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Why is pH Balance Important for Skin?

a girl drinking water to balance her skin's pH

Skin pH

It’s official now pH is the new black oil. From dermatologists’ offices to the shelf of beautiful women, “pH balance” is the phrase on every beauty's well-moisturized lips. The market has already started to flood products with its pH-focused toners, cleanser, pH strips, moisturizers, and even advanced wearable pH sensors. When it comes to certain beauty products and treatment products that claim to restore the pH balance of the skin. In the market, there is a rush for claiming to be the best available option and certainly some of the snake oil being sold.

While certain dermatologists, aestheticians, and emerging wellness gurus may have their different philosophies, all agree to the point that pH levels are very important to overall skin health. So we thought it would be great to answer some basic questions about pH balance like, What is pH balance? And why should you care about it in your search for great glowy skin?

What’s pH Anyway? A Quick Science Session For The Beginners

The pH is actually a numeric scale that indicates how acidic or alkaline a solution is. On the pH scale of 1 to 14, 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic content while above 7 is alkaline. But what does that have to do with skin anyway?

“The normal pH of your skin is at 4.7,” says Anthony Youn, MD,  plastic surgeon, Michigan U. S. The crux is that if you alter that pH, you are altering how healthy your skin is.

PH is not the only trending word nowadays but the wellness gurus are talking about how the pH can affect the “acid mantle,” a thin barrier on the skin surface that maintains its acidity. Dr. Youn said that if by any means you disturb this skin mantle by overuse of harsh products there will definitely be consequences.

Newborns have relatively quite high pH levels all over their skin. As the baby gets older, their pH levels decline rapidly. Their average pH is about 7 compared to the average pH of adults which is 5.7.

Skin pH also varies depending upon the area of your body. Like armpits, buttocks or genital areas which are less exposed tend to maintain their own natural acidity. Unlike your chest, face, and hands, which tend to be more alkaline as they are more exposed areas.

Other factors which affect skin pH are:

  • Air pollution
  • Acne
  • Antibacterial products
  • Cosmetic products
  • Changing seasons, with a different humidity level
  • Detergents
  • Antibacterial soaps 
  • Skin moisture
  • Tap water
  • Sweat
  • Overexposure to the sun
  • Frequent skin washing

What is the need to balance normal skin pH levels?

Ideal skin’s pH is 5.5, which is slightly acidic in nature. When it’s balanced on 5.5, then it is the optimum level for the skin. If it gets imbalanced then your pH levels will suffer considerably resulting in wrinkles, sensitivity, acne, or inflammation. Renowned dermatologist, Dr. Colbert, CEO of Colbert MD Products, tells us that the phrase ‘pH balanced’ is not merely a marketing ploy. “Our skin and body require a balance between acidity and alkalinity for the good level of the acid mantle which serves as the barrier to help our skin in keeping hydration in and toxicity of skin out. Anything that goes over seven is considered to be alkaline. Skin to this scale tends to be wrinkly and drier while skin that is on a large acidic scale can appear irritated, red, and itchy.

Different Ways To Check The pH Level Of Your Skin

Skin pH is one of the many aspects of overall skin health but an important one that you can observe with your naked eye too and determine the health of your skin. Taking very good care of your skin by following the CTM procedure of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing your skin can boost the overall growth and health of your skin to make it look more shiny, hydrated, and bright as it needs to be. Since CTM can also help in striking the right balance of oil that your skin needs to be healthy and to stay shiny with a long-awaited radiance.

Here are some ways to check the pH level of your skin:

Stripes For Home Test 

Many thanks to at-home pH testing kits, it is now possible to determine your skin pH in the comfort of your home. These are in the form of paper strips that are applied to your skin and then measured.

Urine tests and even saliva can measure the overall pH levels of your body but these will do little to nothing to tell you the pH of the surface of your skin.

Through A Dermatologist

A dermatologist can also do liquid pH testing in their office. In addition, they can guide you with the cosmetics and other skincare products that you are interested in.

Observe And Estimate

Another way to determine the skin pH level can be possible through careful skin observation.  Balanced skin is skin that has a soft texture of itself in absence of any dry spot present. Any kind of irritation, redness,  acne, and presence of any dry spots may all sign towards the high skin pH that is leaning towards a more alkaline scale.

Take Away

A daily sunscreen routine is also a must-have for protecting your skin from the damage of the UV light and other particles present in the atmosphere like dust to say.

Any other specific skincare issue, such as dermatitis, acne is brought to be addressed by a reputed dermatologist. They can help you in resolving underlying skin issues and help you in making your skin healthy again and forever.