How to Balance Your Skin’s PH for a Great Complexion and Faster Healing
Some claim that getting healthy, beautiful skin is simply a matter of using the right skin care product. They want you to believe one jar away from a glowing complexion, erasing wrinkles, blasting blemishes, and more.
Luckily, more and more people are wising up and moving away from chemical filled “miracle” products and moving to more natural solutions.
While natural skin care practices and products can help improve your skin’s appearance, it’s important to understand what really makes your skin beautiful at its core.
Among the most important factors in your skin’s appearance is its pH level.
When experts talk about pH, which stands for potential of hydrogen, they’re talking about whether something is acidic, neutral or basic. All organic substances have a pH level, and you’re no exception.
Your body’s overall pH level is about 7, so scientists consider the body to be basic. However, your skin’s pH is slightly lower at a level of about 5.5. This means that your skin is slightly acidic.
Most soaps and cosmetics are closer to 8-10 PH, which is alkaline.
Maintaining the correct pH balance is essential to minimizing problems with eczema, psoriasis, acne, chronically dry or oily skin, and other common skin problems.
It’s important to balance your skin’s PH to the correct level because this slightly acidic environment is essential in protecting you from infection and disease. The acidity on your skin’s surface is your bodies first line of defense against the environment and is designed to keep your body’s largest organ in good shape.
When skin pH gets out of balance, your body’s ability to resist bacteria and germs lessens. This means that the skin is more prone to a variety of irritations, blemishes, and dermatitis-related problems. It also means it won't be able to heal as quickly as it could.
This is why skin pH is the underlying cause of so many different conditions. It is pillar on which everything else depends on.
If you suffer from these problems or are concerned that you’re going through premature aging, it’s important to know how to restore the natural pH of skin.
Keeping skin in good pH balance means knowing how acidic or alkaline different products are and choosing them based on whether they will help skin’s pH come close to the 5.5 ideal.
Before you can pick products, you’ll need to evaluate your skin’s pH. You can do so by looking at its general characteristics.
If you have healthy, clear skin, you’ve likely already mastered the art of pH balance.
Chronic dry skin and premature aging can mean your skin is too alkaline.
If you have regular breakouts or oily skin, your skin is too acidic.
So if the skin’s pH naturally hovers around 5.5, what exactly throws it out of whack?
Well, the short answer is...anything.
Anything that comes in contact with your skin - even simple tap water - has an effect on pH, whether positive or negative. Studies show that this effect, whatever it may be, can last up to 6 hours.
That’s SIX hours that your skin is left more vulnerable to environmental stressors, bacteria, and other threats. With this in mind, it’s important to know what the worst offenders are so you can take a proactive role in avoiding them.
Let’s look at a few.
1. Chemicals and Toxins
Often lurking in cleansers, chemical emulsifiers are a real threat because they can completely deplete your skin of its natural oils, which serve as protection.
The surfactants (detergents and foaming agents) throw pH off balance as well - one of the worst being sodium lauryl sulfate, which is alkaline. Other surfactants like ethanolamines (DEA, MEA, and TEA) are incredibly disruptive, leading to skin toxicity and even hormone disruption. Such surfactants are found in cleansers, laundry detergent, makeup, dry cleaning solvents, and more.
Other high-level threats to pH include antimicrobial chemicals known as triclosan and triclocarban. They’re used in products to fight bacteria. The reason they’re problematic is because the microflora (or bacteria) on our skin help regulate its pH.
For instance, a bacteria known as Staphylococcus epidermis is involved in the breakdown and regulation of fatty acids in our skin, which play an important role in pH. Antibacterial ingredients like triclosan are non-discriminating and will kill the good pH-balancing bacteria just as quickly as it kills the bad.
Hormones can also disrupt pH levels. Fluctuations of sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone lead to excess oil production. When it comes to skin pH, balance is the key. So just like stripping the skin of all oils is bad, having too much oil is disruptive as well.
Also, around age 50 or about the time of menopause for women, pH levels start to change, growing more and more neutral.
As skin loses its acidity, it becomes more susceptible to environmental pollutants, free radicals, and bacterial growth, which all serve to disrupt skin pH even more. This is one reason why our age tends to show through our skin first.
3. Unbalanced Products
Did you know the majority of skin care products are not pH balanced? That’s because there is no law governing them.
So really, we all need to do our homework when choosing skin care products and hair care as well (because when you rinse it out, it travels down your body, in contact with your skin, on its way to the drain).
Be mindful of soaps, cleansers, and shampoos that use detergents as they are often far too alkaline. The flip side is also true. You want to be careful of products that are too acidic, including those that contain boric acid (a common preservative).
An easy way to tell if you’re using an unbalanced product is to test it with cheap pH strips from the store. Alternatively, if your face feels super tight and dry after using a product, that’s a good indication that your acid mantle was affected. Cleansers should cleanse, yes, but they should do so gently while moisturizing as well.
Does what you eat affect your skin pH? Yes and no. There is no direct correlation between what you eat and you skin pH level. As discussed earlier your internal pH is higher than your skin's anyway.
How diet could be a cause is in the form of allergies or hormone disruption, or just poor overall body health. What you eat affects everything in your body. Thanks to the decrease in food quality, GMO's and added hormones, this can include your skin.
If you eat a well-balanced diet, it likely isn't causing your skin problems. In most cases you will see a bigger change by focusing on the points above. If however your diet contains a lot of dairy, processed foods, sugar, etc. you could see improvement to your skin with a diet that leads to a healthier body in general.
You don't have to invest in expensive products or miracle creams. In fact, many people see an improvement in their skin by giving up and using nothing more than water.
This is because most of the skin care products available unbalance the skin's pH. The cheap chemicals and fillers found on most ingredient labels may increase profits, but at the cost of your skin's health.
Instead, you can easily reset your skin with a few tips:
- Eliminate harsh cleansers and soaps (alkaline)
- Remove all chemicals and toxins that could harm your skin (many are hidden)
- Opt for botanical products rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Only use properly PH balanced skin care products
- Use lukewarm water to rinse your face
Switching to plant-based products is the easiest way to ensure you aren't using chemicals that cause pH balance issues. Taking it one step further and ensure what you use is set to a 5.5 pH.
Whether you have damaged skin, excessively dry skin, oily skin, or just want a healthier complexion- the secret to fast healing is maintaining the optimum conditions for your cells to repair.
Despite the fact that you’ve probably been using improperly balanced products your whole life, restoring your skin’s PH is rather easy if you know what to look for.
We are confident that food-grade ingredients balanced to your skin's pH makes all the difference in the world. And that is why we built a whole company around it. Our products use food-grade ingredients while being free from harsh chemicals and are perfectly balanced for your skin.
Start re-balancing your skin and join the thousands of people we've helped get healthy, happy skin!
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