Finding Balance: All About Skin PH
What even is PH?
You might recognize the term PH, or potential of hydrogen, from science class. It’s a measurement that refers to how acidic or basic a substance is on a scale from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. For reference, water has a PH of 7, while mouth-puckering lemon juice has a PH of 2.
What should my skin’s PH level be?
Your skin’s ideal PH level is about a 5.5, making it slightly acidic naturally. When we age, our skin tends to get less acidic, and more alkaline or basic. When our skin isn’t acidic enough, it has a tougher time retaining moisture, leading to dryer, tighter skin that we tend to conflater with mature skin types. (Read more about that here).
What is the acid mantle I keep hearing about?
If you’ve looked into your skin PH before, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this thing called the “acid skin mantle”. This is the natural film on the surface of our skin, made up of sweat and oil, that protects the skin from external pollutants and other radical agents.
What are the signs of skin with an unbalanced PH level?
The acid mantle is part of the skin barrier, the outermost layer of our face. So when PH levels are off, this often manifests as a damaged skin barrier, with a number of clear signs. Here are some of the top symptoms of unbalanced skin:
1: Dryness- that feeling of stripped, tight skin can be an indication that your skin PH is too basic or alkaline. Think of how you’d feel if you washed your face with plain bar soap, a highly alkaline product. This can look like short-term discomfort and flaking, but overtime can contribute to fine lines and wrinkles.
2: Inflammation- flare ups of acne, rosacea, eczema, and overall redness are all signs of unbalanced skin, either because it is too acidic, or an overall disruption on your skin’s microbiome (similar to your gut) is causing an inflammatory reaction.
3: Sensitivity- while many have a sensitive skin type for their entire lives, an increase in sensitivity on any skin type can be a sign your skin’s PH is off. This is because the skin barrier is not functioning as properly as it should, leaving skin more likely to have reactive interactions with external products and pollutants.
So what can I do to balance my skin’s PH levels?
Ready to take the first steps towards balanced skin? We’re happy to hear it. Here’s some simple steps you can take to protect your skin barrier and treat your skin microbiome right.
1: Stick to clean beauty- the thing about clean beauty ingredients is that one product alone won’t disrupt your skin microbiome. Many brands, including Kat Burki, formulate their regimens to ensure this.
2: Avoid harsh exfoliants- while a deep clean is important, using rough physical exfoliants will damage your skin barrier and acid mantle. Use gentle chemical exfoliants to scrub away impurities without compromising the surface.
3: Build up your barrier- you can help rebuild damaged or compromised skin barriers with a few different skincare ingredients, such as squalane, ceramides, hyaluronic acids, and cold-pressed oils.
4: Listen to your gut- the mind/gut/skin connection is real, and it affects your skin’s PH levels too. Whether in your skincare or in your diet, probiotics are key to maintaining a flourishing microbiome that promotes a balanced PH level.
5: Invest in balancing products- the quickest way to target your skin’s PH is products specifically designed to help bring it balance. While skincare is a holistic practice, sometimes we need a shortcut to feel our best ASAP. That’s where the PH+ Enzyme Essence comes in, with a plant-based complex that helps skin lock in nutrition, using the signature KB5 Complex for an additional antioxidant boost, protecting against environmental pollutants.
So, yeah. Your skin’s PH level is important.
Not just another buzzword in the skincare world, PH levels have a pretty significant impact on your skin’s overall health, with lasting effects (positive or negative). Look out for the signs of imbalance we outline above, and start taking inventory of your current skincare routine. Are you using the right exfoliant? Getting enough probiotics? Take it step by step, it’s a process, and in the meantime, look to the PH+ Enzyme Essence as an effective starting point. Life is all about balance- and your skin is no different.