What is PH? At school, we learn that PH is the measure of acidity and alkalinity of a solution; a number on a scale on which a value of 7 represents neutral, anything lower is considered acidic and anything higher is alkaline.
Interestingly, although our bodies have a PH level of 7, our skin’s PH level ranges from 4.5 to 6, which is mildly acidic. The ideal level for your skin’s protective barrier is between 5 – 5.5. When the acidity level of the skin is at this level, skin is working to its optimum; it is supported to retain moisture and keep infections and irritants at bay. Using unsuitable products or eating the wrong food can throw this balance out of whack! PH levels suffer, resulting in skin sensitivity, inflammation and wrinkles!
If your skin is chronically dry, then it is too alkaline. If it’s oily and prone to acne breakouts, then it is too acidic. Finding ways to restore the acid-alkaline balance is key to a clear and healthy skin.
Most soap bars have a PH level of between 9 and10, and some deodorants and chemical peels have a PH of around 3. So you can see why washing your face with a soap bar (that’s not designed for facial cleansing purpose) will over strip your skin of natural sebum and leaving it feeling extremely dry.
To maintain healthy, balanced skin, it is best to avoid harsh cleansers that have an alkaline PH. Instead use neutral, oil based or slightly acidic ones with Alpha or Beta Hydroxy Acids. Just by making simple changes to your cleansing routine, you can really transform your skin.
Our lifestyle choices can also affect our body and skin PH levels greatly. Staying hydrated, increasing exercise and reducing alcohol intake can help reduce skin problems. You are what you eat! Whatever you choose to consume will affect how you look on the outside. Eat plenty of antioxidant rich foods like leafy green vegetables: kale and spinach are excellent, as well as avocado, broccoli, asparagus and bell peppers; Low sugar fruit such as apples, lemons, bananas, berries, pomegranates and watermelons; nuts, grains and seeds are all beneficial too. Avoid acid-forming ingredients such as sugar, dairy, red meat, processed grains, yeast, alcohol, and caffeine. Generally speaking, follow the 80% alkaline – 20% acidic principle whilst eating.
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