The skin is the human body’s largest organ, and its primary role is protection, keeping delicate organs safe from pathogens and environmental aggressors. It fulfills this protective function through a protective film called the skin acid mantle, an acidic mixture of sebum from the sebaceous glands and amino acids from sweat.
Despite the skin’s protective role, a poor skincare routine can compromise the acid mantle’s pH, creating vulnerabilities that increase the likelihood of developing skin problems like acne and a dull appearance. Skin pH is vital to its function, so keep reading to learn the ideal skin pH and how to maintain it.
Why Is Skin pH Important?
pH (potential for hydrogen) or the hydrogen concentration in a substance refers to the substance’s acidity or alkalinity level. The skin’s protective barrier or skin acid mantle has a mildly acidic pH ideal; one study shows that an acidic pH creates a hostile environment for microbes, preventing them from colonizing the skin’s surface.
Second, the acidic skin pH limits the skin’s porosity, preventing irritation by a dry atmosphere and pollutants like dust. A high skin ph also hampers sebum production. Consequently, skin experts like paullabrecque.com recommend the Biologique recherche p50 1970 lotion and other p50 products to maintain skin pH.
According to one literature review, the natural skin surface pH ranges from 5.0 to 6.0. So what steps can you take to maintain your skin’s pH within the natural range? Below are some tips to restore the skin’s acid mantle, maintain an optimum pH, and achieve radiant skin.
Always Wear Sunscreen
The sun’s UV rays are arguably the harshest aggressors against the skin. Constant exposure to the sun’s rays compromises the skin’s acid mantle, causing sunburns that manifest as redness/ inflammation, itching, swelling, and blisters in extreme cases.
Second, one study shows that overexposure to the sun’s UV rays overstimulates the sebaceous glands, causing sebum overproduction. Although sebum is an essential skin acid mantle component, its overproduction increases its comedogenicity or propensity to block pores. Blocked skin trap dust and debris and acne cause.
However, sunscreen limits your skin’s exposure to UV rays, helping preserve the acid skin mantle’s integrity. Sunscreen contains products that form a protective barrier over your skin, absorbing and deflecting the sun’s UV rays away from your skin, preventing the rays from penetrating the skin.
Nonetheless, all sunscreen products are not made equal. Therefore always consider a sunscreen product’s sun protection factor (SPF) and other active ingredients before purchasing the product.
Purchase Gentle Skincare Products In Moderation
Besides sunscreen, other skin care products like cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and exfoliators also affect the skin’s pH. Harsh products with a high ph, leaning towards the alkaline side of the pH spectrum, raise your skin’s pH leaving it vulnerable to damage.
Second, overwashing your face, even with plain water, compromises the acid skin mantle. Therefore, use gentle skin care products in moderation to preserve your skin’s optimum pH.
Slightly acidic products neutralize alkalinity, helping preserve your skin’s pH and prevent skin irritation. Such products also serve other functions that can give your skin a natural glow, including tightening your skin to reduce the appearance of aging.
Consider Dietary Adjustments
Although external pollutants pose a disk risk to your skin’s health, what you eat also affects your skin. Unhealthy lifestyle choices like a poor diet and poor hydration habits manifest on your skin.
Foods rich in sugar and highly processed foods consumed consistently can cause inflammation, affecting your skin’s health. According to one study on skin inflammation diseases, two characteristics that inflammation conditions shared were a disturbed skin barrier and a high ph. Second, the report also shows that proper hydration helps create skin pH balance.
Therefore, consider adding healthy, anti-inflammatory foods to your diet and hydrating according to the daily recommended water intake to maintain the optimum skin pH. Experts recommend having generous portions of green leafy vegetables and acidic fruits like oranges and grapefruit daily for lush, glowing skin. Foods rich in essential fatty acids also help maintain skin pH.
Use Topical Face Masks To Nourish the Skin
Besides dietary nutrition, faces mask help nourish the skin from the outside. Second, face masks with a low pH help to restore the skin’s pH while nourishing your skin.
Fortunately, some pantry staples make fantastic face masks with antioxidant properties to slow aging and a low pH to help maintain the skin’s optimum pH. For example, honey has a pH ranging from 37.-42 and antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammation properties.
Other excellent homemade facial masks for skin pH include avocado, apple cider vinegar, oatmeal, and aloe vera. Besides face masks, other low-pH products like vitamin C serum help maintain skin pH.
Get Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep is essential in preserving your skin’s natural pH. Researchers in one study used skin pH as one of the parameters in evaluating the effect of sleep restriction on the skin.
The sleep restriction routine in the study entailed allowing participants only three hours of sleep for two consecutive nights. At the end of the study, it emerged that the average skin pH increased by .4 after sleep restriction. Therefore, consider establishing a healthy sleep routine to maintain skin pH and achieve glowing skin.
The skin’s pH is vital for youthful, glowing skin. Fortunately, maintaining the ideal skin pH is easily achievable. Therefore, include the simple and cost-effective skincare routines above in your skincare routine for an even, natural glow.