Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spa Girl asks, do you know what your normal pH should be?

In my continuing quest to know more about the skin and how to achieve the perfect face, I decided to do some research on the skin's pH levels*. 'Skin pH' is a term chemists use meaning "Potential of Hydrogen" and is used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of the skin.

In most cases skin problems are a direct result of a pH imbalance in the skins acid mantle, a thin protective layer of sweat and sebum (oil) that sits on the outer layer of the skin. The skins pH is measured on a scale which ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral meaning it's neither acid or alkaline. Any reading below 7 indicates your skin is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. This acid mantle helps protect the skin from foreign bacteria and fungi, sun and wind and other environmental conditions and also helps to protect against dehydration. Normal skin pH varies from one part of the body to another, but generally ranges from 4.2 to 5.6, making it somewhat acidic; a man's skins tends to be more acidic than a woman's.

Here are a few Spa Girl tips which will help protect your skin as you age: use the right cleanser and moisturizer, drink the correct amount of water and have lukewarm, five-minute showers.

Using the right cleanser will help maintain a normal pH level and a cleanser that is lipid-free will protect the skin's barrier functionality. If you use a cleanser that stings, it is most likely to acidic for your skin type.

You can also help sustain a good pH level by adding back moisture. As we age, oil production tappers off which affects the acid mantle. By using a good moisturizer, or oil if your skin is really dry, will assist in maintaining a protective barrier. Spa Girl Tip: I use a Vitamin C oil and a moisturizer with Vitamin K.

Drinking the correct amount of water will be a big help not only for your skin, but your entire body. Water is naturally alkaline and adding lemons and limes which are a great source of antioxidants is ideal and will help create a more alkaline environment internally! Spa Girl tip: don't drink sugar which increases glycation (

And last but not least, protect your skin by taking tepid, five minutes showers as the acid mantle is the most ideal protector and water can loosen the skin`s outer layers and make them more vulnerable to damage and dehydration. Hot or cold water on the face can also result in broken capillaries.

* An adequate pH value is essential for a healthy skin. It can be measured with the Skin-pH-Meter

Here is a great article with more information:

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