When professionals talk about the PH of your skin, do you know what they actually mean? Often, we hear the words “PH Neutral” or “Balanced”, what do these words/terms mean?
Whether your skin is presenting with dryness, slow enzymatic activity, diffused redness, sensitivity, problematic oil flow, acne, did you realise that the PH of your skin can repair problems and/or cause further aggravation.
Our skins have a thin protective layer on the surface, this is often referred to as the acid mantle. Our acid mantle is made up of sebum which is excreted from the skin’s sebaceous glands. The sebum mixes with lactic and amino acids from sweat to create our skins PH.
Back to science, if your skin was balanced it would have a PH of 5.5. What this means is that your skin needs to be slightly more on the acidic side of things. The PH of your skin refers to how acidic or alkaline it is. On a scale of 1-14, with 1 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline.
There are so many factors that alter the balance of our skin’s acid mantle, the main ones being :
- Environmental damage, pollution, sun, cold weather etc.
- Smoking and working in a dusty or outdoor environment.
- Poor diet, alcohol, lack of water and exercise.
- Antibiotics, ongoing medications, surgery.
- Poorly formulated skincare.
- Harsh anti-bacterial soaps.
As we start to age our skin tends to naturally be more acidic, which is normally a result of our body responding to our environment and lifestyle. We can help this process by managing our diet, eating less meat, eating an abundance of leafy green vegies, citrus fruits, tomatoes, carrots and lentils, also drinking less alcohol and more water. We need to be focused on keeping our diets as alkaline as possible.
A healthy skin will have a PH of 5.5, the right mix of good bacteria and a strong acid mantle. A healthy skin will protect you from external environmental factors and will use its own defence system to fight break outs, common skin problems and wounds, meaning that with good blood flow, healing will be fast, scarring minimal and cross contamination all but eliminated. Basically, your acid mantle cannot be ignored as it is vital for your overall skin and body health.
If your skin is presenting as dry, dehydrated, feeling tight, itchy, scars easily, is inflamed, sensitive and/or experiencing breakouts, then it is possible that your acid mantle has been compromised.
There are no easy answers to repairing a compromised acid mantle. You need to be gentle, really gentle – like you are working with precious china. Stop any harsh exfoliation. Once you have tested your skin’s PH and recognised any issue with your acid mantle, decide on a suitable home-care routine, that will allow you to strengthen your skins barrier, slowly your skin will return to being strong and healthy. Realistically, with the correct treatments, it can take anywhere between 21 and 42 days for the acid mantle to repair itself. Take one step at a time, start with good routines including improved diet and using proper skincare products that treat not traumatise the skin.
To assist with your healing process, I recommend BeeBio skincare products. The philosophy behind BeeBio skincare, is combining the best of nature and science to deliver results. BeeBio skincare is focused on increasing good bacteria and eliminating bad bacteria on the surface of the skin, this will help to strengthen your acid mantle, restore collagen and elastin production, with the result being a strong skin that can use its own defences to fight common day to day skin problems.
In salon treatments should include calming, nourishing facials that will repair and restore. LED Light treatments are highly recommended to stimulate collagen and elastin naturally and speed up the healing process.
Once we realise that our skin is the largest organ that our body has, it is easier to take care and protect our skin from external and internal environmental damage.