PH LEVEL OF SKIN AND HOW TO MAINTAIN IT
- 17 May 2021
As you dig deeper into the world of skincare, you learn many new and interesting information. Who knew all the chemistry lectures we willingly (sometimes unwillingly) took would come back to us? To save you from another note-taking lecture, we have listed out all the important things for you to cover.
WHAT IS THE pH SCALE?
pH stands for “potential of hydrogen”, indicating the concentration of hydrogen in water. It is a measure of how acidic or alkaline an aqueous solution is. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. As we move down from 7, the closer we are to 0, the more acidic the solution is. As we move up, the alkalinity (or basicity) rises, with 14 being the most basic.
WHAT ARE THE pH LEVELS OF YOUR SKIN?
Our skin has a lot of water content and can move up and down the pH scale, depending on what you are applying on it. As it turns out, our skin demands a rather acidic state, ranging between 4 and 6 on the scale. If you have oily skin, your pH levels range between 4 and 5, followed by 5 to 6 for normal skin and 6 to 7 for dry skin. In general, a 5.5 on the scale is a balanced level of pH (your skincare goals) for facial skin as well as your body. At this pH level, there is generation of natural oils and healthy lipids. This allows the skin to balance and regenerate in its course
WHAT IS THE ACID MANTLE?
The acid mantle is a thin protective layer over the skin, made of sebum mixed with amino and lactic acids generated from sweat. It’s a secret facemask that you wear, which definitely defines your glow. This outermost layer keeps the moisture in and the harmful bacteria and dirt out. It is what determines the pH level of your skin. In fact, the name ‘Acid’ Mantle, refers to the skins’ slightly acidic nature. As we grow older, this coat of armour weakens, and our skin starts becoming more alkaline. This leads to some dreaded changes, be it wrinkles, fine lines, acne, burning, or dullness. This is why it's of utmost importance to keep this barrier healthy. And yes, it definitely is your invisible, superhero mask!
IS YOUR pH BALANCE OFF?
Does decreased moisture or flaky skin, especially after the use of a soapy face wash, sound familiar? Do you see sensitivity and redness after a bit of overuse of some alpha hydroxy acids?
This is because your pH levels have experienced a change and are thrown off from the desired level. The AHAs may feel exfoliating, but overuse of anything is harmful. It may make your skin feel irritated and prone to easy shedding. Instead, if it’s dried out and tight, it’s turning basic because of the increased alkaline content.
WHAT CAUSES THE pH BALANCE TO GO OFF?
The major cause of disbalance is the use of unsuitable cosmetics, and a few more factors that come into play. Prolonged exposure to the sun can affect the acid mantle and make it weak.
Exposure to a polluted environment and ultraviolet light are some more external factors. Certain organ diseases and the use of particular medication can also cause deterioration. Stress is another huge contributing factor that acts against a healthy pH balance.
HOW TO RESTORE THE pH BALANCE
Choose the right cosmetics
Choosing the wrong cosmetics is one of the biggest and the most common mistakes we make for our skin. Each product has a predetermined pH level, knowing which helps in aligning products with needs of your skin. Having a skincare routine that is pH-optimised is enough to get you going.But sadly we don't pay much attention to the actual chemical components of the products we use.
How can you check the pH level of products? Going back to that chemistry class, who knew those litmus papers can actually come in handy outside a lab? Turns out, you can use a litmus paper and do some experiments on your own.
pH strips that are readily available in the market can also do the trick. The best part is that they come with an instruction manual, so the process is smooth and easy.
All you have to do is put some drops of your product on the strips and match the resultant colour with the pH scale! Definitely easier than it seems.
Do different kinds of products have different pH levels? Different categories of products have different ranges of pH. Some of the common ones are cleansers, having a pH level between 4.5 and 7. Moisturizers as well as toners range from 5 to 7.5, and serums have a pH of 4 to 6. Vitamin C products are becoming popular, making it important to know their content. You should always check the concentration of ascorbic acid, and the pH level, which ranges between 2.5 and 3.5.
How to maintain a balanced pH skincare routine? Using a gentle cleanser and exfoliant on your skin is important, and you would want to take your time doing this. Glycolic and lactic acid are said to be the most gentle and appropriate to safeguard the acid mantle. Further, a mistake that you can make is skipping your toner. It helps neutralise the alkalinity of your skin and bring it down to the required level. Focus on moisturising thoroughly. Adding to your convenience, the pH levels of all our products are mentioned on the website. We bring you one step closer to finding your match. A 6.8 pH Birch Sap Cleanser, and a 6.5 pH Birch Sap Tonic Mist, is something to add to your pH balanced skincare routine!
BEST PAIRED WITH
Acne Clarifying Gel
PH Level - 6.06
Birch Sap Facial Cleanser
PH Level - 6.8
Cloudberry / Sea Lettuce Hydrating Cream
PH Level - 7.35
Have a proper diet.
An alkaline rich diet of fresh vegetables and fruits, healthy grains, legumes and nuts allows the blood to absorb more oxygen. This aids the digestion process and makes the skin clearer.
Keeping yourself hydrated is also key to improving skin health. Fixing up delicious green smoothies or soothing herbal tea is an interesting way. Regular consumption of water is also vital for the body. Cutting out junk and processed foods too can go a long way.
Try out home remedies.
Believe it or not, but you can help your skin straight from your pantry. A few examples can be of lemon and apple cider vinegar. Lemon is rich in citric acid which helps in fighting bacteria and killing germs. Prepare a simple lemon juice toner by mixing a teaspoon of it with half cup water. Apply it on your face and rinse after a few minutes.
This can help restore balance and fight fine lines. Apple cider vinegar is a natural ingredient which is rich in minerals and vitamins. It has valuable antibacterial properties which help in fighting germs. Mixing it with water in a one to eight ratio and applying it on your skin for 30 minutes can bring it back to life. It also has dandruff clearing capabilities and can make your hair feel smooth and clean.
HOW TO TELL THAT YOUR pH BALANCE IS IMPROVING?
Each person has different skin pH, making it important to understand your personal skincare needs. The direct sign of improvement is the restoration of your skin barrier, making it healthy looking and fresh. Your skin will feel not too dried out or inflamed, and the redness will start to fade away. There will be a noticeable decline in skin irritation, and you will know that you’re on the right track. You just have to keep going.
The unending details of skincare may seem intimidating, but once you start exploring, it will all be worthwhile. We hope we can bring you a step closer to your goal by sharing our thoughts, and you can do the same by sharing yours.
Tell us about the milestones on your journey of achieving the right pH balance. Let's plot newer ones as we move forward together!