(picture from: catwalkfashion.co.uk/…/healthy-skin-month.jpg)
Skin Acid Mantle – sound familiar? It should, it is the largest and first protection we have. SAM is a layer of bacteria that covers our entire body. There are plenty of different bacteria, all specialists in their fields. For example, we have the little guy (the lash-sweeper) who comes out and cleans our lashes during the night, leaving the waste in the inner corner of our eyes…ever wonder how it got there?
These bacteria create a protective barrier against the surroundings. They are really tiny, much tinier than pathological (disease) bacteria, like a small roman army they let nothing pass. Each persons SAM is as individual as a fingerprint. When we are newly born, we have not yet developed our SAM, but it develops quickly:
- Baby 1 day old: 6 000 bacteria/square centimeter
- Baby 9 days old: 80 000 b./sq.cm
- Baby 1 month old: 3 million b./sq.cm which is a normal SAM.
The SAM needs to be protected and fed to stay healthy. Damaging agents are anything that dries out the skin or in any way has a to low or high pH. (applied on the skin):
- Too much water
To stay healthy we need to feed our SAM:
- Fats, essential fatty acids as in vegetable oils. The oils have to be cold-pressed and fresh, otherwise the essential fatty acids are all destroyed and the product filled with free radicals (BAD for the skin/body).
- pH-friendly substances; hydrosols, essential oils, macerations, herbs, clays, waxes…
The more chemical stuff there is in your skin-care, the more you are destroying your SAM. When you have the “squeeky” clean feeling it means that your SAM is seriously destroyed and the skin dried-out, resulting in…
- Pathological bacteria enters and the result can be non-hormonal acne and clogged pores.
- The skin might overproduce sebum, giving the impression of oily skin.
- Fine lines and wrinkles, premature aging of skin.
So lets look at the babies: When I read the labels of baby-products, they are full of chemicals, mineral oil, soaps, synthetic perfumes and conserving agents – all the stuff that seriously damages the SAM. And this on little babies that don’t even have fully developed SAM’s. No wonder that skin-disease, eczema and allergies are increasing in children! (and adults too).
In Ayur Veda babies are cleaned with an oil-infused dough-ball (whole-wheat flower mixed with water and almond oil) every day for the first 6 days, from the 7th day the babies are massaged with this dough-ball until they are one month old and massage with the hands (and oil) commences.
If you are interested in some more info about SAM, check here.