How does pH affect our skin’s barrier?
It all begins with the skin’s acid mantle. Say what? Put simply, this is the outer layer of skin which is also called the moisture barrier. This layer protects the skin from fungi and bacteria by being slightly acidic. If the pH levels of the acid mantle are out of kilter then the skin’s protection is compromised.
How do you know if your pH levels are out of kilter?
Some indicators that your pH levels have been compromised are:
- Dry and flaky skin
- Abnormal sensitivity
This could be due to using products which are not balanced, over exfoliating, eating too many foods which have thrown off your internal alkaline as well as environmental factors.
What pH level should we be aiming for?
A happy and healthy skin thrives at pH levels between 4.0-6.5. You can actually test the pH levels of your body with testing strips which can be purchased at pharmacies and health shops. A dermatologist will be able to accurately test the pH levels of your skin.
How does one maintain the ideal 5.5pH?
The key is to maintain overall body pH levels. What you put inside is just as important as what you put outside, hence the rise of alkaline diets to tackle both gut and skin inflammation.
pH balancing tips for flawless skin
Eat alkalising foods: including leafy greens and fermented vegetables, avocado, lemons, limes, nuts and seeds, coconut oil and ancient grains to name a few.
Avoid harsh soaps and detergents: especially the ones that contain sodium lauryl sulfate which damage the skin’s barrier and cause irritation.
Drink purified water: if possible avoid tap water and opt for purified water instead which has a higher pH level and less chlorine and contaminants.
Invest in some pH testing strips: A good way to track the pH levels in your body is to regularly test with test strips.
How to perfect your skin’s pH
Incorporating AHAs into your routine will help give the skin the acid that it needs to rebuild and repair. AHAs increase cell turnover, fade discolouration in the skin and increase hyaluronic acid content. They do however increase photosensitivity, so we recommend using a high SPF every day when using all AHAs.