A Skincare routine is essential for maintaining a healthy and radiant appearance. However, the importance of how it can affect skin’s pH is often overlooked. Skin pH is an indicator of its acidity or alkalinity, and it can have a significant impact on the integrity of your skin barrier. If the skin pH becomes unbalanced, it can cause a range of problems.
Why is the pH of your skin care products important?
The pH level of a skincare product affects how the product interacts with your skin. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything below 7 is considered acidic, and anything above 7 is considered alkaline.
The pH level of your skin typically ranges between 4.5 and 5.5, which is slightly acidic, while internal body pH is more neutral. This acidic environment helps to maintain the skin's natural barrier function and to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. When the pH of your skin is disrupted, it can lead to several issues, such as dryness, irritation, inflammation, and breakouts.
Skincare products that are too alkaline can disrupt the skin's natural pH balance and strip away the skin's natural oils, leaving it dry and prone to damage. On the other hand, products that are too acidic can cause irritation and sensitivity.
Therefore, it's important to choose skincare products that have a pH level that is close to the natural pH of your skin. This will help to maintain the skin's natural barrier function and keep it healthy and balanced.
What is the skin's natural pH level?
The skin's natural pH level is important because it affects the skin's ability to protect itself and stay healthy. The acid mantle, which is a thin layer of oil and sweat that covers the skin, helps to keep harmful bacteria, pollutants, and other irritants out. This barrier is also responsible for maintaining the skin's moisture levels, which is essential for keeping it healthy and hydrated.
When the pH of a skincare product is too high, it can disrupt the acid mantle and cause the skin to become dry, itchy, and irritated. This is because alkaline products can break down the oils on the skin's surface, which can lead to moisture loss and a weakened skin barrier. This, in turn, can lead to increased sensitivity, redness, and inflammation.
On the other hand, skincare products that are too acidic can also cause problems. Acidic products can cause stinging, burning, and irritation, particularly in people with sensitive skin. Additionally, using highly acidic products over a long period of time can cause the skin to become overly dry and stripped of its natural oils.
Therefore, it's important to choose skincare products that have a pH level that is close to the natural pH of your skin. This can help to maintain the skin's natural barrier function and keep it healthy and balanced. You can check the pH level of your skincare products by using a pH test strip, which can be found at many drugstores or online retailers.
What is the Acid Mantle?
The acid mantle is a protective layer that covers the surface of your skin. It's made up of a combination of sweat, oil, and dead skin cells that work together to create a slightly acidic environment on the skin's surface.
The acid mantle is important for several reasons. Firstly, it acts as a barrier between your skin and the environment, protecting your skin from external factors such as pollutants, bacteria, and other irritants. Secondly, it helps to maintain the skin's moisture levels by preventing water loss and keeping the skin hydrated.
The slightly acidic pH of the acid mantle is what gives it its protective properties. The pH of the acid mantle is typically around 4.5 to 5.5, which is slightly acidic. This acidity is created by the presence of natural acids on the skin, such as lactic acid and fatty acids.
The primary function of the acid mantle is to protect the skin from external irritants and harmful microorganisms. It creates a barrier that prevents bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens from penetrating the skin and causing infection or inflammation. In addition, the acid mantle helps to keep the skin hydrated by preventing moisture loss, which can lead to dryness, flakiness, and cracking.
The acid mantle also plays a role in regulating the skin's natural exfoliation process. The outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, is made up of dead skin cells that are shed periodically. The acid mantle helps to regulate this process by breaking down the bonds between the dead skin cells, allowing them to be shed more easily.
Unfortunately, many factors can disrupt the acid mantle, including harsh soaps, hot water, and exposure to environmental pollutants. When the acid mantle is disrupted, the skin's natural defenses are weakened, making it more vulnerable to irritation, infection, and damage. When the pH of the acid mantle is disrupted, it can lead to a number of skin problems, such as dryness, sensitivity, and inflammation. This can happen if you use skincare products that are too alkaline, as they can strip away the oils and disrupt the natural balance of the acid mantle.
Therefore, to protect the acid mantle, it's important to use gentle skincare products that are pH-balanced and free of harsh chemicals. This will help to maintain the skin's natural barrier function and keep it healthy and hydrated. Additionally, avoiding over-washing, which can disrupt the acid mantle, and using products that are designed to support the acid mantle, such as moisturizers and serums, can also help to maintain a healthy skin barrier.
Factors that affect the pH of your skin
The pH of the skin can be affected by various internal and external factors such as diet, climate, and skincare products.
