Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Nikitha Terence (Beauty Expert)  on 18th Mar 2021

How to maintain pH skin level? Why is it important?

How to maintain pH skin level

Self-care has become mandatory in everyone's life. Be it a deep cleansing skincare routine or prepping for a high fiber diet, people have become conscious of their body needs and try their best to cope.

At some point, have you ever compared your skin's health to that of your child? No matter how much you provide, a kid keeps wanting more.

At this point, it is essential to ask yourself. Is your skin in a balanced form? If it is not, what is the reason? To answer these critical questions, let us rewind to our chemistry classes back in school, where our teacher had first discussed the pH level of water. Then there would have also been a special mention of the skin's pH level.

The reason why we all need to know about the skin's pH level and much more about it is, according to a study conducted by Greg Hillebrand, PhD. Her patients with a pH level that was more than the standard value (7 is the neutral pH level) were more prone to wrinkles and fine lines than those with the right pH level.  

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How can pH be defined for the skin? 

First things first! Let us first sort out the meaning of pH for our bodies. pH is the short form for potential hydrogen.

In a water-based solution, the activity of these hydrogen ions is monitored. A pH scale ranges from the numbers 0-14. Anything below seven can be termed as acidic, and what goes above is alkaline, which places 7 in the neutral state.

According to a study done by the (IJCS) International Journal of Cosmetic Science, the ideal pH of a balanced, clean skin type is found to be 4.7, which is nearly acidic. That's not such a bad thing because this acidic nature of the skin fights microbes that tend to spoil your skin's health.  

Why checking the pH level of your skin is important 

Even though women's skin layers are less acidic than men, it is not this way from the beginning. You see, our skin is in a neutral state right after our birth, but it soon turns acidic as days pass by. That is why, in our older years, it is essential to opt for more "balanced products" to enhance our pH level.

The acidity level of the pH needs to be maintained well to help the skin mantle (a protective layer that keeps the free radicals out and stores the moisture inside) restore itself. Its primary function is to shield the microbiome of the skin from external factors and collaborate well with the topically applied products resulting in fresh, glowing skin.  

The factors that affect the pH level of our skin 

The most significant personalities are said to have the weakest of hearts. Similarly, our skin is not always as healthy as it seems.

If it is treated with much care, just like any other organs, then you will feel fit and more nutritious, of course, or else the reversal process is likely to happen. Harsh ingredients, rough handling of the skin all lead to its disorder, and it can tend to develop rashes and uneven surfaces as time passes.

In the long list of the primary offenders that give a tough time for the skin, we can also include external factors like temperature, pollutants, etc.

Many surveys have alleged that the quality of the H2O, which is used regularly, can also make a huge difference to our skin's pH level. But it is a myth. According to research, tap water happens to have a pH level of 7(neutral), which is less disruptive for the skin’s natural pH.

Instead, sparkling water can end up disrupting the skin’s balance because sparkling water has a pH between 3 to 4 instead of 5.5. 

TIP:

No matter what you do, stay away from hot water as much as possible because this can quickly get your skin to dry out.

Fun fact:

If you are someone who binges on non-vegetarian food, your urine is likely to be more on the acidic side. 

What happens when there is an imbalance in the pH? 

It is all about balance!

Just the right match for the pH level can diminish all our worries. If the scale is on the acidic side, you will wake up to a red-colored face filled with marks and patches and if the scale decides to go to a higher notch (too alkaline), then say hello to those nasty wrinkles and fine lines.

It mainly depends on how much the pH count is going to attack our skin. If it is higher than the standard value, then it is going to be chaotic.

Moisture and natural oils will be stripped off your skin.

You'll have a rugged feeling right after you use your cleanser or toner. But the saddest part of it all is that these do not exhibit results quickly. Only in the long run will one be able to observe the drastic changes in their skin surface.

When it decides to go low, which is lower than the skin's pH, it does some severe damage like temporary acne-prone skin type and leaves the skin with an infected and irritating feel.

