Find Your pH Zen

Like most things in life, maintaining a healthy complexion is all about finding the balance. At the same time, nobody wants to be constantly messing with their skincare routine like an amateur alchemist so the question becomes: what is the simple answer to achieving a base level of skin health?

Unfortunately for some, the answer lies in an 8th grade science lecture. Don’t worry, we won’t drag you through those painful memories again. Instead, we’ll simply remind you of a little thing called pH balance. Achieving the optimal pH (potential of hydrogen) level for your skin is essential to avoid the perils of acidic, oily skin, or basic (in more ways than one) dry skin. But don’t fear, finding the middle ground is more simple than you might think.

What is pH?

PH is just a measurement of an organic substance’s acidity or alkalinity. It is measured on a scale from 0-14, 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline. Water falls right in the middle at 7.
This may come as a shock so you should probably be sitting down while you’re reading this: your body has more than one pH level. Incredible, we know.
Your body as a whole is generally neutral, falling around a 7 on the scale, but your skin is actually a bit acidic, landing at about a 5.5 on average.
The reason your skin runs a bit more acidic than the rest of your body is because it acts as your first line of defense against the outside world. This acidic outer shell is generally referred to as the acid mantle and it is responsible for your skin’s effectiveness in fighting the perils of the outside world. If your skin’s pH level gets out of whack, you immediately become more susceptible to infection and disease.

How do You Balance/Maintain Skin pH?

The first step in achieving your pH zen is to identify your current pH level. It’s tough to get this down to an exact number but ball-parking it is as simple as identifying your current skin issues (if you have any). If you consistently have dry, cracked skin, it means that your skin is too alkaline. On the other hand, if your skin is prone to regular breakouts because it is oily, your skin is too acidic. Simple as that, really.
Either way, here are some key tips to maintaining the pH your skin needs to be operating efficiently:
  • Antioxidants
    • We can’t count on our collective fingers the am0unt of times we’ve stressed the importance of antioxidants to your skin but, alas, here we go again. Antioxidants work to both strengthen cells so they can operate at peak efficiency, as well as protect those cells from the dangers of the environment and oxidation. These functions keep your skin from producing too much sebum to make your skin oily and acidic while keeping your skin at the proper moisture level to prevent it from crossing over into alkaline territory.
  • Stay away from bar-soaps on your face
    • Don’t get us wrong, keeping your face clean and clearing it of debris every day is important to skin health, but using harsh soaps or soaps with detergents can leave a lasting result on your skin’s health. Traditional soap is rather alkaline at an 8-10 on the pH scale so it doesn’t take long for it to dry out your skin, leaving it more susceptible to the dangers of the outside world.
  • Sunscreen
    • While SPFs of any kind help your skin by fending off the brutal nature of ultraviolet rays, they also help to protect your acid mantle. Too much of the sun’s effect on your skin can wear away at this vital safeguard so protecting your skin from the harmful sun is necessary in more ways than one.

For the best in optimizing your skincare without having to mix and match like a skincare warlock, try the amazing skin health lines from Lira Clinical!

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