A diet high in processed foods, sugars, and red meats can cause increased acidity in the body, which can affect the pH of the skin. On the other hand, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fresh, natural foods can help maintain a healthy pH in the skin.
The pH of the skin can also vary depending on the climate. In warm and humid climates, the skin tends to be more alkaline, while in cold and dry climates, the skin can be more acidic. A more acidic pH of the skin can help keep the skin hydrated and protected against external agents, while a more alkaline pH can allow irritants to penetrate the skin more easily.
To maintain healthy skin in any climate, it is important to maintain the balance of the skin's pH. This can be done through the choice of skincare products that are suitable for the skin's pH, adequate hydration, and protection against external agents such as UV rays and pollution.
How does pH affect different skin types?
This pH is maintained thanks to the hydrolipidic film, which is a layer of oils and sweat that protects the skin and helps maintain its balance.
Dry skin can be especially sensitive to pH. According to a study published in the journal Skin Research and Technology, dry skin may have a higher pH than normal skin, which can make the skin more sensitive and irritated. In addition, a higher pH can interfere with the skin's ability to retain moisture, which can make the skin feel even drier and dehydrated.
On the other hand, oily skin may have a lower pH than normal skin, according to a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. A lower pH can increase sebum production, making the skin appear more oily and shiny which can increase the risk of acne breakouts.
Sensitive skin can also be influenced by pH. According to a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, sensitive skin may have a higher pH than normal skin. This means that sensitive skin may be more prone to irritation and inflammation due to the skin's lower ability to fight bacteria and irritating substances. Therefore, it is important to choose skincare products with a balanced pH that are gentle and non-aggressive for sensitive skin. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid products that contain ingredients known to cause irritation, such as harsh chemicals or strong fragrances. With proper care, it is possible to reduce skin sensitivity and improve its overall appearance and health.
Tips for balancing pH and having radiant skin
At Tools of Nature, we're passionate about taking care of our followers, which is why we're sharing some useful tips on how to have a healthy skincare routine and choose products that respect the pH of the skin:
1. Cleansers generally have a high pH.
After cleansing, always use a toner and a moisturizer to lower pH.
2. Choose Gentle Products
Look for products that don't contain irritating ingredients and are suitable for your skin type. Natural ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile, and green tea are gentle on the skin and don't alter the skin's pH. This includes cleansers, toners, moisturizers, sunscreens, serums, and more. Read product labels before purchasing new products to ensure they contain ingredients that respect the skin's pH.If you're unsure if a product is suitable for your skin, speak to a dermatologist or esthetician for recommendations.
3. Don't overload your skin with products
Using too many products on your skin can have the opposite effect and damage it instead of improving it. It's important to know which products work best for your skin type and use them properly. For example, if you have sensitive skin, it may be better to avoid products with fragrances and strong chemicals, and use gentle and non-comedogenic products. Remember that the key to healthy and radiant skin is consistency in care and choosing the right products.
Our star product Neroli Magic Moisturizer has a perfectly balanced pH that will preserve the integrity of the acid mantle, and it’s an exceptional addition to your routine. By incorporating it, you ensure the use of a product that not only gives you an optimal pH, but it also moisturizes, smooths fine lines, and wrinkles, and has precious active botanicals with multiple benefits. And best of all, it has a subtle and inspiring aroma. Formulated with careful attention, combining the best ingredients for precise and effective results, it will help to maintain the skin's natural barrier function and keep it healthy and hydrated.
Be on the lookout for our new pH balanced toner from Tools of Nature coming up soon!
Remember, it's important to use skincare products that are gentle and have a pH level that is close to the natural pH of your skin.
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Tools of Nature Team.
Ali, S, and G Yosipovitch. “Skin PH: From Basic SciencE to Basic Skin Care.” Acta Dermato Venereologica, vol. 93, no. 3, 2013, pp. 261–267, https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-1531. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.  Choi, Eunyoung, and Jae-Ho Shin. "The Benefits of Low pH Cleansing for the Skin: A Review of the Literature." Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, vol. 33, no. 6, 2020, pp. 308-315.  Levin, Jacquelyn, et al. "Effects of a Skin Brightening Formulation and Vehicle on Facial Skin Appearance." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 80, no. 5, 2019, pp. 1417-1422.  Egawa, M., et al. "The Effects of pH on the Skin Barrier." International Journal of Cosmetic Science, vol. 42, no. 3, 2020, pp. 276-286.