How to Maintain Your Skin's PH Balance

Guest Blog Post By Noor UI Ain, Biochemist and Molecular Biologist

By Many people fail to consider their skin's needs before applying skincare products, which is why they often don't achieve their desired results. Think of your skin as a superhero cape, always ready to protect you. As the body's largest organ, it also has inflammatory and defense responses that can be triggered when you apply something unsuitable for your skin.

"Anytime your skin is dry, red, itchy, or peeling, there may be some degree of pH disruption”, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.

Understanding the needs of your skin should be a pivotal step in your skincare routine; if you neglect it, you're deteriorating your skin. You should gain some insights into a crucial aspect of skin science: the interrelationship between your skin's PH and your skincare products. Let's explore whether your skin has a pH balance and how you can maintain and restore a good pH balance.

What is the pH of the skin?

Before we go into the depths of skin pH, let's break down the basics. pH (potential hydrogen) is a measure of acidity or alkalinity on a scale of 0 to 14. A value below 7 indicates acidity, while a value above 7 indicates alkalinity. A value of 7 is considered neutral pH.

The optimal pH of the skin lies between 4.7 and 5.75, which is considered mildly acidic. This acidity is essential for maintaining a healthy skin barrier that can prevent acne or any inflammation. “This pH is necessary for proper skin cell turnover and functioning of enzymes needed to maintain skin hydration, antimicrobial defenses, and barrier function." Dr. Zeichner, MD

How is the pH of the skin maintained?
The answer to the maintenance of the skin's pH lies in the presence of an acid mantle on the skin surface. The skin's acid mantle is a protective barrier made up of natural oils, dead skin cells, and sweat. This is quite interesting and effective. Its importance can be understood through the functions it plays for our skin.
It acts as a barrier against harmful microorganisms, preventing infection and skin issues. It helps keep the skin hydrated by preventing excessive water loss.
It aids in the removal of dead skin cells and is a natural Exfoliator for the skin.
It helps in the natural healing process of the skin by providing an environment suitable for healing. A healthy acid mantle can even make you look younger, support healthy skin cell functions, and prevent premature aging.

Beneficial microorganisms for your skin: Your skin is exposed to harmful bacteria as well as beneficial ones. This beneficial microflora is involved in modulating the skin's immune system, reducing the risk of infections, and helping to minimize the risk of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Your skin's acid mantle provides suitable conditions for such microflora to grow, which is an underrated blessing. One study published in 2018 demonstrated that an acidic pH keeps the microflora attached to the skin surface, whereas an alkaline pH results in their dispersion from the surface.

How are you disrupting your skin's natural pH balance?
The skin's natural pH can be disturbed in different ways. Here are some of the reasons you're not getting your ideal pH:
  1. Hot Water: An alteration in the pH of the skin can be caused by the excessive use of hot water for face washing. It has the ability to remove the natural oils from the skin and turn it into an alkaline state.
  2. Harsh Cleaners: We often use harsh cleaners to remove dirt, impurities, and oil from the skin without knowing they can disturb the skin's natural pH. Harsh cleaners are usually of an alkaline pH, and when applied to the skin, they can change the pH to a basic one.
  3. Over Exfoliation: Depending on the type of Exfoliator used, it can have several impacts, including physical and chemical Exfoliators. Physical Exfoliators have less predictable effects, while chemical Exfoliators like alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids can lower the skin’s pH, thus disturbing the skin's natural equilibrium. Increased use of Exfoliators can compromise the skin's acid mantle, leading to higher skin sensitivity, the stripping away of natural oils, and increased susceptibility to bacterial infections.

How should you choose skincare products wisely?
You should consider these points before choosing any product.

  • Look for scientific evidence behind the skincare product claim; don't just go for "instant results".
  • Avoid highly alkaline products; they can alter your skin’s pH.
  • Look for serums with slightly acidic ingredients for acne or hyperpigmentation.
  • Avoid harsh, alkaline soaps that can change your skin's natural balance. Look for pH-balanced cleansers whose pH is according to your skin's pH.
  • Be cautious with DIY remedies; ingredients like lemon juice and baking soda can disturb your skin's pH due to their alkaline nature

Your skin acts as a great barrier for your internal body; protecting it and making it healthy is your responsibility. By using products whose ingredients, you don't even know about, you can do harm that can lead to inflammation and acne.
Although acne is a natural defense process, most of the time, your habits and daily skincare routine determine its presence. Always look for products that promote healthier skin, carefully examine the ingredient label, and if possible, go and read more about the product. You'll get a better idea of how to use the product and what quantity would be best for you.

If you have any questions or need personalized skincare recommendations, feel free to leave a comment below. Our team of experts is here to assist you on your journey to healthier, radiant skin. Remember, your skin deserves the best care, so let's work together to achieve it!

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1 comment

Love this post. I had no idea what ph was and now I know what ingredients look for in products for my issues. Thank you!!! 💗

Megan Thompsom

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