KEEPING THE RIGHT SKIN PH BALANCE
A pH or Potential of Hydrogen, is the level of concentration of hydrogen ions contained in a substance. It is the measurement of acid and alkaline ranging from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline). When it comes to our skin, it is healthiest when there is a balance of acid and alkaline levels. The skin becomes unhealthy and suffers damage when these levels go off balance! It becomes extremely dry or oily resulting in the development of skin conditions like acne, and premature signs of skin aging like wrinkles and fine lines.
Learning to identify how and why the skin’s pH becomes imbalanced helps us determine the proper treatments, skincare products and ingredients to use for a properly balanced, beautiful and YEOUTHful skin!
WHAT IS SKIN PH?
The ideal and balanced skin pH range for adults is a slightly low level of 5.5 - 6.
A very low pH level results in inflammations, while high skin pH leads to dryness and the development of other skin conditions.
A low and ideal skin pH can be maintained by increasing skin hydration. Low skin pH encourages the secretion of more sebum, and these combined effects can effectively suppress skin aging by reducing the depth and length of wrinkles! It can also be helpful at controlling acne in the T-zone area of the face.
Research suggests that the ideal skincare, like body washes, soaps, or cleansers should be in the range of 4.5–6.5, or similar to that of the acid mantle of the skin.
THE SKIN’S ACID MANTLE
Our skin has a protective barrier consisting of the microbiome, Acid Mantle and the lipid barrier. The acid mantle is found below the skin microbiome as the second layer.
The acid mantle is slightly acidic in character, and contains sebum combined with sweat and acids. This mantle serves as an added barrier to fight off harmful contaminants that can invade and irritate the skin! It specifically functions to lock moisture inside the skin.
The acid mantle plays a very important role in keeping the skin’s pH levels balanced and healthy.
SIGNS OF pH IMBALANCE AND DAMAGED ACID MANTLE
A damaged acid mantle means our skin pH has gone off balance. Knowing when the acid mantle is damaged, and there is an irregular pH level will help us take the proper steps in getting back the balance that our skin needs.
A damaged acid mantle manifests when the skin:
- Becomes dry and flaky
- There is excessive oiliness
- Becomes sensitive
- It shows early signs of premature aging
- Becomes inflamed
- Acne and other skin infections like psoriasis develop or worsen
FACTORS AFFECTING OUR SKIN pH
Skin health and pH is affected by a number of various intrinsic and external factors. These determine the pH levels that our skin must maintain to remain healthy and radiant.
A lot of the skincare products we use, like cleansers and soaps, can affect and neutralize the acid mantle and make it too alkaline! They can strip away the skin’s natural oils, leave alkaline residue and make skin dry and irritated!
You may have stripped away the acid mantle and increased your skin’s pH above 6 when you feel that tight, squeaky feeling after cleansing.
It is packed full of antioxidants like Aloe, Green Tea and Seaweed to nourish and cleanse the skin to remove impurities and excess oil while also fighting to defend skin health and give your complexion a bright, healthy-looking glow.
Sun exposure, pollution
Harmful UV rays from the sun and artificial light can weaken the skin’s acid mantle and affect pH levels. UV rays make skin more alkaline and vulnerable to hyperpigmentation, dull and dry skin, and acne!
Pollutants from the environment and extreme weather conditions can also weaken the skin barriers and make it lose the ability to protect itself.
Our diet directly impacts our skin's pH levels, that is why a diet should not be very acidic. A lot of caffeine, sugar, yeast which are found in bread and baked goodies, grains, and alcohol can increase the levels of acid in our systems including our skin!
Our skin care habits can also disturb the pH levels of our skin:
- Using hot water to wash the face because it strips skin’s natural oils
- Using hard water to wash the face because of its high mineral composition that can irritate skin and damage collagen and elastin
- Scrubbing harshly and using scrubs and washcloths on your face irritates skin
These bad skin habits can strip off skin moisture and oils, and damage the acid mantle.
HOW TO BALANCE SKIN pH
The skin’s pH levels must be maintained to its ideal levels to make our skin healthy and keep the barrier protected. Great skin and health habits and using effective and proper skin care products are key!
