There’s nothing at all wrong with getting older – with age comes wisdom, experience, and a host of benefits. But just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean that you want to start looking older right away. If you’re like most people, you’re looking for ways to keep the signs of premature aging off of your body, and especially off of your face.
When you hear the words “pH balance,” you might think of any number of things – chemistry class, pool chemicals, deodorant, even bottled water. But do you think of your skin? You should, because your skin also has a pH balance, and if it’s off, then it’s possible that it’s causing your skin to show signs of premature aging. Learn what you need to know about skin pH and how to make sure that you have the perfect pH that will give you the perfect skin.
A PH PRIMER
In case you don’t remember the basics of pH, it’s a scale that runs from zero to 14. Closer to the zero end of the scale means more acidic. Closer to the 14 end of the scale means more basic. An example of a neutral chemical is water. It sits squarely in the middle of the pH scale at a 7.
Skin isn’t water. It’s meant to be slightly more acidic than water. According to dermatologists, skin pH runs between 4.7 and 5.75 pH, with a perfect pH being something around 5.5. That’s a little more acidic than water. This slightly acidic pH is perfectly calibrated to seal in moisture and seal out pollutants and irritants. If your skin’s pH becomes unbalanced, that’s when you begin to see skin problems.
HOW UNBALANCED SKIN PH HAPPENS
If your skin has a natural pH, how can it go wrong? There are a number of things that can cause the skin’s pH to become unbalanced. Basically, if you disrupt the skin’s acid mantle or tamper with the barrier that the skin has created against outside irritants, you can unbalance the pH.
So washing your face with very hot water can cause a problem. Scrubbing your skin too hard, or with abrasive materials like those found on washcloths can unbalance your skin as well. And using cleansers on your face that contain surfactants, soap or alkali is also bad for your skin’s natural barrier and can unbalance your pH.
You’ll know if your skin’s pH has become unbalanced because that’s when you begin to experience skin problems. You might see acne, dry patches, redness, or even eczema appear on your face. And of course, those signs of premature aging are also a big sign that you’ve become unbalanced. Basically, skin that’s allowed to maintain its natural moisture and block out pollutants and skin irritants stay younger looking for longer but breaking that barrier can age you.
HOW TO GET YOUR SKIN PH BACK
Luckily, the loss of a balanced pH doesn’t have to be permanent. With the right products, you can get your skin back into good shape and back to normal. But doing this requires a commitment to go back to basics for a while. You want skin products with simple, soap-free, alcohol-free ingredients that will allow your skin to rebuild its natural barrier and come back to itself.
Once you have your pH back, you can apply products that target specific problems that aren’t affected by pH, if you need to. However, even when your pH balance is in check, it’s still a better plan to look for balanced products that will help your skin remain balanced whenever possible. Basically, it’s better to maintain that barrier than to have to rebuild it over and over again.
INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR
You know that you want to avoid soap, alcohol, and surfactants or alkali on your skin in order to maintain the pH. But what ingredients do you want to see in a balanced cleanser? Some of the best ones include ingredients like:
You know that your skin’s pH is off, or you think it’s on track and you want to make sure that you’re maintaining it. Either way, how can you make sure that you’re getting products that have the pH balance that you’re looking for?
You already know what ingredients to look for, and what ingredients are a no-go if you want to preserve and protect your skin’s natural pH, so that’s a good place to start. While you’re reading the ingredients list, check to see if the product describes itself as pH balanced, or even lists the exact pH number on the packaging. Some products do because they know that consumers are looking for this information.
But if your beauty and skincare products don’t list a pH – or if you want to double-check that a listed pH is what it should be – you can always check for yourself. pH test strips are readily available at your local pharmacy or on Amazon so that you can perform your own testing.
If avoiding the signs of aging is your goal, the people at Iconic Skin Clinic have you covered with products and services that are healthy for your skin and will leave you looking your best and your youngest.