Between work and life, you usually wish to work on a balance to incorporate your time evenly in both. Be it your job demands or finding time for your family, you devote a lot of time in finding that middle ground to reach a balance in your life. But do you have a minute to spare to think about how the pH of your skin needs balance? Wondering what skin pH level is? Continue to read what skin pH level is and why you need to maintain it?
What is Skin pH level?
Turns out, your skin functions well and is extremely happy when it is at that sweet middle spot. You must have heard of the term ‘pH balanced’ in skin brands advertisements as a marketing gimmick but do you understand what pH balance is? If not, pay attention to what comes next.
The term pH stands for potential of hydrogen. It refers to the concentration of ions of hydrogen in any substance. In the early 1900s, S.P.L. Sorensen, a Danish Chemist devised this and brought a scale of measuring pH. The level ranges from 0 to 14 making 0 the most acidic and 14 the most alkaline.
Your skin requires an acid mantle to act as a barrier for the skin. The acid mantle forms when sebum secreted from your skin and fatty acids break down. It is efficient in keeping your skin moisturized and healthy by blocking all the toxins and germs from harming it.
Your skin works its best when it achieves a balance between its alkalinity and acidity. Get careless with it, and your skill will go nuts. Without any further do, read next to explore why you should be on track with the oh-so-delicate pH of skin?
Why should you care about your skin’s pH?
If the acid mantle of your skin becomes too basic, your skin may become dry and sensitive. You may experience signs of aging and inflammation due to a few enzymes that can harm your collagen levels. It mostly happens when you make a change in your skin care products very often.
When you use products which are highly alkaline, it may cause an effect on the permeability of your skin. If the permeability of skin gets compromised, it’s proximity to irritants, skin issues, and microbes may increase. Higher skin pH levels may trigger skin problems such as:
- Acne or rashes
- Athlete’s foot
- Ichthyosis Vulgaris
Higher skin pH levels accelerate the signs of aging on your skin. So, what is the ideal skin pH? How can you make out if it is balanced or not? Here is how you may figure it out.
What is the ideal skin pH? How to measure the pH of the skin?
Ideally, the skin of a person is slightly acidic. So, the pH level of the surface must be 5.5. However, it is also fine if the pH is somewhere in between 4.8 to 6. It makes sure that the barrier of your skin is active and is protecting you from all bacteria, toxins, and other harmful factors.
It is difficult to measure the pH of skin directly. However, you can take help from a dermatologist. They usually have a pH meter which helps in analyzing the surface of your skin, evaluates the condition of the skin, identifies shifts in your pH level, and tells the state of skin issues.
However, there are more ways to find out if the pH of your skin is on track or not. Usually, your skin will throw symptoms when something does not add up. Keep an eye out for the following signs and symptoms:
- Dry patches on the skin
- Redness and rashes
- Excessive oiliness
- Skin infections now and then
- Signs of aging including wrinkles, sagging skin, and fine lines
All of these signs scream out loud that the acid mantle of your skin has a problem and is damaged. The skin barrier function of your skin would have got disturbed. But how do you think it got that bad? There are several habits as well as factors that may interfere with the pH level of your skin. Glide down further to find out more about it.
Factors affecting your Skin pH levels
1. Growing age counts
With advancing age, the nature of the skin becomes more alkaline. It may cause fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, and many other issues(1).
2. Excessive exposure to the sun is harmful
The most damage to your skin gets done by the harmful UV rays of the sun(2). It weakens your skin barrier function by damaging the acid mantle of your skin causing it to become more alkaline and prone to dullness, acne, and pigmentation. Sun exposure for extended hours even in your youth can provide a kick-start to this process.
3. Using soap or harsh cleansers for your face will never work
Soaps are the biggest demons and culprits behind the interruption with the pH of your sin. The pH of soap is around nine which is much more than the pH of the skin. Application of soap on face leaves a residue of alkaline which makes your skin prone to damage and issues.
4. Eating habits have a lot to say about your skin
Your diet intake plays a vital role in the pH of your skin. Your diet cannot be very acidic. Having a lot of acid in your body will ultimately have an impact on your skin. Too much sugar, processed grains, caffeine, baked goods, bread, alcohol, and yeast increases the acid level in your body(3).
