What the pH#%k is going on with my skin?! All this talk about balancing the skins pH for optimal health and beauty… leaves us guessing, what is pH really and why is it so important for our skin?
pH stands for "potential hydrogen" and is used to describe the acid-alkaline ratio of a substance, which ranges from 0 (the most acidic) to 14 (the most alkaline).
The health of your body—and skin—is directly linked to maintaining the right balance between acidity and alkalinity.
"The skin's barrier, which is known as the acid mantle, is responsible for keeping in lipids and moisture while blocking germs, pollution, toxins, and bacteria," explains Patricia Wexler, M.D., a New York City dermatologist. "To work its best, the acid mantle should be slightly acidic, at a 5.5 pH balance. When it's too alkaline, skin becomes dry and sensitive; you may even get eczema. You may also experience inflammation which destroys collagen and elastin production and cause wrinkles and sagging."
According to a 2010 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology that tracked women's skin over an eight-year period, women with an alkaline stratum corneum (the skin's outermost layer) developed more fine lines and crow's-feet—and were more prone to sun damage—than those with acidic skin.
Though it's rarer for skin to be overly acidic, the result is often angry breakouts when skin goes too far below 5.5 number, it's also stripped down to the point of being red, inflamed, and painful to touch.
FOUR tips to keep your skin at the optimal 5.5 level:
1. Apply apple cider vinegar topically to the skin, use a cotton ball. It is renowned for its ability to balance the acid mantle and bring skin to optimal pH.
2. Eat an alkaline diet with lots of greens and leafy vegetables, this not only helps maintain the skins pH but will help your whole internal system feel better.
3. Stay hydrated, pH means potential hydration and being under hydrated, which most of us are, will knock your skins pH off balance.
4. Last but not least you must exfoliate, daily exfoliating dead skin cells that buildup on top of your skin is vital, exfoliating keeps skin fresh and glowing and stimulates rapid skin cell regeneration, which translates to BEAUTIFUL HEALTHY NEW SKIN.