Life is about balance. Whether it’s work, family, relationships, sometimes it can feel like we’re juggling a lot and having trouble keeping the balance in check. When we can give equal time to all of the facets of our lives, we can manage stress and feel a greater sense of peace. Skincare is no different. When our skin is unbalanced we can see new issues pop up, like dryness or breakouts. The key is to ensure you’re managing pH balance in your skin. Here’s your ultimate guide to skin pH.
What is the skin’s ideal pH?
The pH scale is a numerical scale (typically 0-14) that measures how acidic or neutral something is. Like any organ in the body, the skin performs its best at about 5.5—slightly acidic. At the ideal pH (5.5), the skin is able to maintain a good barrier and, together with natural oils, moisturizers and bacteria, function as a true protective defense organ.
What causes skin’s pH to change?
Nearly anything can influence the pH of the body: the skincare products you use (for example – traditional soap is too alkaline), how often you wash your face, the environment, or things you eat.
How do you know if your pH is unbalanced?
Normal skin is calm, and not “too” anything. Not too oily, not to dry, not too itchy, not too red, etc. When you notice your skin is acting up, it’s usually because the pH has shifted, creating a cascade of inflammatory factors and unevenness in the natural flora. Although the concept of pH balance is still being extensively studied, the thought is that a pH that is too alkaline causes drying and decreased hydration of skin, leading to eczema flares and potentially highlighting signs of aging (like fine lines, wrinkles), while skin ranging too far low on the acidic pH spectrum creates increased redness and inflammation.
How to maintain pH balance in your skin
Products that are too alkaline – many soap bars have an alkalinity well over 9 – disrupt skin’s natural pH and damage the skin’s acid mantle, making it vulnerable to pollutants and infections. To maintain a healthy balance in the skin, use mild cleansers, micellar waters and always make sure your skincare products are alcohol-free. Even tap water can cause a slight shift in pH balance, so make sure to follow up your cleanser with nourishing products that restore balance to your skin.
What are YOUR favorite ways to restore balance to your skin, and your life?