1. Avoid washing with soap and cleanse gently
Bar soaps usually have pH levels of 9. They can be harsh to the skin on our face. Also, using harsh face scrubs and cleansers, hot water, and scrubbing with the use of rough washcloths can irritate the skin and strip it of its natural oils.
Always use lukewarm water to wash the face to maintain proper hydration and moisture. Use gentle cleansers that not only protect but nourish the skin as well!
Read our blog: The 9 Basic Rules of Washing Your Face
2. DIY Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has the ability to regulate skin’s pH levels. Just mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and 4 cups of water, mix well and put in a spray bottle. Use it as a refreshing toner!
3. Moisturize moisturize moisturize
Properly and regularly moisturizing the skin will keep skin hydrated and help it rebuild its moisture barrier.
Our YEOUTH Day/Night Cream is lightweight for daytime and nourishing enough to repair skin overnight. This cream provides optimal hydration for the skin to repair itself and restore natural vibrance with every application. Watch the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and scars fade with regular use.
Our Anti-Aging Moisturizer L-22 is formulated with our patented L22 Lipid Complex technology that visibly improves the skin’s barrier by not only protecting it, but helping skin repair itself by holding moisture in. Combined with a natural blend of Shea Butter, Jojoba & Macadamia Seed Oil that will surely provide superior skin hydration and help visibly improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, firmness and elasticity.
4. Go easy on the acids
Over exfoliating with the use of acids or retinol can damage skin. Learning when and how to exfoliate properly can help maintain acid balance in the skin that is needed to make skin healthy and nourished!
Read our blog: How to Use Acids and Retinol together in Your Skin Regimen
5. Use Sun Protection
Applying sunscreen regularly will help maintain pH levels and shield the skin from sun damage. Use daily and apply on all areas of the skin heavily exposed to the sun's UV rays.
6. Load on antioxidants
Antioxidants can strengthen our skin cells, and allow them to function properly. They also help protect skin from all environmental damage!
Vitamin C in particular can help balance skin pH even if they are acidic as long as they are used with other products properly!
Read our blog: The 5 Antioxidants Your Skin Must Have
Our YEOUTH Glycolic Acid 30% Gel Peel exfoliates dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, more even and smoother skin surface. Formulated with 30% glycolic acid, Retinol, and Green Tea to fortify skin and promote clarity. This peel will also help to minimize the appearance of pores, blackheads and acne.
7. A healthy diet
Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals that can make skin healthy from the inside! Consume a lot of leafy vegetables like spinach, and fruits such as bananas and berries. Avoid foods that can increase the body’s acid levels such as processed foods and cut down on sugars!
Read our blog: 4 Key Nutrients for Healthy Skin
8. Tone properly
When we cleanse, our skin’s natural oils can sometimes be stripped and washed away. A nourishing toner can be the skincare savior we need when this happens!
A good toner can help keep the skin’s pH at its optimal level. Most toners are slightly acidic. They can help balance a slightly alkaline skin that occurs after cleansing.
Toning right after cleansing can recalibrate the skin and activate the acid mantle. This makes the skin properly moisturized so it effectively protects against harmful irritants that can potentially invade and damage the skin!
Read our blog: 7 Reasons Why You Should Use a Toner
Sustaining the natural and ideal pH of our skin starts with a proper and effective skincare routine. And allowing the skin to embrace the products and ingredients that it truly needs are the secrets to a balanced, nourished and YEOUTHful skin! Embrace your daily dose of YEOUTH today and everyday!
Balancing Facial Toner with Chamomile Extracts ($15.95)
Our Balancing Facial Toner balances the skin’s pH levels after cleansing to prepare it for better absorption of serums and moisturizers, making it an optimal addition to all anti-aging skin regimens.
A nourishing natural face toner mist that moisturizes, balances and protects the skin. Chamomile and Allantoin work to soothe and heal the skin as well as minimize the appearance of pores.
Is your skin showing signs of pH imbalance? How do you treat the damage it brings? Let’s talk in the comments below!
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