pH Balance and Skin Care

Posted by Kathleen Flanagan on

What is pH?

Acidic and basic are two extremes that describe chem­i­cals, just like hot and cold are two extremes that describe tem­per­a­ture. Mix­ing acids and bases can can­cel out their extreme effects, much like mix­ing hot and cold water can even out water tem­per­a­ture. A sub­stance that is nei­ther acidic nor basic is neutral.

The pH scale mea­sure how acidic or basic a sub­stance is. It ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neu­tral. A pH less than 7 is acidic and a pH greater than 7 is basic.

Pure water is neu­tral, with a pH of 7.0. When chem­i­cals are mixed with water, the mix­ture can become either acidic or basic. Vine­gar and lemon juice are acidic sub­stances, while laun­dry deter­gents and bar soaps are basic or alkaline.

The skin pro­duces both sebum and sweat, which cre­ate a bar­rier on the sur­face of the skin cer­tain forms of bac­te­ria and microor­gan­isms, and it may be a fac­tor in the nat­ural skin shed­ding and renewal process. The pH of the acid man­tle varies between 4.5 and 6.2. Skin care prod­ucts should be below the skin’s pH of 4.5 — 6.8 to have max­i­mum effects on the skin.

Very strong acids, such as sul­fu­ric acid, can pro­duce chem­i­cal burns that basi­cally destroy the epidermis. Likewise, highly alka­line sub­stances, such as lye, can also pro­duce inflam­ma­tion and in some cases, chemical burns.

pH adjusters or buffer­ing agents are fre­quently added to skin care prod­ucts. These addi­tives keep pH at the cor­rect level to pro­duce the desired effect, while keep­ing the prod­uct safe and non-irritating to the skin.

0     1     2      3     4     5     6     7     8     9    10    11   12    13  14

←                                    ↑                                         →

Increas­ing Acid­ity       Neu­tral                         Increas­ing Basicity

Alpha Peel 40%                  =             pH 1.8

Cocoa Cola                          =             pH 2.5

Skin                                      =             pH 4.5 — 6.0

Max­i­mum results are achieved when the pH is between 1.8 — 6.8.

← Older Post Newer Post →



Ever Wonder Why You're Stressed?

By Kathleen Flanagan

Did you know that 70% of dis­ease is caused by stress in the body and mind? Did you know that insom­nia is a large indi­ca­tor...

Read more
skin care

Let Your Skin Tell You if a Skin Care Line Works

By Kathleen Flanagan

Skin Care Lines There is so much information out there about ‘this is good for you’ or ‘that is not.’ We get confused trying to...

Read more