Have you ever read, “pH balanced” on a product and wondered what it meant? Ever wondered what is this pH 5.5 aka pH balanced buzz all about? First let us understand what pH means.
What is pH and how is it related to our skin?
The term ‘pH’ means ‘potential of hydrogen.’ In other words, it is the measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in any substance. It ranges from 0-14. The pH level of the skin refers to how acidic or alkaline it is. On a scale of 1-14, with 1 being the most acidic to 14 being the most alkaline.
Our skin is naturally designed to fight infection and environmental stresses and its ability to do so is affected by its pH level.Your skin is at its best when there is a balance between its acidity and alkalinity. Throw it off track, and your skin will go crazy. Thus you should be extra careful about that oh-so-delicate pH balance.
Our skin has a thin, protective layer on its surface, referred to as the acid mantle. This acid mantle is formed when your skin secretes sebum and breaks down fatty acids. This acid mantle is what gives our skin its pH,which ideally should be slightly acidic – at about 5.5.It is responsible for keeping your skin healthy and moisturized by blocking all the germs and toxins from harming it.This acid mantle protects our skin from bacteria, fungi, viruses, environmental pollutants, makes skin soft and supple — it does everything!
What Is the Ideal Skin pH?
Ideally, our skin should be slightly acidic. Thus, its pH level should be 5.5.A healthy skin type is always, always acidic. The pH of skin influences several factors contributing to its overall health.From irritation, dryness, to acne, the pH levels can either resolve or cause further distress to your skin.Recognizing factors that alter skin pH and selecting products that preserve the acid mantle is of prime importance.
Why Does pH Matter For Skincare
Many factors can interfere with the delicate balance of the skin’s acid mantle, both externally and internally. As we age, our skin becomes more acidic in response to our lifestyle and our environment. Everything that comes in contact with our skin (products, smoking, air, water, sun, pollution) can contribute to the breaking down of the acid mantle, disrupting the skin’s ability to protect itself.
Here’s a general rule of thumb: the higher the pH of something, the more disrupting it is to the acid mantle and therefore moisture barrier.
The goal is to cleanse your skin without over-stripping it of its natural oils.However, the trick is to use a gentle pH balanced product to maintain our skin barrier’s integrity. A cosmetic product that is “pH balanced” simply means it has a pH similar to that of skin (4.5-5.5).
Choosing Good-for-Your-Skin Products
Skin can become unbalanced for a variety of reasons. This can occur often if you are using products that aren’t pH balanced.To bring your skin back to the perfect balance, all you need to do is make sure that the products you apply to your skin are pH balanced. This means that the pH levels of your skincare products should sit around 4.5-6!
As we age, the amount of oil or sebum naturally produced by our skin decreases, influencing the acid mantle and its ability to protect the skin. Using effective moisturizers helps rebuild this important barrier. Oils that work particularly well with the skin’s natural oil secretions include jojoba, coconut, argan and olive oils.
Topical antioxidants (vitamins A, C, E, and green tea) are important in maintaining the acid mantle in two ways. First, they fortify the cells so they can function optimally and second, they protect the cells from environmental stresses and oxidation.
The daily use of sunscreen defends the acid mantle by shielding the skin cells from sun damage and increasing the skin’s ability to protect itself. There is a large variety of sunscreens available for all skin types but it’s important to remember that it should be applied daily, without fail, even if you’re not outdoors.
Is it important to consider the pH balance of your scalp?
Just as our skin can become unbalanced, so can our hair. Every fibre of hair has a clear shield that protects it. When the pH balance of our hair is thrown off, our hair becomes porous and lacks moisture. This can be due to hair care products that are too basic, pollution, UV rays and other external influences. For healthier hair cuticles and fibres, our pH level needs to be around 4-4.5. With the help of Ultrasoft Hair Care Range which is pH 5.5 balanced, bad hair days will hopefully become a thing of the past!
Thus, choosing the right skincare and haircare products can assist in maintaining the healthy pH of your skin. At Ultrasoft, we keep this in mind when creating our products.
Healthy, well-balanced skin starts with choosing natural foods. Combine good food with Ultrasoft skin care and hair care products, and you are going to love the results!