Skin pH: How it matters to keep skin healthy and young?
We all know that everything needs maintenance. Even the things which are naturally blessed by god need maintenance for their longevity, proper working and pleasant appearance. Skin, the largest organ of our body, also needs the proper maintenance to remain young, beautiful and strong. For its maintenance skin pH matters a lot.
To maintain the skin pH we need to follow some natural skin care tips to get healthy & youthful skin
The skin at its optimal pH i.e 5.7 has improved barrier function and moisture retention. The natural pH balance of the skin can change due to various factors such as age, hormones, medicines, pollution and excessive exposure to sun.
Keep reading this blog to know:
- What is the skin pH?
- Why is it important to maintain skin pH?
- Factors that affect skin pH
- Skincare products to maintain skin pH
- Ways to restore skin pH
What is the skin pH?
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. Seven is the neutral pH level and below 7 is considered acidic pH and above 7 is considered alkaline pH.
The pH value of skin is 5.7. However, it differs across the body. If the pH value of skin changes then it becomes susceptible to damage. Your skin starts feeling dull, and becomes acne-prone. There are various ways to care for your dull skin and acne prone skin.
Why is it important to maintain skin pH level?
When skin has an optimal pH level, it possesses improved barrier function, less scaling and better moisture retention. A slightly acidic skin pH assists the healthy bacterial flora to remain attached to the epidermis.
When the acid mantle (protective film) of the skin becomes too alkaline, it becomes vulnerable to sensitivity and dryness.
Moisturizers can solve the problem of dry skin. Keep this in your skin care puch. Along with moisturizer, you can also follow some tips for dry skin.
You may like to know: How to choose best moisturizer for dry skin
If you use products with high pH, then it affects the permeability of skin and your skin becomes susceptible to skin problems, such as:
- Atopic dermatitis: Studies find higher pH values in areas of intense dry and itchy face. There are certain factors responsible for this. Free amino acids and urocanic acid that are thought to have a role in forming the acidic milieu of the stratum corneum (SC), which is the outer layer of the skin, are decreased in atopic skin.
- Tinea pedis: According to a study the foot skin pH is high in tinea pedis patients. Tinea pedis is a fungal infection, which generally starts between the toes. Its symptoms include a scaly rash, which can be itching and burning. You can try good moisturizing foot cream to control the condition.
- Acne: P.acnes grows well at pH range between 6 and 6.5. The growth is considerably decreased at pH values of less than 6. Therefore, it is very important to use skin care products with the right pH and right ingredients. One of such ingredients is benzoyl peroxide.
Wanted to know about - ‘Benzoyl Peroxide: A Boon To Acne- Prone Skin’.
- Irritant contact dermatitis: It is found that the people who are prone to irritant contact dermatitis have higher pH values as compared to others. pH induced drop in SC integrity and barrier homeostasis further increases the susceptibility to skin injury on exposure to detergents, solvents and mechanical forces.
Factors that Affect Skin pH
The skin pH level can change naturally depending upon the various external and internal factors such as:
As we age our skin becomes more alkaline, which causes pigmentation, wrinkles and fine lines. To fight against these skin problems, we need to use anti-aging cream.
Wanted to know “How Anti Aging Creams fight against wrinkles and fine lines?”
- Eating habits
There are some foods that can increase the acid in the body such as caffeine, yeast and sugar. They can show direct impact on pH level of skin. Avoid these foods. Choose foods that are good for skin. You can consume collagen-rich foods for good skin health.
Certain skincare habits can disturb the normal pH of skin. These include:
- Frequent face washing with too hot water or too cold water.
- Exfoliating face everyday.
- Using harsh face wash.
- Taking showers for a long time.
Avoid these habits and stick to healthy skin care practices.
- Using harsh soaps
The bar soaps usually have pH level around 9. Also the harsh chemicals present in some skincare products affect the natural pH of skin. Chemicals which have an alkaline pH are extremely harmful to skin pH.
If you are in the habit of using bar soaps then you can choose gentle soaps such as almond oatmeal soaps, which don’t affect your skin pH.
Some of the external factors that affect the skin pH include changes in humidity, temperature and air pollution.
