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The Perfect Balance: Understanding Skin pH

If you’re spending a fortune in anti-aging products, only to be left scratching your head as to why your skin appears completely unchanged, you may want to stop blaming the product, put down the bottle of moisturizer and pick up a piece of litmus paper, because your skin’s pH balance may be the real problem.

Understanding pH Balance

What does that mean, pH balance?

The pH is the measurement used to determine the acidity or basicity of all things water-based. On a scale from 0-14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline, humans – who are about 60-70 percent water – normally functions at a neutral  7. But did you know that individual parts of your body function at different levels? Your stomach, for instance, functions at a very acidic 1-2 pH level, while your small intestine balances that acidity with a higher level that hovers closer to the 7 mark. Your blood always remains between 7.3 and 7.4.Facials

You may be surprised to learn, however, that ideally your skin should function at a very acidic 4.5-5.5 pH level. Why? Because acidity prevents fungi and bacteria from clinging to your pores and your skin. It also protects your skin from life’s wear-and-tear, and keeps your skin moisturized, healthy and young-looking. When your skin is not properly pH balanced, it paves the way for issues like acne, dry skin and wrinkles.

When Your Products Just Don’t Work

Your skin needs to be at around the right pH level to receive the benefits from beauty products. If your skin is too much in one extreme or the other, not only will the product not work, but it may actually cause some damage to broken skin and create more problems with your skin’s pH. What can you do, then, to improve your skin’s acidic balance so that it can better absorb nutrients and moisture without problems? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Use non-soap cleansers on your face.
  • Unless it specifically indicates it can be used for facial cleansing, it’s just not a good idea to use soap-based cleansers on your face. They can throw off your skin’s pH balance and make your skin vulnerable to irritation, infection and other potentially damaging effects.

  • Steer clear of products that are not pH balanced.
  • Many beauty products indicate their pH level on the packaging. Choose products that address a pH balanced outlook on skin care. Inexpensive soaps and shampoos are usually made to be too much one way or the other.

  • Invest in litmus paper to learn more about your pH.
  • Litmus paper changes color depending on how acidic or alkaline your skin is. You can also use litmus paper to determine the pH levels of your beauty products.

  • Cleanse your face gently, without harsh sponges or washcloths.
  • Your hands or a gentle cleaning brush, with soft bristles, should be good enough to wash your face. Washcloths and harsh sponges can break and irritate the skin.

  • Wash with lukewarm water.
  • Temperature is important to protect your skin and keep your face comfortable as you wash. Keep the water at a lukewarm temperature when washing.

Palm Beach Plastic Surgery Center

Your skin’s pH is a critical component in the anti-aging process. But when you simply cannot get your skin’s pH under control, there are other methods that can help decrease wrinkles and delay your skin’s aging. Dr. Richard Schwartz has been helping men and women tackle aging in West Palm Beach for over 25 years. To learn more about what you can do to fight aging and keep your skin healthy and young-looking,  call the Palm Beach Plastic Surgery Center at 561.833.4022 or visit www.pbplasticsurgery.com today.
 

Resources:

Project Beauty

Minimalist Beauty

Prevention Magazine

Health24.com

Discovery.com

Elle magazine

29, May, 2013Dr. Richard Schwartz

Dr. Richard Schwartz author

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