A. Your Skin’s pH: What Is It and How Do You Restore Its Balance?
We have seen that many of our products – especially cleansers and toners – have different functions, including balancing the skin’s pH. But what does that mean exactly? To clarify this, we contacted Rachel Nazarian, a physician at the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York to explain what is behind the pH, what effects it has on the skin and how and why it balances perfectly.
1. What is “pH” and what is your ideal “balance”?
Dr. Nazarian: The pH scale is a numerical scale (usually between 0 and 14) that measures how acidic or [neutral] something is. The skin, like all organs of the body, shows its best in an ideal closed environment, especially when it comes to pH. The skin retains its barrier at 5.5 – slightly acidic. With an ideal pH (5.5), the skin can maintain a good barrier and, together with natural oils, moisturizers and bacteria, it acts as a true protective organ. This collection of factors that make up this shield is called “acid mantle”.
2. Why is pH important for the skin?
Dr. Nazarian: Any major deviation – pH too high or too low – affects the skin’s “ecosystem” and causes inflammation and irritation as the skin’s natural oils and bacteria are destroyed. The relationship between the pH value and the bacteria results from the change in the pH value in both directions, so that the “good” bacteria can no longer control inflammation and the “bad” bacteria.
3. What are the signs that your skin’s pH is unbalanced?
Dr. Nazarian: If people complain that their skin is too red, too dry, too itchy, too scaly, too oily – for anything – it may be because the skin’s ideal balance has been disturbed and the pH has changed, resulting in a cascade of inflammation factors and swellings in the natural flora. Although the concept of pH balance is still extensively researched, it is believed that very alkaline pH leads to dehydration and decreased hydration of the skin, leading to rashes and possibly signs of aging (such as fine lines, wrinkles) throughout the skin. range in the acid pH spectrum leads to increased redness and inflammation. The same is also possible internally: we have a natural bacterial flora that strengthens the immune system and minimizes harmful bacteria. If we break this delicate balance, recent studies suggest that inflammation markers in the colon (and skin) increase and cause acne, rosacea and possibly other inflammatory skin diseases. Any deviation prevents the skin from looking, feeling and performing at its best.
4. What affects the pH balance of the skin?
Dr. Nazarian: The pH of the skin can be affected by almost everything: the skincare products you use to wash it (classic soaps are very alkaline), the frequency with which you wash and even what you eat. Similarly (and more commonly), the use of very acidic or very basic products can alter the skin’s pH. My patients are always looking for “home remedies” or Pinterest-like skin care tips to deal with skin problems naturally. However, this is extremely risky, as most household products, such as kitchen and bathroom items, have a pH very different from that of the skin.
5. What is the best way to restore the skin’s pH balance?
Dr. Nazarian: Probiotics can help restore the balance of skin and bacteria, both externally and internally. However, it is important to maintain a good topical regime and diet to reduce disturbance of good bacterial flora and pH. Many topical skin care products today contain probiotics or claim to have a balanced pH level: both techniques help to restore an ideal skin environment. Also, remembering to handle your skin with care (not to wash, scrub or use random products) can prevent the delicate acid mantle from breaking and protect your skin so you can protect it.
B. How To Balance Skin Ph For Age-defiant Skin
Some of us don’t regularly consider the skin’s pH. We cannot consider how our pH is affected by our food choices, our aggressive detergents or neglect in our daily skin care routine. However, if you are actively thinking about your skin’s pH levels, you are ahead of the game and we recommend it.
Once upon a time we all learned about pH levels, acidity and alkalinity. Our chemistry teachers showed us the colored pH scale and some of us went through chemistry labs where we measured pH levels in different solutions.
What we haven’t been taught about pH is how it affects our skin. Chemistry has not taught us that our pH has a significant impact on the quality and condition of our skin. (Perhaps we would have kept the lesson longer if we knew that we could get rid of acne, reduce fine lines and regulate our skin’s oil production with some basic pH knowledge.)
We are here to teach you what you have not learned about your skin’s pH and why it is important to be aware of your skin’s acidity and alkalinity – because, as it turned out, pH has everything to provide youthful skin.
So if you want to face your years, keep your skin in a state of resilient hydration and minimize the appearance of acne, it all starts with your pH.
1. What is the pH of the skin?
The pH value represents the “hydrogen potential” and describes the acidity or alkalinity of the skin. Our skin’s pH is essentially the water-oil balance.
A balanced pH value of the skin helps our skin to form a healthy skin barrier, also known as an “acid mantle”. The “protective acid mantle” skin barrier is a slightly acidic protective film on the surface of the skin that keeps moisture and infectious bacteria away.
2. Factors that affect skin pH
The pH of any skin naturally varies based on factors such as our genetics, our healthy and less healthy habits, our skin products, the time of year and external humidity, the makeup we use and the pollution we use to get in. in touch with every day.
a. Ph scale
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being the neutral pH. Any value below 7 on the pH scale is considered acidic and values above 7 on the pH scale are considered alkaline. Substances like battery acid and lemon juice have a low and very acidic pH. Pure water (not tap water) has a neutral pH of 7, and products like ammonia and drain cleaners have a very high alkaline pH.
