Glowing skin is always in! Beautiful skin will never go out of trend, but what does it take to keep your skin comfortable? A healthy diet, water, a good skincare routine and products that show love to your skin! But what happens, if the products do the opposite and ruin your skin? In order to avoid this nightmare, you’ll have to understand your skin from the inside. You’ll have to know the pH value of your skin and the products you use! So put on a sheet mask and let’s understand what your skin wants:
pH of the Skin
pH, i.e. potential of hydrogen is used to measure the acidic or alkaline nature of a solution/product or even Skin! It is a scale of 0 to 14, 0 being the most acidic, 14 is highest in alkaline and 7 is considered neutral. pH level shows acidic or alkaline nature of the skin. The natural pH level of the skin falls between 4.5 or 5.5, which means a little acidity is needed by the skin to protect itself from the outer world that comprises of bacteria, rays, pollution, fungi and what not!
The outer layer of the skin has a soft barrier made up of sweat and sebum secreted by the skin to ward off bacteria and other microorganisms. This soft barrier is mildly acidic in nature and oily in texture, it is called the Acid mantle of the skin. It helps to keep the skin healthy and ward off anything that is harmful.
Every skin type has a different pH level, it is important to use products according to your skin type. Oily skin has a high pH level compared to the dry skin, making it alkaline and exposing it to bacteria, pollution, and dirt. On the other hand, dry skin is acidic which results in redness, dryness, and inflammation.
When the barrier is disturbed the skin goes through various issues such as acne breakouts, redness, dermatitis etc.
pH Level and Products
Skincare products we use on a daily basis can disrupt the natural pH level of the skin. Products with high alkaline levels can dry the skin out, stripping it off of the natural oils that maintain the health of the skin. It can result in dryness and breakouts. Products with a high level of acids can also destroy the skin’s natural pH balance.
Maintaining and understanding the pH balance of the skin is tricky, generally, soaps and cleansers are alkaline in nature. One should never use soap on the skin, as it can totally imbalance the pH level. An ideal cleanser is close to level 5.
Essential oils also help in maintaining the pH levels of the skin, they’re the nature’s goodness. These oils don’t just add glow, they also take care of the health of the skin. Coconut and olive oil maintain the pH balance. Products with these oils can help your skin heal without disturbing the acid mantle.
Products with Vitamin C can be used on the skin, as it is acidic in nature and has a low pH. It is anti-oxidant and has magnificent properties. Vitamin C shields the skin from bacteria, diseases, acne breakouts, discolourations and keeps the skin younger. It strengthens the acid mantle of the skin, making it stronger and firmer. Generally, the pH level of the Vitamin C comes around 2 to 3, but when it comes to the skin, always use a Vitamin C serum that is closer to 4 or 5, as excessive acid level on the skin can irritate the sensitive mantle. Vitamin C oil or Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, which is a derivative of vitamin C should be diluted before use.
If the pH of the product is less than 4 or more than 6, you should discontinue using it. As these numbers are dangerous and you should always keep an eye out for your skin’s health.
Ways to Test the pH Level:
You can test the pH level of your skincare products with a litmus paper or a pH meter. An ideal product is closer to the natural pH of the skin.
How to restore pH Balance:
If your skin reacts to a product that has a very low pH level, discontinue further usage. Products with high alkalinity can also raise skin issues. Always opt for products that are closer to your skin’s natural pH level. Products with a pH level of 4.5 to 5.5 can easily get absorbed into your skin raising no issues.
Excessive cleansing can disrupt the acid mantle and strip the natural oils off. Cleansing once or twice a day with a mild cleanser can help improve the overall health and the pH balance.
pH level of the skin is an important issue that many of us choose to ignore, thinking a difference of a number or two doesn’t matter. But this isn’t true. It decides the overall health and well-being of the skin. A slight mistake of not knowing your skin type can worsen the conditions of your skin. It is wise to use products with natural pH levels and according to your skin type. Cleansers and toners should always lie within 4.5 or 5.5! So, the next time you indulge in a little me-time shopping spree, make sure you buy products with an adequate pH level!