The buzzword on every beauty addict’s lips…? pH-balance.
It’s not widely known, but a steady pH level is essential for achieving beautiful, healthy skin. Any slight rise or fall in the skin’s pH can be the culprit for everything from acne and rosacea to wrinkles and dryness. If this is news to you, here’s our easy guide on what it all means and how to keep those pH levels in check...
What's the natural pH level of skin?
Our skin has a pH level of 5.5, meaning it’s on the acidic side. These acidic conditions are vital for maintaining the skin’s natural barrier function.
Why is the pH level so important?
We all crave an eternally flawless complexion. But no matter how much attention you devote to your skin, if the skin’s pH is thrown off-balance, even a fine-tuned skincare routine won’t entirely eliminate flare-ups, breakouts, or blemishes.
The skin is an extremely delicate, fickle, and sensitive organ — it can only function properly when conditions are optimal and just as it desires. Its pH level is regulated by the skin’s acid mantle. Essentially, this is an acidic shield which helps to fight harmful microbes and combat any free radicals that may accelerate the skin’s aging process. This acid mantle also allows the skin to maintain its natural oils, keeping it beautifully plump and hydrated.
What happens if the pH level of you skin changes?
If the pH level of your skin increases or decreases from its natural condition, it may cause harmful bacteria to grow and ultimately lead to skin conditions like acne, eczema, and rosacea. To avoid this, our acid mantle must maintain its optimum pH level of 5.5.
What triggers a change in the pH level of skin?
Multiple factors can influence the skin’s pH levels. As you get older, for example, the acid mantle will naturally diminish with the skin becoming less acidic. Typically, this can make the complexion drier and more prone to wrinkles.
Likewise, the application of beauty products will cause fluctuations in your skin surface pH. The use of tap water (with a pH value typically around 8.0 in Europe) may also increase the skin pH level for up to six hours after application, before returning down to its natural level of 5.0 — according to a study featured in the International Journal for Cosmetic Science. Pollution and UV exposure are yet more factors influencing the skin’s pH.
How can your skincare routine affect pH levels?
Skincare products with a high pH level (alkaline, as opposed to acid) threaten to disrupt your skin’s acid mantle, pushing it further away from its preferred pH condition. You know that taut, squeaky clean feeling you can experience after washing your face? That’s one of the tell-tale signs that your skin barrier has been damaged by an elevation in pH level. Alkaline skincare products will strip away natural oils, potentially causing roughness, redness, breakouts, inflammation, and dryness.
What's the ideal pH for skincare products?
The ultimate goal is to select skincare products with the same acidic condition as your skin. This will avoid dramatic elevations or drops in pH level, enabling you to regulate and balance your complexion. Avoid harsh cleansers with an alkaline pH, and instead opt for slightly acidic formulas with alpha or beta hydroxy acids that match your natural skin.
The pH level is listed on all of woods_ products, allowing you to curate a skincare routine that is expertly tailored to the precise pH-balance of your own complexion.