Back in high school chemistry classes, you’ve most likely heard the term ‘pH', and dipped small, color-changing strips into liquids to measure their pH balance depending on where they stood on a scale of 1 to 14. Just in case you need a refresher: Anything below 7 is acidic, above 7 is alkaline and at 7 is neutral. So what is this pH balance?pH (power of hydrogen) is the level of acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Balance denotes the ratio between the two. pH balance plays a great role in beauty and skin care. The pH level of your favorite moisturizer, cleanser, or toner leaves an impact on your skin. And you may not be aware of it, in most cases, it may be positive.
What Is the pH Balance of Skin and How Does It Get Disturbed
Our skin's optimum pH should be 5.5 – slightly acidic. The topmost layer of our skin is an acid mantle or the safety barrier which retains the moisture and protects it from germs, infections, and toxins. When this acidity is disturbed, our skin becomes easily prone to irritations, blemishes, breakouts, or other skin-related troubles like premature aging.
Use of soap and harsh surfactants which usually are alkaline in nature is the primary reason for disturbing the pH balance. External factors like pollution, prolonged exposure to the sun without adequate protection, lifestyle choices like alcohol consumption, smoking, poor diet, and insufficient water consumption leads to a change in the skin’s pH. This, in turn, leads to the skin losing its ability to protect itself.
Tips to Keep Your Skin's pH Level Balanced
Here are some simple, everyday tips that will help you maintain the pH balance this summer:
1) Embrace dietary changes
Drink lots of water
Choose fresh food over processed food
Include apples, citrus fruits, and tomato in your diet. The minerals help maintain the pH balance.
2) Choose your skin care products wisely
It is a wise idea to stop using soaps and harsh cleansers. Choose pH-balanced skincare products. Avoid products that do not mention all ingredients on the packaging
Use of gentle moisturizers and oils like argan, coconut, jojoba, and olive oil is suggested as they keep your skin hydrated and help it rebuild its moisture barrier
Try to use an oil-free hydrator if your skin is oily
Apply sunscreen regularly
Toners help maintain skin pH. However, you must ensure that you wear an alcohol-free or a home-based toner like diluted apple cider vinegar or rose water
For best results, try to choose antioxidant-rich products. Look for antioxidants like Vitamins A, C, E and polyphenols on skincare labels.
3) Other habits:
Certain habits can also disturb the skin’s pH level. These include:
Using extremely hot water to shower or wash your face
Scrubbing too hard and too frequently.
There are always ways to find out if your skin’s pH levels are off-balance. Usually, your skin is likely to show dry patches, redness, acne, rashes, excessive oiliness, fine lines, sagginess, wrinkles, and so on. If the conditions worsen, immediately visit a dermatologist.