SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

January 23, 2017

NAKED CHEMIST knows “skin”

This is one more example of my bad choices in post titles!   “Can acne-psoriasis-eczema, etc., be fixed?”   So I’m fixin’ it!  Jan

(The answer to the question is YES, we CAN fix our skin!)

How we hurt our skin trying to fix it,

because we’ve been mis-informed!

So,  how and why do we hurt our skin, when all we do is try to fix it, make it feel better,  look better.  Is it why we end up doing it more significant in the end.  No easy answer here;  most of us have struggled with one or more of those epidural problems.  Mine started in my teens. Had acne like so many others and we did what almost everyone does; ask the druggist or doctor.  One receives names of potions to buy OTC.  Can move from there to ‘stronger’ cleansers  > then to scrubs or beads, etc.  And finally it’s just your genes.*   Trouble with that is Mother (she of amazing beauty and intellect, had perfect skin, hair and nails), never had anything like that and was at a loss.  For reasons that I will never understand, she admired doctors and valued them to be something like agents of God – to be listened to and respected.  Tho I’m so grateful for her gene-pool. . .I’m grateful I didn’t inherit that one.  

Anyway, I went on to endure teenage acne well into my 40’s.  After a life time of  routine, normal doctoring, now in my upper 80’s I am finally understanding that Ive been  afflicted with Hormonal imbalances since my teens.  So sad.  But now i get it. . .the how’s and why’s, resulting from  one of our modern technologies — online research,  not from one of my personal care doctors.   But that would be up for discussion  another day.  For the moment, it’s the SKIN I want to speak of.  

It is not my purview to explain this subject which I regard as enormous, vital and weighty;  but also – easy to grasp without requisite background. . just given in simple terms, logically to ensure comprehension.  But I have been blessed to find one of the best minds among us today who enjoys a somewhat elevated prestige factor which has sprung from her accomplishments in the field,  scientifically based, and having a unique ability to resolve variable skin problems  for those who come to her clinic or are referred by physicians  and delivering the goods.  Further, she seems to have quite a following online as she dispenses knowledge (not easily come by), generously sharing the results of her study and practice.   She is NAKED CHEMIST’s  Samantha Miller.  (go ahead – put it in the browser and connect with her blog,  ya won’t be sorry)

Following, you will find  her “UNDERSTANDING THE ACID MANTLE.”   but there are so many other links;   she treats each of the multiple components individually so that we aren’t forced to figure out what one has to do with the other.  She makes the links and leads you to new understanding so that we can claim BACK our beautiful, healthy functioning skin, which then is able to fully do what it was designed to do.  It is totally linked to our health, aside from allowing us to reflect the beauty with which nature has endowed us. Dermatologists often send their patients to Samantha because of her way of educating and assisting others to achieve their skin’s goals  by explaining  what this is really all about.        J


N A K E D     C H E M I S T

Understanding the Acid Mantle

by Samantha Miller | Oct 27, 2014 | Products | 33 comments

The best foundation you can wear. . . . . Is glowing healthy skin

Is sensitive skin a concern?

Or is your skin dry, red, inflamed or itchy?

Then chances are your acid mantle is out of whack.

This protective acid mantle is also referred to as the hydro-lipid film.

It’s a protective slightly acidic film, that sits on the skins surface, acting as the interface between you and the world.

  • In the 1920’s, Macrhionini and Schade identified the acidity of the skin, which they called the acid mantle. They also found that this mantle discouraged the growth of fungi and bacteria; It wasn’t until much later that it was discovered that chronic alkalisation can knock this acid mantle out of balance, which can lead to inflammation, dermatitis and atopic skin diseases.

If you’re still finding the term acid mantle a little technical, let me try to help by giving you another scenario.

Have you ever washed your face with soap or an astringent cleanser, and experienced sensitivity or a tight, dry feeling?

That was your acid mantle being stripped and knocked out of balance.

As far as skin structure goes, I have to admit it’s pretty cool.

It’s a unique micro-flora that’s made up of strange secretions which cover the entire surface of your skin.

  • The oily secretions originate in the sebaceous glands
  • The water phase is from perspiration in the sweat glands, which exhibit a powerful bactericidal effect
  • Secretions also come from our natural moisturizing factor

All of which helps to keep your skin gorgeous and healthy.


Your skin’s acid mantle is made up of the following:

  • Water
  • Lactic acid
  • Urocanic acid
  • Fatty acids
  • Pyrrolidine carboxylic acid
  • Eccrine glands which secrete amino acids

These friendly secretions, help with the the metabolism of your skin.

  • They protect against environmental assaults
  • They secrete enzymes, that break down excess sebum in the skin
  • They prevent bad bacteria and viruses from entering the blood stream
  • They keep your skin soft and supple, so it stays free from cracks and abrasions
  • They boost the immune system, which produces antigens close to the skins surface; these antigens retard the growth of bad bacteria, known as pathogens

Sadly like all things in life, there are always going to be things that upset the status quo and the acid mantle is no exception.

Our world is full of different environments, some of which unfortunately have an adverse effect on our skin.

Dust, sun damage, pollutants, central heating, air conditioning, harsh treatments and astringent products all contribute towards stress in the skin, which breaks down our cells natural defence mechanisms.

Our skin’s barrier function gets knocked out of balance, and the inter-cellular lipids between our cell walls, designed to keep this barrier intact break down, creating dry skin conditions.

Lastly, the following which is part of the NAKED CHEMIST (its a huge site, with excellent comments as well),  really got me thinking. In the early teens  referred to previously, I remember Mother relating one of her stories (she had a million of them) about one of her elder relatives who had been some kind of spectacular beauty – used her own urine on her skin.  Sounded off-putting to me, but hey! Decades later while in the shower – it came to mind. . . and I tried it – (who doesn’t always pee in the shower?)  Didn’t hurt or stink or anything, but the shower rinsed it away.  So I learned nothing.  Now, having absorbed the following segment, I was deeply interested. If its true, and my Gawd – FREE. . .why the hell not?  Have written recently about the Tallow Balm I make  (and love). . .its soothing and  healing. but it isn’t moisturizing.  Apparently, my “Acid Mantle’ is deeply hurt and having a problem.  So following the advise from one of the commenters, I gathered a supply and am using it. It was suggested to spray on the skin > then, apply your cream or whatever.   I swear, its working.  Hands are happier now. And keep your little supply in frig as its 100% pure – no preservatives in it)




  1. Hi I accidentally found this whilst browsing a site and well you can imagine my suprise. So I want to say a HUGE thank you, how lovely of you to give my site and article such wonderful feedback. I love all things skin and am so glad people like you find it useful. Kind regards Samantha at The Naked Chemist

    Comment by samanthamiller141 — April 23, 2017 @ 11:12 pm | Reply

    • Samantha, I am so honored that you would take the time to stop in and say hello. It is I who should be thanking you. Your site is to me, very exciting, for you are not only truly knowledgable, but a sharer (a trait I find easy to understand). You cannot know the hours I’ve spent on your sites, trying to absorb even an inkling of what you know.. . and it has served me well. Thank you precious person – – I am indebted to you. Jan

      Comment by Jan Turner — April 24, 2017 @ 8:37 am | Reply

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