The skin acid mantle - What does it do?

What is the skin acid mantle?

The skin acid mantle is the layer between the epidermis (the epidermis, and the skin secretions, such as perspiration.) The healthy mantle has a pH of between 4.5 and 5.75, and serves as the first protection against microorganisms.[1]

What is a pH?

The pH is a chemical scale to divide acids and bases, due to their strength. The abbreviation pH stands for the Latin "potentia hydrogenii", which means something like "The power of hydrogen (potentia - power, force, hydrogenii - (des) hydrogen (s))". The pH is a scale of 0-14, which indicates the ratio of hydrogen ions (H +) or oxonium ions (H3O +) and hydroxide ions (OH-). A pH below mid-point 7 is acidic (ie 0-6) and a pH above 7 is basic (8-14). In addition, the scale becomes exponentially larger because with each one-digit change, the concentration of the particular particle increases increased by 10 times. [2]

→ A pH of 7 indicates the middle of the scale, here the amount of H + and OH- is equal to 1: 1 - e.g. Water has a pH of 7. It is considered neutral

→ A pH value of 6 is acidic, so that the amount of H + increases tenfold, the ratio is now 10: 1 - mineral water is slightly acidic with a pH of 6

→ If you now go to a pH of 5, the ratio is 10 × 10 to 1, ie 100: 1. At a pH of 4 therefore 100 × 10 to 1, ie 1000: 1 and so on. - Coffee has a pH of 5 and wine a pH of 4.

→ This also goes in the other direction, so a pH of 8 in the ratio 1:10, a pH of 9 1: 100, etc. - seawater has a pH of about 8 and soap one of about 9

When you hear the word "acid" or "base" you immediately think of the worst of the worst. But the corrosivity of acids and bases are dependent on many factors. Thus, pure acetic acid is highly corrosive to metals, and causes severe burns, diluted to 3-12%, we find them in the household for cooking, and diluted to the 30% as a detergent. Also, while pH is not always the key, hydrofluoric acid (HF) is not as strong a acid as hydrochloric acid (HCl), but the fluorine particle causes much worse, damage, much quicker than the chlorine particle.[3]

What is the significance of pH in the human organism?

In different areas of our body, we need different pH levels to perform important functions. Thus, e.g. because hemoglobin in the blood absorb less oxygen in acidic conditions, in basic then more. Acidification of the blood - acidosis - or under-acidification of the blood - alkalosis - has a negative effect on blood pressure. In the stomach is hydrochloric acid, with which we decompose food. There we find a pH of 1-4, depending on the time of day and diet. Our saliva is also acid to neutral, depending on the time of day and diet.[4]

What significance does the pH have on the skin?

The pH that is present on the skin is part of our natural defense. It helps kill harmful microorganisms and keeps our natural skin flora alive. In general, it is slightly lower in men than in women, in babies slightly higher (about 5.5 - 6.5), as this protection is not yet fully developed. The skin flora is a complex mixture of different microorganisms, ie bacteria and fungi. They sometimes help to preserve the protective mantle by converting fats to fatty acids, thereby killing other, worse pathogens (corynebacteria), or giving us humans our individual body odor (Brevibacterium). Basically, they are harmless, but for people with intact immune systems, for people with immune system disorders, they can lead to diseases and inflammation (streptococci). Generally, one distinguishes between bacteria that are alkaliphilic and acidophilic. Too high a pH on the skin can lead to diseases such as dermatitis, seborrheic eczema, or infectious diseases. In turn, too low a pH can cause redness, irritation and dryness.[5]

Should you use acid, skin neutral, or basic cosmetics?

First of all, the word "skin neutral" is often misunderstood, because it does not mean that a product has a pH of 7 (chemically neutral), but a 4.7-5.5. So a pH neutral product is not chemically neutral, but neutral in relation to the pH of the skin. In healthy people, it does not matter what pH a cosmetic product has. The effect of each article determines their pH, so creams are mostly acidic, shampoos and soaps mostly basic. The skin acid mantle returns to its original level after only a few hours. People with disease conditions are more susceptible now and again to the fact that the pH does not recover so quickly.[6]

The controversy surrounding the skin acid mantle

The opinions differ here, whether the skin acid mantle is just a great advertising trick of the industry, or more. It is not agreed, since you could not make a 100% statement to the benefit of the coat. As a counter-argument, there is the "hyperacidity", this is about our body has too many acidic media, and these are removed via the skin. However, this theory has not been proven, and is often used as an argument by Naturopaths, and Alternative Medicine application, if not the last to sell their products. So far we cant say exactly who is wrong and who is right.[7]

Sources and information to read:


Article of the German skin and Allergy Aid e.V [5]

Detox - What is detox?

