint: your skin should never feel “tight” after washing, just clean, hydrated, and refreshed). You can also reevaluate how often you wash your face. Perhaps just as damaging as a harsh face or body wash is the act of washing more than you need. A good rule of thumb is to always wash your face before bed, but the rest is up to your skin’s needs. As for the body, here are our guidelines for showering frequency.
As far as overusing exfoliants and strong products: “The most important tip is that ‘less is more.’ You want to exfoliate just enough to increase cell turnover and reveal fresh new skin,” says Ife Rodney, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Eternal Dermatology. “But be sure to not scratch or damage your skin by overusing these devices or products.”
You can also use hydrators to your advantage by using products formulated with barrier-supporting, biome-friendly and pH-balancing ingredients. Look for things like ceramides, plant oils, antioxidants, shea butter, as well pre, pro, and postbiotics.