What is skin pH?
PH is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline (basic) a substance is in comparison to distilled water which is neutral. A neutral pH is 7.0, anything above is alkaline and anything below is acidic. The normal pH of your skin is around 4.5- 5.5, so slightly acidic. Skin tends to be in its healthiest state with a pH of less than 5.
The pH of the skin plays a role in maintaining the skin’s natural, healthy bacterial flora, AKA microbiome, and its natural protective barrier, AKA acid-mantle. The acid mantle is a thin layer on the skin’s surface made up of sebum combined with lactic and amino acids to create the skin’s pH. The acid mantle and microbiome of your skin protect you from invaders like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and pollutants. When your skin’s pH is chronically too high, you may experience more acne, rosacea and rashes. So, keeping your skin’s pH at an optimal level will not only protect you but also give you supple, beautiful skin.
The pH of your skin can be altered with exposure to substances like water, harsh skincare products, detergents, diet, infection and pollution. Water is the most altering substance that we are all exposed to on a daily basis. The water source that you use to wash your skin with usually has a pH of 8.5 or more depending on how hard it is. The other most common mistake we make is using harsh cleansers and skincare products. If you skin feels squeaky clean after cleansing, then your cleanser has a high pH and is disrupting the acid mantle.
By maintaining a healthy pH, your skin will not only be more radiant and supple, but more youthful and smooth.
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Does Skin Type Matter?
In reality, everyone’s skin has the same anatomy, and therefore the same basic needs to keep skin young and healthy. So, knowing your skin type (oily, dry, or combination) really doesn’t matter when choosing skincare… as long as you meet these needs.
Any skincare product regimen should address these 3 basic needs:
We all want healthy, radiant, youthful skin. Many of us buy excessive amounts of skincare products looking for the magic, only to become disappointed when they don’t see the results we crave. I’ve been there myself and really it was that dissatisfaction with my own skin that led me into the field of cosmetic dermatology and aesthetics. I was a product whore in my late 20’s and yet my skin was still dry, dull, and discolored. The final straw was when wrinkles started appearing at age 30. What was I doing wrong? I had talked to a dermatologist, I had read every article in beauty magazines that I could, and I tried every over the counter product I could get my hands on, yet nothing seemed to give me the results I wanted. I did not understand the issue until I started my career in cosmetic dermatology.