How Your pH Levels Affect Your Skin
WHAT IS A PH LEVEL?
pH stands for the potential of hydrogen and is used to measure how acidic or alkaline (basic) a solution is. The pH scale is numerical with values ranging from 1 to 14 making 7 the neutral point. Values below 7 indicate acidity which puts 1 as the most acidic. Numbers above 7 are labeled as alkalinity, with 14 being the most alkaline. Our body's ideal pH is slightly alkaline, which means a reading between 7.30-7.45.
pH levels are also used in reference to skin care products. The outermost layer of skin is an acidic mantle, which is ultimately the barrier of your skin, and products containing too high or too low of pH levels can damage its function. Your skin is slightly acidic with a pH level of about 5.5 which helps retain moisture and keeps germs out.
CAN YOU CONTROL PH LEVELS?
You should aim to keep your body’s pH level between slightly acidic and slightly alkaline. Consuming food will either raise or lower your pH level. If you are looking to restore the balances of your pH levels in your body you can begin with rethinking your diet. Adding more greens and lemons to your meals, avoiding refined sugars, and eating plenty of vegetable proteins can significantly help. When choosing which foods are appropriate for you, check on whether the foods are acid-forming or alkaline-forming and know where they fall on the pH scale. If you are uncertain on what your pH levels are, and if any concerns arise, or if you just simply want to know you have a couple of options available to you. You can consult with your doctor to find out your body’s pH levels or you can order at home tests. As described above, maintaining your pH levels once you find out what they are can be as easy as changing up your diet a little or using a soap that does not leave your skin dry or irritated.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR BODY HAS A POOR PH BALANCE?
There are a wide variety of symptoms that you can experience from an imbalanced pH level in your body. If your diet is causing an imbalance, you may experience any of the following: headaches, frequent infections, dry skin, difficulty swallowing, frequent sighing, or insomnia. Irregular pH levels can also cause cold sores, acne, or even depressions. If your skin is too alkaline, it becomes dry and sensitive. You may also experience inflammation or even wrinkles and sagging. It is usually rare for your skin to become too acidic, however, if your skin is below the 5.5 level it may become extremely red, inflamed, and painful to touch. These are typical reactions to having a high level of acidity and a low leveling of alkalinity.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR SKIN?
There are many things that can change the fragile balance of your skin’s acid mantle. The acid mantle is also known as the skin’s barrier. Typically, as we age the acid levels in our skin increase as a direct result of either our personal lifestyles or the environments in which we inhabit. Balancing pH levels is important for your skin and if an imbalance occurs as either too acidic or too alkaline serious skin conditions can occur. Such skin conditions can include: dermatitis, eczema, and rosacea. There are two main focuses for balancing your pH levels that can affect your skin. One is your diet and the second is the skincare products you choose. Balancing the pH levels from your diet and the foods you eat achieve an ideal level internally for your body while choosing the right skin care can provide an ideal level for your body externally.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR SKIN MAY BE AFFECTED BY LOW/HIGH PH LEVELS
If you find that your body has either a too high or a too low of a pH balance, there are some simple solutions you can do to find a better balance. Assuming you already know what level of pH your body is producing you can take appropriate measures to balance them out. You can reduce outbreaks from certain skin conditions caused by an imbalance in pH levels by changing your diets, however, if you are already experiencing skin conditions you should take appropriate actions to treat them. Try using a cleanser with a pH level similar to your skin’s natural pH levels. Using soaps and moisturizers that are too alkaline it can break up the acids in your skin and cause even more dryness. Using products that are too acidic can break through your skin’s mantle and cause extreme irritation or inflammation.
If you have changed your diet and believe you are using the most suitable products for your skin, yet still believe you are experiences a pH imbalance, you should consult with your doctor.