PH (potential hydrogen) is highly important when it comes to skincare. Before we get into skin PH, we first need to understand the basics of PH.
The term PH refers to how acidic or alkaline a solution is. A basic PH scale ranges from 1-14. Acidity ranges between 1 and 6, 7 is a neutral state, and anything above 7 is alkaline, otherwise known as nonacidic.
The PH of the skin
Naturally, the human skin is slightly acidic. This means that a normal skin PH is between 4.5 and 6.5 on the PH scale. However, newborns have a higher PH meaning that their skins usually lie on seven on the PH scale. As they keep growing older, their skin PH declines and becomes more acidic.
Note that the PH of the skin varies depending on the particular part of the body. Less exposed areas, like the genitals and armpit regions, normally maintain their original acidity while those that are more exposed lie more on the alkaline side. The PH of the skin usually included that of its surface, the moisture within it, and its moisture barrier. The moisture barrier is also known as the acidic mantle. It is the layer of the skin made up of sweat, dead skin cells, and sebum.
Role of Alkaline in skincare
Most cosmetic manufacturers claim to help restore the natural skin PH balance. When they make this claim, what they mean is that they are trying to restore the skin to its natural acidic state. This means that cosmetic companies strive to eliminate alkaline products and introduce the skin too acidic conditions.
The skin’s acidic PH helps to eliminate issues like acne by creating a condition where bacteria cannot survive on the skin. Introducing acid to the skin is healthy for people with normal skin. However, for people with sensitive skin, it can result in a variety of issues like dryness. Adding acid to sensitive skin tends to dry it. This happens because it strips the skin of its natural protective oil layer. Doing so leaves the skin vulnerable to allergens. The allergens then cause issues like eczema, rashes, and other skin conditions. For this reason, people with sensitive skin require more alkaline than acid in their skincare regimen.
Also, when the skin is exposed to too much acidity, it becomes unable to process the high acidity. It also affects other body parts like the kidneys and intestines hence making it hatd for them to perform their role.
Additionally, since most cosmetic companies are focused on introducing acid to the skin as a form of restoring skin PH, consistent use of such products can because more bad than good. What happens is that the skin becomes hyper acidic. The skin reaches a hyper acidic state when it is below four on the PH scale. When this happens, the acid goes beyond the skin and is introduced to the blood. When the blood is introduced to acid, it could cause serious issues, including death. Additionally, when the skin becomes hyper acidic, its connective tissues get affected, resulting in stretch marks and cellulitis issues.
Benefits of alkaline-based skincare
- Eczema skincare- According to Sond Skin, the best form of eczema skincare is using alkaline-based skincare products. Sond explains that people with skincare conditions like eczema suffer from too much acidity on their skin. Therefore, Sond skin suggests using alkaline-based products to balance the PH of the skin, hence treating the condition. sondskin.co.uk provides more details on this topic.
- According to sond, through sond skin.co.uk, and other skincare practitioners, skin protection- alkaline-based products help protect the skin. What happens is that PH neutral products tend to cause allergic reactions and damages to the skin, which in turn creates a condition for fungi breeding.
- Maintaining moisture and natural skin oil- using alkaline-based products protects the skin from drying. Using PH-neutral products tends to lead to the destruction of the skin’s original regulation and the acid mantle hence the importance of alkaline.
- Helps release waste products- introducing the body to alkaline conditions helps to stimulate the acid that is embedded on the skin, allowing the body to release waste products. The alkaline products dissolve the acids in the skin hence allowing them to be released in sweat. They allow the skin to return to a state of balance hence eliminating issues like hyperacidity, which could be very dangerous.
- It stimulated the sebaceous glands- alkaline helps to stimulate the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture by stimulating the sebaceous glands.
The above reasons do not negate the need for the skin to retain a healthy acidic PH level. The aim is not to eliminate acidity from the skin but to keep it at a healthy acidic state. However, using acidic skincare products keeps the skin from performing functions like excretion hence leaving the burden to kidneys. The skin’s natural PH can be affected by issues like; air pollution, acne, antibacterial products, seasonal changes, detergents, sweat, and too much exposure to sun and tap water.