PH Alkaline for Healthy Skin.
A ph of seven, which is neutral, is considered to be the optimum level for the human body in general. The skin though, as opposed to the rest of the body, has a different pH level and that of normal skin generally ranges between 4.0 and 6.5, which is slightly acidic.
Value readings above seven denote alkaline skin, which is prone to be problematic and needs to be brought into the normal range with the aid of very specific skin care products.
Power of PH For Healthy Skin
The term pH is relative to the power or percentage of hydrogen available and is calculated on a scale of 1-14. It refers to the alkaline-acid levels in a given substance. Any value below seven is deemed to be acidic, while those 7 and above are considered alkaline.
In general, the mildly acidic state of the skin is referred to as its acid mantle, which comprises sebum, urea and other amino acids, as well as keratin. The primary job of this acid mantle is to protect the skin and body from absorbing bacteria, as bacteria cannot survive in an acidic environment.
Keeping the Skin's PH Healthy
Should the skin's acid mantle become disrupted, alkaline skin will result, which becomes susceptible to all manner of damage and infections. In order to prevent this happening, the skin must be kept at the right acidity level. Bear in mind that although acidity and alkalinity are at opposing ends of the scale, both disrupt the skin's PH value and both can cause dry skin problems.
Research has shown that any alkaline value of above 8 irritates the skin very badly. It has also been proven that most skin care and household cleaning products have high pH values, therefore putting ones skin at risk.
For example, many skin care soaps on the market today have a pH value of between 9 and 11; and most household cleaners have values of around 10 to 12 – with oven cleaners being the worst offenders, at 13.
Science has proven that should one use skin care products which are too alkaline and cause damage to the acid mantle, it would take the skin about 14 hours to normalise. Unfortunately, as we only sleep for between 6 and 8 hours a night in general, some sort of irritant (such as soap) comes into contact with the skin way before the 14 hours are up, thereby never letting the skin recover and repair itself, resulting in permanently dry skin.
Products that Alkalize Skin: pH Balance of 4 to 7
It is imperative to read the labels of all cosmetic and cleaning products in order to maintain the health of the acid mantle of your skin. The best products to buy are those which actually state the pH factor on the label – which should be between 4 and 7. Those products which only bear the statement ‘pH balanced’ are not good enough, as you really do not know what you are buying.
Most synthetic components of cosmetics will do more harm than good, so look to find specific cosmetic products containing natural emollients, such as water, aloe vera and nut and seed oils; natural emulsifiers like beeswax, algae, all plant gums and clay and mud. Glycerin is another ingredient that will benefit your skin, as will lecithin. Essential oils will also help – search for lavender, rosemary, tea tree, grapefruit extract and Vitamin E.