What does "detox" actually mean?

The word "detox" comes from the Latin or English. (Detoxifying) and means to detoxify. The term describes some processes and has a wide range of applications. So does it describes:

Physiological detoxification, i. the metabolism of toxins

The degradation of xenobiotics within the cells

Purifying the body in alternative medicine

The phase of withdrawal in dependence disorders

The sewage cleaning

In the sewage cleaning cadmium, zinc, lead, as well as chromates, cyanides and nitrites are removed from the water cycle. In the case of withdrawal, detoxification is the phase in which addiction is lowered or left out altogether. This allows the body to start detoxifying, as no new toxic substances are supplied.[1]

What is biological detoxing?

Detoxing is usually associated only with alternative medicine. If one hears of "detox cures" or "detoxing", the detoxification of the body is u.a. by systematic diets or esoteric practices such as e.g. meant by healing stones. They should purify the body and help with the natural detoxification of our organism. Physiological detoxification is the process by which toxins are biotransformed, harmless or at least less toxic. This is done through the liver and kidneys. Biotransformation mainly refers to the transformation of non-excretable, fat-soluble substances into precipitable water-soluble substances. [2]

Why does not "detox" describe all processes, though that does mean it?

While the word "detox" is more relevant than alternative medicine, it is mainly associated with it, making it unsuitable for designating the actual degradation of toxins. It is a difference whether plant or animal poisons, or synthetic substances from our environment or private life, e.g. Alcohol or caffeine can be processed, or maybe you want to lower your cholesterol level. "Detox" has long been almost as good as the alternative medicine, and the "detoxification" is, in the vernacular, for a long time no longer suitable for the reduction of actual poisons. [3]

What kind of problems arise from this?

Language is an aspect of people that changes as fast as people themselves. Over time, words can change in their pronunciation, spelling, but also in their message. "Detox" and the German word "detoxification" are in the vernacular, in their original meaning meanwhile so modified that they, despite their logical implications, but usually do not have to mean what they should. So anyone can use "detox" as a promotional tool, and has to do only minimal effects to make it legitimate. If one reads of detox juice diets, this is exactly what it promises, a detoxification cure. If one reads of detoxification of the blood by dialysis, this is exactly what it says. However, completely different processes. One is intended to bring blood levels up to scratch, while the other takes over the entire task of the liver and kidneys to ensure the survival of people with severe organ damage. Both detoxification processes. Both completely different. So one tends to quickly underestimate the word "detox" / "detoxification. No diet, no healing stones or cosmetics could suffice in the actual effect of detoxification, for example dialysis. Likewise, they are by far enough if you want to experience a little healthier.[4]

What does this mean for cosmetics?

There are many cosmetics that advertise detoxification. And they are often not wrong. The skin, or the hair when dealing with toxins, whether from the environment or from your own organism, to help, to deal with them is a form of detoxification or at least the aid to it. However, one could just as well have the effect, e.g. as an antioxidant. The properties and effects that cosmetics make into cosmetics are either direct detoxification, aiding in body poisoning, or passivating detoxification (i.e., preventative protection). Finally, it is not wrong to say that a detoxifying cosmetic product works, it reinforces belief in the promised effect.[5]

Where could you draw the line?

One suggestion would be to set certain parameters that must be met so that detox can really be seen as a detox. So products that fulfill only one task, should not be advertised with "Detox". Protecting a cosmetic with ingredients as its primary target against oxidation should therefore be labeled with its actual effect, not "detoxing". Some parameters that should be met are:

They should combine multiple effects, not just one or two primary ones

They should be applied to a larger area

They should be used as a regularity, not as a virtue

The above points are also related to the field of application, so a hand cream is no detoxing, an antioxidant, antibacterial, skin cleansing, and regularly applied anti-nickel product rather.

However, how these parameters should be accurate depends on your personal feelings. With all this information, one can still say nothing conclusive about the "is" or "is not". It remains for each of themselves to make a demarcation, but now this is certainly a bit easier.[6]

Sources and information to read:


Hair loss - How is it created and what can you do about it?

What is hair loss and how does it develop?

There are different types of hair loss, with different reasons.

Androgenetic hair loss - is age-related, affecting 80% of men and 50% of women. It mainly has to do with the steroid dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which attacks the hair follicles.[1]

Alopecia areata - is a localized, circular hair loss that is mostly due to autoimmune diseases. Here, the T lymphocytes attack the hair follicles.[2]

Diffuse hair loss - refers to hair loss on the entire head, and usually has to do with hormonal fluctuations, metabolic, thyroid and scalp diseases, stress, mineral deficiencies of iron, selenium, zinc, copper, and silicon or drugs. Ionizing radiation and the metal thallium can also lead to hair loss.[3]

What can you do about hair loss?

