Some of us may only be familiar with pH levels when talking about water, being extra conscious of what we put into our bodies. But pH levels aren’t only affecting your drink but also affects your skin. An imbalance on your skin may have a more detrimental effect than what your tap water has indicated on your pH strips.
Now, if you are not familiar with pH levels at all, then let’s break it down for you. The acidity and alkalinity of something are determined through this 1 to 14 scale. The scale goes, if it is 7, it is neutral. If it is above that number, it is alkaline (basic), and if it is below, it is acidic. In water, there are a whole host of reasons that may affect the fluctuation of this. Thankfully, we aren’t here for a full-on science class.
In skin, it is simpler to understand. We already know that our skin carries most of the shielding for the body. Its purpose is to keep bacteria and potential infections from entering the body, keeping us safe. The skin performs multiple functions, mainly as a barrier from external threats; its main soldier is called the acid mantle.
The acid mantle is a thin film on the surface of the skin. It is made up of naturally occurring oil produced by our skin, known as sebum and other acids in sweat. This film is slightly acidic in nature to act as a defense against bacteria and damage. And if you are wondering how to identify a healthy mantle from a damaged one, then you won’t have to wonder too long. It will be easy to spot the difference because when damaged, the skin appears flaky and redness is visible.
Though many factors affect the state of our skin, some experts say the acid mantle is relevant to the skin’s overall health. The ideal pH balance of our skin is around 4.5 to 5.75. This means a value below this number will cause our skin to be too acidic, and a value above will also cause disruption making the skin dry out. A disrupted pH balance will make the skin more sensitive to environmental triggers.
At this point, it would be best to keep this balance as close to perfect as possible. Harsh ingredients in cleansers or other cosmetic products may weaken the skin, so opt for gentler cleansers to maintain hydration. Focus on toners, which work wonders for balancing out this number as it is meant to deeply enrich the skin and refresh it without stripping away the natural oils. Our favorite from the Le Rośe line, the Le Rośe pH-Balancing Skin Tonic has you covered. With a soft Rose Flower Extract core, it aims to maintain your skin’s pH level at its optimal.
If you are a fan of exfoliating, it may be time to lay low on the scrubs. Scrubs can easily aggravate the skin mantle further if it is already showing damage. Dr. Sandra Lee in an article from www.goodhousekeeping.com that focuses on the acid mantle (Understanding Your Skin’s Acid Mantle and Why It’s So Important), suggests choosing chemically exfoliating acids instead.
And if you are having trouble with skin ailments that continually damage the skin mantle, seek the help of a professional. It is best to get an expert’s help as you address the specific needs of your skin.
But pH level or not, our skin varies from person to person, and our experiences may not be the same. And at the end of the day, our goal boils down to keeping our skin as healthy as possible!