What is the role of detoxing here? 

In a very general sense, detoxing means removing toxins from not just our body but from homes, workplaces, families, relationships, and life itself. It is not a tedious process but must be done with utmost regularity and gentleness, for the results will be both astonishing and immortal.

In medical terms, there is no such thing as the detoxification of the skin. It means unclogging substances from the exterior to help out the skin barrier to do its job more effectively; after all, its teamwork matters in the end.

The main problem here is that there are no products that can help your skin detox, and even if they do, they cause a host of problems.

According to researchers, in a study conducted in 2009, it was found that when these experts had asked almost 17 companies who have been in the cosmetics industry specializing in manufacturing the best detox products, none of the companies came forward to prove their innocence.  

Fair warning!

During the detox process, keep in mind that an outbreak of acne and breakouts can occur, and this is expected temporarily. No pain. No gain! 

Interesting fact:

Our skin is said to renew itself every 30 days, and the dead cells that are shed every minute equal 40,000! 

Best Ways To Maintain The pH Level Of Your Skin 

A higher intake of fiber, leafy vegetables and fruits, is one small step that can benefit our skin and our body in the long run.

Avoid more sugary and processed foods that can make the skin more prone to breakouts or pimples.

Dr. Dendy Engleman, A dermatologist, New York-based,   recommends

one superfood that can be the best solution to bring back our body's pH to the normal level. It is apple cider vinegar: its antifungal, antiviral properties help fight the bacteria, which are the main reason behind the formation of the dreadful pimples. Smooth, soft skin can also be well-achieved, thanks to the apple cider vinegar's acetic properties. 

Try out those items enriched with the goodness of organic or plant-based elements for not just a dewy look but also to maintain the young-looking glow for a more extended period.  

Best Ways To Maintain The pH Level Of Your Skin

A fact we all love:

The tattoos on our body continue to withstand despite the skin renewal process.  

The reason:

The puncture made by the needles on the skin's middle layer, dermis awakens the white blood cells (macrophages) to "feed" on the dye and even pass it on to fibroblasts(long-lasting cells) when they die away. Only a tattoo removal laser has the power to kill those prominent cells! 

How well can you improvise your skincare routine? 

Maybe it would be best for you to switch from a regular face wash to a better alternative, something like a pH-friendly product that could wipe off all the heavy makeup and other impurities from your skin for an entire day.

If you want to maintain the sebum or oil production on your face, then increase the usage of “pH balanced” products like a good toner to continue achieving clear, healthy skin.

Toners made from refreshing ingredients like witch hazel, aloe vera, and lactic acid can well exfoliate and claim to have a lasting effect on the skin. These ingredients turn down the harsher side of products big time, which are the major causes of drying of the skin or the disruption in the skin’s pH level.

Another important thing to notice is to be careful when dealing with acid-related products. You wouldn’t want to overdo using any products as they might anger the skin mantle and result in uneven, patchy skin.

Sunscreens are always the best buddies who protect you from external factors, no matter what. It is also a crucial step to follow religiously when it comes to maintaining the correct level of the skin's pH. So never forget to wear it before leaving home and then reapplying it at regular intervals.

Ensure you follow the right kind of skincare routine that ONLY suits your skin and not of your favorite Youtuber! Investing in OTT products cannot be satisfying at times, but you will be thankful later for using them.  

Final thoughts: 

It so happens that we are stressed about the littlest things in life.

Stress and even our lifestyle environment can add up to the complications in our skin.

It is essential to always take care of ourselves not just to look beautiful or to be picture-perfect but also to avoid the appearance of clogged pores on our faces.

A pH-balanced skin cannot be achieved in a day but is too mandatory.

We would have heard many claims on how skin hydration is necessary for the beautiful glow and the good feeling of being fit and healthy.

The next time you shop for your makeup products or skincare items, be cautious about the many hazards and try as much to switch over to pH-friendly items.