Hair loss should be treated in correspondence to their trigger. Thus, the thyroid and kidney function parameters, blood counts, as well as the enzyme level and a trichogram provide information on the cause of hair loss. If the trigger is confirmed, one can oppose this procedure. There may be mineral deficiencies, especially of silicon, but also serious diseases. If not a serious disease is the background of hair loss, basic, gentle shampoo or mineral tinctures can be used. Alopecia areata and Alopecia totalis are treated by targeted contact sensitization using squaric acid or dibutyl squarate; glucocorticoids are also used by oral administration. Androgenetic hair loss is e.g. treated by DHT inhibitor or by the minoxidil. The action of Minoxidil is attributed to its arterial widening properties, it should come for a better blood circulation to the scalp. The exact mechanism of action is not yet clear. One should only expect no miraculous healing, because the decline in hair loss is visible only after 4-6 months. Before that push the new hair, the old out of the skin, which has the appearance of a speedy recovery, this process is also known as "shedding."[4]

Are there any side effects?

DHT inhibitors are prescription, and since they interfere with hormone levels, they can have serious side effects. In addition, squaric acid is contact sensitizing, which can cause itching and redness. Minoxidil is given as a medication for hypertension, if all other medications can not help. Side effects of topical administration include headache, itching, redness, hypertrichosis and hypertension. [5]

Are there any natural alternatives?

As a natural remedy tinctures of sage, nettles, juniper berries or nasturtium can be used. They supply the scalp and hair, with minerals and plant substances and stimulate the blood circulation. Consumption of minerals, whether topically or orally, especially silicon, selenium, copper, iron and zinc help with hair growth, as they are important roles in the body, not least in collagen synthesis. However, not every therapy will work for everyone. The cause of the hair loss should be fathomed, and the treatment of the origin of these focus on preventing the hair loss should be considered as a nice side effect.[6]

Sources and information to read:


Medical article on hair loss and antidotes[5]

Medical article on zinc and copper for hair loss[6]

Aloe Vera - The desert lily as a miracle cure?

What is aloe vera?

The real aloe (Latin Vera - real) is a cactus-like Affodillgewächs, and thus one of the lily family. It grows in many regions of Europe, is very easy to care for and can therefore also be used as a decorative plant. It has been known for decades, even the ancient Egyptians swore by the "blood" of the desert lily. [1]

What makes her such a miracle cure?

Aloe vera is used to gain two things, the juice and the gel. For a long time the juice was used against constipation. It emerges after cutting the leaves, and is yellowish in color. This color gives him its main ingredients, the anthranoids and the aloin. Anthranoids are suspected to have carcinogenic effects. Due to its toxicity, the juice has now been replaced by other means, but what interests medicine and cosmetics is the gel. The aloe vera gel is called the water storage tissue consisting of polysaccharides, with D-glucose and D-mannose. It consists of 99% water, the rest are vitamins, minerals, amino acids, salicylic acid and enzymes.[2]

What is the gel suppose to do?

The gel is said to have wound healing, anti-inflammatory and cooling effects. Cleopatra swore by the "blood" of aloe, and Christopher Columbus always had an aloe vera ointment on his digressions. It is processed for external and internal use, and ranges from creams to ointments to juices. There are preparations of aloe in ointments and creams for the treatment of sunburn, dermatitis and psoriasis.[3]

Is the desert lily really such a miracle cure?

Alles in allem, nein. Das Aloe-Vera-Gel weist einige interessante Wirkungsweisen und Anwendungen auf, jedoch ergeben Studien und Placebotests keine eindeutigen Ergebnisse. Zudem sind mit den über 200 Inhaltsstoffen nur schwer Aussagen zu treffen, welche wenigen diese Stoffe überhaupt eine Wirkung erzielen. Aussagen und Erfahrungsberichte gehen zu weit auseinander um ein klares Statement zu geben. Fakt ist, Aloe-Vera-Gel kann bei einigen Beschwerden helfen, es ist aber nicht immer so wirksam wie angepriesen. Lediglich die Einnahme von Saft oder Püree der Aloe Vera in welchem teile der Blätter enthalten sind sollten gemieden werden, da diese große Mengen an Anthranoiden enthalten.[4]


Quellen und Infos:


Arte – Xenius about Aloe Vera[3][4]