Many skincare brands throw around the phrase ‘pH-balanced’ as a marketing tool without actually explaining what role pH levels play in achieving healthy skin. Allow us to clear things up:
pH is an abbreviation for ‘potential hydrogen’ and refers to the level of acidity vs. alkalinity of your skin. On a pH scale (0-14), 0 is most acidic and 14 most alkaline. Healthy skin is on the acidic end of things (4-5.5) at which level it will look moist, plump and glowing.
Why is pH important? Healthy pH levels play a vital role in your skin’s protective barrier, called the acid mantle. When the balance is off, the mantle begins to break down, exposing your skin to all sorts of environmental damage (pollution, bacteria, toxins) and allowing the good stuff to seep out (lipids, fatty acids, moisture).
When pH goes out of whack, it usually becomes too alkaline – this is by far more common than skin getting too acidic, though that can also happen (usually the result of too many glycolic peels). Skin that is too alkaline is prone to acne, dryness and premature signs of aging.
Here are three ways to keep your pH in the sweet spot:
Throw away your soap. Instead, use a natural cleanser on your face; cream-based for dry skin or foaming for oily complexions.
Have you ever tested your skin’s pH? Share with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Want to learn more about your skin’s needs? OKU, your personal skin care coach helps take away the guess work by analyzing your skin below the surface, and giving you an assessment of your skin along with tips on lifestyle, diet and products to help address your concerns. Learn more and pre-order at getoku.com.