Let’s talk chemistry: pH, a.k.a. power hydrogen, measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance (usually a liquid). The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, where 1 is highly acidic, 14 is highly alkaline, and 7 is neutral.
While the human body has a pH of 7, skin has a more acidic pH of 5.5. Variance from this slightly acidic pH can cause skin health issues like breakouts, dryness and sensitive skin.
Your skin’s pH is determined by the top layer of your skin, also known as the acidic mantle. A mixture of sweat, oil, cells, fatty acids and lipids work together to prevent bacterial and fungal infections.
Because your skin has to protect against the sun, cold weather and dry air, it needs a higher acidity. The acidic mantle is also responsible for helping your skin lock in moisture for long periods of time. Working together, the chemicals prevent evaporation from the skin’s surface, helping us maintain elasticity and youthful-looking skin.
As they say: when it’s good, it’s good. When it’s balanced and in check, your pH is a skin superhero, preventing infection and signs of aging. But, if unbalanced, it can wreak havoc on your skin’s appearance.
An out-of-check pH can cause serious problems for your skin. In our teenage years, oil glands are often in overdrive, causing our pH to fluctuate. Changes in normal skin pH causes skin problems, and these issues may be experienced at any age.
An overly acidic skin pH can cause problems that include:
And equally as frustrating, an overly alkaline pH can cause:
The great thing about skin pH is that, if carefully monitored, it can return to normal over time. You just need to be careful to use products that will not disrupt or damage pH. At Hale Cosmeceuticals, our facial cleansers and creams are specially formulated with a balanced pH. This means that you are applying a neutral substance on your skin to stabilize skin problems.
There are times, especially in the winter, where some skin types need to be more conscientious of their pH. In the wintertime, you can maximize hydration by ensuring that your skincare routine is pH balanced. By stabilizing your acidic mantle, your skin will lock in hydration the way it should so you can avoid dry, flaking skin.