5. Your skin care habits tell the story of your skin
A few skin care habits may have a hard impact on the pH of your skin including the following:
- Using harsh cleansers
- Scrubbing every day and rubbing too hard
- Exfoliating more than required by your skin
- Using boiling water to wash face or during bathing
- Taking elongated showers
All of these skin care habits strip your skin off the protective acid mantle. Every problem comes with an answer. There are some ways to prevent an imbalance of pH of skin and bring it back on track. Keep scrolling to discover ways to maintain the pH level of your skin.
How to keep your skin pH level balanced?
Restoring the pH level of your skin requires the repair of its barrier function. It helps in making the skin hydrated and making it glowing and radiant. Here are a few simple things to follow
1. Say ‘NO’ too harsh cleansers and soaps
The foremost thing you need to do is wave goodbye to soaps if you have love left for your skin. Do not use any bar soap on your face and avoid cleansers which have harsh chemicals. Chose products which have a balanced pH level.
Avoid products that do not have ingredients mentioned on their packaging. Always use room temperature water or lukewarm water to wash your face. Using extreme temperature water for your skin is exceptionally harmful to the skin.
2. Apple cider vinegar works wonders for your skin
Apple cider vinegar is an incredible remedy for your skin. However, make sure you dilute it with water before you apply it to your face. Mix a half cup of apple cider vinegar with almost 4 cups of water. Mix them well and store in a spray bottle. You can use apple cider vinegar as a toner.
3. Use moisturizers and good oils for your skin
With growing age, the ability of your skin to produce natural oils and sebum encounters a downfall. As a consequence, the acid mantle of your skin gets damaged and affects the pH level of your skin.
Using gentle oils and moisturizers keeps your skin hydrated and helps in maintaining the moisture barrier of the skin. You can use argan, olive, coconut, and jojoba oils to keep the moisturization of your skin locked(4).
4. Be careful with acids
Ingredients like alpha and beta hydroxy acids, amino fruit acids, retinoic acids, etc. are good for your skin. However, if not used properly, these acids may prove to damage your skin’s natural defense.
Most of the products from over the counter contain these acids and are safe to use for the surface. However, if you find your skin getting dry, sensitive, and red, it implies that the product is acting too harsh on your skin and you must stop its use immediately.
5. Beware of the Sun
Use sunscreen essentially as a part of your daily routine. Sunscreen plays a crucial role in maintaining the pH level of your skin and protecting it from damage. Include a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF and make sure you apply it before you are out in the sun.
6. Include topical antioxidants in your routine
It is essential to include topical antioxidants to strengthen your skin cells(5) and to make them function properly. These protect your skin from stress and environmental damage. You can use vitamin C to balance the pH of your skin.
7. Work on to improve your diet
Your everyday diet should compile a lot of leafy vegetables and fruits as they have a high content of antioxidants. Avoid having processed food as they may increase acidity in your body. Cut down on sugar and make way for salads.
8. Keep your skin happy, and it will do the same for you
And, of course, you cannot afford to upset your skin. You need to pour care and love to it if you want to make it glow and radiant. Make time to follow a daycare and night skincare routine. Invest in your skin to make it happy, to make sure it makes you happy in return.
Fortunately, balancing the pH level of your skin is much simpler than balancing your life! Jokes aside, maintaining the pH level of your skin begins with a good skincare routine. Just make sure you respect the limits of your skin, its likes, and its dislikes. And, that is precisely how you can keep your skin happy forever. Follow these simple tips and be sure of a glowing and hydrate skin with a balanced pH.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is pH balance important for skin?
pH of your skin works to keep your skin hydrated and builds a barrier function for your skin to protect it from damage and infections. It is essential for your skin to maintain a balance in the pH level for healthy skin.
2. What are the symptoms of a person with more acidic content in the skin?
Unusual weight loss, burping, bloating bloody vomiting, nausea, hiccups that won’t go, dysphagia, etc.
3. What pH is human skin?
Human skin is slightly acidic. The balanced pH level of the surface for a human body must be 5.5. However, even if it ranges from 4.8 to 5.5, it is equally justified.
4. How can I test my pH level at home?
You can pick out a few pH test strips from a nearby drug store. You can use them at any time of the day. If you test it in the morning, the results are supposed to be more neutral and optimum. The goal is to get your morning urine between the range of 6.5 to 7.5.
5. How can I raise my pH level fast?
Consume juices of vegetables and fruits. Drink freshly squeezed lemon juice each day. Eat raisins and dried figs. Drink herbal teas regularly.