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Why the pH of skin care products is a big deal

If you read the synopsis of a novel before buying it, count the calories of your dinner before eating it, we cannot think of one good reason why you should ignore the deciding factor of skin health: it’s pH level.

In this entry we will decode the secret to skincare by asking the right questions: The what, how and why of skin care pH.

THE WHAT

pH determines how acid or alkaline a product is on a scale of 0 – 14; 0 to 7 is acid, 8-14 is alkaline and 7 is the neutral level. More acidic the skin more acne prone it is; alkaline skin sees issues like dehydration, fine line and wrinkles.

Here’s a chart with the corresponding common items for a quick reference:

0

Hydrochloric acid

1

Stomach acid

2

Battery acid

3

Lemons/ Sodas

4

Orange juice

5

Bananas

6

Clean rain water

7

Blood

8

Eggs

9

Baking soda

10

Soaps and shampoos

11

Milk of magnesia

12

Ammonia

13

Bleach

14

Hair colour

THE WHY

Our skin has a thin protective sheet called the acid mantle made of oils and acids, which plays a major role in maintaining skin health by protecting the deeper layers from damage. Our skin is considered healthiest with a pH level of between 4.2 – 5.5.  This balance is usually disturbed by environmental factors like dust and pollution, dietary imbalance and faulty skin care rituals, with genes also playing a role.

Cut to the chase, a pH-balanced skin is healthy, glowy and lovely!

THE HOW

Now this is the part you go all Sherlock on your skin products to decipher its levels. Here’s a pro-tip: if your skin feels dry and tight after washing it with a product, it is not pH balanced. Your skin should feel nourished and hydrated after a wash, not ‘squeaky-clean’. Go for cleansers and toners with levels close to 5, as anything under that can also be problematic. Keep as eye out for products that use sodium laureth sulfate which has a pH of 10, yikes!

All of this sound might daunting at first but once you wrap your head round it, which you must considering how much fresh, dewy skin accounts for a happy you, believe us it will all make sense.

Moral of the story? Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to skin care.  But now you know 🙂

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