We can all feel when our skin isn’t happy. For some of us that means a breakout, for others it means dry spots and itchiness and for some of us it means a less vibrant complexion. It’s easy to recognize these signs but what’s harder is answering the question ‘why?’ Skin pH is a very important part of skincare and understanding how it affects skin may aid in answering this question.
Unless you’re a chemist (or recently took a chemistry class) you may not remember the term “pH”. pH stands for ‘potential hydrogen’ and refers to the acid/alkaline ratio of a substance. pH is a scale running from 0 to 14 where water is the most neutral element at a solid 7 pH. Anything above a 7 is considered to be alkaline (or ‘base’) and the closer to 14 the more alkaline the substance. Anything measuring below 7 is acidic. A pH reading closer to 0 results in increased acidity. All living things including your skin have a pH balance and it is important to regulate this balance to maintain healthy, beautiful skin.
The skin is the body’s first line of defense against infections, germs, and other environmental factors. This defensive power relies on the acid mantle; a thin, protective layer consisting of sebum (free fatty acids that are excreted from the sebaceous glands on the skin) and sweat. A healthy acid mantle maintains a balance around 5.5 pH, leaving it slightly on the acidic side. When your pH balance is too alkaline it will cause skin to become dry, overly sensitive and inflamed. For some, an acidic pH balance of the skin may even result in eczema outbreaks. It is rare for skin to become too acidic but when it does happen it often leads to angry pimples on the skin even for those of us lucky enough to rarely experience breakouts.
There are many factors that can interfere with the delicate balance of the skin’s pH. Younger people generally have a more alkaline pH and it becomes slightly more acidic as we age. Though these slight shifts in pH are natural with age, there are internal and external factors that can have drastic and damaging effects on skin too. Daily exposure to sun, diet, excessive sweating and more can all change the skin’s pH balance. The most common mistake people make when it comes to their skin’s pH is washing with harsh soaps and applying serums or creams that are highly alkaline. People with problematic skin tend to opt for high alkaline products that will strip off the acid mantle and leave the skin open to attacks from bacteria. Instead, using a cleanser such as CherylLeeMD TrueCider Gentle Creamy Cleanser will help to support the skin barrier while gently cleaning the skin. The CherylLeeMD TrueCider Serum contains organic apple cider vinegar as well as gluconolactone and lactobionic acids that help the skin reach its optimal natural pH and clears the skin of any imperfections. This serum combined with the lipid replacement system in the TrueLipids Hydrate, Correct & Perfect Lotion creates a healthy pH for the skin while treating fine lines and wrinkles, eczema, acne and a number of other issues.