Ever read ‘ph balanced’ on product labels? Might have, but never understood its relation with skin. Nonetheless, pH balance is important for skin cells to work properly. If this balance doesn’t exist, it could cause a lot of distress to your skin.
The pH level of skin tells about acidity or the alkalinity of your skin. The pH level of a skin can be measured by ph meters which have specific scale. A pH reading of 1 indicates most acidic, 14 most alkaline and 7 neutral.
Skin is made up of acid covering of sebum and a mixture of lactic acid and amino acids from the sweat to maintain an ideal pH. So what would an ideal pH be? Ideal pH is slightly acidic, nearly close to 5.5 reading.
Skin is undoubtedly the first defence against harmful microorganisms and pollutants. But this incredible protection is provided by this fine acidic film present on the skin. This film line serves as a good barrier for the outer epidermis of the skin, known as Stratum Corneum. The acidic nature of skin makes skin less vulnerable to water and other polar compounds.
Maintaining Acidic Nature Of Outermost Skin: Why & How?
The acid film on the skin surface protects it from environmental pollutants and bacteria. It provides protection against invasion of microorganisms and supports the formation of epidermal lipids. If this acid balance dwindles skin tends to increase its pH, creating susceptibility to skin infections and skin damage.
We mistakenly believe that washing skin many times a day keeps our skin fresh. But a single swipe of soap increases skin’s alkalinity which can take at least 12 hours to restore back to normal. The increased pH makes our skin more prone to bacterial infections.
How To Maintain Skin’s pH Level?
Excess of both, acidity and alkalinity causes distress to skin leading to skin ailments like rosacea, dermatitis and eczema. There are many ways by which you can maintain skin’s pH. To keep skin pH balanced just keep a check on following:-
- Cleansers: It is important to be careful while choosing a cleanser because applying soaps to skin can leave it itchy and dry. Soaps are extra alkaline in nature because of the presence of Sodium Laureth Sulphate, which has pH level of 10. This makes it very dry and irritating to skin. So use mild cleansers and toners to keep skin’s pH balance intact. Toners remove makeup, left over makeup, control excess oil formation and maintain the acid level of the skin. This makes the skin radiant and glowing.
- Diet: Maintaining a well balanced diet, like taking in more antioxidant rich food and proper meals can help your skin to maintain the pH balance. You can even use dietary supplements, to substitute for the nutrients skin lacks, but only after consultation with a dermatologist.
- Good skin moisturizers: With age, natural oil produced by sebaceous glands is reduced and this deficiency is recovered by using moisturizers. Using good moisturizers containing jojoba, olive oil and coconut are helpful in maintaining the skin’s oil in good state.
According to dermatologists acid cleansers are less irritating than detergent soaps. Sometimes people prone to dry skin are advised to use such acid face cleansers. The best way to maintain the pH of skin is getting educating about your skin type and fulfilling its requirements. This will help you take care of your skin better.