Have you ever read, “pH balanced” on a product and wondered what it meant? From irritation, dryness, to acne, let’s discuss how pH levels can either resolve or cause further distress to your skin.
What is pH
pH is a measure of hydrogen ions. It is used to specify the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Our skin is naturally designed to fight infection and environmental stress and its ability to do so is affected by its pH level.
What is pH balance in skin?
The pH level of the skin refers to how acidic or alkaline it is. On a scale of 1-14, with 1 being the most acidic to 14 being the most alkaline, 7 is considered a neutral reading for your skin’s pH. pH balance of skin should normally be ranging anywhere from 4 to 6.5. Ideally it should be slightly acidic at about 5.5. However, different areas of the body require and have a varied range. Our skin has a thin, protective layer on its surface, referred to as the acid mantle. This acid mantle is solely responsible for protecting the skin from the harmful bacteria and viruses. It is made up of
sebum (free fatty acids) excreted from the skin’s sebaceous glands, which mixes with lactic and amino acids from sweat to create the skin’s pH, which ideally should be slightly acidic – at about 5.5.
How is the pH of the skin determined?
Lactic acids, fatty acids and free amino acids play a great role in deciding pH range. Low level of pH would mean that the skin is very acidic, whereas a high pH value is more alkaline. pH levels of the skin is altered when our skin comes in contact with the soaps we use to clean our body, and also when we have skin issues such as eczema, skin dermatitis and other chronic diseases like diabetes.
pH and sweat glands:
The pH of skin is also controlled by sebaceous and sweat glands that release sebum to maintain skin elasticity and health. However, due to hormonal imbalance in the adolescent age group, this balance is lost. The result is acne and oily skin. Normal skin has balanced sebum secretion so it has a balanced pH value of 5.5. Dry skin indicates excessive alkalinity whereas oily skin indicates excessive acidity. Products which maintain balanced pH should be used in such a scenario.
Effects of aging on the pH of the skin:
New born babies have neutral pH value, which gradually gets normalized. When a child hits puberty, he/she develops more hair on the body. The oil glands in the hair follicles secrete more and more sebum, which then naturally changes the pH value of their skin. Skin of a twenty year old looks more healthy than a 60 year old because of pH control. In the younger age group, the Acid Mantle continues to develop in the body and fights actively
against bacteria to maintain a healthy environment for the skin which makes it look young. However, when one grows older, the pH starts to become more neutral or alkaline, giving space for the infections to grow and skin problems to occur.
Acne and pH:
The main cause of acne is excess secretion of sebum and pH in this case helps to control acne. The balanced pH of 5.5 helps to create a healthy environment, which keeps the bacteria at bay. Acne causing bacteria grows when the pH of the skin is more alkaline as acne cannot stay alive in the acidic environment of the skin.
How to maintain a healthy pH of your skin?
Now that we know why it is so important to maintain your skin’s pH balance, let’s see how we can do it.
1. Don’t use soaps as they are more alkaline in nature. Hence they destroy the equilibrium of the skin by making it more viable for the bacteria to grow.
2. Use Face wash or cleansing milk which are acidic in nature for cleaning your face.
3. Check your skin type. This will help you to choose correct products.
4. Don’t use too many chemicals on the skin. More use of chemicals destroys the natural acid mantle and affects skin pH equilibrium.
5. It is advisable to use natural skin care products for a healthy looking skin. But if you cannot avoid chemical-containing products then it is essential that one selects pH balanced products.
6. Always follow daily skin care regimen of CTM i.e. cleansing, toning and moisturizing twice a day.
Hope these basic skin care tips on the pH balance of the skin helps you take better care of your skin.
We at SSCPL HERBALS, have designed all our products to be completely pH balanced, taking care of all above factors to ensure that you have a perfectly glowing and beautiful skin.