The ideal pH balance for our skin is at the most acidic end of the spectrum, around 5.5 pH. When our pH is out of the ordinary and becomes more acidic or alkaline, our skin is more prone to damage. It is when our skin reacts to undesirable skin conditions, such as acne or dry flakes – and this is directly related to the production of sebum.
b. Everything revolves around tallow
Sebum is the oily substance that our skin produces and secretes. It contains our skin’s natural oils and moisturizes, moisturizes and protects our skin from damage. When the pH of our skin is at the alkaline end of the spectrum, above 7, it is not producing enough sebum. It is when we experience acne and sensitive, dry skin. Skin that is not properly hydrated with sebum is not as elastic or resilient, which makes it particularly prone to fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.
When our skin’s pH is more acidic below 7, it produces more sebum than necessary. This results in oily, oily and acne prone skin. Acidic skin is ideal for fighting free radicals and slowing down the aging process. However, if the skin is very acidic, it becomes oily, oily, with pimples, increasingly sensitive and easily irritable. By maintaining the ideal skin pH, the skin can impose a much needed skin barrier (the skin’s acid mantle), producing just enough sebum without overdoing or overdoing it.
3. Skin PH and aging
Over the years, our skin barrier or acid mantle begins to weaken. Our skin slows down in the production of protective oils that make up the acid mantle. This makes the skin more susceptible to moisture loss and environmental damage, which exacerbate the signs of aging.
Harmful bacteria, ultraviolet rays and pollutants that penetrate the skin barrier affect the production of collagen and elastin. As the production of collagen and elastin decreases, wrinkles, discoloration and hyperpigmentation form, and the skin does not recover from damage and swelling as before.
An imbalance in the skin’s pH can have a very unfortunate snowball effect on the skin’s natural aging process. That is why it is important to understand the skin’s pH, the factors that affect our pH balance and what we can do to restore a favorable balance.
4. How to check your skin’s pH
Ok, we know what you’re thinking … “All that talk about pH, acidity, alkalinity and aging, but how can I know what my pH is?”
Let’s get to the point. Knowing your skin’s pH can make all the difference. If your skin has a more acidic composition, you will want skin products that slightly increase the pH. If your skin has a more alkaline composition, you will want skin products that lower your pH.
As we know, each skin is different. Because of this, a skin care routine that works for you is unlikely to work for the next person.
5. Here are some things you can do to determine your skin’s pH
a. Watch and listen to your skin
Your skin can tell you everything you need to know. The way your skin reacts to certain skin products can tell you which products to avoid and which to add. Your skin’s natural condition can also tell you where you are on the pH scale.
If your skin has a naturally soft texture, with no noticeable dry or greasy spots, you probably have an ideal balanced skin pH. If your skin is rough in texture and dry that you just can’t hydrate, no matter what you do, then you probably have a high alkaline pH. If you are struggling with oily skin and constantly looking for blotters all day, it probably has a low and acidic pH.
b. Consult a dermatologist
One of the most accurate ways to determine the skin’s pH is through a skin care routine. Your dermatologist can use a skin pH meter to test your skin’s pH. This measurement can help you understand your skin type and the products or lifestyle changes that will effectively balance your pH.
c. Use test strips at home.
With home tests, you can measure the skin’s natural pH using a variety of methods. Urine tests, saliva tests and topical skin tests can show you exactly where your body’s natural acid / alkalinity level is on the pH scale.
6. How to balance skin pH through skin care
Once you establish the skin’s pH, you can make informed skin care decisions.
a. First things first, no more aggressive detergents.
Cleaning products and soaps that contain aggressive ingredients such as parabens, SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), fragrances and BHT (synthetic antioxidants) must be avoided at all costs. These ingredients are not good for your skin and tend to have very high pH levels that confuse your natural oil to water ratio.
Opt for gentle yet effective cleaning products (like this all-in-one cleansing cream) that do not contain SLES, SLS, silicones and harmful synthetic fragrances.
b. Do not underestimate the performance of a toner.
If your skin care cabinet does not contain natural toner, it is time to change that. The right toner can do wonders for your skin, as toners have the natural ability to recalibrate your skin’s pH after cleaning.
It is important to stay away from toners that contain alcohol. Although alcohol-based toners are effective at killing bacteria, they do much more harm than good. Alcohol dries out the skin, causing redness, irritation, peeling and, worst of all, many wrinkles.
c. Whatever you do, don’t forget to moisturize it.
Hydration is the culmination of happy skin. When the skin is hydrated, it is light, flexible, firm and soft. Nothing can repair your skin like a good moisturizer. As we age, the production of collagen, elastin and natural oils in our body decreases. (This is why it is extremely important that we continue to modify our skin care routine to meet changing skin needs over the years.)
When our natural oil production decreases, this decrease in hydration damages the acid mantle or the skin barrier of our skin. As we know, this skin barrier is critical to maintaining a healthy and balanced pH level. It is a good idea to complete your daily skin care routine with a moisturizing facial oil, hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid or a shiny moisturizer to support the skin’s barrier function for young, protected and balanced skin.
7. How to naturally restore skin pH
If your skin’s pH is not balanced, try incorporating one of these powerful ingredients into your daily routine to achieve some skin harmony.
- Vitamin C – Try a Vitamin C Booster!
- Scrub AHA and BHA
- Antioxidants – that’s why antioxidants can save your skin.
- Diluted apple cider vinegar
Thorough skin care, combined with some healthy lifestyle habits, can restore your ideal pH level and help you achieve hydrated and anti-aging skin. Use sunscreen, clean your skin every day, eat a balanced diet and avoid intense ingredients to support the skin’s barrier function and stabilize the skin’s pH.