Some of the medications such as chemotherapy, antibiotics and diuretics and medical procedures including dialysis and radiotherapy can also affect natural defense of skin, change its optimal pH and damage its barrier function.
The pH of male and female skin varies somewhat. This happens because the rate of sebum production is higher in male skin.
The hormonal changes later in life during puberty, pregnancy and the menopause can affect the pH of skin.
Skincare products to maintain skin pH
Skincare products have a vital role in maintaining the skin pH. Using harsh products that contain harsh chemicals can have a negative impact on pH level of skin. It is best to follow your skin care routine using gentle products such as Hydrating Foaming Face Wash,Face toner, Ultra Hydrating Moisturizer and Vitamin C Serum.
Vitamin C toner purifies and replenishes the face and provides it natural radiance & dewy glow. Get more information by reading Use Vitamin C Toner To Improve Skin Health.
Witch Hazel Pore Tightening Toner removes the dead surface skin, cleanse the pores deeply and tightens them to offer clear glowing skin. For better knowledge you can read- 5 Undeniable Reasons To Love Witch Hazel.
It is best to add topical antioxidants in skincare routine to maintain and restore the skin pH. Topical antioxidants such as vitamin C available in the form of L-ascorbic acid helps to strengthen the skin cells and protect the skin from environmental damage.
Also, look for a pH-Balanced Shampoo. Take care of the ingredients present in your shampoo. Always choose sulfate free shampoos as sulphates are alkaline and they can dry out the scalp and disturb the natural pH levels of skin.
Ways to restore skin pH :
- Drink water in abundance: Do not forget to drink lots of water throughout the day.
- Start your day with a healthy meal: Always try to add fruit or vegetables in your breakfast. Even if you are having a bowl of cereals, add some berries to it to make it more healthy and nutritious.
Also add vitamin C rich foods in your diet to enrich your body and skin with antioxidants.
- Avoid unhealthy munching: Avoid junk food as much as you can. Choose other healthy options that can reduce your cravings such as smoothies.
- Skin care routine as per skin type: You should not use a skincare product which is formulated for other skin types even if it is expensive and belongs to a renowned brand. You must choose the skin care products which are appropriate for your skin type.
For this, must go for ‘skin analysis’.
- Never skip sunscreen: Sunscreen is crucial to protect the acid mantle of skin as it provides shield against sun damage.
- Lukewarm water: The use of lukewarm water is best for washing skin. Water should never be too hot or too cold.
- Never apply lemon directly to skin: If you love lemon face packs then always dilute the lemon juice with honey and also get the benefits of honey.
- Take care of your skin: Not only the use of good skin care products can help to protect your skin. You have to protect your skin from the excessive sun exposure, pollution and dirt. Try to use scarves and protective clothing to cover your skin while going out in harsh weather.
You can take the help of Different Skin Types And Required Skin Care Routine to get more knowledge about the skin care routine.
- Incorporate apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar works best to regulate the pH levels of skin. You need to dilute it with water before topical application. You can mix apple cider vinegar and water in 1:8 ratios to form your own DIY toner.
- Switch to healthy diet: It is very important to have lots of antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables in your balanced diet daily. Avoid consuming processed foods as they increase the acidity of the body that can affect the pH level of skin.
Now you may be clear why it is important to maintain the skin pH balance. The variation in the natural pH of the skin can lead to various skin issues such as dryness, acne, bacterial infection, and bad body odour. It is not at all difficult to maintain the pH level of your skin. The above discussed easy ways can help you to maintain the pH of skin and keep it healthy and beautiful.
Also, learn 7 Habits To Avoid For A Healthy Skin to keep it beautiful and young.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
1. What is pH balance in skin?
The normal skin pH value on face and most of the body lies between 4.7 and 5.75. Skin’s optimal pH is slightly acidic.
2. What pH levels are harmful to skin?
The pH levels 9 and above, can cause drying and stripping of skin. It can lead to bacteria that results in dehydration and acne and ultimately wrinkles.
3. What is the pH of dry skin?
Dry skin can be the result of its disturbed pH, which turns alkaline. It can lead to sensitivity and wrinkles.
Related article - 10 Top Tips On Dry Skin Care