How to maintain the natural pH of the skin

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How to maintain the natural pH of the skin

Acidity plays crucial role in the skin. It inhibites the growth of harmful bacteria by activating certain enzymes in the skin. When the skin's pH is normal, it stimulates the production and secretion of healthy lipids and natural oils that allow the skin to repair and heal itself and stay a balanced.   

But, first let’s see what “pH” actually means. 'pH' is short term for 'potential to free hydrogen ions'. It is a measure of the amount of acid or alkaline. When it comes to health, it is a measure of how much oxygen is in the blood. Higher pH means more acidic and oxygen deprivation with fewer free hydrogen ions, the lower pH, the freer hydrogen ions there are. The pH scale ranges from 0.0-14.0. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. Anything below is acidic and anything above is alkaline.

EXAMPLES OF PH:

  • Lemon Juice 2.0
  • Vinegar 3.0
  • Stomach Acid 1.5 - 3.5
  • Water 7.0
  • Blood 7.35 - 7.45
  • Baking Soda 8.0
  • Soap 8.0-11.0
  • Ammonia 12.0
  • Drain & Oven Cleaner 13.0 - 14.0

The perfect pH of the skin is around 4.5 - 5.5. Dry skin is more alkaline and has high pH and oily and irritated skin are more acidic and have low pH. Sweat and sebum (lipids) are the surface of the skin creating a barrier known as the acid mantle. If this acid mantle gets disrupted, the skin will be more prone to bacteria, chemicals, pollutants etc. Products that are high in alkaline can cause swelling and increase the permeability of the skin and create many skin problems. Extreme pH levels can cause inflammation, irritation, dryness and skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and redness. Ideally, the products should have balanced pH i.e. around 4.5 – 6.0. Exfoliating products are exceptions as they contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s) that are used to create an acidic environment needed for shedding of the skin. And the chemical peels are also designed to neutralize the acidity of the skin.

It has been proven that an alkaline diet can maintain the pH balance in the skin and maintain clear and healthy skin complexion. The “alkaline foods” are very high in vitamins like C, E, and A and minerals, antioxidants such as beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.

EXAMPLES OF ALKALINE FOODS:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Coconut oil, olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Water
  • Herbal tea
  • Coconut water
  • Almond milk
  • Apple cider vinegar with water
  • Green smoothies

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