Are you troubled with dry or acne-prone skin? Chances are your skin's pH value is unbalanced.
Your skincare routine uses several products, each with its different pH values. The acidity or alkaline nature of these products affects your skin health.
Today, we'll discuss the ideal skin pH value, why it is important, factors that affect it and how small changes in your routine can help you maintain the pH balance.
What is skin pH?
Potential hydrogen or pH is the acidity level in various substances and determines the health of your skin. The natural pH of the skin is mildly acidic between 4 and 7.
The pH value of the skin varies with gender, age and part of the body. The underarms, buttocks and genital area have a lower acidity level of 6.5, while the pH value of hands and face is more alkaline.
What affects the skin pH?
The skin pH values vary with the area of the skin. However, several external factors may affect the pH value. Some of these include:
- Air pollution
- Antibacterial products
- Shower temperatures
- Exposure to sun
- Frequent washing of your skin
- Excessive scrubbing
- Soaps and gels
Changes in the season
Why is it essential to maintain skin pH?
The acid mantle on the outermost layer of the skin or epidermis acts as a protective barrier. It neutralises alkaline-based aggressors, prevents the growth of bacteria and balances pH. A hindered acid mantle may make the skin more acidic or alkaline. It may lead to loss of water, dry skin or even make it inflamed, sore and red.
How to maintain skin pH?
You do not have to complicate skincare, but simple changes in your everyday routine can do the trick. Here are some tips you may follow to maintain your skin pH:
- Watch your diet and water intake
Include antioxidant-rich food in your diets, such as leafy vegetables and low-sugar fruits like bananas, watermelon and berries. Ensure you drink enough water to cleanse your body.
- Eliminate soaps and harsh cleansers
Choose soaps and cleansers with the right pH balance. Wash these products using room temperature or lukewarm water. Hot water damages your skin.
- Use gentle oils and moisturisers
As you age, the skin loses its ability to produce oils and sebum essential to maintain the pH balance. Use gentle moisturisers and oils to hydrate your skin and rebuild the acid mantle. Ingredients like argan oil, coconut oil or olive oil moisturise your skin. Use sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF to protect your skin from UV damage.
- Choose the right acids
Ingredients such as retinoic acid, alpha and beta hydroxy acid, and amino fruit acids are good for the skin. Ensure you do a patch test before using these products to test their suitability on your skin.
How to restore skin pH?
If your skin is unbalanced, a quick change in your skincare products can do wonders. Use products with the following ingredients to help restore your skin's pH balance:
- Vitamin C
- AHA and BHA exfoliants
- Diluted apple cider vinegar
The pH value of your skin determines its health. Monitor your lifestyle choices and skincare regime to maintain your skin health. Products with a neutral pH value can help restore and maintain your skin's health.
Skincare is not complicated and just requires a little effort and consistency.