pH (Potential of Hydrogen) is a measurement of the degree of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution as measured on a scale (pH scale) of 0 to 14. The midpoint of 7.0 on the pH scale represents a neutral solution is neither acid nor alkaline (i.e. water). Numbers below 7.0 indicate acidity; numbers greater than 7.0 indicate alkalinity.
Typically healthy skin has a slight acidic pH average of 5.5, where dry skin — is not only dry, but too high in alkaline (aka too high in pH). Symptoms of dry skin include; inflamed and blemished skin. Oily skin is categorized as not only being oily but too acidic, meaning low in pH. Characteristics of oily skin include; irritation and redness. Lastly, Chronic and Irritated skin (oily/oily and dry patches) are extremely low in acidic levels and are very low in pH. This is generally for those people with irritated/inflamed chronic conditions such as Eczema and Rosacea.
Most skin problems occur when pH is out of balance. It can become imbalanced by direct results of poor diet, stress, lifestyle, smoking, consuming alcohol, lack of exercise, too much sun exposure, poor skin care and not drinking enough water. The food we eat plays a big factor in our skins pH balance. Consuming foods such as apples, citrus fruits, blackberries and tomatoes can naturally assist in the balancing our skins pH.
Many soaps also tend to be more alkaline (high in pH) therefore affecting your skins natural balance. Looking for skin care products that contain or mentions having pH balancers are the best way to control your skins natural pH balance. If you find your skin breaking out, is unusually dry or has some other issue, try adjusting your food and water intake.
Always double-check the ingredients in your makeup as well. Many cosmetic products are oil based and use filters that can harm your skin. Stay away from products that contain lanolin oil and petroleum. These products will not only clog pores, but will also stop skin from producing natural oils needed to protect and maintain the health of your skin.
Making a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle can encourage good pH balance in your skin, as well as help to maintain the acid mantle, which protects against harmful bacteria and fungus.
The acid mantle is a thin oily film, made up of sweat and sebum, which sits on top of the outmost layer of our skin and protects skin from bacteria entering. Many of the contaminants that might enter our skin, such as chemicals from the atmosphere and harmful bacteria, are alkaline in nature, which means they have a pH of higher than 7. When bacteria are killed by acid they can’t damage the skin but if you strip skin of its acidic mantle by using it becomes much easier for bacteria to find its way in. Our skin’s natural acidity neutralizes chemicals and bacteria, which is a necessary part of the body’s defense system.
The acid mantle becomes unbalanced with the use of strong alkaline soaps, cleansers and detergents. Excess perspiration may also be a factor. If you perspire more than average, your acid mantle will have a higher proportion of sweat compared to others, throwing skin of its natural balance.
Maintain skins acid mantle by:
- Using pH balanced skin care products
- Avoiding harsh soaps
- Frequently moisturizing with a slightly acidic moisturizer
- Protecting yourself from the sun
Maintaining both the acid mantle and skins pH is a fine balance, but vital to being able to neutralize harmful bacteria, which can lead to acne, infection, or irritation. pHisoderm Cleansers restore skin back to its natural balance to help maintain healthy looking and feeling skin.